Magical Micro Moments – Tonic’s top tips

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We’ve heard lots recently about micro moments. Google says they exist because mobile devices have changed the way we live our lives; the way we interact with each other; the way we consume information; the way we interact with brands; the way we make buying decisions; and yes, the way we look for jobs.

We each (apparently), check our devices up to 150 times a day. That’s 150 moments per day. 150 opportunities for interaction. 150 chances to provide ‘contextually relevant content’ that surprises, delights and starts a conversation. 150 chances to build your brand, create interest, intrigue and influence.

But, you need to stand out from the crowd. You need to be compelling or you’ll get lost in the background noise.

To avoid this we suggest you begin by putting yourself in the position of the person you want to communicate with. What are they interested in, what can you do that would benefit them most? If you think about it there’s plenty of opportunity for us to make each moment count.

To make this easy for you we’ve consulted, thought about and reviewed the range of data that’s out there. Our condensed tips to make the most of micro moments for employers are:

Make a moments map
Identify which moments are important to your audience. Which ones matter? Think about this carefully, and put into context when and where your message would be most effective and relevant.

Understand the needs of your audience in that moment
Ask yourself, “What would really impress, intrigue, help, excite or compel them at this moment in time”.

Use context to make it work
Use of location and time data to make your messages personal and relevant. Don’t put content about Northumbria in front of someone in London – unless you know they want it.

Make it seamless
Deliver an experience that easily moves from one device to the next. So, if I save a job you’re advertising while I’m on my phone on the way to work, then keep it accessible so that I can continue applying from my laptop when I’m at lunch, or on my tablet in front of the telly later on.

Think longer-term
Every interaction is an opportunity to build your reputation; a chance to show that you know your onions, and that you can be of help to the people you need. Just like us, right now, in this moment.

Part 2 – The Tonic Air Race at Recruitstock 2015


We had great fun at this year’s Recruitstock and we were all blessed with some amazing weather down at the New Forest. Plenty of new faces this year too!

We took some drones along and ran our very own Air Race which was great fun and enjoyed by all of those brave enough to have a go (and even those that just wanted to watch).

Here’s a little clip of the highlights on the main day. Enjoy!

The Tonic Air Race at Recruitstock 2015


We’re thrilled to be back and sponsoring Recruitstock once again this year. After a truly memorable debut event we couldn’t wait to come back. We made some great friends, had lots of fun and were really inspired by the great line up of speakers and activities across the 3 days.

Last year we made use of the high wires and zip line to deliver an adrenaline fuelled experience for all of those who were brave enough to get involved!

We’re always keen to do things differently here at Tonic, helping employers to create truly meaningful experiences in order build reputation and awareness. So we thought we’d make best use of our time by once again giving you, the members, a fun and engaging experience that lasts.

We don’t like to disappoint.

So, this year we’re really excited to bring you the Tonic Air Race! We’ll be bringing the drones and obstacles ready to test your aerial skill and find out if you’ve got what it takes to take the top spot on our leader board and win yourself a drone.

We’ll be located by the main tent, and timed trials will take place during the day’s breakouts on Thursday. We’ll then host the final and prize giving at the end of the day before we all finish and relax for the evening.

Tonic Air Race!

1st place wins a drone, and believe us they’re great fun to play around with. There’s also prizes for 2nd and 3rd places too, so all to play for!

We’ll also have a professional drone and camera crew there with us for the entire day to film the highlights and fun, so we’ll be sending round some memories after the event for you all to keep.

We look forward to seeing you there.


How to make friends and NOT alienate Gen Z


I attended two really interesting events last week – a seminar about finding friends in a digital brand and a breakfast conference examining the complexities of marketing to Generation Z.

It got me thinking about the many questions we hear asked about how best to approach this challenge. Questions centred on the different behaviours and expectations of their generation. Employers are striving to develop a stronger understanding of this current crop of talent. What should we be talking to them about? How should we be talking about it? And where should this conversation be happening? These are all valid questions. But I can’t help think that sometimes we have a tendency to overcomplicate things.

In order to answer some of these questions we need to look at and understand the basic principles of a friendship.

