WE WORK HERE: reaching new audiences
Despite being the only college in the country to require from its founding moment that every student, every year pursue jobs and internships in the field, Bennington College was still mostly known for its arts education. I developed an editorial, influencer, and content strategy that resulted in profound brand advances. Following the "We Work Here" campaign, Bennington was highlighted by US News as one of the top ten colleges for internship experience; the College is now a widely recognized leader for internships and integrated learning; and a record number of employers are recruiting Bennington students, recent grads and alums as its national work reputation advances. In 2017, We Work Here: A Campaign for Field Work Term won the CASE GOLD award for programming branding excellence.
We Work Here stories, voicing, positioning and research have fed not only admissions and FWT narratives, but have influenced and changed the way external audiences cover the program and its attributes. I wrote, edited, photographed, and art directed this piece.
"According to a recent survey conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education and American Public Media’s Marketplace, the single most important credential for a college graduate entering the workforce is internship experience. The survey, which targeted 50,000 employers who recruit and hire recent graduates, found that demonstrated capacities to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems are more highly valued than where an applicant studied, what an applicant studied, or even what grades an applicant received.
Voices from the field: video stories tracking impact
It is one thing to interview employers, it's a whole other thing to meet them in the field, while the interns are working on site. Interviewing nearly a dozen different students and employers, we developed two key videos: a video that advanced Bennington's reputation among employer audiences and influencers and a prospective student facing video, which revealed what Field Work Term can mean for a student's education and the organizations they serve.
websiteI developed FWT's constellation of pages that integrated the program's identity, voicing, and employer forward branding work.
LinkedIn Platform & Editorial Strategy
LinkedIn is the non-disputable social home for executives and employers. Developing a LinkedIn presence from ground zero to present day was an essential arm of the longterm campaign. the College's LinkedIn University channel increased followers by more than 700% following a year of dedicated channel and audience development. Working with the Field Work Term office I developed LinkedIn workshops for graduates; created content and influencer strategies for the company and university page; and designed a fully integrated campaign to promote LinkedIn among students, alumni, and key influencers. Over the course of three years the company and university pages have gained more than 6,000 followers; attracted historic social applications to the college; and have accumulated essential but difficult to gather alumni employment data supporting the College's overall impact case.
Audio & Expert PositioningBennington's Dean of Field Work Term is an articulate and nuanced voice in the field of career services and work integrated learning. These pieces forefront and develop highly sought expertise in the world of work and internships.
Mentorship Millennials want to be in a developmental relationship with their supervisors. It's not enough to acknowledge work well done. They want to feel that the supervisor's engaged in their profressional development.
Moving Quickly and Advancing It's not so much about ambition for ambition's sake. It's really about wanting to learn something quickly and move onto the next level of mastery.
Organizations with a social conscious sensibility This generation is reluctant to work for companies that do not have a social conscious, even if the job pays well. They’re simply less motivated by money. They make choices based on the overall picture of the position and the organization. Value alignment is essential and they want to work in places that not only demonstrate shared values but live those values.
Flexibility It's not that people in their 40s and 50s don't value flexibility of schedule. Certainly most people would be very happy to have a more flexible schedule. It's just that it is not a priority in the same way that salary tends to be for people in their 40s, 50s and 60s. Often millennials would rather take the more flexible job than one that pays better.
Being in it with you Millennials will soon be a majority voice and they will be one of the largest workforce segments. They're saying to employers in as many ways they can, not only do these things matter to us but we're willing to be in it with you and help you figure it out. But it can't be off your radar anymore.