My daughter Chelsea completed her degree in animation and was so excited. Like all graduates she felt optimistic about her job prospects. Until she started applying for them. She sent in application after application to different companies. Not enough experience – 5 years minimum.
I’d like to know exactly how are these young graduates expected to get this said experience without a job to give it to them!
She was lucky enough however, to have a job that earned her money, while she was job hunting for one in animation. It was with an accounting firm. As you no doubt can appreciate, nothing could be further from an exciting job in animation. Chelsea became increasingly despondent and negative….
Believe me, nothing is scarier than your frustrated child!
Finally my husband and I suggested she resign (we felt she was just becoming too unhappy) and look at doing something else that at least she would feel happy and motivated with. For a while she worked with us doing web programming and a bit of design work. Unfortunately, we are a two man band and didn’t have enough work to sustain us let alone pay her.
The mouse that roared
One day she came to me and said:
“Mum, I want to give it one more go to try and get a job in my field, will you help me”.
I am a graphic designer by profession but have done many direct marketing campaigns and copy writing. When she asked me this, I decided to think of her as my client so I could think laterally. The first thing I asked her was:
“Where do you want to work – what company do you have in mind?”
Her response was immediate.
“I want to work at Cutting Edge. They are a special effects company that do all types of creative things.”
Chelsea had visited Cutting Edge on a number of occasions in her job search. Even being promised in internship if the company had enough work. This never eventuated but Chelsea was still keen to work there. She had also met the General Manager, Kylie, at her University presentation evening and been given her business card. She was impressed by this woman’s confidence and presence. This then, was WHO we would direct our efforts towards.
Now we had the COMPANY and the WHO to approach, it was time to work out the HOW.
We (Chelsea and I) decided to have think tank each on how we could approach the General Manager directly. An hour later she came back with the suggestion she could send her a poster showing her skills and directing her (the General Manager) to her web site (Shananimation.com).
“Great idea” I said, “but I think we can do better. “How about we send Kylie a LIVE animal, starting with a mouse (I’ll get to why in a minute) every day for 4 days – each with a message.”
Chelsea was horrified! “That’s just not going to happen” she cried, ‘That is just too way out, and besides, what if she DOESN’T like animals? What will happen to them after?”
I explained to my 20 year old, that starting with the most ‘out there’ idea and working back is a strategy. If LIVE animals were out then she could send in cardboard models. I explained to her too that you don’t HAVE to know how to make them – templates were available on the Canon website. They had a huge choice that would suit admirably. My reasoning for 3d models was that Chelsea was a 3D animator.
Chelsea warmed very quickly to the idea – she is quite a visionary like me after all. She set about looking up the canon site for the first animal – a mouse. She printed out the template for the mouse and made up it up.
Time to write the accompanying copy. The key to writing good copy is to put what you are saying in the terms of what benefit will you give the recipient.
The last line that said “More to come” was the teaser.
With the mouse made and the copy written, (which was pasted onto the inside lid of an Apple Macintosh mouse box that I had lying around) time to package it. She wrapped the box in brown paper. One more thing to do, however, before it went…
1. Check that Kylie was still the General Manager and
2. Her name had not changed since Chelsea had been given her card (marriage, Divorce etc).
These are two critical elements when carrying out a direct mail campaign. NEVER get the name or position wrong.
After she had confirmed the details were correct, the package was addressed. We then drove the 55 minutes from our home to the Cutting Edge building. Chelsea delivered the package to the front desk and we left. We were pretty certain that a parcel individually addressed, by name to the General Manager, would most likely, only be opened by them.
Day 1 done… Day 2 – an adaptable creature gets a turn.