Human resources is an interesting topic. However, many may feel they can’t relate to the role of a HR Director, or that HR decisions have no impact on them – but, this is not the case. Every single company in the world has to have a HR professional, or at least have to make decisions that would fall under the HR function.
Surprisingly, not many business schools have specific HR programmes, however, most business schools have a huge focus on HR in more general programmes such as the MBA or Masters in Management - as all business leaders need to have knowledge of how the HR function works. Due to this, business schools have an abundance of expert professors in the HR sector, and those who can talk more generally on business decisions that impact the HR function.
For this reason, HR centric press is a great place to gain media exposure for business school professors, who can use their expertise to talk on key HR issues and how these effect businesses, managers and employees. Not only this, but the audience of HR press is extremely relevant to business schools. Senior HR directors often consider studying at b-schools themselves to improve their wider business knowledge, but many HR directors also lead the executive training programmes for their staff, meaning many may be looking for business schools to partner with for executive education – so, the HR press is certainly an important sector for business schools to consider.
But, like all press outlets, it’s not easy to get coverage in, and there’s much more of an appetite for certain topics over others. So, here’s some tips on how to get coverage in HR press.
Impact on employees
The main function of the HR department is centred on people – the clue is in the name. So, when pitching potential stories for HR press, an interesting and appealing angle for the audience is a focus on employees. If you’re pitching a potential op-ed, it should focus on the impact of policies and initiative’s on employees. How will it benefit workers? How will they react to it? And, what does this mean for their role? Here’s a good example of a piece on research into corporate mindfulness, often employed by managers in firms. The researchers found that this would have a negative impact on employee’s wellbeing, which can be seen in this interview with HR Magazine.
Academic expertise on key challenges
Though the role of a HR professional differs across various industries, much of the key challenges they face are likely similar – whether it’s to do with training and development, implementing new technologies, or new regulation. A hook from a business school perspective, is op-eds that offer academic research or perspective to addressing these key challenges. HR professionals are interested in innovative ways to tackle the challenges they face in their day-to-day roles. Here’s a piece, for example, on HR Zone which uses academic research to focus on the impact of financial bonus schemes in companies, and whether they are beneficial or not.
HR professionals, of course, are interested in academic research, but sometimes some simple, practical advice from an expert, is much more transferable to their everyday role, and easier to implement to help with their practices. HR or even leadership professor can use their own personal knowledge and experiences to offer advice to a wider HR audience – something that will be hugely interesting to HR outlets. Here’s an example of a piece in HR Zone, featuring a number of professors, offering practical advice on how to manage cross-cultural teams effectively.
Macro to micro
HR professionals are extremely interested in the impact of potential macro-economic policies on their job roles. We’ve seen this a lot recently, in the lead up to the UK general election, where HR press have focused on how potential governmental policies are going to impact on not only the role of a HR professional, but the role of all employees in a company. Experts who can digest a macro policy, and simply explain what impact this will have at a micro level are always going to be of interest to HR press. Here’s an example of a professor discussing sustainable careers in HR Magazine, and how government policies around this topic could ensure employees have a better working life.
HR is no different to any other industry, in the sense that it is being hugely affected by technology. So-called Industry 4.0 has drastically impacted the HR function, with many companies utilising AI, data analytics and machine learning in their practices. But this is completely new ground to most HR professionals, who traditionally as an industry have been a little reluctant to adopt new technology in the past. Expert opinion and comment around how tech can be implemented into HR and the benefits it can have, is certainly of interest to the HR press. Here’s an example in HR Review, where a professor discusses the impact and benefits of analytics in HR.