Airbus Fly Your Ideas is a biennial competition that challenges students from around the world to innovate with Airbus for the future of aviation. The fourth final was hosted by Airbus in Hamburg in May 2015. Clearly this was seen as a great external communications opportunity but it was equally important to excite Airbus staff about the competition to:
  • encourage them to get involved and support as: Assessors, Expert Advisers and Team Mentors;
  • keep them informed and engaged so that they could tell the story to other stakeholders and customers; and
  • to ignite the passion for innovation within.


As Airbus’ agency partners since the inception (2008) we had excellent relationships with key stakeholders through their previous participation and we leveraged the strength of that through internal launches in key Airbus sites – where we presented the new features of the latest edition and asked for their continued support. But we also wanted to reach people who hadn’t been engaged before and so we set out on an internal communications and engagement programme that included:
  • internal recruitment of Assessors, Experts & Mentors;
  • the development of an internal (socialised) network on the Airbus intranet;
  • regular “news” updates via existing Airbus channels (Breaking News & AirbusTV);
  • the creation of a community platform on the Airbus Fly Your Ideas website where student participants can collaborate with each other, academics and Airbus staff;
  • direct involvement by, for example, voting on “best of the best video”


Over 350 Airbus staff have taken an active role in supporting the competition. There are 570+ members on the “Let’s Connect” collaboration community (that has received 10,000s of page views) with 400+ followers on the internal network. The most engaged Airbus people are themselves internal and external influencers and share the passion for Airbus Fly Your Ideas. At one of the launch events an Airbus Expert Engineer told us:
“Getting involved in this competition makes me remember to free up my mind, like these brilliant students, to come up with brave new ideas”