How Agencies Helped ExxonMobil Excite Young Audiences About Engineering

Engineering is not a sexy topic. Even with companies such as GE mastering the social media game around STEM-related fields, it’s still a tough subject to generate interest in among the population that's under 18 (STEM refers to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.) Nonetheless, technological innovation continues to be a driving force in modern society and the need for engineers has seldom been greater.

Realizing this need, ExxonMobil teamed up with Ketchum, Widmeyer Communications, a Finn Partners Company, BBDO Worldwide, Universal McCann, Cohn & Wolfe and HUGE to generate interest in engineering professions and education among younger audiences.

In order to reach this notoriously finicky demographic the partners created and implemented a multifaceted communications campaign, which leveraged multiple types of content and sought varied target audiences. Their efforts included traditional advertising, social and digital media, internal communications within ExxonMobil and media partnerships.

The partners decided to focus on engaging the broader engineering community and engineering influencers, including Steve Wozniak, John Glenn and Ursula Burns, to showcase the exciting work they do within the field.

Together, they created content that focused on sharing stories about individual engineers, their work and their personal journeys, which they then shared across YouTube, Twitter, Vine and LinkedIn.

With this content in hand, ExxonMobil and its partners went to CNN Digital and BuzzFeed to help give the campaign maximum exposure. By mixing these partnerships with paid and organic social promotion the partners were able to garner more than 3 million total views of their “Build Tomorrow” video series. They also generated more than 17 million total engagements throughout Twitter, LinkedIn, Vine and BuzzFeed. What is more, their work was awarded a 2015 PR News CSR Award.

Most telling of the partner's success is what one mother had to say about how their content has influenced her daughter. “My daughter is planning to pursue engineering in college. Most of her friends don’t know anything about the profession," she wrote. "Your videos helped to reinforce her decision as well as those of other young women.”

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