When it comes to helping your company achieve its goals, great communication can be what makes the difference. So, here are some of the reasons why you should invest in recruitment agency PR.
With over 500 million tweets sent every day, it is essential to have an understanding of how Twitter’s algorithm works if your recruitment firm is to rise above the noise and attract new candidates and clients on the platform.
If there’s one PR issue that recruitment agency owners are arguably most concerned about it’s what to do in a crisis. Whether this be a breaking news story about some less than scrupulous actions from an employee or potentially detrimental information about your firm’s finances being leaked, implementing a damage limitation process at this time is crucial for businesses of all sizes. But it’s not an easy task. So how should you handle a PR crisis?
In the business world, and particularly in recruitment, people are considered a company’s greatest asset – and rightly so. Not only do your staff get the actual work done, they also hold the key to your very best marketing strategy – employee advocacy.
When it comes to PR, sitting down and strategising before embarking on a campaign is essential. A well thought out, comprehensive strategy can often make the difference between success and failure. Correct planning will help you organise your ideas, make sure your core messages are congruent, work out your target audience and decide on the tactics that you will use to target them. While ‘make a plan’ might sound like the most obvious statement in the book, it’s something that often gets overlooked or doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. So, with that in mind – here’s some simple tips for how to create a PR plan.
Have you noticed a decline in your recruitment firm’s organic reach across social media over the last few years? You’re not alone. Algorithm changes at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter have all negatively impacted the number of people that businesses are able to reach. But what can you do about it? Here are five methods that you can implement to help your recruitment agency overcome the decline in organic reach and improve its performance across its social media channels. Five ways to overcome the decline in organic reach on social media 1. Understand the algorithms
We often hear about the importance of having good presentation skills in life. But while for some, the idea of presentations seems exciting and a great way to communicate their thoughts – for others the idea of public speaking and presenting can understandably fill them with dread. It can be an utterly nerve wracking experience standing up in front of a crowd – no matter what the subject matter is. However, presenting skills are crucial in the art of communication, and particularly important when pitching for new business, training a team or if you are involved in public speaking.
It might sound a little biased coming from me, but I’m going to explain why hiring a PR agency is worth it.
Companies invest considerable time and money into PR campaigns. While PR measurement may be a chore to some, without it you won’t learn anything, and won’t be able to improve future PR efforts. Measurement is an integral part of communications, and something that pays dividends in the long run. However, so many companies are neglecting it, with 50-60% of PR campaigns having no method of evaluation at all. Here’s how to measure PR effectively: How to measure PR effectively: Goal-setting Ultimately, the return on your investment depends on the desired goals of a campaign, so goal-setting is fundamental. These targets should be as quantitative as possible and address who, what, when and how much the program is intended to affect. This could mean an increase in client acquisition in your sector, or higher numbers of candidate registration. Goals should all be agreed on upfront, along with the metrics for measuring them. Business results
You’re an excellent recruiter and you know it, but when it comes to writing, perhaps not. Don’t worry though, this shouldn’t stop you from starting a business blog that is packed with search engine optimised posts that will keep customers glued to your page. Poetic writing may be a benefit, but honestly, it all comes down to the content. Here at BlueSky PR we write quite a few blogs which is why we have devised a checklist that will guide you through creating your own. Why you need to be starting a business blog It is clear that content is the present and future of marketing. It is a powerful tool that allows you to build your brand image in one of the most direct ways. In fact, creating content is vital going into the future, as nowadays customers are seeking brands that align with their ethics and seeking more information about their message. Demand Metric found that 68% of people spend time reading about brands that interest them. A great example of a brand blog is Etsy. The site connects individuals with sellers around the globe while maintaining a high-quality, fun blog. The site excels in providing content that is fit for purpose while maintaining its company voice. Without a doubt, the blog helps establish the brand as an expert in its field. So, why not stay up to date with the latest trends and show what your business stands for by writing your very own blog.
