Be Bold and Cut through the Corporate Speak for Your Employer Branding Strategy
Employer branding requires some guts. Too often, large organizations start to take themselves too seriously. Perhaps it’s the suits. Or maybe neckties and tight-fitting collars cut off circulation to the brain, dulling the imagination of the organization’s leaders. Whatever the case, your organization needs to get real. It needs to drop the boring corporate speak and learn a new language that resonates with and inspires today’s workforce. Here are four ways to breathe life into your content:
- Get real. Authenticity is often most evident in your organization’s imperfections, so don’t try to hide or excuse those imperfections. Admit challenges and failures.
- Be bold. As Goethe once wrote, “Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.” Messages have the greatest impact when they’re bold and daring. Take chances. Dare to go too far. Stop taking yourself and your organization so seriously. Of course, you need to be careful not to offend or to take an overly cavalier attitude toward the products and services you provide, but push the limits.
- Have fun with it. Whether you’re writing content, building slide shows, or creating videos, have fun, be playful, and be creative. Joy and passion are contagious, and they have a way of showing through whether the content is funny or serious.
- “Speak” in plain English. Formal language is stuffy and boring. Be more conversational. Phrase statements to engage and entertain your audience, not to put them to sleep.
If you’re striving to create a distinctively strong training and development offer, then share your challenges and your successes. If you’re brave and confident enough, share your failures, too. Transparency helps potential candidates realize that your approach to training and development is more than just a question of policy and process; it’s a mission.
The same goes for high performance, teamwork, talent mobility, and innovation. Share your challenges, insights, and perspective. If you have something important to say and do, then people will sit up and take notice. You don’t need to generate all the insights and opinions within your organization. Consider sponsoring external content that aligns with your target market interests while building your desired brand associations.
For example, if you believe in innovation, then share content relating to the latest innovations in your field. Whether the innovations are your company’s or another company’s, sharing them reinforces perceptions that you’re committed to innovation within your industry.
This diversified content stream ensures you’re meeting rule number one of social: Provide value. If your content stream is all job and company updates, you’ll have a hard time attracting and engaging an audience that isn’t already in the fan/familiar zone. Providing updates beyond your organization is a great way to command the attention of an audience that may not know you … yet.
Although presentation is important, keep in mind that content is king. Seek to inform, enrich, and transform your audience with information and insights your organization and its people are uniquely qualified to deliver. If you can do that with passion and clarity, you have the secret formula for success.