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Tested Messaging

Recruiting Resources

Tested Messaging

GFO Research Team (Wendy Adams and Savannah Logan)
December 10, 2019

Good messaging should contain a “lead” and be centered on a core message. For the Get the Facts Out project, the core message is:

Did you know teachers rate their lives better than all other occupation groups, trailing only physicians?
Gallup Healthways poll of 172,000 U.S. working adults

Our testing has indicated that the core message must be written using the wording above; other versions of this message do not test well. It is also important that this message is up front in your materials and not buried under other messages. This message can act as the lead to your materials, meaning that it comes first in your messaging; other messages can follow it in order of their importance.

Messaging should also generally follow the SUCCES(S) principle1:

  • Simple
  • Unexpected
  • Concrete
  • Credentialed
  • Emotional
  • Story

We have found that long messages generally do not test well, except for one recent testimonial that has tested extremely well:

“Before I had any definite idea of what I wanted to do, I felt like I had a responsibility to make some sort of positive impact on the world and people around me. I gravitated toward engineering as the process of creating lasting solutions to real problems, but it concerned me that the impact of my work would start and end with my own presence and effort. I wanted to bring about sustainable positive change that would continue to propagate on its own, and teaching has so far seemed like the best way to do that. While I feel that my education at Mines has prepared me to be an effective engineer, I believe that my time is better spent giving others the tools to critically evaluate and address the challenges they encounter.“
- Blue O’Brennan, Colorado School of Mines

We encourage you to use the above testimonial in your messaging materials. Note that it works best as one long message and should not be broken into parts.

Below are other successful phrases, taglines, presentation names, and materials based on our focus groups. We are currently engaged in further testing of these via a large-scale online survey. A few notes about using these materials:

  1. Students and faculty respond differently to some of the written and visual materials, so separate posters, brochures, etc. should be designed based on your target audience (e.g. posters for faculty lounges should not be the same as posters for student lounges).
  2. If you choose to alter the written materials provided or create your own content, we strongly recommend that you test your content before using it. This can be done using individual interviews or focus groups with students and faculty members. The basic procedure is to show your audience your content, then ask them if it increases, decreases, or does not change their view of the teaching profession.
  1. Student Messaging:
    1. Did You Know…
      • Did you know... that there are student loan forgiveness programs and scholarships for math and science teachers?
      • Did you know... most teaching jobs have better retirement benefits than other jobs you can get with the same degree?
      • Did you know... you can get a job almost anywhere as a science or math teacher?
      • Did you know… science teachers report having higher or equivalent overall job satisfaction compared to other STEM professionals?
      • Did you know… teachers rate their lives better than all other occupation groups, trailing only physicians?
    2. Taglines
      • Inspire young minds. Teach science!
    3. Presentation names
      • Busting Myths about the Teaching Profession
      • Build a better tomorrow by teaching the youth of today
    4. Testimonials/Other
      • Engineers make Bridges - Artists make Paintings - Scientists make Rockets - But Teachers make them All.
      • “I really like the ability to still explore higher level physics while being a teacher, whether it is through college level teaching (evening labs or online classes) or summer opportunities like the Quarknet group. Having summers off allows for time to go explore and still be involved with industry level physics”
  2. Faculty Messaging:
    1. Did You Know…
      • Did you know… teachers rate their lives better than all other occupation groups, trailing only physicians?
      • Did you know… most teaching jobs have better retirement benefits than private industry?
    2. Taglines
      • Build a better tomorrow by creating teachers today.
      • Inspire young minds. Teach science!
    3. Presentation names
      • Teaching – The best kept secret!
    4. Other
      • Engineers make Bridges - Artists make Paintings - Scientists make Rockets - But Teachers make them All.
      • There are few things in the world that will make as big of a difference in someone’s life as a great teacher; follow your passion without sacrificing your quality of life, be a science teacher.

1 Health, C. (2007). Made to Stick. Random House.