Story Telling in Student Recruitment

Who doesn’t love a good story? It entertains us, relaxes us and takes us on a journey without having to move one inch. A good story creates emotions; it’s something that we remember.

No wonder that marketers have become more and more interested in mastering the art of storytelling to get their marketing messages across. In a world that’s so full of advertising messages and information everywhere, it’s an essential skill to stand out from the crowd.

Especially Generation Z that has grown up with this constant bombardment of information almost expects to be entertained and not just informed by marketing messages. This makes storytelling in student recruitment ever more important.

How does good storytelling in recruitment look like? We have put together a list with points that we find important. As an example, we have used a campaign that we ran in Germany with our client Swiss Education Group (SEG) showcasing their hospitality management schools in Switzerland.

Storytelling works best if

  • it focuses on your specific audience and their perspective.
    For our campaign with SEG we send one of our editors down to Switzerland to spend a few days at one of the SEG schools and experience the life as a student there first hand. He spent time with students studying there and got a really good impression of what students can expect if they choose to study at SEG. This made it a lot easier for him to write for a prospective student’s perspective.
  • it uses emotion.
    The message of a story is best conveyed through emotions rather facts, so we included lots of personal experience and first hand accounts in the content we produced for this campaign. 
  • it contains visuals.
    The old saying “an image says more than 1,000 words” is definitely true as our brains process images so much faster than text. We therefore made sure that our content contained lots of photographs taking the audience on a journey to the SEG campus. 
  • is consistent across different channels.
    Our campaign with SEG incorporated print, online and social media. At our recruitment fairs interested students were then able to meet SEG face-to-face. Across all channels the audience got an in-depth impression of what it is like to study at SEG.

What are your experiences with storytelling in student recruitment? We would love your feedback.

One comment on “Story Telling in Student Recruitment

  1. I am an enrollment advisor for one UK institution. I use experiences of our previous students to paint an image for my prospective students (what kind of challenges they might face, what kind of benefits they’ll find which aren’t obvious at the moment) and it seems to work very well. It provokes discussion, it can get “selling points” through.

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