TikTok and Reels for university comms – better than a brochure!

by | Aug 19, 2022

A lesson here from university comms that is inspiring for us all – and once again we’re talking Tiktok and Reels!

Content of the week goes to the University of Hertfordshire.

This post hasn’t not gone hugely viral (though the numbers are good), and it’s not a big budget campaign.

But this is a brilliant university comms – a deceptively effective Reel with a big teachable moment.

TikTok screenshot of Herts University


Why it’s great

When you are looking for somewhere to live, you want to know what it’s actually like!

This post by the university comms team means potential residents don’t have to schlep all the way to the uni on an open day before they see the rooms.

In a few seconds we see all we need to know about the accommodation, in a fraction of the time it would take to read a website or wordy brochure with a photo or two.

It’s actually better than a brochure because it’s not beautifully lit, taken by a photographer who is trying to make it look bigger than it is, or photoshopped.

The rooms look lovely of course – but it’s real and believable!

Beautiful work, well done University of Hertfordshire!

What it teaches us

Let me take you back.

Remember the days when if you were going to make a video at work, you’d be:

  • Getting in specialist producers or using pricey camera equipment or a studio
  • Briefing your colleague or client to talk to camera
  • Spending a bloody age on the creative, planning, filming and editing

Well I do.

Sometimes these video were worth the effort, and sometimes they were big fat turkeys -and maybe a vanity project for one of the top execs, but had no value to the audience.

TikTok and Reels have changed all that.

It doesn’t need to be slick to work on social media.

And actually, rough and ready on social media is more appropriate, more strategic.

It’s not video made for TV, it’s meant to sit alongside ordinary people’s content.

Polished corporate videos belong on monitors in boardrooms for old farts.

Great news for us.

We can show our brand as it really is – filmed on a phone in real places, not mocked up scenes in studios.

We can quickly try out ideas, see if they work.

Without a budget, with no overthinking, and without the pressure of it being perfect.

We don’t need cheesy presenters or employees preaching to camera.

We can be quick, experimental, creative.

This is the new, exciting, creative era for university comms and marketing professionals.

And ALL of us who work in social media.

And of course, if you’d like some inspiration and skills for the new era, we have courses for that.



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Hel Reynolds

Hel Reynolds

Author of this post

Hel is social media trainer and boss of Comms Creatives. She has been working in comms since 2005, and has been brushing up her expertise in social media for brands since the good old days of MySpace. She also draws the Comms Cartoons, and is usually attached to a mug of coffee.

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