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A group project completed during my masters program about Army Recruiting and Integration of SGT Star as part of an overarching Communications Plan.

A group project completed during my masters program about Army Recruiting and Integration of SGT Star as part of an overarching Communications Plan.

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  • Note *1: Building Web Applications with UML , Jim Conallen. Addison Wesley, 2000.

Coml512 m2group4project Coml512 m2group4project Presentation Transcript

  • Building Army Building Future COML 512 A1, Module 2, Group 4 Project February 12, 2012 A Communications Strategy for Next Generation Recruiting
    • Kelsey Vilanova
    • Margaret Shartel
    • Nichola Todd
    • Rosemary Younts
    • Seth Waite
    5Star Marketing
    • How can innovative technology be effectively leveraged as an integrated component of a long-term strategy to consistently attract qualified youth to serve our country in peace time and at war?
  • Background
      • Prime candidates for recruiting less inclined to enlist
      • Growing number of influential adults not recommending Army service (Sacket & Mayor, 2010, p. 19)
    • Prolonged Middle East conflict has taken a toll and led to negative public sentiment (Harrison, 2009, April, p. 5)
    • Army’s challenge to stabilize and rebuild is dependent on attracting best and brightest next generation soldiers
    • Traditional recruiting methods no longer work and times call for new multi-faceted, carefully targeted strategy (Sacket & Mayor, p. 6)
  • Research
    • Army requirements for new recruits:
      • 17 to 35 years of age
      • Healthy and in good physical shape
      • Of high moral integrity
      • High school graduate (US Army Info Site)
    • Other complex factors make up new recruit profile
    Primary Target Stakeholders
  • Research
    • Generational attitudes impact recruiting efforts
      • ‘ Millennial’ Generation youth considered hot commodity as Baby Boomers retire
        • Army faces increased competition with civilian labor market
      • Youth placing greater emphasis on education and college
        • Record number of college enrollments expected to increase (Sacket & Mayor, 2010, p. 25)
    • Suggests that extending outreach from high schools to more college campuses could be recruiting opportunity
    Primary Target Stakeholders
  • Research
    • Technological savvy of new recruits represents unique challenge
      • Skills outpace any other generation
      • Careers in high tech highly desirable (Zazanis, 2010, p. 12)
    • Introducing SGT STAR on Army website a smart move:
      • Increased length of time on website
      • Answered over 8 million questions
      • Rated 280% better than normal websites (SGT STAR Delivers, 2011, p. 1)
    • Reflects need to further utilize innovative technology
    Primary Target Stakeholders
  • Research
    • New recruit demographic characteristics (Recruiting FAQs, 2001, December 19)
    Primary Target Stakeholders 62.2% 19.8% 16.32% 4.5% .8%
  • Research Primary Target Stakeholders
    • New recruit demographic characteristics (Recruiting FAQs, 2001, December 19)
    83.78% 16.32%
  • Research
    • New recruit geographic characteristics
      • Numbers of new recruits heavily concentrated in specific US regions
      • Number of new recruits also skewed toward rural and suburban areas
    • States ranking in bottom 10 for new recruit enlistments:
    • Combined 12 million potential new recruits in these states – wide open territory for recruiting (Congressional Budget Office, 2009, July)
    Primary Target Stakeholders California Connecticut Massachusetts Minnesota New Jersey New York North Dakota Rhode Island Utah Washington DC
  • Research
    • Parents, counselors have a major influence on target stakeholder decisions to join military
      • Estimated 50% of parents discourage children from joining Army (Sacket & Mayor, 2010, p. 8)
    • These stakeholders are also not as adept at, or interested in new technology as primary target stakeholders (Sacket & Mayor, p. 10)
    Secondary Target Stakeholders “ When parents and other influential adults dissuade young people from enlisting, it begs the question of what our national staying power might be for the future ” (US Army General Rochelle as cited in Cave, 2009, June 3, para. 14).
  • Research
    • Recruiters are a powerful tool for maintaining Army forces:
    • “ What recruiters bring is the personal touch and personality to convey the honor and value of the military and to motivate potential recruits to service”
    • (US Army Captain Arendt as cited in Miles, 2009, para. 4)
    • More than 8,000 Army soldiers assigned as recruiters
      • Recruiters receive 6 weeks of training (Recruiting FAQs, 2011, December 19)
    Secondary Target Stakeholders
  • Research
    • Recruiters operate in hierarchical structure with leadership many layers removed
      • 6 Brigades command up to 8 Battalions, for a total of 38 Battalions
      • Battalions command 230 Companies
      • 230 Companies command 1,600 recruiting stations
      • All geographically spread across the country (Recruiting FAQs, 2011, December 19).