In an increasingly candidate-led market, it is more important than ever that your recruitment firm’s marketing is as effective as can be. Candidate personas enable you to successfully target jobseekers and produce compelling content that resonates with them so that you can save time, money and resources on finding the perfect candidate for your client. What are candidate personas? A candidate persona is a semi-fictional representation of your recruitment firm’s ideal applicant for a specific job role. A persona is created by defining the characteristics, skills and traits that make up the perfect hire.
Branding and PR are key ingredients to the success of any business. Therefore, from the word go it’s important a company has established its brand identity, message and image it wants to put out there. Similarly, in order to maximise your brand, a PR strategy is a vital tool for helping organisations grow an industry presence, communicate their message and further their reach. In essence, to get the most out of your business you need the two to work in tandem as they influence each other. With this in mind, here are three key ways a PR strategy can help build and maximise your brand. Consistency is key for brand identity Look at Coca Cola for example – it’s one brand that we all value and recognise across the globe. With stats showing 98% of the world’s population recognise the brand name, while it certainly is impressive – this didn’t happen overnight. Sometimes unknown to the naked eye, it takes a PR and marketing strategy that is consistently and succinctly driving home a company’s message, its brand image, latest news and communicating this with a targeted audience. In this instance, Coca Cola is all about enjoying a light carbonated drink – so the PR strategy is all about making sure audiences and consumers associate good and positive feelings with the brand. A case in point, the company’s latest motto is “Taste the feeling” which is linked to all the new flavours the business has recently launched.
I’ve previously written on why public relations is an art, rather than a science. However, that doesn’t mean that PR skills training isn’t vital to the professional success of individual practitioners – and the media campaigns they develop and execute. The benefits of professional development As a consultancy which specialises in the recruitment and talent management sectors, we often work with our clients to share stories around the benefits of professional development. Research from Guidant Group, for example, recently found that almost half of businesses (47%) believe that developing staff internally will be their greatest opportunity over the next three years. The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), meanwhile, often shares insight into the impact that CPD has on boosting staff engagement, motivation and productivity.
I recently contributed to a great initiative launched by Alex Moyle and Louise Triance called the A-Z of Recruiting success. You can see all the contributors on Alex’s blog but my particular letter was H for Hero Content. For me Hero Content really is a recruitment marketing dream because it gives you so much more to work with than one piece of content. Content driven recruitment marketing We all know that original content that adds value and addresses a particular pain point of your audience is likely to get more engagement than any other. But for busy recruitment marketers or for owner managers that don’t have the luxury of an in-house recruitment marketing team, this can be difficult to achieve on a regular basis. This is where hero content really comes into its own.
The New Year is always a great time for new beginnings and new objectives. And for recruitment agencies, it’s a great time to plan for the year ahead – and what a year it’s looking to be. What lies in store for the UK economy is certainly unknown. Indeed, the only certainty is uncertainty. For every business, now is the time to look at how to weather the storm and, in my view at least, having a robust marketing and PR strategy in place will prove hugely valuable in the coming months. In fact, this formed the topic for a recent webinar I hosted. So how can recruiters and marketing teams create a strategy that’s impactful, relevant and can withstand the potential changes that lie ahead? Start at the beginning It might sound like an obvious statement, but when setting out your plans for the coming months, it’s vital that you take a step back and consider the ‘why’ before the ‘how’. Defining exactly what you want to achieve from any activity and why, will put you in a far greater position to see demonstrable results that are aligned with your agency’s growth plans. And while of course the most ambitious firms might have a number of objectives, being minimalistic will often deliver greater results than taking an all-encompassing approach. By trying to cover all bases at once, you’ll be spreading resources rather thin and, as a result, will be unlikely to see the desired impact. Instead, setting three clear targets to begin with and investing time and energy in achieving this will deliver greater ROI.
More than 100 targeted press releases 50 comment opportunities secured in The Times, FT, Telegraph and Forbes 1500 mentions for clients in the recruitment and HR press 7 winning award submissions written for clients Sponsors of The Recruitment Network On The Edge Marketing Conference Recruitment Leaders Connect Social media Generated over 1.02m impressions for our clients Increased client followers by more than 400% 152 client blog posts written One LinkedIn campaign alone delivered leads equivalent to 192 x ROI based on average fees Regular engagement from publications including Accountancy Age, CSO Insights, Compare the Cloud, Financial Director, Marketing Week, Recruitment International and Relocate Global
You may have heard the term before, but aren’t exactly sure what it means, how it can benefit your business, or why it’s named after a tree. So what is evergreen content? Evergreen content is content that is relevant now and long after it is published. It can show up in a variety of formats, such as ‘how-to’ articles, top ten lists, case studies, and much more. Topics that work well for this are those that are part of our everyday lives, or relevant for everyone within a certain industry or subculture. Be it health, finance, careers, family, or relationships, evergreen content will flourish regardless of what’s going on in the news. News articles, statistics and reports, and trending topics are typically not suitable for this. Long-term potential
Did you know that you can see the Facebook and Twitter ads your competitors in the recruitment industry are running?
In my short time at BlueSky, I’ve written a lot of blogs. This has meant a fair amount research on what makes a great post, and also reading some which aren’t very good at all! If my experience has taught me anything, by making sure you do these often overlooked things, you can take your blog to the next level. So, here's my list of 8 overlooked ingredients for a successful blog post: 1. Making a point This might seem obvious, but many blog articles have nothing to say. Well, they might have something to say, but they don’t have a point. When your blog has a solid hook, it gives readers a reference point to latch onto, making them more likely to share, comment, and engage. 2. Giving away knowledge Many bloggers and companies alike hold back their best knowledge in fear of giving away their ‘secrets’ for free. However, with the wealth of information available on the internet, your ‘secrets’ are probably not as valuable as you think, and this information will end up being put out elsewhere – by someone else. By giving out as much value as you can in your blogs, you’ll become more attractive to visitors.
Joining hundreds of PR professionals for a day of insight, debate and discussion, I recently attended the #CommsCon 2018 event hosted by Cision. Designed to inspire PR and comms strategies for the year ahead, attendees heard first hand from major brands and journalists, topics included: how roles in the industry have changed; what stories they want to hear from PRs; how to ensure your creating content with a purpose; and the best approach to crisis management. Below are the key takeaways from the event to help inspire your 2019 PR strategy. Purpose driven content … why does it matter? While most organisations recognise the value of creating content based on news, shared interests or worthy causes – to have content with a real purpose extends beyond that. As Peter Heneghan, Head of communication at LADbible said during the discussion, “We often get asked, what are the core ingredients to make something go viral – actually, the intention shouldn’t be to go viral but to make content an audience will love and relate to.”
“So, what is PR?” Sometimes I really dread this question when I go to networking events – it’s one of those things you know you’re going to be asked, but in many cases, my response is never quite believed. Whenever I explain what I do I’m challenged: “Well, that’s copywriting, isn’t it?”
The disparity between what a business thinks is an interesting PR story, and the information that actually grabs the attention of target publications, is often vast. However, by viewing potential press angles through the eyes of the audience, brands can uncover stories which won’t fail to make headlines. In reality, even the most niche publications are unlikely to have much interest in the fact that you have had an office refurbishment, refreshed your website or invested in a new coffee machine. That is, of course, unless you have a solid angle as to ‘why’ you have made those changes which you can lead on: for example, you have updated your jobs pages to be accessible to disabled candidates to increase applications from this underrepresented group. Otherwise, save those nuggets for building your employer brand though social media. Sitting on a wealth of information
Social media continues to transform the way in which recruitment agencies are able to reach their target audiences, source candidates and showcase their company culture.
We recently attended a roundtable hosted by The Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI), which aims solely to break down the barriers facing disabled people in the workforce. On the day, attendees came together to discuss the hurdles disabled individuals face and how the recruitment industry must work together to truly make a difference. The main theme centred on how we can enable technology for disabled talent and the impact it is currently having. Attendees discussed the types of technologies available which are designed to help those with impairments and disabilities. Challenges voiced ranged from ways to alter the application process, how to change attitudes and the importance of reasonable adjustments. Currently 75% of disabled people believe their condition is a barrier to employment, while the Business Disability Forum has found that 71% of disabled people will click away from websites they struggle to use or access content on. With this in mind, it is crucial that recruitment firms take a fresh look at how accessible application processes are to disabled candidates if they are to tap into this valuable pool of talent.
While expertly executed PR programmes, based on carefully constructed plans, are the bedrock of any successful PR campaign, reactive PR and marketing activity can offer brands a fast-track route to getting their voices heard. And this technique was something that Counter Terrorism Policing UK demonstrated perfectly, when it capitalised on the popularity of BBC’s The Bodyguard: the most watched new British drama in more than a decade, with more than 10 million viewers tuning in to the first episode. Demonstrable ROI By creating a social campaign tagged to the hit show - which offered behind the scenes insight and directed viewers to learn more about working in the sector - the comms team successfully tapped into a ready-made audience to gain demonstrable ROI.
This is a guest blog by Olly Dunn, a final year Business & Management undergraduate at Nottingham Trent University. As I was scrolling through my LinkedIn feed the other day I came across a video showcasing a self-driving bulldozer that digs trenches based on job plans. As cool (and scary) as it is to see how far technology has developed, it got me thinking about to what extent robotics, and AI in particular, could replace the human worker, and whether the ‘human touch’ could ever be taken out of the recruitment process completely. AI, or machine learning and robotics are becoming an ever more integrated phenomenon in a multitude of sectors. Amazon is one example of a company ahead of the game, from its fully automated warehouses, to Alexa as your new personal assistant, to intelligent algorithms analysing your buying patterns for future purchase suggestions, the brand’s use of technology is everything AI was intended to be and is working wonders for the logistics giant.
There’s no doubt that recruitment agencies are sitting on a wealth of important information, even if not all of them realise the full value of it. While recruiters will certainly be drawing on their own knowledge and the data in their CRM to help them source, shortlist, interview and place candidates, agencies will also benefit from sharing their understanding of the hiring landscape more widely. At BlueSky PR, we know that a great way for a business to position itself as an industry expert is by highlighting its unique insights into candidate and client behaviour. Here are our top tips for making the most of the information that you have.
You may have heard about the bold move from global sports company Nike, selecting Colin Kaepernick, (ex-NFL player and US civil rights activist) as the new face of its global advertising campaign.
In this ‘always on’ digital age, social media has become incredibly important for recruitment agencies. However, one of the biggest challenges facing marketers is securing buy-in from senior management who sometimes fail to recognise the value that social media has to offer. Here are three tips for producing a successful business case to put forward to your firm’s executives. 1. Be Clear Before approaching senior management, you need to have a clear idea in mind of what exactly it is that you are seeking buy-in for and the reasons why. Are you looking to address a problem you have been experiencing, such as attracting new candidates or promoting an upcoming event? Or have you spotted a social media-related opportunity? And how much time or resources will be required to make it a success? Whilst this may seem obvious, these answers will help you to communicate your case clearly and succinctly.
Given the very nature of recruitment, losing a client to a competitor is a tough, but rather common situation, particularly as prices become increasingly competitive. However, all is not lost. Rather than bemoan the fact that the client has moved on (even if you know they are prioritising money over quality), why not take a more strategic approach? You’ll likely have plenty of other highly engaged clients who value your agency – use them to your advantage to not only win clients back, but engage with new ones as well. Produce case studies of the results you’ve delivered to these businesses, focusing your attention on how only your agency could achieve this. If you’ve recently lost accounts to lower priced competitors, place an emphasis on the return on investment your clients have noted – including the added value that they received from using your agency over others. And, perhaps more importantly, share this content far and wide. Get people liking and talking about the case studies across your networks. Consider the hashtags you’re using as well. Look back at posts from your previous clients’ accounts and use any relevant ones to ensure they see the content you’re sharing.
