Mascha Tace / Shutterstock.com
WHY IT PAYS TO ALIGN HR AND PR
Organizations risk missing out on opportunities and undermining
their credibility when their HR function and
their public relations (PR), communications and marketing
functions are not aligned and operate in silos.
Companies tend to put a lot of effort into building an online
presence to brand and market themselves. Websites and social
media activities are aimed at attracting customers and new employees.
While PR, communications and marketing produce copy
on topics such as mission, vision and values, history, products, services
and the executive, HR is the face of the organization when
it comes to recruiting talent. Some companies seem oblivious that
their job postings and interactions with job seekers are not aligned
with other communications.
Communications professionals appreciate that building a brand
is more than launching a website and posting information. A brand
is built one experience, or “hit,” at a time. When a touch-point occurs,
a customer or job seeker forms an opinion of an organization.
First impressions are important. These first impressions then need
to be reinforced or confirmed by a second impression, as the prospective
customer or employee digs deeper for information and
decides whether to buy or apply. At this stage, it is crucial that
information be consistent across the board. Consistency begets
When PR posts a press release on the home or news page of
an organization’s website, it communicates a message. When HR
posts a job on the careers page and interacts with applicants, it
sends a message, too, and not necessarily the same one. HR’s correspondence
(or lack thereof ) and interviewing style may contradict
what PR wrote about culture, standards and values.
As an example, a PR department declares that the company is
successful because of its collaborative team environment and great
customer service. If a job applicant is invited for an interview with
HR, is made to wait 20 minutes and then treated in an adversarial
manner, the weight of any assertions on collaborative spirit
and great customer service is reduced to zero. HR did not live the
values that PR promoted. Vice versa, HR has a role in making
By Evert Akkerman
HRPATODAY.CA ❚ SEPTEMBER 2015 ❚ 35