For those of you who have heard anyone from BlueSky PR present in person or on webinars, you’ll have no doubt heard us talking about thought leadership PR and content. If you haven’t, here’s a quick explanation: thought leadership PR comprises content and communication that demonstrates your knowledge, experience and skills, with little to no sales pitch. It leaves your target audience with a real understanding that you are 100% in tune with the sector you work in.
I’ve long said that this type of communication is the most valuable to a business, but in a Covid hit environment, it really is more important than ever. Here’s why.
It’s a client led market – and they need more than a sales pitch
I think every recruiter will agree that we’re in a client-led market now, where competition for placements is tougher than it’s been for decades. But in this type of economy, staffing companies can’t – and shouldn’t – compromise fees to undercut the competition and grab a potential customer’s attention. This approach isn’t sustainable in the long term and will de-value your expertise.
However, if you want to really influence decision makers, showcasing your expertise on your company blog, social media platforms, content marketing channels and any other potential client touch points will really stand you out from the crowd. Building thought leadership into your communications plans will get you noticed for the right reason.
Competition to be heard has increased
In this client-led market, competition for share of voice has increased across almost every market. We’ve seen a rise in one-man-bands launched as consultants look to go it alone and job uncertainty remains rife – just as we saw in the 2008 financial crash.
Interestingly, though, we have also seen firms that were perhaps less vocal externally prior to the pandemic, really ramp up their communications activity. As a result, competition to be heard has increased – making it more critical than it’s ever been to ensure you’re firm is getting the right message across.
I would like to add in relation to this, though, that simply shouting more isn’t an effective solution – in fact you’ll simply be joining in with some of the white noise that decision makers are learning to drown out. However, focusing on sharing the right messaging will deliver more tangible results in a much more effective way.
Ensuring that the communication channels you’re using are fit for purpose and will help achieve your end goal is key as well. If you are looking to engage with senior level tech professionals, for example, Facebook is unlikely to be of value. LinkedIn and external media coverage, in comparison, are perfect platforms to get your brand in front of the right business leaders.
Budgets are increasingly tight
This is, of course, true for us all. But for potential clients with limited finances, the argument of why they should outsource recruitment rather then manage this in house has once again intensified. This is where thought leadership PR content will tip the balance in your favour. Sharing externally the arguments for using a recruitment agency through case studies, for example, can eliminate this question before it’s even asked.
Crucially, though, by demonstrating your expertise, it’s possible to highlight why by partnering with a staffing company, a business will be getting more than just a ‘bums on seat’ service. Showcasing how much you know about the talent in your specialism will demonstrate why your firm can provide added value to an employer over an in-house recruitment team – particularly for hard to fill roles.
Knowledge sharing can help entire sectors
Last – but by no means least – sharing thought leadership content can really help boost business confidence across your specialism, which in turn will improve your organisation’s growth prospects. This is particularly true in difficult times – in fact we noticed this in the 2008 financial crash. By sharing best practice advice and guidance to employers across your sector that is relevant to the current economic climate, you will be supporting their business navigate through these difficult times
As a case in point, any recruitment company that operates across industries that require STEM skills will be facing similar problems: a lack of available skills. Any viewpoints on how to encourage more people into the sector will certainly help to secure the future of your business (after all, without candidates, there’s no money to be earnt). And where businesses are following your advice or agree with your views, the fact that you have actively shared this thought leadership PR content with them will stand you in good stead when it comes to winning the placement.
Making thought leadership PR content work for you
While we know that thought leadership PR content will be hugely valuable for recruitment businesses in tough times, we do also recognise that the resources available to produce this can often be limited. That’s where BlueSky PR can really help.