Your Audiences: Communications Messages for Everyone (#2 in a series)
Search Pieces & Travel Pieces
Search pieces and travel pieces are your opportunity to introduce your school to a new audience—through powerful images, beautiful design, and mission-driven messages. When we work with our educational partners, whether at independent schools or colleges—we start our work by establishing the most compelling messages that resonate with our client’s target audience. We do this through a process of qualitative research—focus groups and interviews—that allows us to speak directly to the people who know your institution the best—students, faculty, staff, and alums. This work is lead by our two senior writing associates, Michael Butler and Kristine Connor.
Getting these messages on target is so important for a publication like a search or travel piece in which you are trying to convey both the things that your institution does well and those that may differentiate you from your competitors in a concise way. Like an advertisement, it needs to leave a lasting impression. There are several approaches to this type of piece. One is to send a simple letter to a vast pool of prospects guiding them to a website to capture their information, the other is to send a more polished piece that conveys your messages to a group of qualified candidates. The first approach is likely to increase inquiries who may or may not convert to suitable applicants. The second approach is likely to generate interest from prospective students who are genuinely curious about your institution.
As we create many of these pieces we find that there is no substitute for striking photography to help you convey your messages. Great photos of your students interacting on campus create a sense of place and atmosphere, allowing your prospective students to envision themselves at your school. (click here to see examples of great KWD photography)
Finally, keeping in mind that the goal of these pieces is to compel prospective students to take action by visiting your website and/or campus, it is important that any follow up interaction carries through on the promise of your messages. From websites and viewbooks to campus visits and tour guides, all of these exchanges are opportunities to convey your school as unique and special. The search piece is the first of these—but fundamentally different from every other part of the communications package, because it’s main goal is to intrigue, not to inform or sell. Like advertising, it’s all about impact and hook.
Click below for some pieces that we've created for clients: