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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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2 Comments »

  1. […] that I was a part of was led by Mark Rice – @andsomepeople – and told the tale of his experience of building a talent community for ITV on Facebook and Twitter and finding writers for Corronation Street and then on other […]

  2. […] plaudits. You might also want to check out the campaign for ZiZi that involved heat cards, and the ITV scriptwriters that involved a brilliant and engaging competition. When you read the storys you will […]


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