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Regional Heat Brathay Apprentice Challenge Toolkit 2014

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  • 1. Contents Thank you for entering this year’s Brathay Apprentice Challenge, the official search for the apprentice team of the year. We are delighted so many employers, colleges and training providers will be competing to be crowned ‘apprentice team of the year’. In this brief you will find all the information and advice you need to take part in the regional heats. 1. Introduction 3 2. Background  What is the Brathay Apprentice Challenge?  Benefits of entering the Challenge  Regional heats  Finals  What did previous winners do? 3 3. Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2014 – Regional Heats 3.1 Raise the profile of Apprenticeships 3.1.1 Ideas and suggestions 3.1.2 Judging criteria 3.2 Deliver a community project 3.2.1 What is the community project? 3.2.2 Points to consider 3.2.3 Judging criteria 3.3 Involvement in National Apprenticeship Week 2014 3.4 Submitting your evidence 5 4. Key dates and announcements 13 5. Team information form 14 6. Further help and support 14 7. Annex: A: Messaging  Brathay Apprentice Challenge  Apprenticeships  Style Guide B: Example Newsletter copy C: How to engage with Schools D: Media guide E: Press release template F: Social media guide G: 2013 Case studies 9 11 12 15 17 18 19 23 25 27 1
  • 2. 1. Introduction Welcome to the Brathay Apprentice Challenge regional heats toolkit. This toolkit is designed to give you all of the information you need in order to be successful in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2014. If you have any questions or queries about the toolkit or Brathay Apprentice Challenge after reading this document please don’t hesitate to contact us. We wish you every success in the competition! 2. Background What is the Brathay Apprentice Challenge? The Brathay Apprentice Challenge (#BAC14) is the official search to find the ‘apprentice team of the year’, supported by the National Apprenticeship Service. Teams of nine apprentices have to prove their team building, leadership, logistical and communications abilities. The teams compete in a series of work-related challenges to develop new skills, benefit their local communities as well as raise the profile of their employers and Apprenticeships. With teams working together on the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, the apprentices and employers benefit from an enhanced Apprenticeship experience. For more information on enhanced Apprenticeships, read this blog: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/jez-anderson/its-time-for-the-age-of-t_b_4176982.html. For more information visit: http://bit.ly/BAC2014 or email apprentice-challenge@brathay.org.uk Benefits of entering the Brathay Apprentice Challenge Teams taking part in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge in 2012 and 2013 reported that:    Apprentices gained team building, leadership, logistical and communications skills Employers saw improved skills among the competing apprentices and increased local profile of their organisations through positive PR and CSR opportunities Important information about the benefits of Apprenticeships was delivered direct by apprentices to schools and local communities 2
  • 3. 3. The Regional Heats To qualify for the finals, ALL Teams have to complete the regional heats between January and March. These consist of: 1. Awareness raising activity. Conduct extensive awareness raising of their entry into the Challenge and of Apprenticeships in local schools as well as across their industry and region. 2. Community project. Teams have to use their skills to help their local area. A few points you must consider and include in your plans:  All teams are expected to conduct activity during National Apprenticeship Week 2014 (3rd -7th March).  The teams’ regional activity will be assessed based on the evidence they submit in an electronic portfolio according to clearly set out judging criteria. On 9th April 2014 the finalists will be announced who will go on to battle it out for the ‘apprentice team of the year’ title. The announcement will take place at a reception at the House of Commons. All teams will be invited to send representatives to this announcement. The top teams will be those who are either (i) the top scorer from each region (North, Central, London and South East, Southern) or (ii) one of the other four overall top scoring teams. The National Final The eight finalist teams will be required to complete three further tasks: 1. Further awareness raising activity - increase awareness of Apprenticeships among schools, community groups and influencers 2. Fundraise for a local or national charity 3. The competition culminates in an adventure Challenge at the Brathay Trust’s Windermere headquarters from 9th to 11th June 2014. Please make sure your whole team is available to attend. What did it take to win in 2013? To see what it took Innovia Films to win in 2013 and Cobham to win in 2012 watch the films here: http://apprentice.tv/category/brathay-apprentice-challenge-2013./ 3
  • 4. 3.1 Regional Heat - Raising the profile of Apprenticeships To fulfil part one of the regional heat, your team will need to reach out to people in your networks, region, and industry to help to raise the positive profile of Apprenticeships. 3.1.1 Ideas and suggestions 1. Below are some ideas of how you can promote Apprenticeships and your involvement with the Challenge, but please don’t feel restricted by the suggestions. If you have other ideas, don’t let us hold you back! There are five key areas in which we feel you will be able to raise the profile of Apprenticeships: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Internally at your organisation Engaging with Schools Support National Apprenticeship Week 2014 Traditional media (newspapers, online, radio and tv) Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) 1. Internally at your organisation Promote the Brathay Apprentice Challenge and your team in your organisation’s newsletters, website or internal communications, get all staff behind the competition and tell them how they can support – suggested copy included in Annex A 2. Engaging with Schools Visit and present at a local school to promote the take up of Apprenticeships - Further details available in Annex B Invite a teacher and some Year 9-11 pupils from a local school to job shadow some of your apprentices in the workplace. 