Tag Archives: brandemix

Are You Too Booked for a Social Life?

Based on the growing number of invitations I receive to veet-ups (webinars), meet-ups, workshops and conferences, I know that social media marketing has captured everyone’s attention in a big way. We have truly embraced the concept of creating dialogues with our fans, and relationship building with our key interest groups.

I say above that “we have embraced” but it really isn’t “us”, is it?

Have you “down-sourced” the project to the summer intern you hired? Have you “out-sourced” it to your agency partner?

Search a job aggregator and you will find a handful of Social Media Marketing Directors, Strategists and Managers but more frequently, interns.

It is not surprising that we are unwilling to commit dollars to the ownership of communications that we can’t measure the value of, but at the same time, the stewardship must be held by someone with vested interest in success of the program.

Your agency/PR partner can help you with the learning curve and messaging but actions need to happen within the company, not outside of it. The voice needs to be framed authenticity, and a person we can engage with. That person needs to be a permanent member of your team.

Your intern may be gone in September but your Digital Brand is forever.

Join the conversation and the Linked In group Your Digital Brand.

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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

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.

Your Recruiters Could be Killing Your Brand!

A close friend of mine landed the job of her dreams last week. Competition was fierce, the testing process was exacting and the interviewing process connected her with very impressive representatives of the firm.

Yet when the offer package came, there was a significant typo, which could have translated into several thousand dollars of unintentional income to my friend.

Of course my friend pointed out the error, and new docs were drawn up but something sad happened in the interim. (What do you do when the cover letter has a typo?) A bit of tarnish on the brass ring.

There are many phases in the recruiting process including

Preparing for the New Hire
Offers and Regrets

How your recruiters (internal or external) handle each part shapes impressions, positive or negative of your brand.

If your brand is about Delivering the Wow (Zappos), then I want to be just as wowed with the recruiting process as I am when my shoes arrive. (I was.)

Your brand beats through everyone. If your internal team needs a primer or reminder, call BRANDEMiX to schedule me for your next internal meeting.
Crown included.

Your Digital Employer Brand

Reputation Management in a Digital World

According to a study conducted by Microsoft earlier this year, 70% of surveyed HR professionals in U.S. (41% in the UK) have rejected a candidate based on online reputation information. Don’t be surprised, but your candidates are doing the same thing.

In recent years, in most industries (healthcare and IT notwithstanding), the rise in unemployment created a temporary truce in the war for talent, as layoffs abounded and many non-business-critical positions were put on hold. That is slowly changing now, as corporate payrolls are increasing and jobs are being added.

That’s why it might be a perfect time check out your company’s digital employer brand. Pressed on time? Don’t worry. Technology coupled with sophisticated search engines has made it easier than ever.

Just type “working for [company]” into your fav browser and see what comes up. Chances are, you’ll see something from Jobvent at the top of the list. Further down, you may find surprising insights from Glass Door, Yahoo Answers or Vault.

Want to play more? Try putting in the name of your toughest competitor and see what you find out. Put together a play book for recruiters on how to sell against all your competition. Use the intel to re-sell employees on why they belong with you.

If want to delve deeper, LinkedIn can be a huge help. Do a search by your company name. Not only can you find current employees you’re connected too, but they’ll also show you past employees, new hires, and the most popular profiles. If you’re looking for brand ambassadors, there they are.

On the competitive side, call a past employee of your competitor. Find out why they left and what they think of your company as an employer.

Dick Tracy would be in heaven.

You can also opt to go with a no-work-involved investigation- sign up for Google Alerts, Trackr or Social Mention. Then the information comes right to your Inbox. (Or call BRANDEMiX– this is routine for us- it’s part of the research we amass to create authentic employer value propositions.)

Online reputation management is becoming big business, as companies look to track what’s being said and measure the success of their social media marketing strategies.

In a simpler time, employee conversations ended at the water cooler, but today they’re flowing around the world. HR and recruiters need to be part of the dialogue.

Keep the conversation going at Your Digital Brand

Your Digital Brand

The Art of Cultivating Awareness, Likeability and Relationships online.

According to a February LinkedIn study of over 1,100 corporate recruiters, half of those in the US are nervous that competitors are learning to use social networking and social media more effectively than they are.

While many reading this may be dismissive of that fear- I understand and defend it.

