Recruitment, Organising and Campaigning

Part of UCU’s regional operational plan is to increase participation by maximising involvement and understanding of reps and members.

To facilitate this, the region has done the following:


Introduced ‘UCU in your region’ emails sent to local contacts to encourage them to get more active, use the regional recruitment materials produced and the region’s social media.


 April 2017
Regional briefing in Newcastle attended by 13 reps focusing on equality.


November 2016
Updated the ‘New UCU activist‘ email issued upon registering a new rep/activist, referring new reps to the region’s online New Activist Handbook and other digital resources including UCU training.


September 2016
Show us your #UCUmugshot” online recruitment campaign to raise the profile of UCU while raising awareness of the workload and stress issue. Members are encouraged to take the breaks they are entitled to and show us their #UCUmugshot

In May 2017 UCU South West region also ran the campaign.


August 2016
As the new academic year approaches, ‘New job, join UCU’ recruitment campaign infographic targeting new members of staff, shared on the regional website and social media.

The digital infographic was then made into A5 leaflets, with hard copies offered to branches. So far, Durham, Northumbria and Teesside University will all be using the leaflets to recruit members at induction events.


August 2016


Step by step guide showing UCU members how to check and update their membership record online via eServices added to the regional website

Branch Membership Contacts who require additional guidance are also invited to attend one-to-one training delivered by the Regional Administrator.


July 2016


Regional Instagram introduced as an additional platform to engage with people, encourage participation and promote the work of UCU.


July 2016
Infographic explaining which issues UCU reps must contact the Regional Office with shared on the regional website and social media.


July 2016
Printable PDF map and directions to the UCU Regional Office added to the regional website 



July 2016


Design and introduction of Regional Committee agenda and minutes templates.  The region wants to create a professional, unified look for our region’s committee papers, while ensuring good readability, which is of particular importance for people who experience difficulty reading small or close set text.  Our region wants to be inclusive.


July 2016


Three members of Regional Office staff (Emma Alexander, Jon Bryan and Joyce McAndrew) have been trained in the use of Prowise Presenter and ProConnect allowing the region to design and run engaging, interactive meetings and training.  Meetings and training can now take place at the Regional Office (maximum 12 participants), delivered at the branch via Prowise, or delivered remotely via Skype.

Initial plans are being made for eServices training to be offered to Branch Membership Contacts either at the Regional Office or via Skype.


July 2016


Online ‘New Activist Handbook‘ created to provide reps with an indexed information resource to assist in their new role.  When a new activist is registered, the ‘New UCU Activist’ regional welcome email now includes the link to


June 2016


In addition to all Regional Office staff having individual Skype for Business accounts for use on their laptop and/or desktop, UCU Head Office provided the Regional Office with group video conferencing for up to 12 people. Conference meeting requests can be made via   Please contact Emma Alexander to book use of the video conferencing room.


June 2016


Regional use of social video commenced.  Research suggests that 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 is projected to come from video.  UCU Northern Region is keen to use advances in technology to aid recruitment, retention and communication.  Our region’s first social videos were to digitally promote the national HE Pay Campaign and the region’s strike rally in Newcastle.  The series of five short videos were posted on the region’s twitter and facebook, and within 48 hours had been watched by over 1000 people.  The series is also available on the region’s new youtube channel.


June 2016


First regional use of infographics started with a visual representation of UCU Head Office’s key information for branch officers regarding the 2016 HE pay campaign strike.  Infographics can help us to communicate messages because they are more engaging than text, a combination of pictures and text is proven to allow a higher rate of understanding and retention, they are easy to digest and fun to share on social media.


May 2016


In order to allow people using Facebook to identify more with the person posting for the region, an admin page was set up for Regional Administrator Emma Alexander, with invites issued to send friend requests to Emma


May 2016


Regional Facebook page launched.   Twitter still remains the region’s primary social media, but in response to requests from reps who have a facebook profile and would like to share the region’s social media posts, this page was set up. The region’s tweets are automatically posted to facebook.


May 2016


Tell us what matters recruitment stall campaign introduced, including encouraging other regions to take part.  The Regional Executive approved funds for the creation of a campaign kit for use by branches.  Details of how branches can use branch funds to get their own campaign kit were also issued.