As all business owners know, your reputation is something which is carefully built and you want to avoid damaging that at all costs. However, there’s a recent cautionary tale for recruiters everywhere, which involves the boss of a Sydney-based agency causing his company to go viral on social media for all the wrong reasons. Marcus Wood, Director of Mars Recruiting, sent an angry internal all-staff email titled ‘Friday observation’ which was shared externally and quickly found its way online. Suits, sick days and sackings In the communication, the director lists a number of things which he says are “getting on my t*ts”, including “endless ping pong” during core hours and “not even bothering to put a suit on or pretending to look the part.” The catalogue of annoyances ends with him comparing their sick days to a film about a man dying of AIDS and a grumble that they are “a cost to the company and me personally.” He signs off with the threat that “if you don’t pick up your game massively you will see your sorry a**es fired and slung out the door in under 3 months.” An all-staff apology Wood later apologised to staff, saying that when he sent the email he was “not at my loquacious best,” and admitted that it was written “in a moment of seeing red and most definitely should not have happened.” He added, “It seems I am becoming an online sensation for how NOT to communicate.”
As partners of The Recruitment Network (TRN) we recently attended a Directors Briefing event where industry representatives came together to discuss the biggest hurdles firms face today in attracting talent. The main themes focused around sourcing new skills to pipeline future growth and where agencies are going wrong when there is the opportunity to get it right.
Positioning your brand as a thought leader in its field through PR takes not only a superior understanding of the market, but also time and dedication. However, while there is no shortcut to building a solid media profile, generating data through surveying your networks can supercharge a press release by boosting both newsworthiness and the potential to repurpose. Flick through any national newspaper, or scroll through any major newsfeed, and you’ll find that a significant number use statistics as a hook. Thanks to the power of polls, we know that Magnums are the UK’s favourite ice cream, England’s progress in the World Cup increased national pride and two thirds of voters are baffled by Theresa May’s Brexit policy. None of these stories are particularly surprising – but you can guarantee they wouldn’t have made headlines without the figures to back them up.
It has been almost two years since Instagram transformed its feed by introducing an algorithm and for the first time it has revealed the ranking factors behind it which influence what users see on the platform. So how exactly does the algorithm work? And how can you use these ranking factors to increase your recruitment firm’s engagement on Instagram? Instagram’s ranking criteria Instagram stated that it uses machine learning based on past behaviour to create a unique feed for each and every one of its 800 million users around the world. This means that if a group of users follow the exact same accounts as one another, they will still receive a personalised feed based on exactly how they interact with those accounts. For example, if two candidates – candidate A and candidate B – are following your recruitment agency and candidate A always engages with your firm’s posts but candidate B only interacts on occasion then it is likely that your posts will appear towards the top of candidate A’s feed but much further down in candidate B’s. This is due to three main factors:
If there’s one thing we can guarantee to be asked in PR it’s this: why should I outsource to you rather than manage it myself? While it’s completely understandable that business owners will feel reluctant to put their reputation in the hands of others, my argument is that they should. Yes, I’m sure many of you are thinking “well she would say that wouldn’t she” but let me explain why. Let the experts be the experts We each have our own job to do. For firms involved in the talent management arena, the focus of every member of staff will be winning new clients and growing their network. As a result, writing the next company blog or an article for a leading industry-specific publication will be at the bottom of their priority list – even if it is beneficial for business growth. And, of course, there’s the further issue of feeling comfortable approaching a journalist in the first place and finally putting the metaphorical pen to paper to write a feature for a publication. Given that editors and reporters move constantly, freelancers come and go and news platforms spring up continuously, knowing who to target with what information is a time-consuming practice. One that will certainly be put on the back burner by individuals with an already overloaded to-do list.
