NixonMcInnes, the specialist social media agency, has been selected by Central Office of Information (COI) to devise and implement a social media campaign for the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) following a competitive pitch. The campaign called ‘Guiding Lights’ aims to inspire young people to see entry into a wide range of professions as options that can be within their reach.

Guiding Lights forms part of the DCSF’s wider strategic response to the Alan Milburn’s panel’s recent ‘Fair Access to the Professions’ report, which made recommendations on opening up pathways into the professions for young people - regardless of their background.

The partnership sees NixonMcInnes deliver strategy, web design, online PR and community management, and forms part of an integrated strategy that includes traditional PR, managed by communications agency, Kindred.

Online activity centres on a Facebook page, designed, managed and moderated by NixonMcInnes. 20 – 30 year old ‘role models’, representing a variety of professions and sourced by NixonMcInnes, will publish stories of their own personal success to the page to inspire young people.

NixonMcInnes will conduct community mapping and engagement activity, seeding content across social networks, forums and blogs to spark debate and encourage young people to the site.

In addition to featuring role model stories, the Facebook page will also provide young people with direct access to role models, provide industry-specific discussion threads and top tips, and link to useful, external sources of careers and mentoring advice, information and resources.

Bobby Dhanda, Interactive Services Project Manager, COI, says: “We needed to get this campaign off the ground quickly, without compromising quality, to coincide with the Government’s response to the Milburn report. NixonMcInnes delivered an impressive strategic response to our brief, and has already hit the ground running, successfully coordinating a variety of internal and external stakeholders and recruiting some compelling role models to the campaign.”

Will McInnes, managing director, NixonMcInnes, says: “Ask anyone what the best piece of career advice they had was, and they'll have an answer - no matter how 'normal' or lofty their professional journey has been. To see a big government department like the DCSF changing with the times and taking that conversation and those tips into social media, engaging with young people where they are, is absolutely inspiring."

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Notes to editors

About NixonMcInnes
Established in 2000, NixonMcInnes is one of the UK’s largest agencies dedicated to social media. Its team of 17 specialists help clients to incorporate social media into their strategic plans through five ever-evolving practice areas:

_ Strategy – creation of practical, considered strategies

_ Research – discovering critical insights about customer behaviour in the social web

_ Online PR – generating buzz by creating compelling content and messages to engage influencers, communities and new networks of customers

_ Experiences – design and build of apps, widgets, online social networks and other sites and digital assets

_ Culture – using training, workshops and mentoring to help organisations change their culture to embrace the social web and its profound effects on business

NixonMcInnes is actively engaged with Coca-Cola, Barclaycard, Channel 4, Cisco, Department of Health, Enterprise UK and Cabinet Office and many more.

Published on: 11:10AM on 3rd March 2010