3. Support National Apprenticeship Week 2014 Take a picture of a service or product completed by your team of apprentices to show what’s ‘Made by apprentices’. Further details on how to do this are included in the National Apprenticeship Week toolkit https://bitly.com/NAW14Kit – and photos of previous examples are available here: http://www.pinterest.com/number10gov/made-by-apprentices/ Arrange a ‘job swap’ with your Managing Director / Chief Executive and invite the local media to cover the story – below is a link to Skills Minister Matthew Hancock’s job swap with City & Guilds Apprenticeship Champion of the Year, Jenny Westworth from BAE Systems. http://skillsfundingagency.bis.gov.uk/news/pressreleases/Skills+Minister+Swaps+Jobs+with+an+Appre ntice.htm and see these films for inspiration http://apprentice.tv/category/employers-backapprenticeships/. Create a ‘day in the life’ film or Storify – use the hashtag #247Apprentice if you do this. Examples available here: http://storify.com/Apprenticeships/the-best-of-247apprentice 4
  • 5. Get your employer to pledge future apprentice job vacancies using the new ‘pledgometer’ available at: apprenticeships.org.uk For more media ideas and more information, have a look at the National Apprenticeship Week 2014 toolkit: https://bitly.com/NAW14Kit 4. Traditional media A guide to working with the media is available at Annex C. Make a media announcement about entering the competition and send it to your local and sector media. Don’t forget to send the story to your home town as well as where your company is based (if different). A template for you to use is included in Annex D. Write a weekly column for your local newspaper on what life is like as an apprentice – An example is available here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/11/07/day-in-the-life-female-engineerapprentice_n_4230891.html Invite your local newspaper or radio station to get involved with your community project. Speak to national TV to see if they will profile your team and get involved with your community project. 5. Social Media #BAC14 A guide to social media is available in Annex E Create a twitter account for the Challenge team and follow @Apprenticeships on Twitter – or use your employer’s account to promote your activity. Re-tweet National Apprenticeship Service tweets to show your support and spread the word Add a twibbon to your profile picture to show your support (http://twibbon.com/support/brathay-bac) Create a Facebook page for the Challenge team – or use your employer’s account to promote your activity. Share your Apprenticeship story on Facebook, telling everyone how your Apprenticeships have delivered for your business ‘Like’ or comment on other Apprenticeship employers’ Facebook posts Create a film or write a short case study (plus photograph) about your community project and upload to YouTube. Tag the film with the words ‘BAC14’, ‘Apprentice TV’ and ‘Brathay Apprentice Challenge’ Post details of your Challenge to industry or regional groups on LinkedIn 5
  • 6. Join the BAC14 (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=7415907&trk=anet_ug_hm) LinkedIn Group and tell us what you are doing 6
  • 7. 3.1.2 Judging criteria and submission form NOTE - Before you start with any media or social media work, speak to your marketing team to check they are happy for you to do this. Tell them all about what you are planning to do and see if they can help. If your marketing colleagues have any concerns about the activity, PR specialists working for the Brathay Trust and National Apprenticeship Service are more than happy to speak to them. In the first instance contact them at apprentice-challenge@brathay.org.uk. We appreciate that some organisations have strict controls on the use of social media and individual employees corresponding direct with external, public media. We have therefore attempted to develop judging criteria that ensures that those teams who are unable to undertake certain kinds of media work will not be unfairly disadvantaged. For example these teams should undertake more school visits / internal communications activity/job swaps etc... If you encounter severe difficulties whilst attempting this element of the challenge please let us know and we will do all we can to support you. Email us at apprentice-challenge@brathay.org.uk Please include the below form at the front of your Raising Awareness section and clearly mark where the evidence can be found. This should include screen grabs, photos of events and links to articles / social media content. Judging Criteria Descriptor 1. 1.1 1.2 2 Points available Indicative Evidence Requirement Internally at your organisation Article on your intranet 5 points per post Screen grabs Article on internal newsletters / e-newsletters 5 points per insertion Screen grabs Engaging with Schools Conduct talk in local schools 20 points per school talk Points awarded for the whole team talking to a minimum of 20 students. Provide letter from school or pictures Provide letter from school or pictures 2.1 2.2 3 Teacher or Year 9-11 pupils job shadowing apprentice Support National Apprenticeship Week 2014 Job swap or #247Apprentice 30 points per apprentice that is shadowed Made by Apprentices Pledge apprentice job vacancies 10 points for completion 5 points for completion 20 points for completion 3.1 3.2 3.3 Provide screen grabs, media coverage or letter of confirmation Screen grabs Screen grab 7
  • 8. 4 4.1 Traditional media Number of articles that appear in the news (papers or online) Interviews with radio and TV 4.2 5 5.1 5.2 5.3 Social media Create an active twitter account for the Challenge team or evidence of using an employer’s account to promote the Challenge 20 points per piece Screen grab 30 points per interview (radio). 40 points per interview (regional TV) 50 points per national TV interview Links to coverage, pictures from the studio, tweets to demonstrate the interview took place and/or time/station reference for judges to spot check. 20 points Using spam follower software will result in zero points being awarded. Create an active Facebook account or evidence of using an employer’s account to promote the Challenge Create short film case study and upload to YouTube LinkedIn discussions posted 20 points LinkedIn discussions posted in Brathay Apprentice Challenge 1 point per post 30 points Link to Youtube clip 5 points per post Screen grabs and links to posts made in relevant industry / regional groups Screen grabs and links to posts 5.4 5.4.1 NOTE: A maximum of 250 points are available for this section. The total points earned for ‘Raising the profile of Apprenticeships’ will constitute 50 per cent of the final marks awarded during the regional heats. Your portfolio of evidence must be submitted to apprentice-challenge@brathay.org.uk or via ‘drop-box’ by 12 noon, 28th March 2014. More information concerning the evidence requirements and portfolio requirements are included in Section 3.4. 8
  • 9. 3.2 Regional Heats - Community Project What is the community project? Teams must work together to identify and deliver a community based project or initiative which will benefit your community either as a whole or by supporting the needs of a specific group. What you choose will be dependent on your geography and the relationships you already have with your local community. This is open for you to interpret and complete as you see appropriate but your team must have made a positive impact on those around you. Points will be awarded on the basis of the impact you have had and outcomes your project has achieved, not necessarily on its scale, size and complexity. You must work independently to develop the project, although your employers may offer assistance in establishing initial contact with a community group or organisation. Community Projects only need benefit ONE section or establishment within your community. Points to consider:     What are the financial implications of doing the project; will you need to seek sponsorship to buy materials, equipment, expertise, etc..? How much physical time will be needed to achieve a successful outcome and how will you secure that time? This is not just the time needed ‘on-the-day’ but planning and preparation. Are there existing formal or informal relationships with community groups and your organisation or individual employees that you can tap into? How many employees are members of local committees, groups or clubs that could benefit from your skills and time? Will your chosen project require any health and safety assessment or expertise in order to deliver it? As with the ‘awareness raising’ element of the regional heats, you’ll be required to submit an evidence portfolio for the judges to assess the impact of your community project. This portfolio should set out how the team has: 1. Identified a section of the community, charity or establishment within your community who will benefit from the skills, knowledge and experience that the team has to offer and work with them to define the project you will undertake. 2. Developed a project management and implementation plan, this plan should clearly describe and define the following points: o Team member roles & responsibilities. o Tasks that need to be completed. o Measurable outcomes (or Key Performance Indicators - KPIs) that can be used to measure team success and impact. 3. Identified and gained the support (people and/or physical resources) of other individuals or organisations (internal and/or external) needed to support the delivery of your project. 4. Monitored and recorded progress against the project implementation plan, ensuring roles and responsibilities within the team have been clearly defined. 5. Generated public interest and external media coverage 9
  • 10. Scoring & Evidence Guidance The Community Project evidence should include a commentary which clearly describes the project itself, the activities undertaken by the team to complete it and other information you believe will help the judges understand what went into completing the project. Specifically, the evidence you submit will be scored on the following points: Judging Criteria Descriptor 1 Points Indicative Evidence Requirement Available The judges will look for evidence of the following: Project Commentary 0-10 2 Identify a Community Partner & Project 0-20 3 4 5 6 Develop Project Management & Implementation Plan Identify and source resources Monitor & Record progress against PM&I Plan Generate Public & External Media Interest 0-20 0-20 0-20 0-10 The team should describe, using an appropriate medium and format, the ‘project’s story’. The team has explored potential community partners and projects that: i. Can be delivered utilising their skills and experience. ii. Will benefit one section or establishment within your community. The team should produce a project plan in a format that clearly records roles, responsibilities, key tasks and the project’s performance measures (or KPIs). The team should seek to indicate what resources were needed to complete the project and how those resources were sourced. The team should log and provide evidence of how they completed the project, specifically offering documentary and other physical evidence of how they met key tasks and KPIs. The team should provide evidence of where and how they raised external interest and engagement. Evidence should include photographic images, scanned images, testimonials and documentation and correspondence in evidence of work completed. NOTE The Community Project will, of course, provide a benefit to your community, however the judges are seeking to assess you on your ability as a team to manage and implement such a project. Therefore you should seek to include in your evidence portfolio any material that will help the judges to award you points accordingly. 10