The concept of ‘word of mouth’ reviews has changed dramatically now that the internet is an integral part of our lives. Years ago, disgruntled clients and candidates would express their dissatisfaction by telling their friends and colleagues. Now, they tell the world via a frustrated tweet, withering Facebook comment or damning Glassdoor review. The speed at which these comments can be shared means that your business can suffer widespread reputational damage, which is why it is important to manage them with care. And, with a recent study of Millennials showing that they are used to looking at reviews before making decisions, it’s perhaps more important than ever. So, if an unhappy client or candidate has left your agency less-than-glowing feedback, what can you do?
As partners of The Recruitment Network (TRN) we recently attended the Women in Recruitment roundtable where industry representatives came together to discuss the biggest hurdles facing females in recruitment today. The main themes focused on why increasingly talented women are leaving roles early in their careers before they reach senior positions and the reasons behind this. Challenges voiced around the table ranged from the gender pay gap in recruitment, potential discrimination such as age, and the lack of role models in the industry. In particular, we looked at whether the culture of recruitment means that women either leave the industry altogether or don’t view it as a career of choice. With this in mind, here are some top strategies to get the ball rolling to encourage and empower more females in recruitment today: It starts with surveys Getting back to the root cause is key. For organisations to master retention and engagement, surveys of all female employees are a great way to identify the top factors that make them want to stay with the company and let’s employers know what to delve deeper into. Focusing on bite sized chunks and information gathering is the first step towards progress.
Is your recruitment firm struggling to get candidates and clients interested in your content? If the answer is ‘yes’ you could be committing one (or more) of the cardinal sins of content production. So what are the top reasons your content isn’t hitting the mark? And, crucially, what can you do to fix it? You’re selling This is a big bug bear of mine, and something that far too many companies do. They use their content – whether that be a blog, newsletter or white paper - to sell their services instead of demonstrating their expertise. Potential candidates and clients want to know that you are experts in your field, an agency that can help with their career or talent attraction strategies. Leave the selling to advertorials or a pitch meeting when you have got your foot in the door! You’re not adding value In the same vein, too much content doesn’t address the pain points of the intended audience. When planning content themes, it’s absolutely vital that they are based on the information your audience seeks. Think about conversations you have had with clients and candidates, what’s keeping them awake at night? What recruitment struggles are they currently facing? What advice can you give a candidate about their job hunt? The list is endless. However, the key is that your content encourages them to read on because it will add value to their current situation.
When selecting a PR agency – as with choosing any supplier – you want to know you’re not only working with the best-of-the-best, but also getting value for money. So, what should you be looking for when choosing a partner? Here are just a few of the key attributes to consider: Connections, connections, connections Find out which publications they have close relationships with. Note, however, that for any PR agency their contacts are their professional collateral, so they won’t cough up a list of names and emails or phone numbers. Instead, ask them to demonstrate which outlets they work with on a regular basis and find out how they would go about reaching any other target publications you have on your radar. Team Knowledge Get to know who’s in the team, what they specialise in and what their involvement would be with your account. You don’t want to be meeting with a senior person and building a rapport with them, only to be passed over to a junior member of the team you know nothing about once you’ve signed on the dotted line. Our clients have access to the knowledge and experience of the whole team, with a dedicated group of day-to-day contacts being included in discussions from day one.
“Should we be outsourcing our social media?” That is a topic many recruitment agencies are currently having internal discussions on around the country.
