Press Release Tip 21
Use a press release as a ‘Help Wanted’ notice
If you don’t have employees and you don’t intend to ever hire them, skip this lesson and scroll down to “Opportunity 21 at the bnottom.” If you do, read on.
There’s no reason to rely only on expensive classified ads when you’re searching for employees.
A press release can double as a “Help Wanted” ad. Here’s the really good news–since you can post it dozens of places online without having to worry about how long it is or the cost of the ad, it can be as detailed as you want. People in your industry will often share the news with their friends and followers in LinkedIn groups and on Twitter.
Today’s lesson is much longer than usual, and you’ll see why in a minute.
I wrote a fictional “Help Wanted” press release, then gave it to my friend, Norman Lieberman, a successful executive recruiter and pay raise coach, to critique. Norm completely rewrote my dull, boring ad and turned it into one with kick and pizzazz, guaranteeing that it would attract top candidates.
Norm says the best “Help Wanted” ads focus on goals and outcomes of the position to be filled, not on the list of requirements such as college degrees, years of experience, and other mundane stuff that turn off the best potential candidates, and don’t clearly measure the candidates’ ability to deliver.
“If your readers think my ad is too salesy, that’s a problem they must get over,” he says. “EVERYONE SELLS, so this position has to be sold no differently than an iPad. That’s the problem with most ads. The hiring company won’t give 10 minutes of effort to sell the position. If the hiring firm doesn’t care enough to package the ad attractively (not fabricate), why should the best candidate care either?”
How to Write a Better Ad
He also offers this great tip before writing an ad:
“Consider storyboarding. That means painting a vivid, compelling story about the kinds of problems the candidate will help solve, and where they will fit in to the firm’s vision for growth. The more enticing the story, the better chance the firm will have in attracting an ‘A’ player. ‘A’ players are attracted to challenge, job stretch, and goals. Compensation should be attractive, but normally compensation alone won’t motivate top candidates for long. Generally speaking, if it is ‘just’ a job, then you will attract second- and third-level candidates.”
You wouldn’t send something like this to the media, of course, but you could post it at your website, on Craigslist, and on free job-posting sites or blogs offered by trade associations. Also, consider buying Google Adwords and link them to your ad.
The Rewritten Ad
The original I wrote is so boring, I’m not even including it here. But here’s Norm’s rewrite. We didn’t optimize this for the search engines yet (you’ll learn more about this in Module 10). I’m offering it here to show you the possibilities of what you can do with a free online Help Wanted ad.
Results-Oriented Public Relations Coordinator Who Wears Many Hats
Stewart Public Relations, a boutique PR agency, works with manufacturing clients to skyrocket their exposure, credibility and sales. We require a racehorse type of individual who can apply their creativity, technical skills and prior success to helping our manufacturing clients reach their goals of public recognition and exponential bottom-line growth.
We will work this position around you and your needs and requirements. This position reports to the president so that you won’t have to jump through hoops to get your ideas heard and implemented. Our office is located in Port Washington, Wisconsin, but working off site can be arranged.
If you can clearly demonstrate how you have elevated your clients’ visibility and bottom line, then we will show you how we can elevate your career.
What We Need:
Someone who will be our key contact and establish relationships with the media. You’ll respond to media inquiries and pitch compelling and creative story ideas. The ideal candidate knows how to form strong relationships with the print, broadcast and online media and already has numerous contacts in the manufacturing trade press, or can secure those contacts.
But more importantly, we’re looking for someone who understands that public relations goes far beyond the traditional media. You must know how to give our clients visibility to not only journalists, but to potential buyers, and do it through things such as blogs, press releases, podcasting, social media, and viral marketing.
Your experience with search engine optimization for things like articles, press releases, online media rooms and website copy will help our clients and our agency have a strong Internet presence.
We will design this position around not only our needs, but what it will take to stretch your career to the next level. We will make sure that we paint a clear picture of the career path you can travel with our firm. We’ve grown over 22 percent per year over the past four years, which means we are fast-paced and leading-edge, provide our race horses all the rein they need to succeed, and fast track team members that are major contributors to our growth.
You will handle a busy workload, details and deadlines, while thinking creatively and coming up with new ideas. Please provide evidence of some of your successes by drafting a simple Word document that details a problem your client had, the process you used to solve it, and the result of your efforts. Be as detailed as possible. Weave into that document how you have effectively used both traditional and new media. If you want to have the freedom to succeed, and be generously rewarded and appreciated for those successes, then please respond without delay.
What we offer:
Salary, bonuses and other compensatory rewards that are in-line with “top talent” in this industry. Some benefits will be tailored to your situation. However, we have a liberal 401K, vacation policy and most other standard benefits befitting a company that is attracting top talent like you.
We also have a Mentor Program for all employees. You will be mentored by an award-winning Senior Staff person who can shorten your learning curve and help you move your career in the direction you want it to go.
Your experience should include:
- A strong track record of writing and editing
- A strong track record of building relationships with the media that has resulted not just in a “pile of clips,” but in positive measurable results. We want to see how your public relations efforts have changed behavior that has benefited your client.
- An understanding of how to use blogs, vlogs, podcasts, online articles and viral marketing to move potential buyers through the sales process.
- Contacts or experience in developing contacts that can be transferred to the manufacturing trade press
- Experience with search engine optimization or the ability to get up to speed quickly
- Appreciation and understanding that sales, marketing and PR are not mutually exclusive
This is a coveted position and we expect a lot of competition. So if you love competition, send a résumé and a Word document that details some of your outstanding successes. Email to JStewart@PublicityHound.com. No phone calls, please.
Come lead our PR efforts at Stewart Public Relations, get the recognition you deserve and put your career on a fun, fast track.
Opportunity #21 to write a press release: Free articles at your website or blog
I’ll bet you offer free articles or other content at your website. Yet how many people know that? Write a press release and tell them. Are your articles arranged by category? Are they updated monthly? Do you let the media, ezine publishers, newsletter editors and bloggers reprint them? Do you feature articles from other industry experts? If so, say so.
Next: You’ll start Module 4 and learn how to write press releases readers love, beginning with how to tell a story.