HR & Marketing go together like tea and biscuits! Featuring Rebecca Jeffrey

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Have you ever taken a step back from your usual day to day and looked at how your work has a much wider impact than you realise?

I recently did just that after becoming involved in a number of projects that I’ve not experienced before in my career. In the past 18 months, my company has been through a name change and an entire rebrand. Of course, our Marketing team pulled out all the stops to ensure the launch of the brand was a huge success and the achievement is astounding. But if you look at it on a wider scale, it is so much more than a branding exercise alone, it’s working in collaboration that enables the building of a brand.

There are so many findings from projects like this, but who is responsible for the company image overall? The answer is simple – we all are.

For example, my team and I have recently attended a couple of recruitment events which received significant support from our trusted Marketing team. Whilst they did not attend the event themselves, they provided well thought out giveaways, such as branded earphones for our graduate fair, product brochures as well as providing a promotional campaign surrounding the events on our social media channels.

It’s not an isolated situation; there have been so many occasions where I have worked in collaboration with the Marketing team and they, like HR, are often the unsung heroes of the business, but are always willing to support with major business changes.

I undertook a project to design and implement our careers page on the company website, recruitment adverts, corporate social responsibility processes and communications to employees ranging from the company newsletter through to important announcements, again this was all alongside Marketing.

When a business is running smoothly, it’s not just that processes are operating like clockwork; it’s often due to the collaboration between departments who are all aligned to the same common goal. When you read that back, it sounds like a basic concept, but it’s often these foundations that so many businesses fail to put in place.

Recently, I have been fortunate to have connected with some lovely people, so I sought advice from fellow tea lover Rebecca Jeffrey, co-founder of Fi and Becs Design and Marketing. I was so excited by our conversation that I invited her to feature on my blog. I wanted to share her thoughts on why she believes HR and Marketing have such a strong connection and how both can work collaboratively.

Q: You have such a passion for what you do, what made you choose Marketing as a profession?

A: I randomly fell into HR after working for events company Michael Whisher who supplied temporary staff for events such as Wimbledon. I used to go along to events to recruit temporary staff such as students who were looking for work. I worked as a HR admin for about a year and then moved into internal recruitment, I liked it but didn’t like it loads so I thought maybe I should do marketing. I enjoyed writing job descriptions and adverts so much I took a secondment into a marketing role before moving into a Graduate Marketing role.

Q: There are so many crossover areas between HR and Marketing; how do you think both departments can work together to increase brand awareness?

A: Marketing crosses over into HR in so many ways; like with internal communications “where should internal communications sit?” my answer is that it should be in both, they should both be included in each other’s team meetings. I believe there’s a massive crossover between the two; especially in content Marketing. There needs to be consistency with all communications, job descriptions especially need to be written really well, for example with graduate recruitment, it’s so competitive and you have to stand out for the right reasons.

Q: What’s the key to attracting the best talent through a recruitment advert?

A: I recently worked on a project for a major retailer who didn’t have the best recruitment advertising and were set upon using boring job descriptions, so we made it sound more like a catchy advert to attract candidates, as recruiting is so incredibly competitive.

Q: There will be many HR professionals reading this asking how they can get involved with their Marketing department. What advice would you give them?

A: Go to each other’s meetings, work together by being collaborative you’ll be surprised at how much you can achieve by working together

Q: We loved watching you on The Apprentice, congratulations on how far you got, the challenges did not look easy! What was your favourite part of the experience?

A: They had to film me leaving the boardroom a few times because I was grinning so much, the whole boardroom thing takes about five hours to film but I really enjoyed it.

#HRActsofKindness is back!

kindness

In June this year I launched a small idea called “HR Acts of Kindness” after witnessing the impact of the brexit result. The result not only divided opinion but also divided relationships and had a big impact on the way organisations conducted business.

I remember driving home after seeing the impact it had on my work environment and thinking that there must be a way to turn this divide into a positive and to unite people again and that’s when HR Acts of Kindness was born; in the driving seat of my Mini Cooper!

Little did I know the overwhelming response I would receive to those 5 challenges!

