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Three tips for engaging young people with your organisation

So here’s the thing, you need to communicate with young people about something important, but not urgent.   How do you do it?

Here are three quick tips we have learnt from recent work with school and college students.

  1. Test your ideas:

    In any campaign you would test your ideas with your target market. Young people are not an homogeneous market that can be easily defined.  By asking young people what they think of your ideas, you will get very useful feedback and it will help make your engagement more pertinent and so more likely to be successful.  At a recent event we had a great suggestion that the large screen could have a rolling display of social media posts, instead of a video no one could hear!

  2. Create a buzz before the event:

    The best way to do is to work with local schools or colleges so that the students are interested in your “message” prior to the event. Clearly this is only appropriate where you are working on a public service/community interest campaign.  For example recently we worked on launching the #HealthforTeens website.   Before the event we spent lots of time discussing the website themes with schools, so that school students knew more about what was involved and could influence the message, in this case about how to stay healthy!

  3. You need to persevere:

    Engagement with young people is not a one off, but needs to be part of a plan. Young people are besieged by messages, and your message is quickly forgotten. To make an impact you need to provide regular useful information that is relevant and speaks to young people.   We worked with schools and young people, after the #FutureHeroes Careers Expo to reinforce the messages, because life moves on!  Your event maybe important to you, but it will be vying for attention, with all the other things going on;   your event is only part of your campaign.  To ensure you get your message across, you need to plan, persevere and persist with the campaign.

And finally…

Young people are interested in what you have to say, but you need to be open, approachable and willing to change. The campaign will be stronger, more successful and certainly more fun!

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“If it is too good to be true…it probably is” International Trade Enquiries 101

On Christmas Eve, as England experienced unseasonal heavy rain and high winds, Red Potato received an enquiry from Pakistan to supply us with several containers of white potatoes.  The variety of potato? Santa.  Yep, you can’t make it up, someone on Christmas Eve, wanted to sell us white Santa potatoes!

It may not have been a scam, but it made us laugh all the same.

The Red Potato company brand is about being flexible, versatile and down to earth – much like the humble potato.  We also have a company compost heap which is used to grow Red Spuds, but there the similarity ends.   The core business for Red Potato is about working in partnership with organisations who want better insight and stronger economic engagement with local communities.   By working together we attract investment to an area, help new entrepreneurs learn from seasoned entrepreneurs, create snappy animated films to demonstrate project outcomes and help public sector organisations engage with local business communities.

Red Potato has recently been accepted onto the UKTI East “Passport to Export” (P2E) programme.  What has been very helpful is the opportunity to talk to the local International Trade Advisor at UKTI East.   We’ve discussed things such potential liability from unsolicited enquires for Santa spuds on Christmas Eve, what practical steps to take about making your website attractive to overseas buyers and the merits of different routes to market.  And we’ve not even been on the P2E workshop yet!

All this means is that hopefully before the next crop of Santa spuds have been harvested Red Potato will be trading successfully abroad.