The Shape of things to come

For my final post in this trilogy of focusing on our new campaign I'm going to look at another industry-wide issue which we sought to address. Working in the built environment there are many misconceptions of the sector among students, parents, teachers and careers advisors. These range from it being poorly paid, just consisting of manual work or that it is male dominated.

To prove these stereotypes exist we surveyed 2,000 parents, teachers and careers advisors at secondary schools and academies in the UK state sector. This was published in a report alongside one-to-one interviews with careers advisors and education professionals across the UK. This highlighted the key issues (listed above) which 'Shaping Your World' was devised to address.

For launch, we wanted to set out these issues in a way which would be picked up by the media from broadcast and national to regional and trade. Due to us having a clear solution to a well known industry issue our PR team manged to get some great high profile coverage. This ranged from an 8 minute interview on Radio 4 Today programme to quote of the day in the Independents ‘I’ newspaper.

Securing the support of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Government backed Careers & Enterprise Company (C&EC), we then created our 1% pledge. This allows us to measure the impact of 200+ colleagues working with schools and colleges across the UK, engaging with at least 10,000 pupils in the next 12 months. I've signed up myself so will be going back to my roots (I worked in a secondary school for 5 years many moons ago!)

Our people will share their pride and passion and help students better understand the breadth of roles available across the built environment. While this activity was already taking place in pockets around the business, the pledge and universal training ensures that we all sell the full spectrum of the built environment. One of my responsibilities was the build of an internal microsite to communicate this and to act as a repository for the training materials. On here colleagues can also order our ‘Awesome Career in the Built Environment’ a new printed booklet to hand out at school visits that contains key facts about the industry, including real life examples of people doing their jobs and routes into the industry.

Before and during launch we delivered a full social media strategy via our organic channels. This encouraged engagement with the campaign and supported outreach by providing useful content on the use of the Virtual World Plaque technologies and encouraged conversations with schools to support our outreach targets. We also asked Kier colleagues to change their social media profile picture to their Avatar for the first week of launch to generate viral recognition.

I was complimented at least twice on my attire.
Clearly a waistcoat is a good look for me!
To launch the campaign externally we held two large public events on Saturday 2nd September; at the Arndale Centre, Manchester and Westfield Shepherd’s Bush. I was at the former and used the opportunity to join other colleagues in dressing up as Brunel! We used digital kiosks to attract people to make their own avatar, take photos with our Instagram/Snapchat boards or take away our careers booklet. This was one of my favourite parts seeing all the team's hard work be so well received.

This campaign has been an enormous labour of love for all involved. I have worked flat out on it for months, alongside the whole team, to show our commitment as an innovator in a sector that is often quite conservative. It has already sparked conversations and invitations to present to our peer community of contractors who have been crying out for new pride and passion collateral and an Ambassador toolkit. I love a good presentation!

The complexity of this campaign is impossible to do justice to in three short posts. We still have lots to add and develop over the 18-24 months we intend it to run. No doubt I'll be mentioning it again at some point as it really has been all encompassing...!
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