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.
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!
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!
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.
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!