Friendship is about people, and unless you really trust someone, they can’t truly be your friend. Trust is something that enables the walls and defence mechanisms everyone puts up to come down. If those barriers are up, it makes it very hard to relate to one another, regardless of age.

This effect does however does seem to be amplified when it comes to Generation Z. Partly due to the fact that they’re marketed at relentlessly. They’re in a position of power, and they know it so they can afford to be picky.

This is the first generation with a truly global view. A generation raised in recession, who are constantly told by the media how there’s very little opportunity out there for them and how tough it is out there.

It’s a generation that sees millionaires made overnight with the invention of a game or an app. A generation that sees how an average Joe becomes a YouTube or Geordie Shore sensation and achieves near celebrity status. These are the aspirations of this generation – they want to stand out from the crowd and be heard. They want to make and impact on the world. And this is where brands can play a really strong role.

Last week I heard two students stand in a room of 240 graduate recruiters and tell them that they want to feel proud of the brand they work for. And they want the employer to feel proud to have them too. They want employers to help them enrich their lives – to give them access to ways they can make an impact on the world. And in return, they’ll become your advocates and make an impact on your bottom line.

So if you want Gen Z to feel the love for your brand what do you need to do?

Well, unfortunately there’s no quick fix. You can’t create an image, or change perceptions overnight. If you try to be something you’re not you’ll only succeed in achieving the opposite.

But there are certain things you should consider when planning your communications. The key thing to remember here is to think of your relationship as a friendship, not as a hiring process. Yes you need to be part of the conversation, but as a person, not a brand.

So, let’s look at what (most!) friends do for each other.

  1. They understand each other. Use the data you have available to develop a deep understanding of what makes Gen Z tick, how they consume media and what content resonates. It’s all out there, but currently there’s too bigger gap between the amount of data available and how it’s used. However, be mindful of what’s socially acceptable and don’t come across as creepy.
  1. They make each other happy. This could be through the stories they tell each other, the jokes they share, the support and guidance they provide and the care they show for each other’s wellbeing. Make sure that the content you share and the stories you tell achieve these things.
  1. They add value to each other’s lives. However that value is perceived it definitely exists otherwise why would the friendship continue? Ask yourself before every piece of communication whether it will add value and help others.
  1. They’re there for each other. It’s not enough to start a conversation and then think the job is done. Millenials expect brands to be always on. They want you to be there for them when they need a question answered. They expect to be rewarded for connecting with you.
  1. They place trust in each other. Trust is gained by being honest, human and personable. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Understand what characteristics your brand has and ensure these come through in your messaging.

Written by Tam Salih, Communications Consultant at Tonic Agency

Times Top 100 Graduate Employers. Important or not?

Times Top 100 2015

I went to HighFliers’ Times Top 100 Graduate Employers last night. As usual a very dramatic, well run event organised by the High Fliers team who deserve major congratulations.

The tension in the room grew steadily as we moved through the recruitment marketing awards (more of which later), the employers of choice (again, more later), and on to the Top 100 – which were headed by PwC for the nth year on the bounce to save you looking at the list. Aldi ran them close for the first time, upsetting the accounting and public sector hegemony (still 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th & 10th), that has become the norm over the last decade.

Back to the point though, I couldn’t help but wonder what makes this such a tense affair – apart from the annual personal reviews, bonuses etc that are in part determined by rankings like these, why do they actually matter? Why were the nerves jangling?

There are of course reasons to knock this event. The ’employers of choice’ awards, the winners of which largely seem to remain the same over time; the marketing awards which are far more narrow than they should be (no experiential category, no judges with marketing expertise, social that seems to be better titled ‘Best Facebook page’), there are even those who doubt the efficacy of the central question that determines the Top 100 itself.

But therein is the importance of last night. It may feel like the world of graduate recruitment has developed enormously since High Fliers started 17yrs ago – that it’s changed inexorably for the better – but has it? Have the people really altered that much? Probably not.

As much as we’d all like to think that undergrads endlessly review and ponder on our marketing work, I suspect that they have far more interesting things to spend their time on.