    Secondary Target Stakeholders US Army Recruiting Command Brigades Battalions Company Stations (Recruiters)
  • Research
    • Multiple organizational layers challenge recruiters
    • Stress is number one complaint due to:
      • Long working hours
      • Pressure to make “unreasonable” enlistment goals
      • Fear of failing at career
      • Lack of support and information from supervisors (Penney, Sutton & Borman, 2010, February, p 7)
    Secondary Target Stakeholders
  • Research
    • Studies on recruiter quality of life indicate:
      • 65% of recruiters are dissatisfied with their jobs
      • 47% believe there is a disconnect in knowledge and communications within the Recruiting Command and do not feel like part of the team (Johnson, 2009, p. 4)
    • One local study by 5Star Marketing shows some recruiters are unaware of SGT STAR and other marketing efforts
    Secondary Target Stakeholders
  • Research
    • Studies shows impact of national television advertising is positive, but short-lived (Dertouzous & Polich, 2008, p. 30)
    • National radio, print and other direct mail efforts were found to have no measurable effect on new enlistments (Dertouzous & Polich, 2008, p. 30)
    • Center for Cybernetic Studies reports localizing advertising by regions in the United States has longer-lasting effects (Charnes, 2009, p. 31).
    Effectiveness of National Advertising
  • Strategy
    • Three main stakeholder groups and communication issues identified through research for each form basis for plan strategies, tactics, tools:
    • Army’s success in attracting, engaging and moving stakeholder groups to action best achieved through targeted 3-pronged approach
    Potential new recruits Parents and Counselors Army Recruiters
  • Strategy
    • Army’s viability dependent on desire of qualified young people to serve
    • Potential new recruits are the Army’s “customers”
    • Messages must not only inform and educate, but appeal to their interests
      • Must extend to women, minorities, under-represented geographic regions
    • Appropriate communication channels are key (Wilson & Ogden, 2008, p. 85)
    • Popular SGT STAR provides a starting platform
    • Objectives of other technologies focused on creating relationships, establishing trust and presenting a value proposition
    Potential New Recruits
  • Strategy
    • Key messages aligned with research will focus on:
      • Positioning Army as career opportunity
      • Changing negative perceptions
      • Depicting Army as diverse
      • Portraying Army as partner in education during high school, through college or graduate school
    Potential New Recruits
        • Pay now on comparable scale to civilian wages
        • Benefits and wages have grown more rapidly than overall economy since 2006
        • Army to be seen as a ‘high tech’ industry
  • Strategy
    • Success dependent upon support, respect and favor of those with power to influence primary stakeholders
    • Relationships and trust must be built with parents and counselors to develop advocates for the Army
    • Channels for communicating will overlap in many cases with primary stakeholders
      • Must also be unique to recognize differences in technology skills and interests
    Parents and Counselors
    • Grass roots efforts well suited to this stakeholder group
  • Strategy
    • Key messages will concentrate on:
      • Education about the many programs, services and benefits Army offers young people
      • Opportunities Army provides for young people to receive education and become confident leaders of tomorrow
      • The success of young men and women across the country that have taken advantage of these opportunities
    Parents and Counselors
  • Strategy
    • Recruiting goals are only as good as recruiters that achieve them
    • Recruiters have hard time selling value of Army in current environment
    • External factors not only cause for recruiter stress and dissatisfaction
      • Organizational barriers within Recruiting Command impact job
    • Plan components to address barriers centered on:
      • Leadership engagement
      • Enhancing flow of information/communication
      • Increasing interaction among organizational functions
      • Developing supportive team culture
    Army Recruiters
  • Strategy
    • Methodologies developed to evaluate impact of campaign tactics and tools each step of the way
    • Evaluation will demonstrate effectiveness and document progress
      • Will provide opportunity to make modifications if needed; critical in environment where technology is constantly changing
    • Success of campaign will be measured by:
      • Increased interest and engagement by all stakeholder groups
      • Positive shift in attitudes and perceptions among stakeholder groups
      • Growing number of qualified and diverse young adults enlisting
    Evaluation
  • Implementation
    • Campaign Launch
    • Initial campaign launch will gain immediate recognition, build momentum
    • Highly visible platform required for SGT STAR to introduce new fellow virtual employee - a female STAFF SGT avatar
      • New female STAFF SGT avatar also added to Army website (goarmy.com) giving visitors second choice
    • Launch will employ nation-wide major network TV commercials; national and regional print media
    • Mobility applications introduced simultaneously
    Primary Stakeholder Tools and Evaluation
  • Implementation
    • Both virtual soldier avatars (life size, screen projected) will immediately hit the road touring targeted high schools and colleges across country
      • Addressing careers, benefits, training, education
      • Destination points will include under-represented states
    • Tour advertising communicated online and through social channels
      • Cost effective and inline with short-lived impact of national advertising
      • Post tour assessment from information collected at event registration
      • Tracking new recruit enlists (by region and demographics)
    Primary Stakeholder Tools and Evaluation Evaluation
  • Implementation
    • Blog
    • Content created to compliment avatar tours and Army website (goarmy.com) experiences:
      • Encourage participation and registration with website virtual chat program
      • Provide solutions to questions, enable sharing of positive avatar experiences, encourage enlistment
    • Strong call to action for unique, personal experience only available by signing in to facilitate greater registration
    • Serves as hub for acquiring new registrations and encouraging sharing through email and social media
    Primary Stakeholder Tools and Evaluation
  • Implementation
    • Blog
    • Evaluation
    • Metrics designed to measure and adjust blog content and acquisition strategy:
      • Unique visitors; returning visitors; pages viewed per visit
      • Visitor source (referral, search engine, direct, email, etc.)
