By Matt Anthes, Vice President, Digital Communications

In April, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative (100K) – a national organization that convenes employers and service providers committed to hiring and training opportunity youth – needed to transform an in-person National Youth Hiring Day job fair into an exclusively online experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We were eager to partner with them to plan and execute an innovative and successful event with a critically important goal of employing youth.

The devastating unemployment that came with the virus accelerated the need for the job fair, so National Youth Hiring Day III (NYHD III) was launched with 100K and GetSchooled just over two weeks before event day. In a very short time, partnerships were established with City Year, YearUp, and MENTOR, and national employers including Amazon, CVS Health, Dollar General, Fry’s Food Stores, Spectrum, Stop and Shop, Target, UPS, and Walgreens were eager to participate.

The Hatcher Group led promotion efforts to increase awareness and participation in the job fair through a paid and organic digital campaign, an earned media strategy, and engaging recruitment materials and advertisements.

The digital campaign ran for one week preceding the event and featured a national plus hyperlocal strategy to a targeted demographic of youth aged 18 to 24, with an additional focus on geographical locations within 2,294 zip codes based on the employers’ hiring needs. Across all digital advertising platforms, we were able to generate nearly 13 million impressions, launching campaigns on a variety of platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Indeed, Google Search, TikTok, and YouTube, as well as programmatic ads. Our paid digital strategy resulted in an efficient and effective outreach campaign that drove over 7,000 potential participants to pre-register and ultimately participate in NYHD III (26,741 total visits to employer booths).

In addition, we developed an earned media strategy that engaged reporters, editors, and producers throughout the country. Resulting coverage appeared on 3,465 media outlets nationwide, reaching an estimated audience of more than 15 million. Coverage was boosted by syndicated radio interviews with the 100K’s executive director on ABC News Network and NBC News Radio, with ABC News syndicating to 1,650 nationwide affiliates the day prior to hiring day, and NBC News syndicating to its 1,582 affiliates the morning of hiring day.

Rounding out our promotion efforts, we developed a dynamic, youth-forward social media toolkit, shareable promotional videos, and the NYHD III microsite with resources for job seekers, employers, and the media.

National Youth Hiring Day III was held on May 7, 2020, and was the most highly-trafficked job fair – physical or digital – ever hosted by 100K. The event connected thousands of young people with job openings, opportunities to engage with employers, and connections with other career resources and support.

Promoting NYHD III on behalf of 100K was a labor of love for The Hatcher Group. In addition to supporting the digital and earned media campaigns, several of our staff members also served as “virtual volunteers” during the event and were able to help young people make important connections during the job fair. It was an experience our team will never forget, and we are deeply grateful for the opportunity to help youth secure employment during these challenging times.

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