Denise Oyston is the CEO of Super Fast Recruitment a company dedicated to help recruitment organisation attract more clients, candidates and talent.
The last couple of articles I’ve written here have focused on the power of sales and marketing to generate leads consistently for your recruitment organisation.
Last week one M.D. contacted me about the value of P.R. and what it might do for his brand and subsequent lead flow. His exact question was; “Is it worth the investment?” Here are my thoughts.
With the huge array of ‘advertising’ and lead generation opportunities available for recruitment organisations P. R. (Public Relations) might seem old hat and yet it’s a powerful strategy.
A common quotation states that; “there is no such thing as bad publicity”.
The theory is that as long as people are talking about you, it’s a good thing. Even if they’re saying awful things about your agency the publicity is still supposed to be good because your name is on the top of people’s minds, keeping you relevant.
And in some cases, this is true. However, the context and content is important as I am sure the Michael page group are currently experiencing.
A collection of their employers allegedly created havoc in an Australian Ski resort and this was picked up across the globe. I am sure they would have preferred a glowing report on how they help organisations grow through their talent finding skills rather than what appeared.
On a positive note good news can go viral with the upshot that your brand can appear in front of multiple opportunities you never thought might be possible.
Raising awareness of your recruitment brand
When recruitment business owners create a business plan they often include a level of advertising spend but neglect to include public relations, one of the most cost-effective methods for small businesses to raise awareness and consequently build their brand in their particular sector.
P.R can be a cost effective strategy with many online and offline publications on the scour for good news.
P.R. versus Advertising
Often, public relations gets confused with advertising. PR is concerned with managing perceptions and building relationships with the people who use your products and services through strategic forms of communication.
That might be an announcement about your new branch office or how you are working with a local employer to build their new team.
One of the recruitment companies we work with has managed to get themselves on local radio on multiple occasions, commenting on local employment issues to the point where they are now asked to give career advice.
What is newsworthy
“What can we do and where should we start?” are the first two questions we are asked. The good news is that there are a number of techniques you can utilise which I’ll cover in a second, first though….
Get your house in order
Have you ever had that experience of meeting friends at the pub and as the night draws to a close it seems like a great idea to invite them back for a coffee?
Suddenly you remember that you have left your underwear drying on all the radiators, the sink is full of dishes and your two golden retrievers will probably be snoring on the coach?
Not the sort of impression you want to make is it?
It’s the same in business; Fact- first impressions can count.
P.R. will result in more visitors to your website and LinkedIn profile and potentially your Facebook and Twitter presence too.
What do you want potential candidates and clients to find?
I’d suggest a clear statement of what you do (your value proposition), access to good content, case studies and testimonials. All of which ‘should’ be part of your marketing plan.
Let’s assume you can tick all these boxes? What next.
As a first port of call you can hire a professional to help you. This will depend on your budget and the size of your organisation. If you aren’t totally sure of what the impact might be for your organisation you can get started yourself.
Developing your own online awareness
There are a number of straight forward ways to do this available now because of our access to the World Wide Web.
Every recruitment business owner will have social media channels. As a first step post the following on all your channels i.e. LinkedIn profiles and company pages, Twitter, Facebook etc.
- Blog content
- Company news
- Case studies
Doing this alone will increase your reach to a wider market.
Online press releases
Many people are unaware that you can distribute your own press release online. You can even get them written for you by using the many freelance websites available e.g. Up work, peopleperhour etc.
Your release will be distributed to multiple websites and can be picked up by the big national sites. Google ‘online press release services’ and take your pick.
Making a splash in your market
You might want to make a mark in your specific sector or in your local community.
You will be surprised what a few well-placed emails and phone calls can do. Provided you remember WIIFT...
A slight derivation from normal sales speak, in other words ‘What.Is.In.It.For.Them?
Local news outlets, trade journals and affiliations are always on the lookout for items that are newsworthy and relevant to share with their readers. In order to make this work you have to make your approach, to a local newspaper or trade journal/website something they would be interested in.
For instance, if you are a member of REC or APSCo you will have access to the latest employment figures and data. Sharing an opinion on this data is highly likely to get a slot in their next publication or bulletin.
Take action. Look at your own marketing plans for this year and start making connections now with your local news portals and trade journals. It’s not difficult to find out the editor’s name and get in contact. Offer your experience and expertise and give them some good news to shout about and you will almost guarantee your inclusion.