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Employer Branding vs. Corporate Branding: Should they be managed separately?

    

Topics: Engagement & Productivity, Communication, Sales, HR

If investing in PR and external marketing is a no-brainer, but you haven't given much thought to the message you're sharing internally, you're ignoring one of most valuable assets for your brand.

Your employees—for better or worse—are powerful storytellers for your business. But do you even know what story they’re sharing?

What your employees have to say about your company is tremendously important for your employer brand, as well as your internal company culture... and consequently for your talent pipeline.

By comparison to corporate branding (an organization’s overall public reputation), the concept of employer branding (an organization’s reputation as an employer) is still in its infancy. Yet in the past decade, employer branding has rapidly gained importance in the war for talent. And that’s not just among HR professionals; CEOs and marketers are giving it priority status too.

Employer branding and corporate branding are a bit like siblings; clearly related yet unique in their own way. Not surprisingly, the older sibling has a few lessons for the younger one.

One company that proves that corporate and employer branding go hand-in-hand is General Electric (GE). The company has been lauded for its impressive digital marketing capabilities. Among their top successes is the #6secondscience Fair, which used the once popular but now defunct video sharing platform, Vine. The campaign engaged thousands of people to share content, bolstering GE’s reputation as an innovative company with science at its core.

Learn how corporate branding and employer branding can be managed cohesively by looking at the example of General Electric (GE).

GE has carried over their stellar marketing chops into employer branding, with several campaigns designed to show that GE is a place where talented people have the opportunity to make remarkable advancements in science and technology. They’ve invested major ad dollars in illustrating this point.

A notable example is their highly successful “What’s the Matter with Owen” ads, which satirize a GE employee’s attempt to explain the complexity and world-changing value of his job as a programmer to his friends and family—a clear effort to disrupt perceptions that GE is just an industrial company.

Of course, if you don’t have the budget for a TV spot, there are still plenty of creative ways to engage your employees in employer branding initiatives. Internal communication tools can and should be used for more than conveying important news, updates and protocols.

If you’re responsible for internal communications, you can build your employer brand using Qnnect’s internal communications app by:

  • Sharing stories that convey the purposeful nature of the work your organization does
  • Recognizing individual employees and teams for exceptional work
  • Empowering every employee to share stories and recognition with colleagues throughout the organization

The third point is where things can get really interesting. Chances are, your organization is full of impressive people doing great work every day. Why not rally them around a campaign to create and share content that’s tied to your company’s mission? Consider the #6secondscience Fair example—everyday people were motivated to create and share content related to GE’s mission because GE came up with a genuinely cool and interesting way to inspire them. Imagine the kind of engagement you could get for a campaign like this from your own employees, who already happen to have a shared interest in the work that you do. Of course, social media campaigns have their own role to play in supporting your employer brand, but a secure internal communications app is a great place to share and celebrate your big wins while keeping private information safe. It comes down to this: your employees are going to talk about your organization one way or another. You can’t necessarily control what they’ll say, but you certainly can inspire them to spread a positive message that will give your employer brand a boost.

Tony Boatman

Tony Boatman

Tony is the Co Founder and CEO of Qnnect. He is based in New York.

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