How do I contact the College Marketing Network?

Contact us on 01772 257833, or at

You can write to us at F16, Preston Technology Centre, Marsh Lane, Preston, PR1 8UQ

Follow us on Twitter @cmnoffice
Find us on Facebook at
Read the blog at

What are the benefits of membership?

Our member benefits currently include:

  • Private JISCmail networking group – access to the experience and advice of other CMN members in confidence and from your desk. Join our JISCmail networking group and you can share your challenges and expertise with colleagues across the country. 
  • Mentoring and professional support scheme – free peer-to-peer support between members;
  • New “GOOD and OUTSTANDING” college marketing resource, written by some of our best college marketers – ONLY for CMN members (aimed at heads of marketing, strategic marketers and aspiring marketers);
  • Networking and CPD meetings around the country during Winter and Spring each year. Big discounts for CMN members. Programmes cover all aspects of marketing, speakers are usually college colleagues, lunch and refreshments are included, meetings are informal and friendly.
  • Significant reductions for our conferences, FE First Award entries and other events. Early bird rates for events are ONLY available to CMN members and take 30-40% off the full non-member rates;
  • FREE occasional in-house magazine;
  • FREE information services via email to all your nominated team members – FE sector news, advance notice of CMN events and activities, marketing jobs and more;
  • Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn networks;
  • Discounts on services provided by other organisations, eg £50 off full price training from FEmarketing, £50 off recent FE marketing benchmarking report from Carthy Communications
How much does it cost to join?

Membership of the College Marketing Network is institutional (ie. in the name of the college, not an individual) and covers all members of your marketing team.

From 1st August 2016, the annual subscription costs are

  • Sixth form colleges (also UTCs and academies) - £285
  • FE and specialist colleges, band 1 (total income up to £15m) - £415
  • FE and specialist colleges, band 2 (total income £15m-£40m) - £465
  • FE and specialist colleges, band 3 (total income over £40m) - £515

NB We are a not for profit organisation and are zero-rated for VAT.

What are the FE First Awards?

The FE First Awards are made every year at the Annual Conference in November for excellence in college marketing. The categories are announced early in the year, and entries open in May. The closing date for entries in 2017 will be announced, and is usually at the end of September. You can read more about them on the FE First Awards area of this site.

The categories for 2016 were:

  • PR campaign
  • Communications campaign
  • Events management
  • Website development, sponsored by FEmarketing
  • Innovation
  • Digital and social media campaign, sponsored by Educate
  • School leaver recruitment campaign, sponsored by Net Natives
  • Specialised recruitment campaign
  • Full-time prospectus
  • Marketing Team of the Year*, sponsored by AoC
  • Lifetime Achievement Award*

*these categories are only open to colleges in membership of CMN at the time of entry.

Categories for 2017 will be announced shortly - watch the FE First Awards pages for more information.

What is JISCmail?

Our JISCmail sharing good practice group is an online email discussion group, only open to members of the CMN who have opted in. It is run on a confidential basis - matters discussed within the group should not be shared beyond it, so that everyone can speak freely and share honestly. The rules are sent to you when you request enrolment in the group. To join the group, or find out more, email

What is the Good & Outstanding site about?

The CMN's Good & Outstanding resource is a microsite developed by a group of senior marketers from good and outstanding colleges, sharing their experiences and insights into topics such as marketing strategy, research, budgeting, team development, and much more. It is aimed at senior and aspiring marketers and requires a login and password to access. It offers the opportunity for members to provide case studies and to comment on the posts made on the site. To check your password or request access to the site, please contact

What events does CMN run?

CMN's major event each year is the Annual Conference, which has been running since 1987. 2017 will see our 30th Annual Conference (location TBC, expected dates 27-28 November). Our conference is a mix of plenary presentations and skills-based workshops, many presented by colleagues and peers willing to share their good practice. We also invite companies to exhibit with us and to support the event and the FE First Awards, which are made on the Monday evening of conference.

Previous delegates have said:
“Really informative workshops and a chance to chat to others in the same field, share good practice and air frustrations!”
“A great way to gain and consolidate knowledge with plenty to take away to inspire and assist your marketing.”
“An excellent opportunity to network and share best practice. Plenty of good ideas and plans to take back to college.”
“An excellent event as always – sharing good practice with colleagues across the sector is invaluable.”
“I found the workshops very informative and it was really good to network with other colleges during the day.”

Are there any local meetings I can attend?

CMN runs a programme of networking meetings in Winter and Spriing each year around the country - in 2016 they have been in Salford, Birmingham, Oxford and London. These meetings run from 10.30am - 2pm and focus on presentations made by colleagues and peers from colleges, often ones which have won FE First Awards for good practice. They are informal and friendly and include refreshments and lunch. There is a small charge (currently £30 pp) to member colleges, and they are open to non-member colleges at £80pp. Contact to find out more.

What delegates have said:
“Great to be able to network with different colleges.”
“Each talk was just the right length. A great way to share best practice. Very knowledgeable speakers.”
“Thanks to the CMN team and all the speakers. Plenty of valuable information to take away.” “Great for networking and sharing ideas.”
“An excellent and informative meeting.”

Where can I find you on social media?

Follow us on Twitter @cmnoffice
Find us on Facebook at
Read the blog at

Can I get some professional support through CMN?

Yes, we have a mentoring and professional support scheme for members. We ask you to complete an application form to indicate your areas for development, and will do our best to match you up with a colleague who can support you - we suggest for a period of around six months. There is more information about the service on the website, or contact

How do I find out what's going on in the Network?

When you join the Network, you can nominate as many of your team members as you wish to receive regular news updates from the CMN office - including CMN events and activities, sector news and jobs alerts. These are sent out two or three times a week, and you can opt out at any time.

You can also nominate up to three members of your team to enrol in our JISCmail group, and one or two to have access to our Good & Outstanding microsite.