In this 2nd of series of 5 blogs I wanted to share some thoughts and ideas on Peer-2-Peer Networking and how you can make it work for your organisation.
Part 2 – Peer to Peer networking
How can organisations influence today’s generation of graduates? Who do they believe most? The simple answer to this is themselves!
Being told to attend an event or apply to a certain company by their parents or University will never have the same impact as what they friends tell them. So use this to have influence with them.
What peer-to-peer tools are available to do this?
The first one must be Student Societies. These are run by students for students. Universities have hundreds of them so you need to choose the one(s) that have the students you want to target plus get a sense of how well run they are and the value they can bring. The Bright Futures Society is an obvious one, both because we run it (!) and more importantly as it is the UK’s largest career focused students society.
When working with a society ensure they are clear about the tangible benefits they can deliver – I think your logo on their emails just does not cut it anymore. I would suggest one of the things you want from Societies is to give you time in front of great talent through events and activities they run.
Second are the use of Campus Brand Managers, essentially these are students employed by you during term time, to raise your brand profile on campus and using their intimate knowledge of their University make the most impact for your organisation. They can help promote events, run competitions, and spot talent for you. Find the right students and they can be hugely creative & innovative and in so doing help you stand out in a very noisy marketplace. (Again, as you might expect by now we have experience of recruiting and managing these for our clients)
Another, which has huge potential is of course social media, with the largest peer-to-peer network of all being facebook! Other social networking sites just have not caught on, even Linked In just has not caught their imagination, however much you might want it to! A trick with facebook is to get students talking about you rather than your corporate communications department driving it all – again Societies and Campus Brand Managers can really help with this activity.
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