Due to the support and people asking me to bring it back; I wanted to re-launch HR Acts of Kindness with a festive twist in hope to keep the kindness going. You don’t have to be in HR, you just need to have a desire to make a difference. Thank you to all of you who have messaged me, told me your stories and encouraged the success of this small idea that escalated rather quickly!

Christmas can be a difficult time of the year for so many people and I’m asking the HR community to help me kick start a kindness movement which will help those who need it most at this time of year.

At the Annual Conference and Exhibition, Peter Cheese spoke of how HR needs to adapt and be relevant to the needs of not only businesses but our communities and by us working collaboratively we can inspire the future of our profession. By launching HR Acts of Kindness, I believe this provides the perfect opportunity for us to make that impact and not to let what we learnt at ACE become a distant memory as we return to our day jobs.

I gave an interview to Ady Howes at DPG during the CIPD ACE 16 event and if you’d like to see it, I have put the You Tube link here: https://youtu.be/cmeotrPzTS8

Unlike the original HR Acts of Kindness, this time around, I am providing a full list of challenges tomorrow morning which will run from now until Christmas and it covers a whole list of different ways we can utilise our skills to support our work environment, employees, families and communities.

What I’d like to do is to get as many people involved and I want to hear your stories, pictures and anything else you’d like to share with me as you undertake one or more of these challenges.

Most of the challenges are free and there’s bound to be something for everyone to get involved with. Get your teams, departments and anyone else you can think of involved, we need as may people as possible to spread the kindness and reach as many people as we can.

As a thank you; when I receive your stories and pictures I have a special gift to send you so make sure you get those success stories in. After all, it’s nice to say thank you for taking part.

Together we can make our communities a better place; one small act of kindness at a time.

 

 

 

#HRActofKindness Challenge Two: Reconnect

Welcome to day two and our second challenge. I hope you enjoyed yesterday and I’m looking forward to hearing what you got up to!

Reconnect with a former colleague or connection on Linked In or grab a coffee with a colleague that you’ve not had time for recently.

#HRActofKindness

#HRActofKindness Challenge One: Recognition

Good morning and welcome to challenge one. We are not starting small; today’s challenge is exactly that, a challenge!

Don’t forget to let me know how you are getting on and spread the word, let’s show the world what HR can do! Have a fantastic day.

Recognise when a colleague is having a bad day or if they are struggling;

find out what you can do to help and support them

#HRActofKindness

 

A message of love and hope

Hope and Love

I wanted to post something out of the ordinary for this extraordinary world we seem to be currently living in, with the EU referendum just hours away and the bloodshed we have witnessed in the last two weeks; it really brings home what is truly important; family, love, hope and friendship.

The horrific scenes we have witnessed in Orlando have not just shocked the community, but the have shocked the world. My heart goes out to the families of the victims and my message is simple; love will always win.

We may tend to feel helpless and lost at times like these but it is important to remember that whilst it is for the wrong reasons, the victims have left a legacy symbolising hope and togetherness. In the heart of London, there was a strong undeniable unity with the LGBT community and I stopped what I was doing to listen to a choir that had come together to sing for the victims and despite the loss that they felt, the unity and support shone through; proving that love wins.

Only a few days later we then heard the awful news that MP Jo Cox had been murdered in the street. Mrs Cox was a loving mother, wife and worked hard for what she truly believed in, serving her community. She was a pioneer for women in politics, an inspiration to so many and she spoke for those who could not speak for themselves. Her loss is a great one that will be will be felt in parliament for many years to come.

At times like these it seems that there are far more questions than there are answers so whilst I don’t have a resolution, I seek comfort in the strength of others as demonstrated by Brendon Cox; the way to fight hate is with love.

One feeling that resonated with me the most was to take some time to appreciate the little things in life that we so often take for granted so I spent a rare weekend with my mum, sister and brother, hugging them just that little bit tighter before I left for my journey home.

Spend time on the important things; share special moments with those dear to you and love will shine through to give us strength and restore our faith during the dark times because ultimately if there is love then there will always be hope.