It generated 47% more media coverage and 13 times more social media conversation than in 2012.
The Week directly boosted awareness of Apprenticeships by 31%, drove 20% more online registrations from potential apprentices and led to 600 more employers registering to offer Apprenticeships.
Strategy & delivery
Increasing delivery and take up of more Apprenticeships is a key part of the government’s economic strategy and is designed to help improve skills levels while reducing unemployment.
The strategy to increase awareness and support for Apprenticeships as well as drive more employers to hire apprentices was to use the Week to visibly demonstrate how Apprenticeships deliver for employers, young people and the economy.
Based on research from ICM, focus groups and partner feedback, the tactics and creatives around this theme were developed to be scalable, replicable by partners and as engaging with our key audiences of employers, young people and parents as possible.
Multi-media PR delivery: news, films, social media and live events
To reach each audience we developed:
· News stories. Including a ‘Productivity Report’, latest Apprenticeship vacancies data, key employer stories and ‘round up’ of all the jobs created in the Week
· Series of films. Such as apprentice job swaps with their bosses, sector in the spotlight films on key industries and daily highlights packages – available on www.apprentice.tv.
· Events. Ranging from employer and college ministerial visits, to the first reception delivered entirely by apprentices and hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister at Admiralty House. The DPM event launched the #Madebyapprentices Pinterest campaign to showcase the diverse range of products and services produced by apprentices in our country.
Creating a movement with partner outreach
In addition to forming a steering group of key stakeholders to drive activity, an extensive online toolkit showed partners how they could re-create our key content. The toolkit was promoted via stakeholder outreach, media relations and a series of events where we explained the creatives and delivered social media and communications training to partners to enable them to take part. Partners were also encouraged to share our centrally produced content and kept up to speed on new messaging, facts and social media content.
Collaboration boosts value for money / ROI
To maximise budget, the team worked with partners to deliver events, rather than incur direct costs. For example, at the launch events on the Monday of the Week, Barclays hosted five simultaneous business breakfasts in major English cities. And the ‘Made by apprentices’ event (top right) used donated space from the Cabinet Office, and disbursements secured at cost from Apprenticeship employers.
For media handling, the steering group carefully segmented media outlets to ensure maximum cut through throughout the Week. On the first day alone:
- NAS announced the £3.4bn contribution of Apprenticeships to the economy aimed at broadcast and national media (and with regional / trade media specific stats).
- BIS / Cabinet Office delivered a political story later in the day with the PM calling on Apprenticeships to become the new norm for ambitious young people (bottom right).
- Barclays led with a business announcement of their support for 10,000 apprentices.
Throughout the Week, all media angles were exploited from advanced broadcast features to activity with the smallest regional paper. All activity was delivered alongside supporting social media (co-ordinated tweets, Facebook, AudioBoo and LinkedIn posts) to maximise the effectiveness of coverage.