HR, PR and the Company Experience

Nick Kalm

Until very recently, HR and PR operated as stand-alone entities -- but the rise of technology has meant that relationship is now evolving, growing, and intersecting in ways that genuinely compliment and assist one another. Our guest for this week's ProjectHR is Nick Kalm, Founder, President, and CEO of Reputation Partners, LLC. and he'll be telling us all about:

  • How both teams benefit from working in concert;
  • The importance of the company experience;
  • The role of storytelling in both HR and PR; and
  • How joining forces can dramatically impact recruitment efforts.

Nick Kalm

Public Relations

“Perhaps second only to communications with the legal department, I would say communications between PR and HR are among the most important for a company to have down pat.” 

If you prefer to read along while you listen, we've done all the hard work for you! We listened back to this episode and took notes below, and access is free! 

The Power of Cooperation

  • HR and PR coexist, and work alongside one another, but they don’t often work in concert when one another.
  • These groups work best when they work hand-in-hand, and should consider the challenges these different groups have, and how they can help one another.
  • PR can provide valuable data for HR!
  • PR can also help with recruitment and retention. 
  • Technology is used by both, in similar ways - but both should remember not to lose the human touch!


Get all the notes, links, tips, tricks and most important content from this episode - for free!

By signing up you agree to our terms

The Importance of the Company Experience

  • The Company Experience is absolutely part of the employer brand
  • Recruitment & retention are deeply impacted by the company experience
  • Consistency is important -- variabilities are going to happen, but you want to be careful that it doesn’t become too divergent.

The Problem of Disconnects

  • Disconnects between PR and HR regarding the employee experience can become a problem. 
  • Ideally, they should be in the same department, or simply work with the lines of communication open between the two.
  • “Perhaps second only to communications with the legal department, I would say communications between PR and HR are among the most important for a company to have down pat.”

The Role of Storytelling

  • Storytelling is huge - people want to hear stories about their colleagues, about the employee experience, so PR being able to gather those stories is really important, and they can’t do it alone. 
  • A lot of stories get heard and shared by HR, and that partnership becomes key because finding out where those good stories are within an organization is something HR is particularly well-suited to source.
  • Facebook and YouTube are the two primary social platforms for sharing the company experience and sharing stories.

Recruitment: How HR and PR can Join Forces

  • How PR can “soften the ground”: if a company is looking at recruiting a particular market or school, they can do that through some well-timed PR stories, talking about the company, through the local media market or through social media. Get the buzz going about your company!
  • Certain departments are going to be better at some of the tasks involved than others, but all together, recruitment should be a very synergistic, cooperative effort between departments.
  • Job Boards: organizations that are struggling with negative reviews should help remind employees who are happy to go online and talk about what’s wonderful about the company. Ask people, don’t compel them. HR and PR working together to encourage people to post positive sentiments is critical.
  • All it takes is one disgruntled employee or former employee to post something negative about the company on a job board to deeply impact recruitment, so you want to make sure you have a lot of positive reviews to balance it out.

Other Cooperative Efforts

  • Benefits Communication - PR can help demystify the “alphabet soup” of HR’s technical, jargon-filled information.
  • Training - PR is a great resource for Leadership Training and Communications Training for executives.
  • Crisis Management - Many crisis situations arise that have little to do with HR functions, but the HR/PR relationship becomes critical when it comes to company response to these kinds of issues, particularly when it comes to sensitive issues like harassment or labor issues.

Reputation Partners, LLC

  • Based in the midwest
  • Works closely with HR departments and other functions within companies, both, large and small, to protect them against current or impending crises, rebuild them if they’ve recently weathered a crisis event, and enhance their reputations in the good times.
  • They do this through earned media relations, crisis planning, helping around the whole employer brand piece, communicating about benefits and other changes, and provide marketing services, as well.
  • Reputation Partners also provides labor relations assistance, offering consultants to assist organizations deal with labor issues. 

Nick Kalm: Backstory

  • A.B.(B.A.) in Political Science from Kenyon College
  • Began career working in Public Affairs for Ciba-Geigy and American Cyanimid Company
  • Served as EVP/GM -- Reputation Management Practice and Global sector Leader, Employee Engagement for Edelman Worldwide
  • Mr. Kalm is currently the Founder, President and CEO of Reputation Partners, LLC


Subscribe & Review The ProjectHR Podcast!

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of ProjectHR. If the information in our weekly conversations and interviews have helped you in your business journey, please head over to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify or however you get your podcasts and subscribe to the show. We'd also love it if you left us a five-star review! Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver great, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more amazing professionals just like you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email