  • 11. Your portfolio of evidence must be submitted to apprentice-challenge@brathay.org.uk or via ‘dropbox’ by 12 noon, 28th March 2014. More information concerning the evidence requirements and portfolio requirements are included in Section 3.4. 3.3 Regional Heat - Involvement with National Apprenticeship Week As a compulsory element of the Challenge we require you to support National Apprenticeship Week (#NAW2014). This can be achieved by undertaking and promoting through your networks either awareness-raising activity/ies or your community project during the Week. National Apprenticeship Week is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and is designed to celebrate Apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals and businesses. Now in its seventh year, National Apprenticeship Week is the time when all eyes are on Apprenticeships and it’s all about raising the profile amongst employers, individuals, teachers, parents and the media. Everyone with an interest in Apprenticeships across England is encouraged to get involved in the Week. Further information about NAW14 can be found here: http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/Awards/Apprenticeship-Week-2014.aspx 11
  • 12. 3.4 Regional Heat - Submitting your evidence Your portfolio of evidence must be submitted to apprentice-challenge@brathay.org.uk or via ‘drop-box’ by 12 noon, 28th March 2014. Please remember to include two fully completed evidence tracking forms for the Raising the profile of Apprenticeships and the Community Project sections. Below is an example of that evidence tracker, an Excel version of this document can be found and downloaded from the following link http://www.brathay.org.uk/professional-development/develop/apprentice/brathay-apprentice-challenge/ or by contacting apprentice-challenge@brathay.org.uk. Teams who progress to the National Finals will carry forward their regional heat score that will then account for up to 25 per cent of their final overall score. Evidence Tracker - Raising the profile of Apprenticeships Judging Marking criteria criteria descriptor Evidence description and quantity if relevant 1.1 Post on your intranet 15 screenshots of intranet Post on internal newsletters / enewsletters 2 scans of articles in Warehouse Depot Newsletter 1.2 Page Reference (of your portfolio) 4 5 9 11 6 7 8 Notes Postings that appeared during National Apprenticeship Week Two articles that appeared in Warehouse Depot Newsletter – Feb 2014 and March 2014 12
  • 13. 4. Key dates and announcements - 6th January: Receive toolkit, start generating ideas, planning activity and developing an implementation plan. - 31st January: Return team information form. - 3rd – 7th March: National Apprenticeship Week. - 28th March (on or before 12.00 noon) - Portfolios to be submitted electronically or uploaded to Dropbox (clearly labeled with your employer and team name) and shared with apprenticechallenge@brathay.org.uk. Please note hard copy submissions will not be marked. Teams are asked to submit their portfolios in an electronic format as the judging takes place over a series of rounds and at stages is carried out remotely by members of the judging panel. It is impractical to transport paper based submissions in a timely and efficient manner. If you have difficulties please contact us via apprentice-challenge@brathay.org.uk. - 9th April: Finalists announced at a reception at the Terrace Marquee, House of Commons, Westminster, London. Full details will be provided at a later date. - May & June: Further activity by finalists underway. - 9th - 11th June: Finals take place at Brathay Trust’s Headquarters, Ambleside. 13
  • 14. 5. Team information The following information is required in order to complete your registration. This information will be used by the National Apprenticeship Service to support national and local press activity. Therefore please return the required team information to apprentice-challenge@brathay.org.uk as soon as possible. Substitutes will be allowed, please email us with any changes which need to be made. Teams who do not provide this information before the closing date for the regional heats will not be judged. BAC 2014 Challenger Information Employer/s Name: Address: Team Leader /Mentor: Contact Details Mobile Phone: Email Address: Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2014 Team Member Details Name Home Town: Job Title and work location: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Name of Team Leader / Mentor (should not be an apprentice) Contact Details Email Address: Apprenticeship Framework Title: 9. Further information and support If you have any problems or questions about the Brathay Apprentice Challenge or information contained in this document please contact us at apprentice-challenge@brathay.org.uk Good luck! 14
  • 15. ANNEX A – Messaging for Brathay Apprentice Challenge Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2014 In order for all communications about the Brathay Apprentice Challenge to remain consistent we would ask that you please use the following descriptors and style guide. We would encourage you to use the following messages in any communications about the Challenge: The Brathay Apprentice Challenge (#BAC14) is the official search to find the ‘apprentice team of the year’, supported by the National Apprenticeship Service. To win the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, teams of nine apprentices have to prove their team building, leadership, logistical and communications abilities. The teams compete in a series of work-related challenges to develop new skills, benefit their local communities as well as raise the profile of their employers and Apprenticeships. Messaging for Apprenticeships If talking about Apprenticeships please use the following: Apprenticeships deliver for employers, young people, adults and the economy An Apprenticeship is a way for young people and adult learners to earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future. Hiring apprentices helps businesses to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. Messaging for enhanced Apprenticeships Offering an ‘enhanced Apprenticeship’ experience benefits employers and apprentices. Enhanced Apprenticeships benefit employers by providing apprentices with even more skills by taking part in team building, leadership, logistical and communications activity. Gaining these skills also benefit apprentices by making them more employable. Enhanced Apprenticeships can be easily delivered by employers by involving apprentices in corporate social responsibility activities or entering competitions such as the Brathay Apprentice Challenge. 15
