Part four of eBrands’ series documenting the journey towards an accurate employer brand.


Our prior post  identified key things we look for in the project process design of an employment brand project, and it discussed why a bespoke process typically has better upside.

Some pointers now on project engagement strategy; to make it clear, we’re talking about introducing and engaging organisation stakeholders to be participants in an employment brand project.

Firstly, it is folly to disregard what the organisation knows already. No agency or project committee can sell to an organisation that this is a brand new, spur of the moment process created to make things better. Maybe there is an obvious talent shortage? Has the organisation been through trying times? Has reputation suffered? Has there been a change of leadership? Did the last project to attempt this fail or succeed? Any baggage needs to be known and recognised to create an honest engagement. Do not anticipate your peers simply giving you a clean slate because you feel it is deserved.

Taking just one of those scenarios as an example – change of leadership – how might this have an impact on engagement style?

To us, this would underpin the opportunity of a new employment brand – change of leadership can be unsettling, it can rattle the ‘tenured’ cages – to counter this, why not focus engagement as an opportunity for employees to have meaningful dialogue with someone fresh to the organisation?

Using a recent example from one of our most successful projects, we were able to frame a key part of the engagement as a wholesale opportunity for employees to provide the new leader with their opinions. We used simply:

“I love….. I would change…. I would hope for….”

We gave employees a creative way to express this and an absolute guarantee that it would be presented. Participants were rewarded through acknowledgement and response. Pretty amazing grounds for a successful project and the theme of open dialogue set the tone for all of our insight work with the focus groups.

Unfortunately, agency’s can often overlook the initial ‘framing’ of an employer brand project. I’d say it’s the most important interaction of the whole project. eBrands will give a project a mission statement and a brand. The agency is truthful, non-partisan and a cohort to everyone. We simply cannot run a great project if our mere presence in a room creates suspicion; we too need to earn the participants trust.

This focus has enabled our clients to enjoy our real strength – which is undoubtedly our insight sessions. It’s a great feeling when you meet someone in the street four years after a session, and they mention how rewarding it was to be a part of an inclusive and genuine collaboration.

We’d take that compliment every time.

Next post, we’ll talk a little about our research phases and our insight sessions.

Comments? Thoughts?