When Your Company Reputation is Called into Question, Turn to Employer Brand

As we near the end of 2018, negative press toward big brands like Facebook has been on the rise. Right, wrong or indifferent, this situation could happen to anyone, and if it does happen to your brand, it presents an opportunity to demonstrate an unconventional use of employer brand.

While most organizations are tempted to dial up their PR engine when their reputation is called into question, use the voice of the employee though smart employer brand tactics enables organizations to galvanize the employee, create an attractive story to build on externally and channel the perceived position of vulnerability into a genuine strength. Externally speaking, feeling the authentic voice of an employee is far more impactful than being asked to trust a brand or its leaders. The insight of true employee experience enables an external audience to make up their own mind about the intent behind an organization.

So why are we only hearing the leaders of Facebook defending the brand? The quickest way to create impact for a widespread audience would be to hear straight from the 33,000+ employees who work there and genuinely believe in the vision and aspirations of the organization.

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Let’s Help

Let’s use our collective knowledge and experience to brainstorm tactics to dial up advocacy and to turn the entire workforce into a team of headhunters, equipped with the inspiration and tools to tell the world why they should still join Facebook.

I’ve been thinking about what I would do if this happened to my brand and jotted a few ideas down below. Please add your ideas below in the comments section or on the ERE Facebook group.

Strategic Objectives

  • Quickly restore faith in the organization on a global scale by galvanizing and mobilizing a workforce that already believes in the culture and leadership.
  • Protect the strong reputation as a top employer with authenticity and transparency.
  • Recruit from a position of strength with precision and agility.
  • Dial up advocacy and referral and turn the entire workforce into a team of headhunters, equipped with the inspiration and tools to tell the world why they should still join Facebook.

Tactics to Explore

  1. Docu-style employee response interviews: The inside track on what we really think about how Facebook is strengthening and building new ways to make the world a safer and more connected place to share and create memories.
  2. Mirroring the momentum of the #metoo campaign, launch a hashtag campaign called #FBsafe kicked off by the new 5,000-person security and content-review team hired in response to the Cambridge Analytica incident. (note: campaign should be physical, experiential, event driven.)
  3. First impressions FB & Instagram stories series where new recruits talk about perception vs reality; stories on how their work brings people closer together; how we work really hard to amplify the good and mitigate the bad.
  4. A public career-coaching video series aimed toward onboarding and integrating new people into the culture and structure of Facebook. Available publicly, produced by longer-tenured employees, built around the values and culture of Facebook. The content is of high value to new recruits as well as a clear window into the inside world of how Facebook is run and what it stands for. (note: consider leveraging Altru as the video platform for this.)
  5. A continually growing Instagram collage of employees and their individual message of support, proudly showcasing their personal message of “Why I joined Facebook” and “Why I’m proud to work at Facebook”. Short 15-second employee soundbite videos that are highly sharable, engaging, and persuasive for anyone considering applying for a position at Facebook.
  6. Your idea here!

Currently vice president, digital/social media & employer brand for Magellan Health, over the last 15 years, I’ve led the teams behind the creation and activation of five world-class employer brands. In my role, I define an organization’s employment experience to drive attraction, engagement and retention of talent.

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