  • 16. What do teams have to do? Between 6th January and 28th March the teams (of up to nine apprentices) must complete the following two tasks as part of the regional heats: Awareness raising activity Conduct extensive awareness raising of their entry into the Challenge and Apprenticeships in local schools as well as across their industry and region Community project A community project where the teams use their skills to help their local area All teams are expected to conduct activity during National Apprenticeship Week 2014 (3rd -7th March). Teams will need to compile an evidence portfolio and submit this before 28th March 2014. The regional activity will then be assessed according to clearly set out judging criteria. The two tasks in the regional heats will account for up to 50 per cent of the score. The finalists will be announced at an event at the House of Commons on 9th April 2014 and all teams will be invited to send representatives to this announcement. The finalists will be those teams who are either (i) the top scorer from each region (North, Central, London and South East, Southern) or (ii) one of the other four overall top scoring teams. The eight teams take part in further awareness raising activity and fundraising activity with the Challenge culminating in a logistical and team building adventure finale at the Brathay Trust’s Windermere headquarters from 9th to 11th June 2014. Style guide The below is an outline of the official way to describe the Brathay Apprentice Challenge         The Brathay Apprentice Challenge is the search for the apprentice team of the year in England. It should not be described as a competition. Brathay Apprentice Challenge (BAC) – always capitalised and never Brathay Apprenticeship Challenge nor Brathay Challenge. ‘apprentice team of the year’ is never capitalised. Hashtag is #BAC14. Other than in the title of the Challenge (always capitalised when referring to BAC), apprentice is spelt with a small ‘a’ and Apprenticeship or Apprenticeships with a capital. The National Apprenticeship Service (never NAS or ‘the Service’) is ‘supporting’ the Challenge. Apprenticeships are always ‘A’ Brathay Trust (never abbreviated or preceded by ‘The’) is a registered charity and is organising the Challenge. 16
  • 17. ANNEX B – Template of internal newsletter and web copy In templates, red text implies this should be tailored to your team Template newsletter or web copy OUR APPRENTICES IN BID TO BECOME ‘APPRENTICE TEAM OF THE YEAR 2014’ XXCOMPANYXX apprentices need your support. A team of nine apprentices from XXLOCATIONS/DEPARTMENTSXX have entered the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2014 which will see our company compete against employers from across England to be crowned ‘apprentice team of the year 2014’. Our team is made up of: [Names and job roles of apprentices] The team will be taking part in the regional heats of the Challenge that tests team building, leadership, logistical, and communication abilities. The apprentices will need your support throughout the Challenge as they will be working on a community project as well as awareness raising activities. The community project will see our apprentices do XXX and you can help by XXX. We will find out on 9th April if we have made the final, please support our apprentices and keep up to date with the progress on Twitter @XXX and Facebook facebook.com/XXX. 17
  • 18. ANNEX C – Engaging with Schools We are asking teams to arrange talks or events in their local schools to promote the take up of Apprenticeships. There is a whole host of resources available on the Apprenticeships website to help develop your presentation – especially on the marketing site – but you should use your own ideas and creativity to design something which will appeal to the young people you are talking too. To secure a school to visit, the best approach is either to go back to the school which you attended, or you can always search for other schools local to you on the Government’s database, called EduBase. The best people to approach are either the careers adviser, the head of the year you want to speak to or the principal / head teacher. As part of the schools event, teams could also approach a local business leader (or celebrity) to join them. This could either be a high achieving former apprentice or a local radio / TV personality. You should approach these personalities through their press office contacts listed on their website, or through their agent if appropriate. If they are not able to attend, they may be still able to provide a quote in support of your community project. 18
  • 19. ANNEX D - Media guidance This guidance is designed to help you to promote the Brathay Apprentice Challenge and Apprenticeships as a whole through PR. This is a beginner’s guide, designed to help non PR professionals. Before you start, speak to your marketing team to check they are happy for you to undertake media activity. What makes a good story? Human interest is key, so remember the journalistic maxim: ‘news is people’. Think about the most unusual aspect of your project; is it a first for your area or are you putting on an unusual or unique activity? Targeting the media There should be three stages to promoting your community project in the local media: 1. Letting people know what you are doing 2. Inviting the media to be a part of it 3. Telling people how it went The first thing you should do is identify who your local media are. Local media includes newspapers, magazines, online publications, radio and TV that focus on your local area. Don’t forget the free weekly newspapers that are dropped through letterboxes, as these are guaranteed to have a wide reach within the community. Call your local