Monthly Archives: June 2010

Are You Strong Enough for HR Branding?

You’ve tackled all the tough challenges and branded every communications initiative both inside and out: Employer branding, branded intranets, training portals, microsites, social network marketing, branded internal and benefit communications- you even have a smart-phone friendly career site.

And now, this summer, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water (ocean, pool, lake or other), I propose the super-branding challenger round –

HR Branding: The brand that is You and Your Department.

Here’s why it requires expert strokes—

  • You will be swimming in strong currents- serving the needs of 2 masters, as employer and employee advocate.
  • Due diligence in brand crafting means creating dialogues- you will need to be open to honest feedback from executives, employees, line managers and other fish, both big and small.
  • Sustaining an authentic HR brand for the long haul might require making significant operational changes that pull you outside the safe waters
  • Synchronization- make no mistake- this is a total team effort

If you’re still up for it, dive in.

Creating an Internal HR Brand

The Rules

1. Lay the Groundwork

  • Define objectives, communications channels and audience needs

2. Ask (or have us ask) The Questions

  • Who is HR?
  • What Should Employees “Feel” when they “See” HR?
  • What Should Candidates “Feel” when they “See” HR?
  • How Can HR Best Support Their Goals?

3. Point to an End Goal

  • A brand is a promise- what’s yours? Whether you create an HR mission, vision or charter, you must embody that promise to each person within your organization

4. Engage Employees

  • The more they become a part of the process, the greater their commitment to your efforts

The Prize

Review step 1- what were you looking to accomplish?

Perhaps you want to create a unifying purpose to your HR team at large- have them thinking felling and acting as a brand. Or maybe instill a greater understanding within employees and executives of the important work you do.

Through the application of the same methodology employed by marketing professionals, your Human Resources Department will become the Brand of Choice for talented employees and potential employees looking to become a big fish within your organization

Video Strategy. What’s Yours?

Last year, when I attended the Convergence Conference roundtable panel on “Video as a Catalyst for Conversation”, the moderator promised that “just like everyone now has a blog strategy, soon you’ll need a video strategy.” The audience shuddered, a clear sign that they had not yet adapted a blog strategy.

But the numbers do speak for themselves.

According to a recent comScore Video Metrix service, 178 million U.S. Internet users watched 30 billion online videos during the month of April — that’s 3 times the amount viewed in 2008.

But another statistic from Flowtown told me that 77% of small and medium sized businesses have not embraced video as a form of marketing.

Here’s why they should. The chart below, from the Wall Street Journal shows that after viewing a video ad on the Internet, 55% of 501 adults took action.

The hard part now is how to use this knowledge to your advantage. It’s a simple answer: call someone in to help. Aren’t you already doing too much at work. Who has time to think about your video strategy?

A media consultant (I know a great one) can help you

* Define your audience
* Plan your distribution using appropriate internal or external partners
* Add some control to the scary proposition of unleashing this on the world.

No one has all the answers, but emerging as an early embracer (it is too late for that) will help your brand for a very small investment of dollars.

And besides, doesn’t everyone want to be a SuperStar?

Greatness is Timeless

Almost 13 years have gone by since Dr. John Sullivan blew me away with his article entitled “How To Hire The Next Michael Jordan.”

I read it in Fast Company in 1998 and I was reminded of it last week as I was conducting an Executive Interview with the President of a Company. He said he was concerned about his bench strength and worried about his team’s scouting capabilities.

Fortunately for me, this is 2010 and we have the internet and I found the article and re-read it and laughed because it still sounded new. That is a bad thing.

Here are just some of the insights.

From Coincidence Hiring to Continuous Hiring

What are the chances that the best person you’re seeking to hire is reading a job posting or newspaper or even looking for a job on the one day that you’ve selected to advertise. It’s a coincidence if you find someone. Hiring must be continuous.

 (I have adopted this mantra and paraphrased it until I now believe I invented it.


From More Money to “WOW”
Michael Jordan was underpaid. Engaged employees will work for less because of their passion and belief in what they’re doing.

From Interviews to Future Views

13 years ago John said that interviews were over– just tell the applicant what its like and make sure they’ll be a good fit. I call it culture-recruiting.

Find people that fit your culture by branding to your culture all the time.

Anyway, there are so many jewels here that it’s worth taking a fresh look. I wish I still looked that good after 13 years.

On The Beach and Out of Home

If you were anywhere near New York last weekend you know how beautiful the Memorial Day weather was. Lying on the beach reminded me of this great blog of Summer ’08, and thought I’d dig it out, dust it off and share it for the new readers of BRANDEblog.

If you were enjoying this beautiful beach weekend with me, you may have seen the cloud formation in the sky that spelled GEICO.COM and gone “OOH”. OOH is an acronym for Out of Home- the classification of advertising so called because, unlike print or tv, it reaches the consumers when they are out of their homes.
According to the NY Times last Friday, Madison Avenue is having an out-of-home experience. “The ardor to reach consumers outside the home — and outside the realm of traditional media like television — continues to grow among marketers. They hope to fight back against technologies like digital video recorders, which make it easier to avoid conventional advertisements like commercials.

The category once referred to only billboards, posters and signs but now includes expansion into places like airports, offices, malls, schools and health clubs. Industry forecasters are predicting a growth rate of more than 12% a year for the next 5 years.

I’ve been following the trend carefully, since I am frequently called upon to develop advertising strategies beyond print and online. But even I was pleased and surprised at how the category has expanded and the opportunities to build a tactical buzz across specific geography have never been so creative, inexpensive and hopefully effective.

Considering opening a gym? How about chair advertising such as this for VIP Gyms?Regular BRANDEBlog readers are already familiar with advertising in and outside of malls, movie theatres, barber shops or on coffee cups. But here’s just a partial list of OOH media that BRANDEMiX can now include as part of an integrated advertising campaign to increase brand awareness and make some noise.

ATM machines • Driver’s Ed cars • Spotlight Ads • Gas Pump Toppers • Taxis • Valet Parking Lots • Sand sculpture • Street Decals … and for the brave.. Wrapped Port-A-Potties.

If you want to know more, call us.

Oh and speaking of noise, those sky-typing GEICO planes created an out-of-home experience that was 8 miles long.