So far, Gateshead College, New College Durham, Northumbria University and Sunderland University have run the campaign. Why not add your branch to the list of participating branches?

Use #JoinUCU     


May 2016


Online recruitment campaign I’m in the union because designed and introduced, including sharing good practice by encouraging other regions to take part. This recruitment campaign proved very popular with the region. The photo campaign on social media is designed to highlight the diverse reasons to join UCU, and the diversity of our membership.

So far, Cumbria University, Durham University, Gateshead College, Northumbria University and Sunderland University have taken part.

In May 2016 UCU Head Office suggested the campaign to all branches nationally as a suggestion for May 2016’s National Recruitment Week.


February 2016


UCU Head Office provided all Regional Office staff with Skype for Business allowing remote meetings with reps and members.


February 2016
Using a template designed by Head Office, the Regional Office completed the front design, arranged for printing, and provided Branch Secretaries with an initial supply of regional business cards, with an invitation to request further supplies.  These regional business cards are used as a recruitment tool, while increasing awareness of the region’s online presence.



January 2016


Joint region FE briefing in Darlington attended by 24 FE reps from Northern and Yorkshire & Humberside region.


December 2015
Regional briefing in Newcastle attended by 39 reps. UCU Head of Equality led discussion on seeking to increase and support BME members’ involvement in the union.


October 2015
Regional Committee papers are now available online in a password protected section of the regional website   This allows delegates to access the papers anytime, including from mobile devices.


September 2015


Introduction of online registration for regional briefings via Eventbrite. Participants have access to all details of the meeting including its location. Online registration also allows easy integration with the weekly update and social media.


August 2015


Regional ‘Weekly Digest’ changed from a simple email received on a Thursday to a web page allowing updates to be made via an online version control system.   This format facilitates easy integration with twitter and email. Reps can check the online weekly digest anytime in the week and feel reassured they are seeing the most up to date information available.  An email is sent to reps at 8am each Thursday to remind them to access the weekly digest. This email also includes a ‘Spotlight on’ feature which draws attention to any items on the digest which are of special importance.


June 2015


Regional website launched    The regional website is not intended as a comprehensive resource on UCU, as the UCU national website is.  The regional website is intended to be a ‘regional base’ for UCU regional information.  Some branches have their own website/social media; every branch has their own area on the regional website meaning branches can link members from the regional website to their own local resources.  UCU branches are encouraged to contribute to the region’s website, by emailing content or by using the ‘Contributor’ status which allows them to create and edit their own posts.

We ensure the Northern Region’s website is up to date, engages and provides information.


June 2015
UCU reps are offered appropriate advice and training about the use of social media, in particular Twitter.  To re-enforce this any branch which joins Twitter is issued with guidelines and the offer of training/guidance.  This is for training and legal purposes.


Use of #UCUNorth is encouraged on tweets regarding the Northern Region


November 2014
Regional Twitter launched   The region uses twitter as a method of communication with our target audience.  Reps are reminded they do not need a twitter account to read, or share a link to our tweets.  The amount of twitter followers does not reflect the size or relevance of the audience we engage with.


November 2014


Regional BME members’ network formed by Regional Support Official Jon Bryan.  We are keen to increase and support involvement of BME members within union activity and organisation.



January 2014


Regional Google+ page launched.  The region used Google+ to communicate news and events with the region between November 2013 – June 2015.



November 2013




UCU Northern region:

  • creates and develops innovative ways to promote campaigns and communicate messages to existing and potential members
  • develops our social media presence and digital footprint
  • develops, delivers and manages strategic communication plans to allow UCU Northern Region to be a 21st Century Union region
  • creates high-quality campaign materials, including writing regional website posts, emails, social media posts, sourcing images, creating infographics, taking photographs and filming and editing social videos
  • ensures consistency of messaging and prioritisation of campaigns
  • manages the production of printed materials to ensure they meet UCU national style and guidelines, are accessible and look professional.  We offer guidance and assistance to branches to encourage the same high standards to be met locally
  • takes our campaigns from inception to delivery using available communication and media paths while engaging reps and members and evaluating the effectiveness of the campaign, including monitoring and managing analysis of digital data to assess the digital impact of our campaigns



Require further information on any of the above projects?

Unless otherwise stated, UCU Regional Administrator, Emma Alexander is the project manager.

0191 487 7220