Corporate Eye

Messaging and Seaside Rock


Have you checked that your messaging is consistent… all the way through?

I went to yet another university open day recently, and was very impressed by the tone of voice used in the large, attractive posters around the campus, and by the style of the imagery used. I’d enjoyed the personality shown in the emails we’d received from this university. It all matched the prospectus, the subject brochures and other marketing material that we’d received, and was warm, welcoming and had an authentic feel. It also successfully, and apparently naturally, used a diverse group of students in the imagery. No stock images of students sitting laughing on the grass here.

But when we went to hear the subject talk by the department, there was an element of dissonance. Although the person presenting was animated and interesting, the material that he was presenting was out of date and the slides were out of order (for both of which he apologised). There was no carry-through of the university-wide messaging. And the images in the presentation included no images of female students at all. Probably 30% of the audience was female, so it did skew male, but still…

It is important that the messaging used in recruitment is consistent throughout the experience. This includes every single touchpoint… anecdotally, we hear of some applicants who click through from the shiny-cool new website to apply, only to find themselves on a very familiar ATS, at which point they abandon the application. Especially if they are using a mobile device.

Every touchpoint matters, from top to bottom and end to end. Just like a stick of seaside rock: it should say the same thing all the way through.

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