Archive for October, 2011

A ‘picture’ is worth a 140 characters


Twitter’s for words. 140 characters to say something with. Something relevant, intriguing, perhaps even witty. That’s all you can do, right? No. Ever heard of ASCII art?

(Prepare for a Geek speak paragraph.)

ASCII art is a technique that consists of pictures pieced together from the 95 printable (from a total of 128) characters defined by the ASCII Standard from 1963 and ASCII compliant character sets with proprietary extended characters (beyond the 128 characters of standard 7-bit ASCII).

(Phew. Normal service is now resumed.)

So now imagine what you could do to attract the attention of the average student. They use the online space at pace. What makes them stop and react on Twitter? How about a ‘picture’, perhaps. But no ordinary one though. One created ASCII-stylee. The reason? To create impact – with the audience. To be noticed – as widely as possible, thank you Mr ReTweet. And above all to create a response.

The above OMG generated over 400 click-thrus. And together with another four ASCII tweets, this ‘mini-campaign’ produced almost half the click-thrus in our social recruiting campaign.

Now do you remember that last *new vacancy* or ‘Now Hiring’ tweet you saw…

The unloved QR code

The haters always point to them being seen at inaccessible places, such as on the London Underground. ‘What’s the point?’ they moan, ‘There’s no signal, no wi-fi or anything.’ But when you get out of the underground? You can pick up your network in the street. Pop into Starbucks for a coffee and log on. And that’s before you even reach your wireless-enriched office.

How does that help with the unloved QR code on that poster you saw in the carriage when whizzing around the Circle Line? Well. If you’d scanned it. You’d be accessing it through the ‘History’ of your QR code reader as you enjoy your Crème Brûlée Macchiato. Nice.

So don’t just think ‘immediate access’ the next time you see a QR code in what you think is the ‘wrong place’. Think ‘bookmarked’ for future reference instead.

Is video killing the creativity of careers sites?

Video static

What’s going on? Websites, especially careers sites, seem to be losing all individuality. Remember the old acid test for seeing if your work was well branded? No? Then shame on you. When you covered over the logo and you could still ‘see’ who the communication was from. Go on, pick a few websites. Do the same. 2.0 stylee – just scroll down to hide the logo at the top of the page. Do they ooze the brand personality? Or do they blend in with each other? Where is the Big Idea?

Careers sites used to have them. Some still do. But nowadays you’re more likely to find a pick ‘n’ mix of the same old familiar ‘copy templates’. But with plenty of ‘head and shoulders’ profile videos. Different? Engaging? Once upon a time. But now, most just ‘bland’ into each other. Cutting from those talking heads to shots of open plan offices full of people sat at computers. “It’s showing what it’s really like” you say. It’s revealing very little of the culture of the business, is what we think. This type of video-added careers site is fast becoming the new recruitment ‘ad borderstyle’. They all do the same thing. Show a similar type of content. And all last for around 2 minutes. Vive la difference.