Company Culture is Your Biggest PR Asset
We tend to think that we can either advertise our way into people’s hearts and minds, or that high profile media appearances are the route to driving visibility and building a positive company reputation- which is partially true – but recent research shows otherwise.
- 46% of job seekers consider culture an important factor in choosing a prospective employer. (BuiltIn)
- 86% would also avoid employers with a negative public image. (TeamStage)
- 15% would decline a job offer due to poor company culture. (BuiltIn)
It’s not as simple as putting key messages on banner ads. That’s too blatant, forced and just doesn’t work. What’s needed is to embed your core values and key messages into talking points so they are subtly communicated in every meeting, every conversation, every presentation. This way, they are omnipresent and therefore more memorable and meaningful.
That is why your company culture is your single biggest PR asset, and why employees (past and present),vendors and customers can serve as powerful ambassadors for your brand. These individuals know your company inside and out; their words will be taken seriously by external audiences.
As a result,you’ll want them to be well informed about your culture so they are equipped to repeat these things in conversations with others outside of your organization.
But before marketing your brand as a great-culture champion, take an honest look at how your organization fares in this area. Assess how your people, starting with the leaders, cultivate a positive workplace culture. Is leadership living the company’s core values or are they just words on a kitchen poster?
Here are the 4 things I advise my clients to think about when they’re assessing their company culture.
- Re-evaluate the currency and resonance of your core values and key messages to make sure they are human-centric. Are they authentic? Can leadership embody and role model them?
- Align your core values with what matters most to today’s employees: flexibility, ability to carve out a career path, opportunities for learning and development and consistent, transparent communication.
- Streamline core values – the ideal number to have is three, and five should be the absolute maximum. Make them memorable and realistic. For instance, one of my clients has this great set of three core values: Have integrity, Care about the greater good, Get it done (referring to resourcefulness and collaboration).
- Make certain that your business serves as an altruistic force for good in the community. Research shows that 52% of employees would likely quit their jobs if their company’s values did not align with their own (Blue Beyond Consulting).
Get this right and you won’t just have an excellent company reputation, you’ll also have an engaged and enthusiastic workforce, happy customers and a strong bottom line. That sounds like a win: win situation.
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