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.


“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

10 steps to becoming a more attractive graduate employer

Reputation is a funny old thing. By definition it’s a widespread belief that someone or something has a particular characteristic – something that makes it unique.

In today’s employer marketing arena, being unique is a commodity that many simply don’t have. When it comes to standing out from the crowd, being heard and generating real space between you and the competition, many employers think they’re #winning, but in reality they’re out there sounding and acting just like everyone else.

There’s a Dutch photographer called Hans Eijkelboom. He’s created a collection of ‘anti-sartorial’ photographs entitled, ‘People of the 21st Century.’ He walked round town with a camera round his neck and the trigger in his pocket, snapping people while they were unaware. Sounds a little stalkerish but the way he arranged these photo’s is what we’re focusing on here.

In a world where we all think we’re individuals choosing to look, dress and act in a way that reflects our personality and celebrates our individuality, it’s remarkable just how identical we all actually look.

Have a quick look here to see what we mean.

So where are we going with this?

How can you grab someone’s attention, and keep it, when you’re only as appealing as the next employer down the road? How do you really take that step from aspiring to be different, to truly leading the pack and setting a great example? How do you become the envy of the competition?

In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing 10 pieces of content with you, the graduate recruiter, as you begin to assess your recent performance, define goals and objectives and plan for the year ahead.

Our aim is to make your life easier, so we’ll be sharing success stories, examples of client work and the results achieved, as well as some of the latest thinking that will help you to effectively manage your reputation, persuade and influence your audience and build those all important conversations on and offline.

Follow us on Twitter, Linked In or Google + to stay up to date, or follow our blog using the follow button to the top right of this post to receive an email each week when new content drops.

Of course, if there’s any topics you’re particularly interested in then be sure let us know, and we’ll even create your own personal bit of content around that topic and share it with our wider community to fire up a discussion and get our readers input.

See you next week and have a fabulous weekend!

The team at Tonic


Telling your digital story

Some great thoughts when considering digital channels and socialisation of your internal comms.

Agile IC

As more organisations move towards a fully integrated digital workplace it is important that you take your employees with you on the digital journey. If you want to be a digitally enabled business, you need to look beyond the investment in tools and make sure you are culturally ready as well.

The transition to a digital workplace isn’t an easy one, especially if you have been slow to embrace the digital revolution. There will be many employees that are wary of digital, and especially the speed at which things change.

It is important that you make your case for digital to your employees, so they can see and understand why the business is moving towards the change. There are many very good business reasons to look towards digital – including interactivity, collaboration, efficiency and cost.

When you are developing your digital story it is easy to look at components of…

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Did Microsoft’s new CEO hit the mark?

We can’t be quite sure what Satya Nadella said in the 3000 word memo sent to all Microsoft employees outlining the company vision and values. It may have been the best piece of internal communications possible. But in any context it would be interesting to see how it stacks up against the eleven words that Bill Gates used to do the same job a decade or two ago. I suspect that it wouldn’t be quite so memorable or compelling as ‘To put a computer on every desk and in every home’.

What makes a good piece of communication? Memorable? Punchy? Hard-hitting? Meaningful? Yes, of course these are all true. But, the best communication, the stuff that we remember works because it begins with what’s important to us, the person receiving the information, and the way that we consume knowledge, rather than the content that the communicator wants to send.

Does a 3000 word memo do that job, well yes, it probably does, for some people. But for others it more likely felt like a report to the board. And who wants to read those in their spare time?
In a world where we the majority consume information in bite-sized chunks, rapidly, between other important jobs and life events, it may be better to reflect that in the way that messages are communicated.

Segment the groups of people you need to build a dialogue with. Identify what’s important to them and personalize your message as much as you can. Vary your method too – video, podcast, hangout, town-hall meeting or even team level de-briefs are probably more effective, more memorable and more compelling than a single all-points bulletin. They’re also likely to take you less time to produce.

If the aim is to truly motivate people to work towards the company vision, to be more productive, or to signal a change in direction, then the message has to begin with ‘What do you need to know?’ rather than ‘What do I want to tell you?’ It’s the human face of business.


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TonicOn2: How not to build your brand

Here’s a recording to our first Google Hangout where we’re sharing some Tonic thinking around how NOT to build your brand. We focus on a number of factors that mean traditional marketing has fundamentally changed and that building real engagement with your audience requires a fresh approach.

This presentation followed the well received talk at the last #FIRMday. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks to share some more Tonic thinking with you all live, so watch this space…



Tonic’s two today


Wow. It’s the 4th July again. Independence Day. And Tonic’s birthday (expecting presents from you later).

We’re two today and, just like a wobbly toddler, we’ve learned a lot; thought new thoughts, found fresh ways of mastering age old problems and worked in more than 30 countries since July 2012, picking up ideas and new perspectives along the way – here are some of the things we’ve learned along the journey so far.

Push marketing died. RIP. Life and all the things that make it special; births, deaths, love, war, peace: life in all it’s wonderful, glorious breadth just gets in the way. You won’t beat the noise because recruitment marketing is incidental. Someone you don’t know, trying to hire you, right now, is just another marketing message to ignore. To be heard you have to listen first.

Human branding is showing its power. Our concept that the future of brand was human is in use more and more frequently by recruitment advertising agencies and employers alike. It’s great that our thinking is being listened to, and that the way we saw the world back then has helped build better conversations from Adelaide to Aberdeen. Not so good that for some people the Human Brand is just a phrase, a hook that looks good on a PowerPoint deck. To be truly Human, you need an entirely new philosophy – this is not just more comm’s, more media, more spend wrapped up under a different banner.

Community is where you’ll find the talent you need. That’s been part of our mantra since day one. But like human branding if you’re reading community but thinking about talent pools, talent pipelines and passive, one way communication flow – you’re barking up the wrong tree. Community means mutual support, give and take, becoming a utility. There’s that philosophical change again.

One conversation is not enough. We all have different priorities, different perspectives. As marketers we need to understand the preferences of the people we need to communicate with and segment, divide and personalise what we say to match. This is harder to do, but much more effective. It’s up to you whether you spend your time communicating well, or your money with an RPO screening bad candidates.

As we work into our third year we’re looking forward to learning, sharing, collaborating and celebrating with the people we work with. We’d love you to be part of that. Join our TonicOn community to get involved.

Independence. It’s an amazing thing.



Here’s a link to our presentation at The FIRM (Forum For In-House Recruitment Managers) conference a few weeks ago. It covers why all the things you think you know about brand and the people you’re trying to talk with, are in fact false. Controversial stuff – but makes a lot of sense when you take a moment to step out of your employer marketing or recruitment bubble.

The slides are 100% self explanatory too, so no need to have them bought to life. Tell us what you think – do you agree with our point of view, or is it a tough pill to swallow?