Presenting a unified, authentic brand over a variety of new media requires a real strategy, a thoughtful examination of goals and projected outcomes (fans, followers, leads, applicants, sales) and true culture change. Organizationally, you may not be sufficiently staffed or aligned to be creative, collaborative or most importantly consistent. And unlike a magazine article or newspaper ad, digital failures can be forever.

I invite those interested in this topic to continue the discussion and become members of a new LinkedIn group: Your Digital Brand.

Uniquely poised at the cross section of technology and marketing, Your Digital Brand invites members to share stories of success in cultivating awareness, likeability and relationships online.. Business owners, human resources professionals, CMO’s and CEO’s are encouraged to enjoy learnings from the outliers of the digital world.

As the silos between employee, customer and shareholder have dissolved, it has become a business imperative for organizations to create a unified message that is both authentic and differentiated. And while social media marketing has a very low barrier of entry, I contend that the bar to excellence is still very high.

A New HR Metric- Your Employees, Your Fans

We’ve heard that employees are your greatest asset, your human capital, your discretionary investors- but are they also your fans?

Through Facebook, over 10 million users voluntarily connect with their favorite public figures, musicians and brands every day. (Lady Gaga already has more than 6 million fans and her fan base is growing by almost 100,000 each week.)

But while the coolness of the brand may open the door to fans, it’s not necessarily enough to keep them engaged. It’s all about adding value.

Isn’t the same is true for employees? While opportunities, salaries and benefits may be enough to keep applicants walking through the door, what would make them truly be a fan of your brand?

The ongoing and very public dialogues that you (through your company) have an opportunity to create with your employees, are also the way your brand might be judged by talented professionals that you are hoping to recruit and engage.

The extra time it takes to create these dialogues will come from the time you save sourcing and selling candidates on why they should accept your positions.

It’s the latest iteration of the testimonials “don’t ask us, ask our customers.”

And unlike a tv ad or billboard, it is digital and might be forever.

So, BRANDEMiX encourages you– ask your employees- “will you be our fans”?

If you’re looking for a strategy to unify your brand across web 2.0 media- call us.

.Mobi not Moby

If you’re not Linked In to me, or following my tweets (I don’t judge), you wouldn’t know about my perfect day last Thursday. I was having lunch with best-selling business book author Marc Effron at the Tribeca Grill. It was beautiful weather, and also the day of the Tribeca Film Festival Judges Luncheon. Marc and I were discussing plans for BRANDEMiX to revamp his website.

“Marc”, I said, the trend is .mobi and iPhone doesn’t support flash. Just to add more context, I was telling him that his website (and BRANDEMiX’s too) was built in flash- the cutting edge of technology last year but that was then and this is now. The new iPhone G4 will be released this summer and according to the recent buzz, they still won’t support flash technology.

As it turned out, Marc has an Android phone and immediately checked to see if he could access his website. No luck.

With 90%+ of all resumes coming to you via online, the internet may well be the first touchpoint in your relationship building process with candidates-of-choice. That’s why it’s critical for you to stay ahead of the technology as you build your digital Employer Brand.

For the bean counters:

  • Over 95% of new phones sold today have web browsers and over 70 million US consumers/ employees use them regularly.
  • Cell phone penetration in the US has surpassed cable TV, web
    access and Home PCs
  • 11/9/09 Facebook announced that 1/4 of their monthly worldwide visits or 65 million visits, are via mobile.

Designing for .mobi is different from designing for flash. It’s a new world where content is king and less is more (think 140 characters.) Easy navigation is critical for engagement and download speed will drive the experience. (This will be paramount once we begin the era of pay-for-play when cell phone carriers start charging us for our time online.)

What is your takeaway?
Take a look at your current website and start thinking of it in terms of a horizontal spreadsheet-
6 rows down and 6 across. Work with a digital architect to create a great experience for the digital natives. (Note: you can sidestep your internal IT department because you’re only creating a mirror-site- something that will work in tandem with, and not in lieu of your current site.)

Start thinking in terms of the Twitter standard 140 characters, or 1.4 clicks to content. (I made that up.) Build out one pillar of your employer brand as tech geek and show your audience that you want to participate in the dialogue on any technology platform.

OK. I’m done with .mobi– and moving onto Moby.

