HR vs PR. We’re not so different.

Attention Bullhorn Megaphone Sends Warning MessageAn address to my PR peeps.

Since taking the gig with BetterWorks I’ve been immersed in the world of “HR.” The deeper I go the more corollaries I see to the PR world. Never mind that “HR” and “PR” is just one letter off…

1) Don’t put baby in a corner: Just like PR, the HR world is fighting to not be put into the “I’m just for recruiting” box, read: “I’m not just media.” The HR world has expanded and is now in charge of many things beyond what they were originally known for, just like us. We’re all shoving our way to the table and, rightfully so, we belong there.

2) Spotlight the pink elephant: The progressive types within HR are embracing technology to promote their programs – holistically! These people are pointing to the elephant in the room much as the progressives in PR do. They have unconferences to talk about it and change it. As we’re familiar with, find what’s broken, spotlight it, and work to fix it!

3) We care: This may sound hokey but HR people like PR people care for the people around them and we are all seeking to effect change in a positive and transparent way!

One of the glaring gaps I’ve noticed is that HR is fighting for prominence in the workplace but aren’t the best at communicating in the way they need. It does not occur to them to tap PR (but they tap marketing for pretty collateral!). Rarely do they think to tap the communication experts in their org’s to make that happen.

Lesson of the day: Work with your HR people to internally promote programs. We are the authorities in a company when it comes to how and when to communicate. Though our general focus is external, we are well versed in understanding the power of testimonials. We are nothing without the people around us. How often do we point to employees to help tell our story? They are our finest brand ambassadors.

Take a minute and check in with your HR teams and see how you can help take care of your company and use your “PR” skills to communicate the things your company is doing to make work “More Rewarding,” as we say at BetterWorks.

I say this because I sat in sessions on Sunday with HR folks who are trying to launch programs within their company. They talked about marketing helping them and, of course, I asked, do you ask your PR team to help? The answer is obvious otherwise I would not be writing this.

It got me to thinking and I realized that in my 14 years in the business, not once has a HR person asked me, “Hey, I want to launch this thing internally. Can you give me some tips?” Which is obvious and totally ludicrous at the same time.

HR and PR should be friends. We are commonly aligned. Get on it.

Remember, PR isn’t just external, it’s internal as well. Don’t forget. You have an obligation to share messages inward just as much as you push them outward.

8 thoughts on “HR vs PR. We’re not so different.

    1. Thanks Tiffany! Maybe HR just doesn’t know the power of our PR prowess yes. It’s up to to us to be proactive and show them how we can help.

  1. Hey Nicole, great article. Just want to point out what appears to be a small typo: “Lesson of the day: Work with your HR people to internally promote programs. ” I think you meant to say PR people.

    1. Thanks Obie. I am prone to typos on occasion but in this instance the post is a directive to PR people to work with their HR peeps. :) Thanks for the comment.

  2. Nicole-
    Thanks for this. We recently were able to get one of our own marketers and an internal comms person to work closely with our HR projects group on all our internal projects. The result is that the HR team is providing a more cohesive, complete, and easy to understand message on our projects. Our organization is responding well to these clean and un-gimmicked messages. We have learned to value collaboration that brings different skills together for a common message.

    1. Thanks for the comment Tim. I’d love to hear more about this. Maybe we can start to spotlight some best practices on the great results HR and PR love can create.

  3. Thank you for the article, Nicole! You are right – “Never mind that “HR” and “PR” is just one letter off…”, both Rs do care about people. And many, however, forget that PR not only external, it’s also internal as well! May be we just have to remind them about it from time to time? :)

  4. Thanks for your article. I think that lesson of the day is so important and should be highlighted more. PR and HR people should cooperate more for improving the companies way of communicate, also internal. Both care about people and if can we learn how to take advantage of each others skills and cooperate I think we can reach effect change in that positive and transparent way that you are talking about.

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