Galvanising the Student Community

Analog Devices, a world leader in the design and manufacture of analog and digital electronic equipment, was launching the second edition of their student design fellowship program. The first edition of the program had garnered a somewhat lukewarm response, with only 30 teams participating.

Working with students would further the company’s goal of developing brand equity in the younger and tech-savvy demographic, and in educational circles. Therefore, this time around they wanted a much higher level of participation and media attention. Analog Devices wanted to ensure that their event was effective and compelling, particularly in light of the fact that one of their main competitors also had a popular design competition. The PRactice team took on the challenge.

Understanding that touch points with the student community would have to be both real and virtual, the team’s strategy combined an online campaign as well as a strategic direct outreach program. The team undertook a detailed mapping exercise to build the database of the top 100 engineering colleges in India. The Heads of Departments of these colleges were personally called to discuss and promote the program and encourage participation from them. Colleges were provided with attractive and eye-catching posters for display around the campus.

The online campaign was equally compelling and covered social media platforms associated directly with the colleges (college Facebook pages and Twitter accounts), as well as other online haunts popular with the young and the creative. Posters, FAQs, informational articles and blog posts were created, shared and propagated both directly on social media platforms and through the relevant sections of the blogger community to encourage conversations on the topic of design. The team covered the more traditional email approach as well, creating HTML mailers for each college on the list.

Separately, a press release announcing the launch of the competition was widely circulated for maximum visibility via The PRactice’s well developed set of media contacts. This multifaceted campaign generated the buzz that Analog Devices was looking for. The campaign was off to a great start with an increase in traffic at the  event website, and thereafter it saw tremendous levels of participation from almost two hundred colleges and more than a hundred design project submissions. The event concluded on a highly successful note with the client seeing the kind of traction that they were seeking with the young design community.