Recently a student was overheard calling another student a geek for talking to Careers staff. It was probably a lighthearted comment amongst friends but it rather illustrates a PR problem.
It’s just not cool to be seen getting help from Careers, or probably from anyone amongst certain demographics.
Stealth tactics are needed!
This year we were asked to put on an employability week, no problem!
Apart from the fact that the research showed that students don’t like the words employability or careers. The word future though, was apparently less dull or scary!
The upshot was MyFutureFest, a week of events around looking at future options centred around a giant Teepee.
Cunning isn’t it, no mention of careers and the lure of a festival vibe. Marketing was primarily done via social media but to be fair you could hardly miss the Teepee!
The Teepee was packed, the freebies went like hot cakes and the lure of free coffee and cake in exchange for a few conversations with the people in the tent seemed to work a treat.
We had a # tag for the event to monitor chatter – though to be fair it was mainly us chatting. We did get a few nice comments though:
- FREE CAKE 😀 and a cool teepee x
- HAPPINESS : defined ! @
#MyFutureFest organised by @ManUniCareers I appreciate my Careers Service efforts at Uni. 🙂
The fringe events did well too and we saw a steady trickle of referrals up to Careers.
Overall effectiveness, well it’s hard to tell any long-term effects, but we hope the “do something” message came across.
Now we need to apply some creativity to our other marketing to make students take careers information, and even more importantly read it and take appropriate action.