Category 9 - Web Site
launchnewcareers.com Brevard Workforce
McBride Woodbridge Marketing
Research/Situation Analysis: After the final Space Shuttle program mission concludes this fall, an estimated 9,000 aerospace jobs will be lost with an additional multiplier effect of up to 23,000 total jobs lost that encompasses affected second-tier businesses. With careers in jeopardy and holes in the county and stateÕs identity and economy, Brevard Workforce created the Aerospace Workforce Transition (AWT) Program to deal with this massive workforce downturn and to assist aerospace workers in making a smooth transition into careers both inside and outside of aerospace. Aimed at retaining workers in the region, the program offers a diverse range of career services and serves as a business liaison by locating and working with companies that have a need for highly skilled workers.
In August 2008, just prior to the launch of the AWT Program, Brevard Workforce commissioned consulting firm DCA (Boston, MA), to conduct three focus group sessions to test and determine key messages and strategies that resonate with the aerospace employees, as well as establish effective ways to distribute information and administer assistance. This included separate sessions for United Space Alliance (USA) supervisors and employees (the largest contractor at KSC) and workers from other contractors. An additional focus group consisted of community colleges, county and state representatives, and area agencies, also directed at determining key messaging aimed at potential employers for the affected aerospace workforce. In addition, feedback was solicited from the 40-member Aerospace Career Development Council, a workgroup of aerospace and community leaders, and with industry executives at KSC. With the unemployment rate in Brevard County expected to reach 15 percent by the end of 2010, the ability to effectively outreach to aerospace workers and business was essential to the success of the AWT Program, and in the long run, the future of Brevard County. With the Internet being a primary source of information for people today, developing a robust web site was imperative as the existing single page of information on the Brevard Workforce corporate site was incomplete and not easy to find. The new site would be a key component in the public relations outreach program and include online program registration to handle the volume of workers expected to want services. Marketing and PR firm McBride Woodbridge Marketing (MWM) was engaged for the project.
Objectives: Develop a web site for the AWT Program that in 6 months does the following: 1.) Informs the more than 9,000 aerospace workers at Kennedy Space Center about the AWT career transition services securing at least 50% reach as measured by worker program registrations, unique visitors and URL stats, views of the homepage introduction video, and visits to the Mobile Express Bus on KSC property. 2.) Transition telephone calls and a personal registration process to an online process, securing 2,000 registrations.
Implementation: Brevard Workforce communications staff and MWM used information from the DCA study, the strategic communication outreach plan and input from Career Development and Training (CDAT) team members who were working directly with the aerospace workers to formulate the site creative direction, navigation and copy. We immediately began using the launchnewcareers.com URL redirecting the existing single page on the corporate site so that we could start to build traffic and get recognition for the address in PR and advertising. Launched on Nov. 3, 2009, the site provided visitorÕs access to complete program information, a step-by-step services process, industry news, lists of workshops and online program registration. The site includes a blog, links to Twitter and YouTube, a Òhot jobsÓ list and sections for each audience: workers, business and media. The site was announced on Twitter, included in every program news release, in radio PSAs, e-mails to business stakeholders, Board of Directors and the media. We promoted the website content in the newsletter and during a ÒLive ChatÓ series that appeared online every other Thursday for 2 months. Announcements were provided for NASA and contractor Intranets and newsletters. The homepage introduction video was placed on YouTube and Twitter for cross promotion. The site has a self-admin for maintenance, features the AWT branding, and uses familiar vernacular for the aerospace worker.
Evaluation: Within hours of the site being launched, 30 registrations were received, and in 4 ? months there are 3,317 aerospace workers registered, surpassing the objective of securing at least 2,000 workers. The reach expanded when a strategic partnership was reached with the local newspaper for coverage of the AWT program and Shuttle Program end Ð a special section on the newspaper web site called ÒShuttle ShutdownÓ in which numerous AWT website links are featured. Plus, the AWT blog is fed directly into the mediaÕs web site! NASA and the KSC contractors include the site on Intranets. Total unique site visits totaled 17,715 in February 2010. Combining this traffic with visitors from the FloridaToday.com of 1,311, aerospace worker registrations of 3,317, the success of full occupancy workshops of 947 people, KSC office and Mobile Express bus visits up from 339 (7/08-6/09) to 849 (7/01 to date) and video views on the website of 560, we met our objectives for a wide reach of visibility with at least 50% of the KSC workforce (4,500 people) and improved service delivery with online registration. During launch, the average visit time was 4.85 minutes. The site was included in 10 articles in Florida Today (print) and in ÒShuttle ShutdownÓ online (3 months: 290,000 impressions), TV News Channel 13Õs website, two space-focused sections of the Orlando Business Journal (200,000 impressions).
Budget: McBride Woodbridge Marketing web site design and database development $18,620. Portion of MWM monthly campaign retainer used for promotion $825 (3 months). Annual Site hosting $ 375. Total: $19,820.