Monday, March 2, 2009

Using PR to attract

Today, I've been having a number of conversations about the use of PR in promoting an employer, or a particular role. It's an approach with huge potential, yet one I've never seen offered by agencies other than on a 'by-the-job' approach.

However. Isn't it one of the most important aspects of promoting your employer brand? Ensuring that, in the long-term, newsworthy outlets accurately communicate aspects of the organisational culture, and not rely on hearsay or assumption, or someone they've grabbed off the street who will say something controversial?

And won't using PR effectively ultimately mean that employers get more of the right people - people who are more engaged and more productive because they've joined for the right reasons?

I say this on the back of then noticing this on the BBC news website. It's a rather sombre assessment of the state of Social Worker recruitment in the UK. Those of us who have worked in this area know that attraction and retention doesn't get much more challenging.

So why has this story broken without there being one iota of positive news about it? If I was interested in in social issues - which I must be since I was reading the story - what are the positive things that get me thinking "Jeez, that sounds like tough work - but on the other hand...".

Put simply, this article paints a grey and dismal picture - there's no speak of reward, support, kudos, or even any stories of the amazing people who have made such a big difference to peoples' lives.

You need to be newsworthy to succeed in PR. But you need to use it to your advantage too.


  1. Really good points. I work in PR and my client's problems with PR for recruitment in the downturn is that they see it very black and white; they don't need staff so that isn't an objective of the PR. I think they hope (and in fairness often get) that their potential employees will pick up on some of the PR they generate with other objectives in mind (targeting customers).

  2. Thanks for the response Emily.

    In my game, PR we would be around positioning the organisation as an employer - i.e. why someone would want to work there.

    At the moment, I don't think many employers pick up on the fact that doing this right ultimately means attracting more of the best people, which inevitably leads to increased productivity. It's not just on short-term units sold.


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