They have their lives to live, exams to pass, bars to visit – and that makes employer marketing of all types just so much background noise to be ignored – along with all the other commercial messaging they receive. That is until it’s time to find a job, and then a trip to the careers service – or more likely Google (ranked 3rd FYI) – to look for the best employers reveals a list of 100 great places to work.

So, despite it all, for the vast majority of job seeking graduates the Times Top 100 ranking is important and that should make it important to us all too. It’s a snapshot of ever changing employer preference and visibility amongst final year students, and taken for the long-term it reflects the economic mood and the ebb and flow of industrial change.

The trick is to remember that this is all it is – it is not a measure of how well we’re all doing our jobs, employers and agencies alike because the relationships we’re trying to build run far deeper than a directory, a trip to a careers service or the results of a search engine.

For the full list of winners and losers, risers and fallers have a look at the HighFliers site. If you want to get our insight into how you might build your reputation, visibility and relationships with the people that you need to hire – and thereby influence your ranking, perhaps you’d be better off visiting ours.

Authored by: Tom Chesterton, Managing Director of Tonic

“I’d like to thank my Mom, my Dad, oh, and Sir Tim Berners Lee.”

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Written by Tony Fitzpatrick, Brand Consultant at Tonic.

This year saw the 25th anniversary of the RADs and against my better judgement I decided to go along. Well, when I say ‘I decided’ a more accurate description of what happened would be to say that I was the victim of a pseudo-Shanghaiing by my colleague Tam – one moment I was happily sat at my desk soaking up the sunshine of a glorious EB project, the next I was waking up to the fact I would be spending the evening in the belly of the good ship Grosvenor House.

Still, it was the 25th anniversary, after all, and we had been promised a retrospective of past endeavours. Personally, I was looking forward to seeing such greats as ‘Leaving? Do.’ And ‘Bigger vision’ (guilty as charged on that one, sorry). Thankfully, and for reasons unknown, we were spared this gallery of rogues.

So, on to the awards; and it’s at this point that I would like to say thank you to Sir Tim Berners Lee, founding father of the Internet. You see, IMHO, the Internet shook our industry back into life and we woke up kicking and screaming like Mia in Pulp Fiction after Vincent had slammed a shot of adrenaline into her heart. We were given a big dose of reality and our eyes opened to the fact that we had, for years, been media-led, when all along we should actually have been product-led. It was the signal for a paradigm shift in creative, a seed that sprouted slowly at first, as a channel, but heralded growth into such new areas as employer branding, content marketing, human-to-human and social conversations.

And this year, it was a pleasure to see the fine results of clients and agencies coming together to show just what can be achieved with this new-found freedom of expression. The breadth and quality of product was apparent in all categories and was virtually oozing out of the Work of the Year.

I’m pleased to say we had a little dance up on to the stage, too, picking up an award for a piece of work we created for our good friends Berwin Leighton Paisner.

So, it’s just left for me to say thanks to the RADs for showcasing some great examples of what’s great about our industry’s work today and thank you Internet for the shot in the arm.

Another year, another RADs. But not just any RADs. 

Last year’s RAD awards was a special night for us. It was the night that we won our first RAD award. Our #TweetShop created loads of buzz, great results and scooped the Best Ambient/Outdoor prize.

It was a special feeling for us all – and a fantastic way to round off our first year in business.

One year on and we’ve doubled in size. We’ve moved offices twice. And we’ve begun working with a whole host of new and exciting clients.

You can imagine, then, that we were thrilled to find out we’d been shortlisted for three awards this year. Two for our work with Tesco: Best Graduate Recruitment Campaign; and Best use of Mobile for our first-of-a-kind Snap It! on-campus innovation. And finally, Best Recruitment Literature for a new client of ours, Berwin Leighton Paisner.

Being the 25th anniversary for the RADs guaranteed it would be a special night anyway. And we were hoping to make it extra special by picking up another award.

Well, we’re pleased to say we weren’t disappointed. And nor was our client.

Our work with Berwin Leighton Paisner to turn their graduate recruitment brochure into more of a story with a really human and conversational feel impressed the judges.

