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Partner: CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory

Partner: CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory

04 February, 2019


CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory (BCO) is a renowned attraction, famous for their astronomy content and castle tours. Furthermore, their effectiveness in hosting corporate meetings, weddings and educational events like CPD courses for primary school teachers and students highlights the importance of this edifice to Ireland. The exhibits, tours, surrounding scenery and information displays in the castle, are just some of the aspects that attract visitors to the castle and observatory.

The Need

BCO’s primary focus is raising awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and developing opportunities with STEM. As a Discover Centre and tourist attraction; their focus is less on venue hire and hospitality and more on education using astronomy as the main motivator and focus. They also want to create more engagement with visitors before and after their visit.

The Solution

The students focused on four very different areas to give extensive research and more fleshed out, innovative ideas to the business. The areas included; continued professional development (CPD), internal & external markets and their corporate market.

For instance, the working group focusing on CPD concentrated their resources on reaching out to schools and particularly to teachers interested in CPD. To do so, they used various marketing platforms to showcase a continued message of having the teacher as a ‘hero’, which showed the benefits and outcomes of professional development for these teachers in positive and memorable interactions.

Benefits of the collaboration

BCO gained insight into many areas which, through the use of innovative marketing techniques, they can ensure existing markets are engaged whilst also targeting brand new markets.

Strategies were presented to attract more visitors by utilising the large online following BCO already have; to promote CPD courses through positive engagement with teachers and schools. The students also proposed improving the internal and external markets through effective communication plans along with ways to utilise existing facilities, such as their exhibits and meeting room space for their corporate market.

The students gained the opportunity to work with an organisation which specialises in many diverse areas, this allowed each group of students to research a completely different area, which provided a variety of information when it came to the final presentations made to their lecturer and BCO management

“The student outputs were excellent with some particular outstanding contributions; namely the students’ research-based findings on innovative approaches for marketing Continuous Professional Development to teachers, and strong suggestions for better CIT/BCO visibility and branding at both sites.
I look forward to practical implementation of the student proposals from their reports into real-time BCO activity.
”- Clair McSweeney, Centre Manager, BCO.

The master’s in Marketing Practice allows the students to work on live case studies. These masters students bring a fresh perspective to the senior managers in the client organisations. Whether they conduct primary or secondary research, create customer journey maps or conduct on-site visits to capture the authentic customer experience, they provide insights that are often difficult to capture using in-house processes.” – Jane Leonard, Marketing lecturer.



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