When pub chain JD Wetherspoon recently announced its decision to shut down all of its social media channels – including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – with immediate effect, it raised eyebrows, not least from those who understand how a presence on those platforms can add value to a business, if they are used strategically. Chairman Tim Martin said, in a now deleted tweet, “We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business,” adding that the managers of its 900 pub branches agreed with him. He later told a journalist that, "On a commercial basis, it saves people in the company time and that will enable them to get on with their own jobs." Devise a social media strategy There are a few puzzling things about this decision. Firstly, Wetherspoons had more than 44,000 Twitter followers and more than 100,000 followers on Facebook. Clearly, there was an interest from customers in having social media engagement with the brand. However, interactions on these platforms were very moderate, with many posts receiving only a handful of likes. For a big company with so many followers, such a low level of engagement should have raised a red flag indicating that it hadn’t mastered the art of delivering relevant content to its followers which truly engaged them. The demand was there, but the social media strategy clearly wasn’t. Businesses need to have a clear idea of who they are targeting, what they want to say and how best to convey that message. If The Museum of English Rural Life can achieve nearly 107,000 likes (and counting) with its perfectly judged tweet about a ram, then Wetherspoons really needed to be thinking more creatively and aiming for far higher levels of engagement, adjusting the strategy if it wasn’t appearing to work.
We know all too well; the same generic type of careers pages can sometimes fail to engage and attract the best individuals which can result in top-talent going amiss. For many businesses and marketing teams there is the challenge of being tasked to regularly provide informative, creative and attention-grabbing PR campaigns. And while this will often be tailored to certain objectives or showcasing new products which can affect how the campaign is executed – there are still key strategies to bear in mind. Recently we have seen things going awry with big brands under fire for their somewhat suggestive adverts. For example, Heineken being called out for its low-calorie beer advert labelled as “terribly racist” and the question is…could we be seeing a new trend of businesses deliberately choosing to cause uproar and conflict in order to raise their profile in the media and create a stir around their PR campaigns?
Entering corporate awards can be a great way to gain exposure, enhance brand perception and validate your market position. However, for each category, there can be only one winner – here’s how you can stand out from the crowd and earn your status as an ‘award winning’ organisation. Choose wisely To be in with a chance of taking home a trophy, you’ll have to invest a hefty chunk of time and resources into collating the information needed. For this reason, taking the decision to enter awards shouldn’t be taken lightly – it has to be worth the effort. Do some research to determine which awards have kudos in your industry and are recognised by your customers – whether that be The Sunday Times’ ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ or the Concrete Society's Awards for Excellence. For example, we’ve recently been shortlisted for the Recruitment International Supplier Awards in the category of Best Marketing & PR – a hyper-niche category from a brand that our clients are familiar with and trust.
Is your recruitment firm struggling to get noticed on Twitter? With engagement a major ranking factor in the platform’s algorithm, it is essential that marketers understand how they can maximise this to help meet their objectives. Here are five simple tactics that you can implement into your social media strategy to increase your engagement and visibility on Twitter: 1. Re-use and repurpose your top posts With studies showing that the average lifespan of a tweet lasts between 18-24 minutes, it is important to re-use and repurpose tweets which have received high levels of engagement. This helps maximise the overall reach and, of course, shows that you are posting content that resonates with your audience.
Jumping on the latest news can be one of the most effective ways to generate content for your recruitment agency. Not only does it show that you are ‘on the ball’ and efficient but also dedicated to the client and their reputation. But in a digital 24/7 world, you have to act fast amongst the rest. Recognising the appetite for pressing subjects and topical events such as International Women’s Day and National Apprenticeship Week are great ways to keep you one step ahead and achieve prime time coverage. So here are some top tips to maintain a rapid smart-proof response to the hot topics and build your brand further with your target audience. 1. Plan your approach While this may seem obvious, monitoring the daily news agenda, spotting opportunities online and staying on top of current events is key to ensuring nothing gets missed. Being aware of important dates and times is also essential to be ready in advance for a related story that might get released last minute. Calendar events such as International Women’s Day are highly celebrated throughout the media and covering the story fast before anyone else is the beauty of preparation, at a time when the press you’re targeting might be looking for comment or writing on the story themselves.
