The long-term labour market is tightening, and everyone targets young people as potential employees. How do you present your industry, organisation or job offers in an appealing manner to students in secondary or vocational education? How do you even make contact with a target group you can hardly reach through traditional media? Starting from these questions the O&O fonds of the energy sector approached DST to develop the WATT? campaign. It ran for fifteen years, and proved that reaching young people through schools is still the most effective way to do so.
The WATT? campaign for the Dutch energy sector shows how effectively a recruitment campaign for an industry can be. Keyword: cooperation. Between the sector’s development fund (initiator of the campaign) and the affiliated companies. Between businesses and educational institutions. Between companies and teachers. And between client and agency, of course.
Strategy to launch
WATT? started by defining its strategic goals. The base for the campaign was laid in cooperation with energy companies and schools, to determine what was needed, effective and possible. After that it was launched in secondary schools, followed by vocational schools.
Campaign building blocks
Building blocks within the WATT? campaign include: participation in education fairs, teaching projects, excursion service to companies, technology guest lectures, (technology) teachers attending conferences, mailings to education institutes, a powerful website and particularly a large amount of practical educational materials. Because by facilitating teachers and deans, WATT? reached over 45,000 young people a year, in their classrooms. It also reached their parents at educational fairs, as decision makers on their children’s futures.
In fifteen years time almost 800,000 young people were introduced to the energy sector, in lessons, guest lessons, fairs and company visits. An independent survey showed that familiarity with the sector among educational staff increased almost tenfold. Over 1,700 teachers and deans regularly used WATT?-materials in their lessons. Talk about ambassadorship!