During 2015 we supported a medium sized organisation in Birmingham on a project helping disadvantaged young people to gain skills for work.
The project relied on recruiting young people and the staff had some difficulty in promoting the project to this audience and prompting engagement with the organisation and the project. We were brought on to the project to work on the communications, in order to increase comms activity and thereby increase engagement. We worked with staff to adopt a range of new communications techniques in order to reach and engage new audiences, and tell a story about the project. For example making Vine videos, creating case studies and telling personal stories, writing blogs, regularly publishing content to social media sites, networking with organisations working with young people, shooting and editing video interviews, and making use of images and creating other visual media.
Key to the new communications work was putting the young people’s voice at the centre. Due to the low levels of engagement with the project it was difficult to obtain stories about young people, but we made the most of the resources and information that the organisation already had, and directly contacted young people already on the project. In this way we were able to represent young people’s voices with quotes and case studies. This made the content more relatable and interesting to young people, and therefore increasing the likelihood that people would share it or comment.
As the content was regularly being uploaded to the organisation’s website and social media accounts, engagements with both increased. Furthermore, the project funder commented that the project seemed exciting, and when they arranged visits to come out to see some of the projects they had funded they told the organisation they were particularly keen to come and visit this project as it looked vibrant and active.