newspaper and ask for the news editor (you will find their details in the newspaper or online). They will tell you who the best person is for you to speak to – perhaps a reporter who writes the ‘what’s on’ section in your paper or a general reporter who covers your local area. Do the same with local radio and TV and build up a list of the best contacts. Explain fully what you are doing, who is involved and highlight any great photo opportunities. Find out when journalists’ deadlines are and how far in advance they need information. It is a good idea to put this information into a table so you can keep track of who you need to contact and when. What is a press release? A press release, or news release, is a written form of communication directed at the media to announce a new product, development or event – something that is considered newsworthy. It is usually emailed to a reporter or editor at a newspaper, magazine, radio or TV station and is used to get the journalist interested in developing the story. How to construct a press release There are no hard and fast rules for producing the perfect press release, however brevity is key. Your aim is to demonstrate that you have an interesting story – the journalist can then contact you if further detail is required. Remember that journalists may receive hundreds of press releases everyday, so make your heading and first paragraph eye-catching and punchy – this can make all the difference between acceptance and rejection of a 19
  • 20. story. To do this, try to include the answers to the five Ws (who, what, where, when and why) within your first paragraph – BUT keep it short and concise – it should be 30 words or less. The second paragraph should expand on detail from the first and include times, dates and locations. You should use at least one quote in your press release from someone involved in the event to add some emotion to what you’re saying, rather than just hard facts. The rest of the press release should give additional background details. At the bottom of the release you should include an editor’s note: basic facts such as information on the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, plus some contact details for further information e.g. email address, telephone number and out-of-hours number if possible. An example press releases is here http://www.brathay.org.uk/2013/01/one-week-left-to-enter-search-forapprentice-team-of-2013/ How to send your release Ask the journalists how they prefer to be emailed press releases i.e. as an attachment or pasted into the body of the email. Put the headline in the ‘subject’ box so the journalist can immediately see what the story is. After you have sent your press release to the media, it is always a good idea to follow this up with a call to your contacts to check they have received it and to ask if they need any further information. Inviting the media to be part of your community project Will your local media come along to part of your project to take photographs and interview employers and apprentices? Send an invitation to the journalist, plus the picture desk, if appropriate, and follow it up with a call to see if they can attend. Remember that if you’ve got a journalist attending you need to make sure there will be plenty of people around for them to talk to. Arrange to have visitors there when you’re expecting the journalist, so that there is a busy atmosphere. If media cannot attend, don’t be disheartened as they may still feature it. It is still important that you send them a post-event press release and images (this is explained in more detail below). Selecting and briefing spokespeople Both broadcast and print media will be looking for interesting people to interview. These may be apprentices, employers or someone from your organisation. Once you have chosen a spokesperson, it is important to brief them. You may want to produce a short document that sets out the background to your event or story and some key points you want them to cover. If your spokesperson is someone who hasn’t had any previous experience of media interviews, you could have a practice run through with them to check they are comfortable and that they are getting your key messages across. 20
  • 21. Telling people how the project went After the project, you should send out a press release to the local media describing what happened. This is your chance to share your success and get messages about Brathay Apprentice Challenge and Apprenticeships out to a wider audience than just the people involved. You may also wish to add quotes from an employer and apprentice who attended to bring the press release to life; perhaps about how useful they found it and if they plan to come back to find out more. Do make sure any quotes you write have been seen and approved by the person you’re quoting. When distributing it to local newspapers, also remember to send out any photographs you have from the event. Event photography Inviting newspaper photographers Consider timings. Most local newspaper photographers will only work during evenings around once or twice a week. Taking pictures outside after daylight is also technically difficult. Newspaper photographers often have their days fully booked with appointments. It is crucial you keep to any appointment that you have arranged. If you have arranged for a newspaper photographer to visit, remember that they are the professionals, so be open to their ideas. Taking your own pictures The best images depict some form of action so try to photograph people doing something; for example, apprentices making over a community centre as part of a showcase event. The media do not like pictures of big groups. They want their audience to see everyone in the image clearly, so pictures featuring more than 10 people will stand less of a chance of being published than a smaller group shot. If you are taking pictures yourself, zoom in as much as you can on the subject matter and have as little background as possible. Make sure you can see the face of everyone in your photo and avoid capturing the backs of people’s heads. Try to make your pictures look as natural as possible and avoid obviously posed shots. Photos should be accompanied by captions giving the names of everyone in the picture and the purpose of the event, or they might be rejected. Technical information Whether you are arranging an opportunity for the local media or taking your own photographs, there are a few things to consider:     Local media usually prefer digital images rather than prints If you are taking the pictures yourself on a digital camera, set it to the highest resolution setting For newspapers and magazines, photos need to be at least 1800 x 1200 pixels, however 2400 x 1600 pixels is preferred. You will need to use at least a three megapixel camera Images for websites may not need to be as high definition 21
