An Under-Recognized PR Benefit: Morale
A couple of years ago, I learned a very valuable lesson about one of the under-recognized benefits of PR: employee morale.
Despite placements about our clients and our products in some pretty prominent publications, no story produced as much buzz internally as a story on a local broadcast channel, Fox 5 in DC.
The story ran in several different broadcasts which meant it appeared on the big screen in our employee lounge. Word spread fast and groups of employees crowded around the TV to watch. The link to the video is no longer hosted on the site, but at the time, the link had a viral nature, flying around the network inside our firewall as one employee forwarded the link by email to another.
If the same coverage were produced today, we’d have that video archived with our new premium radio and TV broadcast monitoring offering, but the lesson, for sure, was not lost. While difficult to measure, coverage has a dramatic impact on employee morale.
These were my observations:
- Pride of belonging. People want to work for companies that are doing interesting things and companies that do interesting things tend to get media coverage. They like hearing from friends and family – outside of work – that have spotted their employer on TV. One employee at the time remarked (jokingly) to me that her mother wanted to come work for Vocus after seeing the news.
- Employee productivity. While I’m a firm believer that PR can be measured, quantifying a boost in employee productivity as a result of coverage is a difficult proposition. Yet nearly every leader I speak to about this topic agrees there is a cause-and-effect relationship. Do we work harder for employers of whom we are proud? I’d say yes.
- There’s something about cameras. Broadcast coverage builds anticipation because employees see the cameras in the office several hours before the broadcast. There’s a whisper of wonder that flows through the building: “What are those cameras doing here?”
While coverage in some national or trade outlets might do better at generating awareness of the company’s products among external audiences, internally this placement may have mattered more. Sure: I’m a firm believer in definitively measuring PR (see this post on PR measurement on Ragan.com); but not to the extent of excluding the less quantifiable, yet equally important, outcomes of PR efforts.
Photo credit: Fox 5 DC
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