Archive for January, 2011

Personal branding is on the cards

The humble business card. How important are they now in this social media age? A time when your contact details can be shotgunned across many a social network for everyone to find. So why not use them as a marketing tool? Or a vehicle for some personal branding in the corporate world? (And if you can, have a bit of fun at the same time.) That’s our philosophy. Having recently moved, we obviously had a need to replace our last ones – a ‘Series of 20 to collect’ cards.

This time we’ve gone all ‘technology’ on them – QR coded, no less. And nothing else. No phone details. No addresses, either street or email. Nothing ‘written’ except for a URL, just in case you don’t have/know what a QR code is. We all designed our own cards – for print and online. With no corporate edict, apart from the inclusion of the andsome ident on the reverse and the QR code. These are mine.


Where does the code take you? To a personal webcard page. You’ll find all the usual business details and links to online presences, as well as an insight into what we’re individually like too. To see mine, scan the code below or click this link:


We’ll obviously keep updating our personal pages as time goes on – that’s the beauty of it. Your personal brand never stops growing and evolving, so why should it stagnate on a piece of card?

How we put the social into recruiting…Runners for ITV

The finale of our week of blogs about the ‘socialness’ of recruitment – inspired by our shortlist inclusions at the RAD Awards 2011:

Runners in TV production are the ultimate General Assistant. To do anything and everything. Normally the reserve of those ‘it’s who you know, not what you know’. For all the people who’ve successfully made a career in TV from starting as a runner, there are plenty of star-struck ones who haven’t. ITV Studios wanted to attract a different candidate. People with real ambitions to make a real career in TV production – as a researcher, camera operator, Producer – who would grasp this opportunity and make the most of it.


This meant appealing to a wide audience to attract a new generation of runner. So we sold the future careers – not just what a Runner does day in, day out. It was a truly integrated campaign – advertised internally, digitally and ‘social media-lly’. The foundation was the ‘Running for Microsite’ – detailing the why, what and how to be a runner. With the added stickiness of a game where you had to ‘run for’ and catch the future roles you could move onto. This site also linked to the social media presence – dedicated Twitter and Facebook accounts. You could record your ‘Running’ score from the microsite game on the Facebook page, for example.


On Twitter, we ‘sold’ the head start that being a runner would give you in future roles. Engaging a truly wide audience of experience, diversity and disability. Creating a community alive with interest and excitement, discovered by the ‘word of mouth’ of social media. On Facebook, we created discussions about ‘Dream Jobs in TV Production’ and detailed the application process. Both transparent and aspirational. As the social media ‘Community Manager’, we ran all the accounts day and night (job hunting isn’t 9 -5, after all) – even to the point of still having conversations with potential applicants minutes before the midnight deadline.


Now for some numbers. Applicants only had 14 days to run and apply for this opportunity. The social media community grew from a standing start of zero to over 600. More than 2,000 unique visitors ran to the microsite. (43% from our ‘social recruiting’ on Facebook and Twitter.) And a total of 750 applications were in the race for places.


The engagement didn’t end there. The employer branded campaign continued through the whole application process. Potential runners didn’t attend an ‘Assessment Day’ but a ‘Runner-fit- thon’.


Every communication was built around what they were in the ‘running for’ (or not, in the case of rejections). The engagement with the social networking community was as vital to this, as it was in attracting such a high calibre of candidates. Ensuring they all felt involved and passionate about the opportunity on offer until they reached the finishing line.


This RAD Entry made the shortlist for Best Use of Social Media and Best Campaign and the “It’s up for two RADs Nominations, let’s hope they really liked it, Uh Uh” list.

How we put the social into recruiting…engagement for Paul UK

The third in our week of blogs about the ‘socialness’ of recruitment – inspired by our shortlist inclusions at the RAD Awards 2011:

Employee engagement in retail can be seen as the Holy Grail. How do you involve and communicate to a workforce who aren’t sat at a desk and tied to a computer? Engendering a positive feeling when the recession has slowed any planned expansion (and possible career progression/satisfaction). That was the brief from Paul UK – the French bakery and patisserie brand who are renowned for their premium, quality bread, sandwiches and cakes across London.

Our answer, after much research and feedback from employees, was an internal comms strategy that represented the Paul ‘way’ to a tee – Quality takes Time. Encompassing the overall philosophy and culture of the company – where every sandwich, loaf and pastry is lovingly, hand-made in each store every day and the customer experience is the traditional, personal kind that reflects the old-fashioned service values of yesteryear.

