Annie Hayes at PRWeek Jobs shares advice on how to ensure PR agencies put employer branding at the fore in a post pandemic world.
Storytelling: Framing the pitch is the mastery of the PR profession and it shouldn’t be ignored when it comes to selling the business to employees either. Tailoring the value proposition to fit the climate is the key. What is the business doing to support remote employees? How is wellbeing assessed with a dispersed and hybrid workforce? Is the business reshaping strategy to ensure that employees are centre stage and reintegrated in appropriate ways to deal with an external environment in which COVID-19 is still prevalent? The profession must adapt existing communication channels and roll out new ways to analyse which ways are best to reach the target audience.
Sensitivity: Everyone’s experience of COVID-19 is personal and varied. It’s important to empathise with different attitudes. It’s ok to be silent some of the time but it is important to communicate the company values and relate that to the ongoing environment. It may not be relevant to promote holiday posts, for example, but it may be worthwhile to focus on virtual networking events, socially distanced meetups, Google hangouts and home workout routines. As legislation and guidance eases, it’s important that businesses are sensitive to incremental changes.
Relevance: Live content, podcasts, blogs and video Q&As are all quick and easily digestible content that can offer bite-sized brand messaging that can be accessed anywhere and anytime. Frequency of content should be evaluated. Many remote employees find the overload of information too much, particularly when that is not interspersed with face-to-face opportunities. Ensure it is regular but not too much, and on point.
Targeted: PR can be perceived as a young person’s game so branding messages need to reach out to this demographic. Workers that are in the younger age bracket may be keen to get back to the office and tap into social interaction, whereas middle-aged and older workers may have enjoyed the time with family and the loss of the commute. It’s important that the business can offer an agile framework in which employees of all ages that desire different things can be catered for yet treated equally.
Recruit to win: Office perks and nine-to-five hours are no longer going to appeal to many. If you are well known in the market, candidates will already have an opinion about you but if you are in PR, this matters even more so because the story can be re-told. ‘What it’s like to work here,’ can be delivered by video and e-content. If you can build a strong employer brand, the people you need will already be engaged with you before you ever actually reach out to them. Recruitment over Teams or Zoom is also the new hiring landscape, so ensure that candidates are informed about what the process entails and how it is managed.
Agile working that appeals to a remote workforce that may find it hard to adapt back to the office is a key part of the post-COVID employer branding message. Employees want to know what the expectations are and how their employer will support them while furthering their career. Digitally enabled comms is the way this can be delivered and moulded to ensure the new value proposition fits an ever-changing climate.
Learn how to rethink your employer brand in this downloadable ebook: Employer Branding Reboot: A guide for employers throughout the pandemic and beyond
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