You can look at the brochure here.

It really was a great end to an even greater year.

Well done to all the shortlists and winners from the evening, and of course to our clients who’ve trusted us and provided us with the opportunity to deliver some exciting and creative work.

See you there next year.

Picture Time:

Tonic’s Executive Creative Director, Mark Horley, proudly receiving the Best Recruitment Literature award, along with Alan Demirkaya, the Graduate Recruitment and Trainee Manager at Berwin Leighton Paisner. The award was presented by our good friend Nick Francis, Creative Director of Casual Films


Here it is, the award in all its glory!

Rad trophy

Thanks to the RAD Awards for making it a memorable achievement with this sticker placed outside our offices. Nice touch!

Rad floor

6 tips to help graduate recruiters bring the party to them

A warm welcome back to tonicthinking. We hope you found last week’s blog on how to find your online audience useful.

So far in this graduate blog series we’ve looked at:

  1. Why listening before speaking means you make more friends on social media
  2. How to discover untapped communities that provide a great opportunity for you to join the conversation and build reputation

This week it’s all about the laws of attraction and how you can supplement your marketing efforts by aggregating, authoring and helping in a bid to manage reputation and build a talent community around your brand by pulling people to you.

Content marketing is nothing new. However, its meteoric rise to become an essential part of any self-respecting employer’s talent acquisition strategy is down to a number of very valid reasons.

Why, you ask? Here are 10 reasons:

  1. Audiences are increasingly wary of ‘sales pitches’
  2. Push marketing is dead
  3. It’s informative, interesting and helpful
  4. It’s easily consumable on mobile devices
  5. It can communicate values and culture and act as a self selection tool
  6. It’s easily sharable and creates social proof
  7. It increases visibility
  8. It promotes your brand
  9. It positions your brand as the expert authority
  10. It improves SEO organic rankings

But! Content marketing has become a problem for content marketers.

If you’re already creating or perhaps thinking about creating content, then it’s highly likely that your close competition is too. In fact, most businesses are creating content and this in turn creates a problem because, guess what? There’s too much content; we’re being flooded.

You could argue that content marketers have ruined content marketing.

So what does this mean for students?

Negativity and cynicism. Because they’re being bombarded with messages to buy this and that, join so and so or work with X and Y, they’ll once again begin to raise their barriers.

Shame really because the whole point of creating and curating content is to get people to lower their marketing defence shield and allow you to get and hold their attention to deliver a message. If they’re bombarded with sub-standard content all the time, or content that’s “Me-me-me!” what will they think when they come across your content?

Enter Context Marketing!

So what is it? Simply put, it’s delivering the right content, to the right people, at the right time.

Context enables your message to be unique, personalised, efficient, and ultimately more successful. If you’re going to take the time to create good content (which you most definitely should), then you may as well make that content work as hard for you as possible.

Think about your own behaviour for a moment. When you log into Facebook are you in the same state of mind as you are when logging into LinkedIn? Would the same identical content just shared on all the same channels be as effective as something that’s been created to communicate with someone on a 1:1 basis based on where they are, who they are, what they’re doing and how they prefer to consume information?

Of course, the answer should be obvious. However it does mean a little more work as you’ll need to consider that you’ll have to create various versions of content on the same topic. But the results will be worth it.

Here’s 6 tips to remember when it comes to creating content that works:

  1. Be strategic – one-off content doesn’t make a strategy
  2. Be passionate – if you don’t care about it, who will?
  3. Be helpful – create content that will make others lives easier
  4. Put yourself in the graduates shoes – everything starts with their needs, challenges and behaviour
  5. Be authoritative – you understand your industry better than anyone, so make sure that knowledge aligns with those looking to forge a career path in it
  6. Be tough on yourself – you’ll know if your content is lazy

To create content in context you’ll need to be a dab-hand at audience segmentation. And that’s something that we’ll be sharing advice on next week, so follow our blog using the follow button (top right) to receive an email when our content lands.

See you then!

In the meantime, if you want to get in touch to discuss how you can manage reputation and bring the right talent to you, drop us a line on 020 7183 2556 or email to set up a coffee.