The communications needed to create discussion and interest amongst everyone who worked there – in the stores, the kitchens and head office. So ‘social media’ was out, as we wanted this to happen at work, not at home on a laptop.


The launch answer was the Paul Rubiks cube. The perfect representation of all six sides of the six Paul values and, literally, a hands-on demonstration of how Quality takes Time – literally.

How could it not be talked about? Even if it was just to complain that it couldn’t be completed? Which of course it could – but like ‘quality’ it just ‘takes time’. So it started discussions about, and around, the business and reminded everyone why they had joined the company in the first place. And, more importantly, why it still offered a truly, worthwhile career.

This RAD Entry made the shortlist for Employee Communications and, of course, our “Not a RADs Nomination but we like it, Uh Uh” list.

How we put the social into recruiting…storyliners for ITV

The second in our week of blogs about the ‘socialness’ of recruitment – inspired by our shortlist inclusions at the RAD Awards 2011:

ITV Studios, the largest commercial production business in the UK needed to recruit a new generation of Story Associates for one of the most iconic series dramas on television – Coronation Street. As the programme is evolving, they wanted a wider, more diverse talent group who had a real passion for The Street and its characters.


So a 3 week social recruiting campaign was born. An employer branded one, no less – across Twitter, Facebook and Linked In. On Twitter, amongst the discussions, conversations and helpful advice, we didn’t just ‘broadcast’ the usual ‘new vacancy’ tweet. We created a series of ‘micro ad tweets’ – basically writing 30+ ads, all in 140 characters to Tweet out. These tied-in with existing storylines and characters. They were tweeted topically and tactically – as well as capturing inclusion in #corrie streams during programme broadcast times and general news stories about Coronation Street.

On Facebook, more discussions were created and videos of ‘classic corrie’ storylines posted – all to inspire candidates. While on Linked In, Writing Groups were targeted to generate more interest.


So, after the 3 weeks had passed? A lively, passionate and active Social Community of over 300 members was achieved on Twitter and Facebook. News of this opportunity had spread like wildfire. The opportunity was ‘featured’ on ‘Coronation Street’ Blogs – by fans and bloggers (not by us). Displayed on niche job boards (for free). And numerous conversations, by Followers, passed the word on to their friends. As did the multitude of ReTweets and Facebook Likes and comments, naturally.


Even when applications were closed, the conversation continued. And when places were offered on the Assessment Workshops, the passionate community was awash with ‘disappointment’. (A small band of rejected applicants even created their own Facebook group of ‘Story Disassociates’ – where they continued discussing their programme ideas.) And we carried through the employer branded theme, across all communications to the applicants – the successful and the unsuccessful – throughout the post-application process.


The recruitment result. 900 applications were received. The quality far higher than anticipated. The two planned Assessment Workshops weren’t enough to incorporate the talent on offer, and more were included. A pool of talented Storyliners created. And the ‘social networking’ community out there is still growing, in anticipation of the next time this opportunity opens again.

This RAD Entry made the shortlist for Best Use of Social Media and our “Not a RADs Nomination but we like it, Uh Uh” list, obviously.

How we put the social into recruiting…poaching for Zizzi

The first in our week of blogs about the ‘socialness’ of recruitment – inspired by our shortlist inclusions at the RAD Awards 2011:

The hospitality poaching card. Love them or hate them, and that normally depends if your people are on the receiving end of them, they are one of the ultimate direct sourcing methods. Even a real world ‘social recruiting’ one – your own people helping to attract more great candidates into your business.

Historically, Zizzi have been on the receiving end – their people being approached, or appoached, by others. Nowadays, capitalising on their established, and award-winning, employer branding they have the ‘standing’ to go out and utilise this method to the maximum.


Zizzi are proud of their people and how they are behind the success of the business. Each restaurant displays every single team member and manager in a frame of polaroids. You’ll even find a team polaroid on every menu too. So, what better way of attraction than giving a mini ‘polaroid’ to a potential candidate and offering them a place in a Zizzi ‘Frame of Fame’?

This interactive, heat sensitive, poaching card not only creates interest but also generates comment. One to be shared with peers, if the interest doesn’t sway you, and with friends, as you show them what’s attracting you to consider a career with Zizzi. It’s a conversation starter. Not only has its use already recruited some great managers into the restaurants, it’s also created a buzz of enthusiasm amongst the operations team to make the most of them. What more could you ask?


Unfortunately this RAD Entry didn’t make the shortlist for Best Literature, but it made our “Not a RADs Shortlist but we like it, Uh Uh” list.

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