In May this year BAE Systems launched their new website – a website dedicated to education. Aimed at fostering an interest in engineering from an early age, the site features a selection of fun online educational resources. These complement the ongoing activities that BAE Systems do in schools around the UK: road shows, school challenges and BAE Systems Ambassador visits.
The BAE Systems UK Education Programme website extends above and beyond the call of duty in recruitment, nurturing the next generation of engineers. In order to do this successfully, BAE Systems tailored the site to cater for the 5-8, 9-13 and 14+ age groups.
Taking advantage of interactive technology the site offers young people the chance to rate news stories, play games and watch videos to learn about the history of engineering. It adapts the BAE Systems corporate image to appeal to young people – trying to showcase its cool side. It also has educational material available for teachers to download.
BAE Systems previously offered games and educational materials but it wasn’t all together under one roof, so to speak, instead constituting a collection built up over time and spread out over different sites. The new site brings all this together in an accessible way; well-planned and easy to navigate. The new site mirrors the main corporate site in its layout but varies in its colour scheme – a slight tweak of image.
The games and multimedia section includes, amongst others, an addictive blockbuster game which requires you to answer science questions to make your way across the board. A recommendation could be to enhance this gaming experience by offering small postal rewards (key rings, model-building kits…) for successfully completing the games – providing an incentive to get involved and generating even more brand awareness.
Jumping on the education bandwagon is something that most corporations can do, as no matter what the industry is, surely there is a wealth of information on science, history and certainly business case studies that can be shared. Not only does this boost CSR credentials by giving a little back, but putting a familiar brand and snazzy website alongside learning can make it a lot more exciting for young people. Who else is going to take the time to target young people with the development of interactive educational software on engineering other than the industry leaders?
Since young people are all digital natives they are a good place to begin in using digital channels to develop not only a high level of brand recognition but also creating a long-lasting positive image.
So, should every big corporation divert a little of their funds into producing some educational material? It gets their name out their in a positive way; to customers, suppliers, investors and job-seekers of the future, as well as supporting their corporate responsibility programme. What do you think?