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How we used content to increase participation in EA's awards program

“The Most Innovative Engineers program was extremely well received by our members and ties in well with our strategic objective to highlight the innovative work that engineers do.”

– Samantha Zdjelar, Marketing Manager, Engineers Australia

Key objectives

  • Reimagine and align the Top 100 Influential Engineers program with Engineers Australia’s vision to showcase innovation in the community.
  • Increase participation, including those who are not Engineers Australia members.
  • Increase entries among key demographics, such as female engineers and engineers under the age of 35.

Background

For 12 years, Engineers Australia (EA) had run its Top 100 Influential Engineers program to identify and profile respected senior engineers who were also members of the association. But the program was in need of a refresh. It had to showcase and celebrate the most innovative engineers in Australia, as well as contribute to EA’s strategic goal of connecting with a broader engineering audience.

 

Our approach

In January 2016, we launched a completely new program – Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers – shifting the focus from influence to innovation. We are now run the program each year.

The newly launched program opened up participation to all Australian engineers, not just EA members. EA wanted to increase participation and include a broader section of engineers in order to meet business goals and truely showcase innovation within engineering. Previously, the list of engineers was produced internally based on industry knowledge. There was no formal submission process. We invited Australian engineers to submit their product, technology or project innovations through our customised online portal. The entries are then evaluated by a respected and independent panel of engineering professionals.

To generate entries, content amplification included paid social ads and a LinkedIn campaign. We also used organic Facebook and Twitter posts to reach a wider audience. Other efforts included banner advertisements in weekly create newsletters and on the website.

In the 2017 iteration of the awards program, Mahlab also profiled several engineers who made previous lists. These engineers shared the positive impact EA’s recognition had on their professional lives, especially among their peers and employers. A number of these profiles were used to highlight past winners who fell into typically underrepresented demographics. We hoped these profiles would have a flow-on effect of attracting more nominations from these underrepresented groups.

The outcome

From cantilevered buildings, technologies for minimising water used in agriculture and creating a technique to see a ‘cell’s-eye view’ of human hips to help osteoporosis research – 2017’s final list highlighted the innovative and diverse work engineers do. The list generated industry attention and cemented EA’s authority in the area.

  • More than 200 engineers were nominated in 2017, this surpassed our target of 150 nominations.
  • Despite women making up 12% of all engineers in Australia, women made up 25% of the finalists. This was as a result of increased entries from women.
  • The number of entries from engineers under 35 also increased, with 28% of the engineers who entered were in this age group.
  • Paid social media amplifications delivered 34,319 impressions and a click through rate of 1.122% – well above the 0.78% average B2B click through rate for Facebook ads (source: Wordstream).

Links:

2017’s Most Innovative Engineers

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