Back to lunch at the Tribeca Grill. As we were watching the famous procession of Tribeca Festival Judges pass our table: everyone from Jessica Alba, Zach Braff and Whoopie Goldberg, Moby wasn’t there.

Best from BRANDEland.

Candidate Care. Does Anyone Really Care?

Generally speaking, Candidate Care is a pet peeve of mine and I have the utmost respect for anyone who gets it right. It means putting your best presence forward all the time.

Oft times, particularly in the period of high unemployment, forgotten are the lowly candidates– candidates who may turn into employees, customers, clients and investors.

Simple things can make a difference like returning emails, providing one point of contact, giving someone your undivided attention during an interview and providing them with written information in advance of their interview to let them know what they can expect when they show up.

More? Be on time for your interview, offer coffee, food, free company products and how about a list of the best business books you’ve read this year.

Best practice? How about implementing a Candidate Care Policy. Here’s one I just swiped off the internet:

Candidate Care Policy

Treat candidates with respect
  • Treat candidates as professionals and like customers or investors and ensure they are kept informed through every step of the process
  • Respect the candidate’s time and avoid requesting excess information
  • Answer questions quickly and honestly
  • Ask the candidate what their expectations are and get their feedback during the process.
Provide accurate and current information on the job
  • Inform candidates on issues such as work/life balance, job sharing, flexible arrangements and career opportunities
  • Only post jobs that are realistically available to outside candidates
  • Remove job ads that have been filled as soon as possible.
Provide information on the selection process
  • Notify candidates promptly when their initial application is received, accepted or rejected
  • Tell candidates about the entire hiring process, including minimum,maximum time frames, who they will meet and the finalist selection criteria
  • Give honest feedback and be positive and constructive.
The interview process
  • Ensure best practice interview techniques are adopted and candidates experience a fair and legal interview
  • Limit the number of interviews
  • Respect the candidate’s current employment by organising interview times and locations that are convenient for them
  • Make the interview a conversation between equals and not adversarial
  • Where possible give candidates the chance to speak to current employees. This will help to reassure candidates that the role is being realistically represented.
The offer process
  • Make a fair offer within the candidate’s expectations
  • Give the candidate information that will aid their evaluation of the job such as bonus potential, job security, and career development
  • Don’t place pressure on the candidate to make a decision straight away and reassure them that whatever the decision, it is the right one for them
  • Give the candidate the option to gracefully back out of a job during the first three months.
Keep in regular contact
  • For those people who are still looking for work, phone or email candidates regularly to let them know that we are still looking for opportunities for them even if there is no news
  • Keep notes on the database about each candidate’s current status and keep track of who you have and have not contacted to avoid duplication of effort
  • Email registered candidates to obtain an update on their status, and to ascertain if they are still looking for a position. People appreciate the follow up.
And always remember

– How important it is for the person to get the job that they want, and how important it is for the client to hire the right person.

Where do you begin? Try looking at your Employer Value Proposition or your Employer Brand Pillars. (If you can’t readily access them, shoot BRANDEMiX an email and we’ll help you find them.) If one says you care about employees, please don’t blow off the candidates.

After all, candidates are people too. In part 2, we’ll talk about Vendor Care ; )

The Magic is in the MiX!

I often get emails from BRANDEblog readers who want a more complete picture of what BRANDEMiX does. So, for that audience only, I would like to share more information about our unique niche in the marketplace.

FOB’s (friends of BRANDEMiX) can skip this one.

BRANDEMiX is a B2E agency- we connect brands to people- your people – the one’s you care about- the talented employees that advance your business goals. The competitors that you wish worked on your team. The engaged ambassadors of your brand who keep your customers coming back.

Think of us as a bridge connecting your marketing, advertising, internal communications and human resources. This powerful synergy creates a veritable BRAND FORTRESS – consistent, indisputable, relevant and meaningful messages across all print and interactive channels.

All with one singular goal—to foster connections.

Our unique value is in our ability to create, deliver and manage an end-to-end program from strategy through launch.

We have demonstrated success in creating:
Benefit Communications
Change Management Communications
Employer Brand Development
Event Marketing & Support
Internal Communications
Interactive Marketing
Media Planning & Placement
Qualitative Research
Recruitment Advertising
Social Networking
Training and e-Learning
Website Development

Any questions?