Posts Tagged ‘Advertising’

100 not out


Last week marked something of a personal highlight with the winning of my 100th award at the Recruitment Business Awards 2013.

(Not to mention, Award 101 too – but that maybe the theme for a later post.)

It got me thinking.

That after 20 years in the recruitment marketing industry, should I still be creating award-winning work? Shouldn’t there be a new generation (or two) producing better?

That when I started working in recruitment comms – digital, websites and social media – all the areas that, as an agency, we have embraced over the past years didn’t even exist. And now look at them.

That you can never stop learning. We saw the potential of Social Media over 4 years ago and began seeing how we could utilise it for recruitment. Starting from scratch, not case studies. Learning all the way, while the more cautious watched from the sidelines and only now are putting a toe in.

That the only awards worth winning, are for work that actually ‘worked’. Not just looked pretty. But work that ‘looks pretty’ and actually generated results, they’re the ones.

That you can never set out to produce an award-winning piece. It never happens. Start thinking this is the one and it never will be. Start thinking ‘I want to create the best work I can’. And it may have a chance.

That you can never disregard the ‘big idea’. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tweet or a global careers site, it should always be based on an idea. Not an execution. Not a new piece of tech. An idea that connects to the target audience.

And finally, that it’s great to be hands on. It keeps you closer to what works. Closer to the audience. Closer to what’s important. Closer to reality. And, who knows, maybe closer to Award No. 102?

We love Oreos

Ooooh Oreo, we do more than like your Facebook page. It’s the ‘Ow-to for social brand ‘marketing’. It’s On brand. It’s ‘Own content’. It’s Oh-so consistent. It can Only be Oreo. And it’s an Ongoing demonstration of ‘Ow to keep developing a social strategy. Especially for those who think that any Old content is worth sharing. Oh well.

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Can awards devalue awards?

Cheese awards

We all like winning the odd shiny trophy or two, don’t we? They’re great for recognising all the good work and effort of companies and agencies. Brilliant for encouraging innovation. Terrible for creating the envy of ‘I wish I’d done that’. And long may they continue in that respect.

However, in recruitment, there seems to have been an explosion of schemes in recent years, fueled in no small part by the rise in popularity of social media, the importance of candidate experience and, what feels like, some bandwagon jumping. Every month it seems like there’s an award ceremony happening. (Almost rivaling the prevalence of social recruiting conferences… but that could be another post in the making.) But are too many awards devaluing the achievements they’re rewarding?

There are the long shortlists a la yesterday’s Onrec Awards. These never-ending lists appear to contain most, if not all of the entries. In this case, with over 170 shortlisted entries, some categories with over 12 shortlisted, does that mean they’ve not really been culled by the judges? It’s a growing trend (if you’ll pardon the pun). As times have got harder, less entries seems to have created longer shortlists. When I judged the RADs in 2001, there were almost 100 entries alone in the Campaign category. These were whittled down to three final nominations, yes that’s nominated not shortlisted, for the final night.

Having judged many a scheme, including multiple RAD awards, CIPDs, etc, I’ve never ever seen how 12 entries can be found to be of equal measure. More often than not, there is one, maybe two, that are worthy of an award. You can often find that means 3-4 are good enough for a shortlist. But 12? Awards are to reward the best, not the ‘it’s quite nice but it’s not a winner’.

Then there’s the Creativity vs ROI argument. More often than not, the honours are going in favour of the latter, even if the former is somewhat lacking. Maybe, like this year’s RAD Awards – and it’s a first in their prestigious history – there’s a lack of a ‘Creative’ judge(s) on the panels. Creatives can (and do) appreciate all aspects of an entry and aren’t just swayed by a pretty picture or nice layout or two. And creativity still has a vital part to play. Surely, it’s the perfect blend of Creativity, ROI, Effectiveness and Candidate Experience is what should be doing the victory lap.

RADS Blog Week Day 3: Think of Twitter as advertising


That was our strategy for the ITV work experience scheme. Unlike many companies, work experience there gives you a real opportunity to see what working at ITV is really like – and can give a big helping hand to your career with training and contacts. Aimed at anyone 18 and over in full-time education, it was a prime social media audience. With shows like The X Factor trending all over Twitter, being talked about by this audience – it was obvious Twitter alone could carry the recruitment ‘advertising’ message.

Kicking off with a mini campaign of ASCII art tweets, that message was soon ReTweeted around the streams – almost half of the campaign clickthrus came from this 5 tweet series. Using hashtags, such as #Xfactor and #Emmerdale, we also infiltrated viewers streams to ‘broadcast’ the opportunity. The campaign generated an enthusiastic Twitter following of over 1200 in just 4 weeks. Of all the campaigns we have run to date, this one was more about conversation, engagement and Word of Mouth than any other.


The Twitter ‘advertising’ took them through to a Facebook ‘community’ page – bursting with information, testimonials from ex-workies, videos from ITV people about the importance of work experience and specific details of the areas available for placements. (And interestingly, a community double the numbers on Twitter.) Here we posted a lengthy series of #workexperience tips, which also appeared in the Twitter stream, to give advice and help on what placement areas had volumes of opportunity and what you needed to do to shine. The rest of the time the Facebook Wall was purely a community ‘area’ for chat. So everyone could get to know other people applying for the scheme in their areas. (In the end, all successful applicants would be placed in an Experience Pool – for when placements came available – so knowing each other was a useful exercise.) No ‘recruitment messages’ were put out on the Wall at all.

A combination of unique Tweets, plenty of ‘out of hours’ Twitter and Facebook managing (by us) and the building of a truly engaged social media community, created a response of  2000 applications for the three locations – Leeds, Manchester and London. Without a Pay per Click in sight.

The ITV Experience campaign has been shortlisted at the RADS 2012 for the Emerging Talent Campaign (alongside our for I am TV and ITV News Trainee) and Social Media (with ITV News Trainee). It’s a great achievement to be nominated in a non-Social Media category, let’s see what kind of result we ‘experience’ on Thursday night.

Roi, Advertising, Digital, Socialrecruiting – RADS blog week coming soon

Next week, we’ll be running another of our ‘mini series’ of blog posts. This time, inspired by our nine nominations for ITV and Zizzi in the shortlists at this year’s RAD Awards. As five of them are for social recruiting campaigns, you can probably guess what some of the content will be about. As a teaser, here’s what to look out for:

One of the shortlists has been using social media for annual campaigns over the past 3 years, so we’ll be talking about how the effect and effectiveness of the SoMe platforms has changed over that time.

We’ll look at the roles of digital advertising and mobile should play in the employer marketing campaigns of today – in another.

How Twitter can be your ‘advertising’ will be another topic.

And finally, what ‘ROI’ social recruiting can help to achieve for your employer brand.

So four posts over four days all typed with crossed fingers, until we see what happens next Thursday night.

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