How can one reach young people who'd rather not be reached? At least: not by organisations with (somewhat of) a government association. Young people who have role models (often peers), but have no desire to follow in their footsteps when the message that's directed at them smells of government propaganda. The BRIDGE campaign's communication approach has shown that live contact can provide surprisingly positive results.
The first phase of the communication campaign for the AanDeBak guarantee has been running since February this year. The job guarantee for young people from South Rotterdam was brought to the target group's attention by means of posters in school buildings and geo-targeting on Instagram and Facebook.
The message is simple: choose a programme in technology, healthcare, food or construction and you'll receive a job guarantee when the programme starts. The message is ‘packaged’ in a way that appeals to young people, namely: in a playful way, focusing on the (relatively) high starting salaries, along with other perks of the job.
In the meantime, young people from South Rotterdam have seen the AanDeBak guarantee on their Facebook or Instagram feed an average of six times. Experience shows that now would be a good time to stop transmitting the message. Young people are no longer receptive at this stage and may even become irritated.
Therefore, the National Urgency Programme South Rotterdam (NPRZ) was looking for an additional method, in conjunction with the Friends for Brands communications agency, to reach more young people without possibly irritating them. They found it by means of direct contact with the target group. Young people visited the schools, wearing sandwich boards, to explain the AanDeBak guarantee in more detail in the classrooms.
They did so in a way developed especially for the (difficult) young target group. With the playful AanDeBak quiz, they were encouraged to think about their future. MTV presenter/stand-up comedian Edson Da Grace playfully guides them through several questions and the end result is a rough recommendation.
This method proved a resounding success. The number of visits to the AanDeBak website has skyrocketed. Also, many of the young people are now willing to leave their contact details so they can receive BRIDGE updates about events and information fairs. The reason for this is simple: the method and the information are properly tailored to the young people's environment. More importantly, the necessary attention is paid and these young people feel noticed and valued. This is very significant for many of these young people who live in an area with several negative social and economic factors.
Author: Edwin Cornelisse, communications adviser for BRIDGE and the National Urgency Programme South Rotterdam (NPRZ).