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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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We’re moving to Hatfield!

Goodbye Welwyn Garden City, Hello Hatfield!

Yes, Red Potato are moving to the heart of Hatfield at the wonderful Great North Business Centre, close to historic Hatfield House.  The good news is we are staying in Hertfordshire and our new premises serve great coffee!

Hatfield is only 20 minutes from central London and is home to the University of Hertfordshire.  We’re looking forward to our new home!  Do give us a call, and come over to see us.

Where are we moving to?

Our new address is

Red Potato Limited

Great North Business Centre

North Place, 82 Great North Road

Hatfield

AL9 5BL

Hertfordshire

Moving

 

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#FSBHertsAwards – Business Innovation

A night to remember

It was (another) glorious June evening in Hertfordshire for the FSB Business Awards.  Red Potato had been invited to attend as a finalist and we were really chuffed to be awarded “Runner Up” in the Business Innovation category! Congratulations to the worthy winners Brig-Ayd Controls!  The event was held at the Manor of Groves – a sumptuous Georgian House set in 150 acres of prime Hertfordshire countryside.

Why were Red Potato at the Awards event?

Our business innovation entry was based upon the way Red Potato uses innovative short animations to tell the story of how long term partnership projects, involving local authorities have a huge positive impact for residents.

Why celebrate being a “Runner Up” for Business Innovation?

Part of the value of the FSB Awards event is that it brings local businesses together.  Also the way it inspires us all to achieve more for #Hertfordshire , that seems like a good thing to celebrate!

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One month on: Our Agile Business Consultant (& Head Barista) gives his views

“It has been one month since I started working with Red Potato, although it feels as if it was longer than that – in a good way! As an Agile Business Consultant, I have been to different places meeting different and quite interesting individuals such as business consultants, owners and CEOs. This has given me more insight into Red Potato and what it is trying to achieve and I now participate more with designing service features, sales processes design and implementation. I feel that I am in a better position now to add value to the business and I am hoping to see increased sales for the business and increased value for the customers as a result of my work.

I have also been working on quite exciting projects such as developing a business expansion plan abroad for delivering Business Boot-camps and taking part in the lead team of a partnership of around 30 organisations bidding for a big project. Considering the latter – initially I have been invited to a meeting between the lead team members and while I was not sure what to expect, I made some suggestions which were greatly appreciated and put on the spotlight. More importantly, I have been taken on board to complete various project-related tasks in congruence with my suggestions, which I also enjoy doing, resulting in a seamlessly increasing involvement with the project. This has exceeded my expectations as I was not expecting to have much impact or say whatsoever being so new to Red Potato and its field of work.

I am worried about how my efforts will develop, but I am also committed to achieve results and I know I can rely on Red Potato’s support to get me to where I want to be.”

Asen has been on work placement with Red Potato and is doing some brilliant work on business processes.  Asen is a qualified barista and makes the best cup of coffee in Welwyn Garden City!

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LGC Awards 2015

Why were Red Potato at the LGC Awards?

Red Potato were invited to attend the Local Government Chronicle Awards 2015 (LGC Awards 2015) with our partners Welwyn Hatfield Council.  Welwyn Hatfield Council and Red Potato were finalists in the “Community Involvement” award category.  The Council and Red Potato were recognised by the judges for delivering an innovative work experience programme.  Almost uniquely this work experience programme secured the support of schools, colleges and the local small business sector.

So did you win anything?

We didn’t win the LGC Award, which is a great shame.  But we are really proud of what has been achieved. The programme has led to young people securing jobs, lots of money has been raised for charities through hard graft by the students and there is better engagement between schools and local business.  This programme has been a great investment in the future of the local economy.  Probably most importantly, the programme has touched the lives of many young people locally.

What’s next on the awards front?

Our own awards event for the schools, businesses and charities who participated in the Welwyn Hatfield Dragons Apprentice Challenge is only two weeks away.  Therefore, in conclusion we can safely say we know how it feels to all the finalists!

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Working in Partnership with Councils

Judgement Day at the #LGCAwards: We were really happy when asked to be part of the Welwyn Hatfield Council presentation to the Local Government Chronicle Awards panel in #London.  During January the team (composed of Welwyn Hatfield Council and Red Potato staff) put in the time to prepare and rehearse our pitch to the judges.  It was great to have the support of the Welwyn Hatfield Council CEO who quizzed us hard, before approving our final presentation.   Red Potato had helped the Council engage local businesses with an innovative scheme for young people to gain experience of being an entrepreneur.  The young people gained valuable experience which will help them in their future careers and the businesses gained a useful insight into the mindset of “Millennials”, as customers and potential employees.   Red Potato has conducted initial research that shows that a typical Return on Investment for businesses who participated as a staggering 81.8%! In terms of cash that means for every £100 a local business invested in the programme, they could receive benefits worth upto £500! If you’d like to discuss how we could work with your local council and local businesses to achieve similar results do get in touch.   In the meantime we anxiously await the results of the LGC judging process….

On behalf of Red Potato we wish Welwyn Hatfield Council the best of luck, for when the final awards are announced in March.

 

University of Hertfordshire

UoH Red Potato Bootcamp

The University of Hertfordshire is the UK’s leading business-facing university and an exemplar in the sector. It is innovative and enterprising and challenges individuals and organisations to excel.  Red Potato were very pleased to help the University deliver the Summer “Business BootCamp” programme…

 

Red Potato University of Herts Case Study

 

Red Potato Business Bootcamp
Red Potato Business Bootcamp
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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.

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Something to get the sap rising

Oh dear, “weak resistance to splitting and some resistance to bruising”.  This doesn’t sound very positive.   No, this is not the obituary of a politician or the characteristics of diving footballers .  It is the Potato Council verdict on the “Rubesse” potato tubers.   Here at the Red Potato HQ in Hertfordshire, we like to “live the company” and each year we plant some Red Potatoes using organic compost we’ve tended over the winter.

This year we have planted some Rubesse, Red Potato tubers.   There is not much to see yet, but at least they seem to be growing!

Red Potato - from the air

 

Not sure why the plants have grouped like that.  We didn’t plant them together!

Now we love pictures of potato plants as much as anyone else, but there are perhaps more photogenic subjects.  And let’s face it pictures of potato plants aren’t that “sexy”.   So for everyone who wants something a bit more exciting, to stimulate and “get the sap rising”  here is another picture.

 

 

Bluebells in Spring

 

Yes, a picture of the beautiful bluebells that show that Spring has sprung!