By Brad Groznik
Working in public relations, people often ask how they can create buzz for their company. They dream of some extravagant campaign video that goes viral or a profile in The New York Times that catapults them to the top echelon of their industry. Sure, it could happen but it’s not a good long-term strategy.
So what is a good strategy? How do you get people talking about your company in an organic way that builds your reputation and separates you from the competition?
It’s simpler than you think. And it starts with connecting with the audience you’re closest to – your employees.
Many brands build their reputations on how much their employees love working there. Think Google, Zappos and Wegmans. Your employees are your greatest marketing asset. They’re the ones out in the world telling their friends, family and colleagues how great your company is and why it’s great to do business there. By focusing on your employees, you’ll see huge returns in productivity, new business and a positive reputation.
That’s why whether your run a small dental office with six employees or a B2B manufacturing factory with 500 employees, the best PR campaign you can run is one that focuses on your employees.
Here are three ideas to get your brain churning…
Send your employees around the world
A California creative agency called thinkParallax offers its employees $1,500 and an extra day off of work to travel somewhere they have never been before to get inspired. The only catch is that they have to blog about it.
While it may be cost prohibitive to send all of your employees on a vacation, holding an annual contest to send one of your employees on a trip to meet your partners in China, for example, could be an affordable alternative.
Look after their family
More than a third of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” offer childcare services. That’s no coincidence. PricewaterhouseCoopers has a mentor program for expectant mothers that partner them up with other moms in the company who offer help regarding the firm’s maternity policies.
Families are likely the most important thing in your employee’s lives so find ways to show you care as well. Promote your company’s policies for supplementing daycare. Develop a new parent mentor program. Go all out on “bring your daughter to work day.”
Offer free lunch
Tried and true. I can’t begin to compile the amount of positive press coverage Google has received about its cafeteria which feeds its employees for free.
People love a free lunch, myself included, and throwing a pizza party every Friday or a spring barbecue could go a long way in improving your relationship with your employees. These are just a few ideas – what is your company doing for its employees?