From the Archive: Marketing Tips for the HR Department

Today I am in San Francisco attending the Dreamforce conference held annually by While my wife is the full attendee I am attending on a “free” ticket that unfortunately for me restricts my activities. Fortunately for me there are alternative sessions I can attend. InsideView hosted two days of sessions that were marketing oriented. I happen to think that HR can learn a lot from marketing as both have communication as a core competency. This blog post from 2009 shows that I have followed this marketing connection for a long time. As I head off to Dreamforce once again I thought it was appropriate to post this from the archive.
As an HR consultant I am always working on bringing in new clients. There are many traditional methods of marketing and selling, which unfortunately are not working as well in today’s economy as they have in the past. So it is time to look at new methods and since I am a blogger, and on Twitter and LinkedIn I thought I would look at using social media as a potential method. To this end I picked up and read David Meerman Scott’s book The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing, and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly. It is a good book. I plan on using several of his ideas and I am looking forward to increasing business.
One of the concepts he talks about is understanding your buyer’s persona. And it is likely you will have multiple buyers, thus you need to understand multiple personas. Certainly good information and an interesting concept for marketing. But it got me thinking that ALL Human Resources Managers should read this book because much of what he talks about in terms of social media use and understanding buyer personas applies equally well to the HR department and employees.
David Meerman Scott (you will have to find out from him why he uses his middle name) writes about having content rich materials as opposed to the one-size fits all products and features. Great marketing stuff that HR needs to pay attention to. Too many HR departments have one-size-fits-all handbooks, health insurance, compensation programs. We create the materials in terms of what we, the HR department, want people to know instead of creating multiple buyer personas and giving them the information they want to have. Does anyone really want to read a wordy stiff sounding handbook? Perhaps they would rather have an online FAQ site that is searchable. I know there are companies out there doing this sort of thing, but there are others that are not. How do you view the use of social media in your company? I know many that shut it off. Is this shutting off your best communication tool?
When was the last time you viewed all the potential “buyers” of HR? Managers, employees, the C-Suite, applicants, ex-employees, the press and vendors are just some to of the buyers for which you would need to develop a “persona”. Have you? Or does everyone get the same story and material?
If you have not looked at your human resources department from a marketing perspective I suggest you do so and DMS’s book is a good start. Check it out.
Watch these posts for the next several days as I write based on my observations of #Dreamforce17

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