      • Conversion rate (visits to registration)
      • Conversion rate per visitor source
      • New registration to enlistment rate
    Primary Stakeholder Tools and Evaluation
  • Implementation
    • Email
    • Series of emails sent out regularly to:
      • Encourage return traffic to website
      • Answer questions
      • Survey perceptions
      • Motivate sharing of website and virtual avatar chats by friends and family via social media
    Primary Stakeholder Tools and Evaluation
  • Implementation
    • Email
    • Email campaign begins immediately after registering, segmented by:
      • Interest (job opportunities, education, etc.)
      • Purpose (recruit, parent, counselor)
      • Perception
    • Segmenting allow users a personal experience on website based on needs/interests and increases registration and enlistment rates
    Primary Stakeholder Tools and Evaluation
  • Implementation
    • Email
    • Evaluation
    • Using data pulled from email open rates, links clicked and on-site responses, registrants measured to perceive intended use
    • Email advantage is ability to be used autonomously on large scale
    • Metrics important to understand:
      • Content read, call to action links clicked, headlines attracting most interest
    • Recording process of email unsubscribes will help recruiters understand interest and recruiting cycles
    Primary Stakeholder Tools and Evaluation
  • Implementation
    • Social Media
    • Facebook a primary aggregate for social media content
    • SGT STAR and the new female avatar will use current Facebook page to curate content from Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn social channels
    • Twitter provides opportunity to answer questions in real-time, allowing the avatars to have a presence across the country
      • Twitter channel also allows for geographic targeting of interested recruits
    • Using Twitter to funnel followers to blog increases registrations and provides another opportunity to encourage enlistments
    Primary Stakeholder Tools and Evaluation
  • Implementation
    • Social Media
    • YouTube channel utilized to help answer questions
      • Viewers can also ask questions in comments, see Army stories from recruits, parents, counselors, others
    • LinkedIn allows Army to focus recruiting on difficult demographics
      • As Pro account holder have opportunities to search individuals by skill, location, work experience, interest, employment, education, income, gender
    • Using these metrics, recruiters can encourage groups to search blog, engage in social media sharing, and chat with website virtual avatars
    Primary Stakeholder Tools and Evaluation
  • Implementation
    • Social Media
    • LinkedIn successful as tool for making personal connections to individuals who will be 5 star recruits in medical, technology and engineering fields
    • Evaluation
    • Will track people coming to sites from social media sources (and segment) using metrics from tools on blog and website
    • Tools like Radian 6 used to measure social sentiment with accuracy
    • Metrics most important to social media include scale of followers, growth rates and social sentiment, which can be tracked through software
    Primary Stakeholder Tools and Evaluation
  • Implementation
    • Initiate Army training post tours to illustrate the many educational opportunities the Army offers
    • Build relationships and partnerships for advocacy by creating local Community Advisory Boards
      • Especially effective in regions without recruiting station
    • Areas of focus for boards:
      • Need for new recruits
      • Parental and counselor support
      • Education and awareness of Army educational programs and careers
    Specific to Parents and Counselors - Tools and Evaluation
  • Implementation
    • Create parent website featuring videos of stories about their children's experience and why they supported their children's decision to enlist
    • Evaluation
    • Post training tour surveys
    • Use of similar social media metrics for tracking parental website involvement
    • Work with advisory boards to set goals for participation, volunteer events
    • Track metrics against expected turnouts and follow-up - revise and adapt as metrics identify successful areas
    Specific to Parents and Counselors - Tools and Evaluation
  • Implementation
    • Establish mentor program for recruiters
    • Form recruiter teams as support groups
    • Integrate and engage recruiters into all campaign facets
    • Provide additional training in campaign communication technologies
