Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP)

Keeping students informed, engaged and reassured in times of crisis

The client

The London-based Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) has been developing and delivering music education and training to music students for over 30 years. It offers students from around the world an impressive range of undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses, spanning instruments, vocals, songwriting, music production and an array of music business, entrepreneurship and marketing options. The institute’s website – – offers a wealth of information for prospective and current students alike, many of whom speak English as a second language.

The problem

ICMP produces a large amount of content every day – both in digital and print form. They needed assistance turning over a range of copy quickly and in keeping with their voice and brand. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold in Europe, with lockdowns mandated and borders closing, the need for fast, targeted student communications increased rapidly, with information changing by the day or sometimes even by the hour.

Complex, often-bureaucratic wording had to be pared back into clean, clear language. And while the messaging itself was urgent, a calm tone was imperative to reassure students ICMP had the situation in hand. The Brexit situation, too, presented a need for similar reassurance and speedy ongoing assistance, as students across Europe worried about their educational future.

The solution

Having worked with ICMP for a long time, we understood their brand intimately. Over the years, we’d produced a raft of content in both digital and print formats, and so were ready to assist when their need increased.

Our ‘catch the sun’ offering enabled us to complete work during the UK evenings, with drafts awaiting ICMP staff by the time they fired up their computers in the morning. Having a southern-hemisphere extension of their team gave ICMP the ability to change and communicate important messaging rapidly and clearly, with wording devoid of the panic many were feeling. With multiple freelancers at the ready, we took on as much or as little as they needed. Additionally, our involvement gave ICMP staff breathing space to step back and recharge for whatever the next day might hold, knowing one aspect of their job had been handled for them during an extremely stressful time.

The result

We were delighted to offer ICMP something of a one-stop shop, producing everything from staff biographies, event write-ups, student surveys, news items and press releases to email campaigns, prospectuses and course copy, in the engaging, plain-English, user-centric language they require.

As Brexit and, more so, COVID-19 presented additional time-critical demand, we jumped in to produce a wealth of tailored content to meet this, generally with an overnight turnaround. Among these was a comprehensive list of COVID-19 FAQs, tailored for existing students, applicants and staff and updated as needed, and an overview of the institute’s COVID-19-secure campus, giving confidence to students when they returned to on-site learning.

We continue to work closely with ICMP, particularly as they expand their short-course program.

Thank you for all of your help during this crazy year. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your responsiveness and general ‘thoroughness’ in all we throw at you – it’s mega reassuring!”

Steve Dunhill, Head of Marketing, ICMP

Our work

Let’s work together