February 11, 2016
/ by Katie Gaab
Generating brand awareness through earned media doesn’t always have to revolve around your products, services, data or thought leadership.
In fact, if you don’t give customers, clients and potential employees a peak at what truly drives your organization, you are losing loyalty, sales and your business’s future thought leaders and valuable role players.
How can you stand out?
Align your company’s mission with what makes it unique and use that angle to pitch and earn coverage from targeted, trusted media outlets.
Want inspiration? Check out how these five brands scored big by leveraging unique perks that not only benefit their employees, but also display their values:
The streaming media company first announced its extensive parental leave policy last summer. Netflix’s family-first move sparked ongoing conversations on the topic everywhere from Facebook’s headquarters to the current presidential campaign trails.
As the topic continues to trend, so does the company’s media coverage. Casey Rosenthal’s recent LinkedIn post about his time off as a new father made it into the Huffington Post.
However, it’s Fast Company’s article on Patty McCord, former chief talent officer, that highlights how earning media coverage around company culture takes time…and for Netflix, a 124-page document about how to make it happen. By pitching thought leadership to outlets before publishing on your own channels, you can turn owned media into earned media.
According Glassdoor’s annual report, 89 percent of millennial workers prefer benefits over a pay raise. Consequently, the career website named Airbnb the best tech company to work for in 2016.
With an annual travel stipend of $2,000 for all employees and the option to stay at any Airbnb location, the company fosters millennials’ craving to get out of the city and explore the world around them.
While the company beat out Google for the number one spot on Glassdoor’s report this year, Airbnb has been quietly but consistently highlighting its perks in varying outlets over the past few years.
Trade publications often seek out unique corporate cultures or events to add some spice amongst the more jargon-based coverage. Help A Reporter Out (HARO) can help make these connections easy by providing users with source requests organized by industry, such as business and finance or biotech and healthcare.
Vacation or paid time off ranks number two (at 37 percent) in what employees consider to be the top five benefits. While a select number of companies provide unlimited vacation time policies, few companies value time off as much as Adobe.
Twice a year (once in the summer and once in December), the company pauses its operations for an entire week, requiring all employees to unplug and take a break.
And, as outlined in Fortune last year, employees are also offered paid sabbaticals every five years of tenure. By outlining what its employees choose to do with their time off on the Adobe Life blog, the company has seen brand journalism grow into major media coverage.
The average 2015 college graduate is approximately $35,000 in debt, yet only three percent of private sector businesses offer employees student loan repayment benefits. For millennials, 401(k) savings seem out of reach when they’re drowning in debt.
In conjunction with its mission to “resolve complex issues and identify opportunities,” PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) recently made waves in the media when it announced its new perk. Starting this year, PwC will provide 45 percent of its staff $100 a month for up to six years to help pay off student loan debt.
This perk no doubt had brand considerations as PwC received coverage across multiple reputable publications, such as The Atlantic and The Washington Post.
Job turnover is significantly lower at companies with rich cultures (13.9 percent) than at brands with a limited culture (48.4 percent). Culture has a direct impact on engagement and some companies are doing more than others to keep employees passionate and loyal.
Salesforce urges its employees to become invested in communities outside the office by giving six paid days off to complete volunteer work. If employees use all of their time, the company donates $1,000 to the charity of their choice. And while the “1 per-cent solution,” is not a new perk, Salesforce has continued to build awareness around its value on volunteering and continues to rank on Glassdoor and Fortune’s top workplace lists.
We may not have access to these five companies’ step-by-step pitching plans, but we do have the tips and tools to getting the coverage your brand deserves. A media database used in conjunction with social listening tools will help you better target influencers, improve outreach efforts and monitor how your audience reacts to coverage highlighting your brand’s core values.
Images via Pixabay: 1, 2, 3
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