Holmes Report 03 Feb 2010 // 12:00AM GMT
At Honeywell, recruiting top talent globally is a priority – as is promoting science and math education. As job opportunities in science, math and engineering increase, the number of young adults pursuing careers in these fields decreases. To combat this critical gap, Honeywell launched the Honeywell-Nobel Laureate Lecture Series. Targeting 19 universities across five countries in three years (China, India, the Czech Republic, the United States and Mexico), the program provides students the opportunity to interact with Nobel Laureates in chemistry and physics through high-impact educational experiences, while promoting Honeywell as an employer-of-choice for students interested in pursuing a career in engineering or science.
With the program spanning three countries (China, India, and the Czech Republic) – each with its own unique culture and nuances – the challenge was creating a consistent experience across universities that would educate and inspire students to further their academic careers in science and math, while raising awareness of the Honeywell brand. Working with Weber Shandwick and Nobel Web, Honeywell organized planning calls across 12 time zones, developed marketing materials and messages that were poignant across three cultures and created online promotions and networks that were relevant globally and engaged past and current participating students.
With three events planned in the first half of 2009, it was critical for Honeywell to implement an effective and streamlined process for event planning and management. The events would require a consistent look and feel from university to university. As such, the PR team not only researched and helped develop best practices for event management, but also assisted with the creation of a series of templated materials for use across events – a toolkit for event management. The toolkit includes: budget trackers, vendor fee trackers, event checklists, sample event agendas, outlines of roles/responsibilities, reporting guidelines, templates for collateral marketing materials (poster, flyer, dinner program, lecture program, HTML emails), and best practices for video/photography, live Web streaming and online promotion. This toolkit is a key resource to ensure that all events are executed consistently while respecting the various cultural differences between the regions in which the events are taking place.
The following key measureable objectives were identified as critical to program success: 1) Raise Honeywell brand awareness on campus and locally, while further positioning the company as an employer-of-choice among students; 2) Drive participation in program events among students on campus; 3) Leverage online initiatives to create a global network of qualified recruits and continually engage them during and after events; 4) Create a consistent and cohesive program that can easily be replicated from university to university.
The following conventional and nontraditional strategic approaches were developed to align with the objectives for this initiative: 1) Leverage on-campus laureate lecture series to drive Honeywell recruiting; 2) Educate local communities about Honeywell’s commitment to science and math on college campuses through key media placements; 3) Include online marketing tools and user-generated content to drive direct and ongoing engagement with students; 4) Utilize Nobel Laureate educational content to strengthen the company’s reputation in science and math.
Three platforms were devised for program success:
1. Event Planning/Execution: Includes: Securing Nobel Laureate participation; managing partner university relations; developing detailed event agenda; identifying venues; securing local vendors; creating talking points/ messaging/briefing books for Honeywell executives (corporate/local); organizing press conference/media outreach/materials including press releases, press kits; managing photography/video/live Web stream; developing student survey cards; localizing materials for each country; reporting on event successes.
2. Marketing Communications: Includes: Developing impactful on-campus branding highlighting Honeywell and partnership with university; producing/distributing templated print materials: posters, flyers, lecture and dinner programs (distributed more than 5,500 materials across events); developing/distributing templated HTML emails to university students and students who attended past events promoting lecture and career activities (distributed more than 10,000 across events); targeting global/local social media networks/blogs and video sharing sites to develop strong student following (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Orkut).
3. Career Events: Includes: Organizing career activities with Honeywell Traveling Technology Experience, career discussion groups and presentations with Honeywell executives.
Evaluation of Success/Measurement
Using survey cards at each event to measure the sentiment of event participants and tracking event attendance and engagement, following are the results across events:
Raise brand awareness/position as employer-of-choice
· On average, 85% of participants surveyed would consider employment with Honeywell because of involvement with the program
· On average, participant’s positive feelings about Honeywell increased 29% because of the program
· On average, 94% felt “good”/“very good” about Honeywell’s Nobel support
· Media attendance: more than 50 reporters; more than 61 placements worldwide (print, online, broadcast)
· Created impactful/uniformed on-campus branding
Drive event participation
· Participation by more than 7,200 students in on campus events, including lectures, roundtables, lunches, career activities and other activities
Leverage online promotions to build student relationships
· Collected 1,181 email addresses to add to database of qualified recruits
· Global/local social media group outreach – reached more than 1,000 members on average per event
Create consistent/cohesive program
· Created toolkit: budget/vendor fee trackers, event agendas, roles/responsibilities, reporting guidelines, templated print/online materials, and best practices for video/photography, live Web streaming and online promotion