In October 2020 we partnered with the London Wildlife Trust (LWT) as part of their Keeping it Wild project; a project to ‘empower and inspire 600 young people aged 11-25, from backgrounds currently under-represented in natural heritage, to gain vital skills while discovering, conserving and sharing their experiences of the capital’s wild spaces’.
Working with over fifty young people over two weekends, Richard Young, Creative Director, and Amy Hutchings, Strategy Director, led a series of in-depth workshops to teach these future campaigners what they need to know about digital marketing – from audience insight to fundraising marketing skills.
For the final week of October, we were joined by nine paid placements from the workshops who applied their skills to create a fundraising campaign for LWT.
The campaign goes live in November.
One of the placements shares their experience.
“Around mid-September, I received an email from the London Wildlife Trust (LWT) inviting me to attend a weekend workshop on digital media and marketing – having recently decided to pursue a career in this direction the decision to attend was a no brainer.
The following two weeks flew by and the weekend of the workshop arrived; it was delivered mostly by the team at Open who made it a really fun, informative, and engaging experience that left me wanting more.
Luckily I didn’t have long to wait! Near the end of the workshop, we were told about another opportunity – a paid training-placement with Open where we’d work on a real-life fundraising campaign for the LWT.
Between the nine of us trainees taking part, our task was to secure membership sign-ups to the LWT, targeting a demographic of married, middle-aged women with young children, living in the suburbs, leading a busy working life, with a love for nature and the outdoors.
To do this we had three different territories to explore:
- Keep London wild for future generations (conserve and protect London’s biodiversity)
- Protect your neighbours (conserve and protect London’s wild animals)
- Escape on your doorstep (offering green spaces across London as a sanctuary)
This was to be done with two Facebook Newsfeed ads for each territory, as well as a landing page and welcome email.
We brainstormed ideas (some good, some bad, and some just plain ugly), settled on the four we felt were strongest and started putting together a slideshow to help flesh out and present the ideas.
4 pm came around fast but we had managed to create a coherent presentation which we were happy with and was well received. We got some really helpful feedback to implement before our first client presentation the following day (YIKES!), but it was time to rest as our first day came to an end.
“Having not had any marketing experience previously this placement has helped me clarify that this is definitely the industry I want to pursue – it’s exciting, impactful, creative, and I want to be a part of it.”
We started day two by acting on the feedback from the previous day and continued fleshing out our four ideas by adding more imagery and copy details, preparing ourselves for the client presentation at 12 pm – here the clients gave each team feedback on their ideas and selecting their two favourites to run with.
We arrived back from our break to the news of which ideas were selected along with some additional feedback, but the hard work had only just begun! It was now time to start creating the first drafts for our two adverts. This involved deciding on the advert design and format our two ideas would follow, and then sourcing suitable pictures and writing the copy – tasks that proved to be deceptively challenging!
We worked on this while getting some much-needed guidance from the super friendly and approachable team at Open along the way, making some decent headway until the next scheduled session at 4 pm.
The third day came around and we were eager to get feedback on our first drafts.
This was mostly positive with suggestions we were totally on-board with, but we had to move quickly in order to implement them. After a frantic few hours, and some guidance and technical help along the way, we got our two adverts almost finished in time for lunch.
We got back from lunch with the intimidating task of completing the landing page and email copy in its entirety before the end of the day. The short deadline was daunting to say the least, but we made a plan, got to work, and again with some guidance from the team at Open we were on our way to creating something we were really happy with.
The third day ended with each group presenting their two adverts to the clients for any final feedback and adjustments. We were glad to hear both our adverts were really well received with only minor adjustments needed, meaning we could focus on finalising the landing page and welcome email copy during our last day.
We felt rather relaxed going into the final day of our placement.
This mainly consisted of all the little final touches and adjustments being pulled together to ensure the adverts and landing page/welcome email copy were completely finished for the client and having a suitable member of the Open team sign each part off. The fact each of the three groups were doing this simultaneously meant that it got quite hectic!
But the prospect of our adverts being finished so soon meant that instead of stress there was an air of excitement, and sure enough, everyone finished their adverts and copy in time.
It was an incredibly satisfying feeling to have worked on a project so intensely with such a quick turnaround, and ending up with something we were genuinely proud of – even more so when considering it’s for such a good cause!
My time on the digital media and marketing training placement is now at an end, and it was an incredibly rewarding and valuable experience. I’ve learnt so much about the creative process involved in creating an advertising campaign, the subtleties needed in writing the ideal copy, the importance of always keeping your target demographic in mind, and too many other things to mention… This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the incredibly friendly and approachable team at Open, who provided just the right amount of guidance to keep us thinking for ourselves while staying on the right path.
We were also lucky to have some more specific sessions with Laura, Jack, and Alison during the week – giving us some interesting insights into client services, a peek into the technical side of digital marketing, and some much-appreciated life and career advice!
Having not had any marketing experience previously this placement has also helped me clarify that this is most definitely the industry I want to pursue – it’s exciting, impactful, creative, and I want to be a part of it.
– Jamie Mitchell.