word-of-mouth meet mass media
So I was talking with a friend the other day and she shared this story with me. Now for the sake of confidentiality, I am not going to share the name of my friend or the name of the company I am talking about. But, this is a great word-of-mouth story.
My friend works for a major organization, and they were getting ready to hire a bunch of new workers. So they wanted to use some “media” to inform the public about these new jobs to generate interest and find a big pool of applicants. So this organization advertised online with some television and other online media outlets with banner ads that click-thru to the online application process. They spent tons on money on the ads, radio spots, etc. to drive interest for the public at-large to go online and apply. My friend was not convinced this was going to generate lots of “leads.”
So, my friend took the time to make some small cards with with the web address. He took these cards and walked around the organization, passing them out. He gave them to the workers of this organization, asking them if they knew anyone that needed a job to give them this card. He passed out hundreds of cards to anyone inside the organization.
On the online application, he included a field that asked where they heard about this job. It listed different options including the news outlet’s web address, radio ads, tv ads, and also included if they heard from a friend who gave them a card. When they opened up the online process to accept the applications, the number one referral was friend who gave them a card. WOW…all of this mass media used to recruit, thousands of dollars spent on advertising to the masses, and the little cheap cards yield the best result.
Now this is not to say that online media, television, and radio is not a viable resource to spread your message. But here is a situation when someone, who is not a marketing person, took the time to go where the pulse of the people exist and empower them to share with their friends. Think about it, those people took their cards and gave to a friend…probably shared with someone who needed a job. Those applicants will probably retire at this organization…why. Because a friend referred them. The person sharing the card is going share with people whom they know. They are going to share with people whom they think would represent best their organization. Brand ambassadors and word-of-mouth….a powerful combination.
Word-of-mouth is such a cool thing!
Your friend started from the human perspective and worked outward to find a great solution. The cards were tangible items, and the one-on-one of someone saying, “hey, if you’re looking for a job, check out the info on this card,” made the communication far more personal than any of the “shout” media techniques. Who doesn’t love helping a friend or acquaintance find a job if they need one? Especially now. That’s the beauty of this approach. This is about one-on-one human contact, and somebody helping another person. Both parties got something out of it, and the organization was able to fill positions.
Nice job. Kudos to your friend.
It totally agree. It is so funny when I heard this story…I was so excited about it. My friend could not figure out why I was so pumped…but it reinforced what many of us are hoping to reinforce: the fact that one-to-one interaction will not be replaced with technology. It is so easy as a digital media, gadget freak like myself to get caught up in the mindless approach of new media(s) as a one size fits all. We have to constantly remind ourselves, at-least I do, that these are people. We can reach them with like the masses, but touch them takes real human interaction. Thanks so much for stopping by for a few and reading! ~BR