    • Open channels of communication between Recruit Command divisions:
      • Monthly management meetings
      • Monthly 'all-hands' forums to address issues, successes
      • Monthly online internal newsletter highlighting organizational functions and spotlighting members of the team
    Specific to Recruiters - Tools and Evaluation
  • Implementation
    • Evaluation
    • Online satisfaction surveys
    • Focus groups
      • Venue to express concerns; discuss what’s working, what’s not
    • Personal evaluation meetings
      • Venue to discuss personal achievements, areas needing improvement
      • Look for trends among recruiters
    Specific to Recruiters - Tools and Evaluation
  • Campaign Budget
    • Like the rest of the nation, Army operates in times of economic uncertainty, faced with a recruiting budget reduction in 2012 of about 4 percent (Department of the Army, 2012)
    • Conscious of budget, plan designed cost effectively to deliver more with less, utilizing cost effective technology tools and grass roots efforts in place of large scale mass media advertising that drives cost, yet according to research returns little.
  • Timeline
    • The next generation of youth will have the greatest influence on the nature of the Army over the next ten years. The Army needs these “Millennials” to maintain the quality and viability of the Force. We are confident that through this campaign, youth of tomorrow will stand ready to serve their country.
  • References Cave, D. (2009, June 3). Growing problem for military recruiters: Parents. New York Times . Retrieved from: www.nytimes.com/2005/06/03/.../03recruit.html?page want ed=all Charnes, A. (2009, July). Measuring the impact of advertising on Army Recruiting: Data envelopment analysis and advertising effectiveness. Research & Studies Division. US Army Recruiting Command. Retrieved from: www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a236779.pdf Congressional Budget Office. (2007, July). The all-volunteer military: Issues and performance. Retrieved from: www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=8313&type=0&sequence=1 Dertouzous, J., & Polich, M. (2008). Recruiting efforts of Army advertising. Rand Publication Series . Santa Monica, CA: The Rand Corporation.
  • References
    • Harrison, T. (2009, April 12). Impact of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on the US Military's plans, programs and budgets. Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Retrieved from: www.csbaonline.org/wp-content/.../08.12.2009-Impact-of-Wars.pdf
    • Johnson, F. (2009). Assessing cultural change in the United States Army Recruiting Command. US Army War College Strategy Paper. Retrieved from: www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA494715
    • Miles, D. (2009, March 14). New Army recruiting programs and incentives. American Forces Press Service . Retrieved from: usmilitary.about.com
    • Recruiting FAQs. (2011, December 19). Support Army recruiting. Retrieved from:
    • www.2karmy.mil/faqs.htm
    • Sacket, P., & Mayor, A. (Eds.) (2010). Attitudes, aptitudes, and aspirations of American youth: Implications for Military recruitment. Washington D.C.: The National Academies Press.
  • References
    • SGT STAR Delivers. (2001). Next IT Corporation. Retrieved from: www.nextit.com/US_Army.htm
    • Tighe-Murray, C. (2011, January 20). Analysis of federal civilian and military compensation. Congressional Budget Office, Washington, DC. Retrieved from: www. cbo .gov/doc.cfm?index=12042&type=1
    • US Army Accession Command. (2009, February). Assessing cultural change in the United States Army: Strategic plan fiscal years 2008-2013. Retrieved from: www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA494715
    • Penney, L. M., Sutton, M. J., & Borman, W.C. (2010, February). Recruiting research conducted in the US Army. Personnel Decisions Research Institute, Inc. US Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences. Retrieved from: www.hqda.army.mil/ari/pdf/tr1109.pdf
    • US Army Info Site: Joining the Army. (n.d.). Do you meet the requirements. Retrieved from: www.us-army-info.com/pages/enlist.html
  • References
    • Wilson, L.J., & Ogden, J. D. (2008). Strategic communications planning: For effective public relations and marketing . Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company
    • Zazanis, M. (2010, March). Developing an Army market research index in support of Army recruiting. U.S. Army Research Institute. Retrieved from: www.hqda.army.mil/ari/pdf/tr1109.pdf