  • 22.  Save your pictures as jpeg (filename.jpg) or tif files (filename.tif). These are the two main types of images used by newspapers and magazines. Legal issues and consent There is an understandable anxiety surrounding the use of images of children and young people in newspapers. If you are arranging an event, you are responsible for obtaining written consent from the parents of any children photographed (either by yourself or the media) who are under the age of 16. This also applies to the filming of children for television. 22
  • 23. ANNEX E – Template press release XCOMPANYX COMPETING TO BE CROWNED APPRENTICE TEAM OF THE YEAR 2014 XCOMPANYX, from XREGION/TOWNX have entered the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2014, the official search for the nation’s apprentice team of the year. Now in its third year, the Brathay Apprentice Challenge tests apprentices on their team building, leadership, logistical and communications abilities in a series of challenges including awareness raising and community projects. INSERT XCOMPANYX DETAILS OF ACTIVITY AND COMMUNITY PROJECT DETAILS QUOTE FROM XCOMPANY SPOKESPERSONX AT XCOMPANYX said: “XXX”. The eight finalists will be announced at the House of Commons in April and will battle it out to be crowned ‘apprentice team of the year’. The teams take part in further awareness raising and fundraising activities until the 9th June where they will make a trip to Brathay Trust’s Windermere headquarters to complete the logistical and team building adventure finale. The overall winner will be announced on the 11th June. Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive of organisers, Brathay Trust, said: ““The tasks that the teams complete as part of the challenge allow the apprentices to develop a huge range of skills. These are skills that are not only useful within the Challenge but essential for the workplace. It is good to see so many companies including XCOMPANYX engaging their apprentices in such a Challenge.” The Challenge focuses on offering an enhanced Apprenticeship, developing skills like team building, leadership and communications – many of which are found in the top positions within business. Karen Woodward, from the National Apprenticeship Service said: “We are pleased to welcome XCOMPANYX into this year’s Brathay Apprentice Challenge. The activities that the apprentices undertake in the Challenge 23
  • 24. are part of an enhanced Apprenticeship which benefits both employers and apprentices; employers gain a workforce with transferable skills throughout the business while apprentices themselves become more employable and more likely to be promoted.” Follow the team’s progress on Twitter @XXX and Facebook facebook.com/XXX. For more information on the Brathay Apprentice Challenge and to apply, visit http://bit.ly/BAC2014. ENDS Notes to editors For more information or interviews, please contact: INSERT COMPANY DETAILS ABOUT XCOMPANYX The Brathay Apprentice Challenge The Brathay Apprentice Challenge (#BAC14) is the search to find the ‘apprentice team of the year’, supported by the National Apprenticeship Service. To win the Brathay Apprentice Challenge, teams of nine apprentices have to prove their team building, leadership, logistical and communications abilities. Now in its third year, the Brathay Apprentice Challenge opened for formal nominations at the Skills Show in November 2013. The closing date for nominations was Friday 13th December 2013. Regional heats, consisting of awareness raising activity and a community project take place from January through to March 2014. Eight finalist teams will be announced in April and will battle it out to be crowned ‘apprentice team of the year’. The eight teams take part in further awareness raising activity and fundraising activity with the Challenge culminating in a logistical and team building adventure finale at the Brathay Trust’s Windermere headquarters from 9th to 11th June 2014. To see what it took Innovia Films to be crowned 2013 apprentice team of the year watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GS0hMdQLA8 24
  • 25. ANNEX F – Social media guide Using social media is an ideal way of mobilising your friends, family and colleagues to help spread the word about Apprenticeships. The aim is to get all these groups discussing the importance of Apprenticeships and publicising your involvement in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge. While there are lots of social networks you could join and use, we are just concentrating on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Before you start, speak to your marketing team to see what social media your organisation uses and make them aware of the activity that you are going to undertake. Twitter Twitter is a fantastic way of sharing links to your fundraising activities, pictures of any events, videos, links to news articles about Apprenticeships and discussing the importance of Apprenticeships with other Twitter users (in 140 characters). Start by creating your profile (at www.twitter.com) - you may want to use a user name which can be continued after the Challenge by other apprentices at your company (i.e. @CompanyNameApprentices). Write a ‘biography’ that describes the Challenge as well as promotes Apprenticeships (maximum 160 characters). Look to ‘follow’ not only friends, but employees at your organisation, journalists you’ve identified, MPs and other organisations like colleges, companies and @Apprenticeships. Once you are ‘following’ someone it encourages them to ‘follow’ you back. Then start posting and interacting. Here are a few terms you may see used in other people’s tweets:        @ = when you reply to another user or want to mention them, put an @ before their user name RT = ‘Retweet’, when one user forwards another user’s Tweet it’s called a ‘Retweet’ MT = “Modified tweet’, like a ‘Retweet, but where the person forwarding the tweet has altered it HT or h/t = ‘Hat tip’, is used when someone wants to thank another user for inspiring a tweet D or DM = ‘Direct message’, a tweet that can only be seen by the other user # = a hashtag which indicates an organised discussion around a topic (e.g.