Case studies: the advertorial

Graduate RecruitmentFurther to my last blog post, I’ve put together the following case study of a copywriting project based on creating an advertorial for a recruitment agency.

The background

A recruitment agency specialising in jobs for graduates wanted to run an advert in a student magazine that would appeal to the young readership of the publication.

They didn’t want to patronise their audience by making the ad overly trendy or trying to adopt a tone of voice that didn’t necessarily represent the style of their company.

Instead, they wanted to focus on presenting the strengths of their consultants. The agency prides itself on staff training. Consultants are encouraged to take time to match the attributes of potential candidates to appropriate job vacancies. They like to distinguish themselves from their competitors by demonstrating a high level of attention towards researching job roles and briefing candidates.

The old

The company had previously run a series of conventional adverts that showed a photo of a professional-looking graduate shaking hands with a prospective employer. Next to this was a bullet point list of their main features, ending with an uninspiring strap line.

These ads generated a few phone enquiries but otherwise had met with limited success.

The new

It was obvious a fresh approach was needed. We decided to move away from a traditional advertising format and instead create a feature-style advertorial. The style, tone, and layout would be similar to the one used by the magazine and would hopefully appeal to the target audience.

An advertorial would give the agency an opportunity to share one its success stories. They decided to use the account of Amy, one of their recent placements, as an example.

The example

Amy had recently graduated with a degree in procurement and supply chain management. She was looking for a role in procurement but was unsure of the direction to take.

One of the agency’s specialist consultants spent time with Amy to discuss the various options open to her in both the public and private sectors. They also discussed how she saw her career developing.

What was important to Amy was career progression. She wanted to continue her studies whilst in full-time employment. Rather than putting Amy forward for every position that arose within the procurement field, the consultant researched each company first to see what they had to offer.

Amy was eventually successful in obtaining a graduate entry role within a large catering business. The catering company encouraged Amy to study for her next CIPS (Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply) qualification. Not only were they happy to allow Amy study-leave, they were also willing to contribute towards the cost of her course fees.

The conclusion

Although it’s too soon for actual statistics, since the advertorial featuring Amy appeared the agency has seen a marked increase in graduates registering with them.

It’s also taken a large volume of calls from students asking for advice regarding future employment prospects. In many cases, these students have yet to finish their degrees. However, as they’ve already made initial contact with the agency, it’s likely they’ll consider registering with them at a later date when they’re ready to enter the job market.

Related post: Make a persuasive case