As early as 1999, Belgian state documents show recommendations of advisory bodies to change the image of engineering to deal with declining student numbers. In 2020, due to the rapid evolution in technology, the demand for engineers in ICT & electronics is skyrocketing, yet educational instances fail to find qualified students, resulting in a global war on talent, and global STEM- initatives to warm youth to science and technology.
ETRO – engineering department in ICT & Electronics – has talented people, lots of stories, but a technical mindset, an academic way of communicating complex topics, and a distrust in storytelling (read ‘marcom’).
How to increase student numbers? And how to translate these topics into compelling science stories for broader audiences? How to warm an academic audience to storytelling (and marcom)?
Improving the image of engineering, engaging a technical and academic audience with storytelling and marcom, and boosting student numbers.
- Market Research
- Auditing & Strategy
- Content Creation
- Prototyping & Web Design
- February 2018 – now.
Our approach: repositioning ETRO & engaging the entire department to participate in science communication
Exploring the playfield: current and wanted position
The project started by doing market research: a competitor and target audience analysis gave us insight in the playing field, our target audiences and their desires, and competitor-communication that works.
Through brainstorming and cocreation sessions with professors, PhDs and often with Levuur (experts in participation), we investigated ETRO’s identity and story. The result: a new slogan, and a new company culture around science communication.
Strategy & Creation
The creation and launching phase, we codesigned a new website the engineers are building, and set up a content strategy and governance structure so the teaam itself can communicate technical matters. With young, talented, and tech savy PhDs in-house, ETRO aims to set up an influencer culture to inspire future generations.
A mentality-shift: internal science communication team & PhDs as STEM-influencers
Every member of the department is now encouraged to promote their research in a compelling way. With the new website under development, each engineer will have their channel. An internal marcom-team is now in place: people have been assigned roles, so the department itself is engaged in science communication.
“The brainstorm sessions helped us knowing better how we are as individuals and as a group. They also helped understanding how ETROs wide expertise could/should be integrated as a whole.”Participant SessionPhD at ETRO
“Splintered provided a well-substantiated strategy as closure for 2019, and a positive source of energy for ETRO in 2020.”Prof. Dr. J. StiensDepartment Head ETRO
Experience marketing: immersive storytelling ideas & branded visuals
Experience marketing became the hallmark of the new strategy.
How better to have people experience ETRO and its technologies, than by immersive digital storytelling?
Venture into the future, with the slider below.