As far as PR challenges go, a chicken shop running out of chicken is a pretty major deal. Which perhaps explains the furore which ensued when KFC was forced to close the majority of its 900 restaurants after bringing a new delivery partner on board. The fiasco was covered extensively across the UK mainstream media, with the most influential outlets from the Sun to the Financial Times offering real-time updates on the situation. Social media, meanwhile, went into overdrive, with fans of the chain demanding, among other things, that the government calls an emergency Cobra meeting over the shortage. Unsurprisingly, rival brands were only too quick to ride the wave of publicity. Burger King offered free food for a year to a customer who told ITV News she was forced to visit the burger joint after finding her favourite chicken shop closed, while Iceland took to giving away frozen chicken strips.
Most businesses will find themselves dealing with a difficult public relations event at some point and some may experience a full-blown crisis, such as data theft, cyber-crime or internal malpractice coming to light. In our digital age, news goes viral almost instantaneously, meaning that the implementation of a swift and effective crisis management strategy is essential. The wrong approach can irreversibly damage your brand and its relationship with clients and business partners. One example of a PR disaster is the one which Oxfam currently finds itself experiencing. PR Week says that, “As far as communications crises go, the latest Oxfam scandal has it all: public and media outcry, criticism from corporate partners, and serious questions from parliament and regulators.” Senior figures at the charity paid local prostitutes while on business in Haiti in 2011, which was reported on by The Times. The organisation has been heavily criticised because although it investigated the events at the time, it didn’t disclose them to a number of stakeholders and regulators.
This year’s Edelman Trust Barometer - which measures trust across a number of institutions, sectors and geographies – reveals that social media companies have lost the trust of the public. In fact only a quarter of the UK population now say that they trust social media as a source of news and information. However there has been a huge increase in trust in traditional media (61%), reaching levels not seen since 2012, as well as a rebound in trust in experts and leaders. So what does this all mean for recruitment marketers? Media coverage matters Well first and foremost, no one is saying that social media isn’t important – it is obviously a fantastic way to broadcast your message – however what is more crucial than ever given Edelman’s research is that the content and messages you are broadcasting have credibility. And how do you get that credibility? One way is through appearing in the press that your target audiences read, trust, and turn to for information. PR is just a cost Despite this, however, many recruitment marketers that are only too eager to get their company featured in the press are prevented from doing so effectively. And it boils down to the same argument we hear time and time again. PR is deemed a cost rather an investment, a vanity project, and something that doesn’t help the business development strategy and deliver leads. The result is that too many agencies shy away from traditional media relations, instead opting for advertorials or nothing at all. So at a time when Edelman’s research clearly demonstrates that media really does matter, how can marketers get press coverage and, crucially, demonstrate its ROI? Getting press coverage…and effectively leveraging it
In the early hours of Friday 12th January, Mark Zuckerberg announced changes to Facebook’s news feed algorithm that will have huge ramifications for every single company that uses the platform. “Recently we've gotten feedback from our community that public content -- posts from businesses, brands and media -- is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other,” Facebook’s co-founder wrote. To combat this, Facebook will be showing less content from businesses, brands and media whilst prioritising ‘meaningful interactions between people’ – in essence returning the platform to its original goal. So, what do these changes mean for marketers at recruitment firms? What we know about the news feed changes so far:
Last week was the annual Recruitment Agency Expo at London Olympia, where recruitment professionals gathered to hear from industry experts, network with peers and get all the latest info on the UK’s staffing sector. Among the many influential speakers stood BlueSky’s very own Managing Director, Tracey Barrett. So for those that missed out, here’s a roundup of Tracey’s presentation on Getting ROI from your PR. Firstly let’s start with the basics, why does PR and marketing really matter in recruitment and why should you bother? As Tracey discussed at the conference, it’s a crowded market out there. Last year alone saw 9,000 start-up agencies, so differentiation is key. Really ask yourself if your company has a USP or are you promoting the same generic selling points that clients and candidates are all too familiar with? An analogy Tracey used was to aim to be that purple cow in the field, and think about whether the value you are adding sets you apart. The value you add could be through market intelligence or thought leadership, but consider how you are going to communicate this.