#BAC14 for Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2014, #NAW2014 for National Apprenticeship Week 2014, #nowplaying for what people are listening to, #PMQs for Prime Minister’s Questions) Trending = this means that lots of users are tweeting about a specific # or topic. It is a measure of both popularity and the speed of increase in tweets on this subject. 25
  • 26. Facebook Create a Facebook Page (not a Group) to let your friends, co-workers and members of the public know about your activities. Keep your fans up-to-date with your progress throughout the competition and post links to news stories you think will interest them. Facebook always prioritises videos and photos appearing in other people’s timelines, so make sure someone has a smartphone (like an iPhone, Blackberry or other brand which uses Android) on hand to capture the activities you are undertaking. Once you have around 30 likes you will be able to pick a ‘vanity URL’ for your Facebook page (like www.facebook.com/apprenticeships) – try and make it the same as your Twitter user name. Don’t forget to ‘Like’ and then post updates onto the Apprenticeships Facebook page! LinkedIn In order to post to LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com), you’ll probably need to join as an individual, unless you find who runs your employer’s LinkedIn account. But LinkedIn is not just a CV site! There are loads of groups about skills, education and Apprenticeships to get involved in. We suggest you post a discussion on a skills-related topic in a discussion group related to the sector you work in. If you would like to run this past us before you start please do. Other social networks Also consider setting up YouTube (for video), AudioBoo (for audio) and Instagram (for pictures) accounts, but before you set these up, you should be confident that you will have enough content to keep them going. If team members use Google+, they could also post links to your achievements through their own profiles. It might be that you are able to work with your employer’s marketing team to use the corporate accounts to upload video, pictures and audio, if you don’t think you will have enough content to set up your own accounts. 26
  • 27. ANNEX G - Case Studies from 2013 Innovia Films is a leading global manufacturer of speciality film products, employing 60 apprentices across their business. They reported that taking part in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge delivered tangible benefits; helping forge relationships with the local community, accelerating the professional and personal development of those directly involved as well as generating valuable PR both internally and externally. Richard Morris Innovia’s Global Learning & Development Manager said, “As a business we used to focus heavily on technical skills and knowledge and let the people side look after itself, recently we have balanced that out by focusing on important people qualities and behaviours; for example, self-awareness, network building, appreciating personal impact and emotional intelligence. The Brathay Apprentice Challenge illustrated how important these attributes are, at all stages in a career.” Being Burnley Council The nine apprentices from Burnley Council made the final eight of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge. This saw them speaking to over 150 businesses at the Burnley Bondholder Networking breakfast, educating over 430 students about the benefits of Apprenticeships and even writing a blog that was the main article on Alastair Campbell’s website. As well as this the Burnley Council team also worked in collecting food for Community Solutions Food Bank, carrying out deliveries, running the Pennine 10K, gaining external donations from local schools and businesses and organising a ‘Fiesta for Food Bank’ event of their own to promote and raise more money for the Food Bank. Plymouth City Council Sow the Seeds of Success Plymouth City Council apprentices, also finalists, decided to tackle the Place de Brest garden in the city-centre as part of their Brathay Apprentice Challenge as it was in disrepair. The team worked hard to get the project a great deal of publicity and support. They achieved widespread local press coverage and the public opening, with a speech from a local councilor, was attended by over 50 people including two MPs. The revamped garden was a huge success and is now the centre point of the city centre. The team also worked hard on promoting Apprenticeships to the local schools talking about the value of Apprenticeships as a real career path. 27
  • 28. Redrow Homes South West won the 2013 community project award Apprentices from Redrow Homes South West transformed an old shed into a new classroom for a local special needs school as part of their Brathay Apprentice Challenge community activity. The innovative plans included a porch on the front of the shed to keep wheelchairs dry in the rain, new windows to lighten up the interior of the shed, a desk area for the children to work on and seating in one corner. Charlie Baker, team captain, added: “Completing the renovation was so satisfying; it made us fully appreciate the importance of working together as a team. We are definitely going to stay in touch with the school and want to help out with any other projects they have coming up in the future.” 28

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