Got a bad rep? Don’t end up with egg on your face

Got a bad rep? Don’t end up with egg on your face

Charlotte Stoel

Charlotte Stoel

Who’d be a Pizza Express waiter(ess) when the company steals your tips? It is like taking your hard earned dough (doh! – ed) away from you. Surprisingly, stories like this don’t impress, especially when the pizza chain in question reportedly made £100m profit this year.

Skimming off the top off the tip jar may add up to a matter of pennies for a company, but is vitally important for low-paid workers who are on the breadline (pizza-line – ed).

And once a company has a bad rep, getting rid of it can take years.

Potential new hires read the papers too, and they have plenty of choice as to where to go and work.

A survey by professional contacts company LinkedIn showed that just over half (53%) of all employees would turn down a pay rise or promotion offer from a rival company if it had a bad reputation as an employer.

Life (and work), just isn’t worth the extra hassle. In an article for HR Magazine, LinkedIn director of UK talent solutions Chris Brown says employer reputation impacts on profitability. “In addition to simply attracting better employees, a strong employer brand helps retention and engagement, so the true value is even greater than this data suggests,” he says.

How to integrate employer branding into the PR programme

Manage the employer review sites

Sites like Glassdoor and allows workers to rate their current and past employers. These sites allow users to rate their workplace, share salary reports, rate the CEO and more. Just consider the difference that TripAdvisor has made on hotels and restaurants and you can imagine the effect that these sites could have on your company’s reputation.

On the internal communications side, there is a job to ensure high satisfaction levels of the workforce as well as respecting candidates during the recruiting process. Externally, you need to consider:

  • How you profile your CEO, is it true to reality? You’ll soon be found out if it’s not
  • Do the brand values you promote internally match what’s being truly practiced? Watch out for a disconnect

The PR and marketing teams should also be managing the company profile on sites like these. Glassdoor, for example, allows employers to monitor for issues such as bullying or defamation, engage reviewers and have their say about the workplace, with a description and photos.

Facebook is your virtual pub

Despite Facebook’s best efforts to engage businesses with initiatives like Business at Work, nothing has yet flown as for many as it’s a personal social network. However, Facebook is a great platform to showcase the social nature of employees as well as rally together alumni.

Our recommendation is to:

  • Show your employees’ personalities on the Facebook page – put up pictures of social outings and share the latest cat photos/articles/videos that have made you and your colleagues laugh. Just be sure to have some rules and be true to the type of company you are
  • Allow your alumni to thrive in the group – post photos/updates which instil a sense of nostalgia. Your alumni are a valuable asset to your reputation, if you’ve parted ways amicably

Tweet to woo (your future workforce)

At its most basic, companies need to pepper in tweets that will resonate with the people you’d like to attract to your workforce. The type of content will be similar to the Facebook style content mentioned above – showing off the company’s personality through its people.

Another important tactic is to build lists (anonymously) of people you’d like to attract to the organisation – an activity to collaborate with HR on. It gives you one place to go to ensure you’re engaging with the right talent, as well as a target group of people for promotional tweets around job vacancies.

Don’t limit yourself to profiling your execs

Of course it’s important to be profiling senior management who are the public face of your company. That said, we are curious creatures and many magazines and websites like to profile people with unusual job roles. Do you have any people doing unusual work within your organisation? With some media training and carefully targeted opportunity pitching, you can boost your company’s reputation through its people.

These are just a few of the tactics you can incorporate into your PR programmes in order to boost your employer branding. With the plethora of social sites making the inner working of your company more and more transparent, it will become increasing important for marketing and HR to collaborate and build the brand from within, leaving no stone unturned.



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