The Arland Group is a boutique creative agency. We want to ask you an important question. Would you rather work with people who want to work with you? Or, would you rather work with people, who work for people, who make them work with you?

By: Ryan Ching

You don’t have to be a marketing guru to know that social media is one of the greatest tools that you have to build your personal or professional brand. However, using it effectively may be harder than you think. Here are 6 simple tips that will help make you a social media stud in the eyes of your followers:

 

1. Develop A Schedule And Stick To It

Wouldn’t it be annoying if your favorite tv show decided to run new episodes at a different time every week? Of course it would, so why would you do that to your followers? Create a social media schedule in order to make sure that you are posting when your followers are expecting to see your content. Set strict deadlines to make sure that your content is ready to be posted at the same time on the same days in order to give your readers and followers something to look forward to.

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2. Post At Peak Times

Speaking of scheduling, make sure to post your content at the right times of day to reach the followers you want to target. It’s hard to grow your following if the people you are trying to reach are sleeping or at work! The time of day to post varies depending on your content and platform, but a great reference to check out is CoSchedule’s Guide to Posting for new users.

 3. Use Multiple Forms Of Media

When you post on a platform such as Twitter or Facebook, you only have a second or two to catch the user’s eye before they scroll past your post and onto the next one. In fact, according to a study done by Hubspot, Tweets are 150% more likely and Facebook posts are 230% more likely to be engaged with when paired with an image. Use pictures, memes or gifs if you’re posting on Facebook or Twitter and charts or statistics if you’re posting on LinkedIn to captivate the interest of the user and get them to spend more time viewing your content. These things are important when it comes to blogs too! Nobody wants to sit and read a block of text that looks like it came from a legal book. Get creative and keep them interested in your content and they’ll be coming back for more.

 

4. Hashtag Correctly

No matter how good your content is, you won’t be able to gain many followers without using appropriate hashtags and keywords. Make sure that your hashtag is relevant to your post, short in length and that you only use a few. While it may seem beneficial to hashtag every relevant topic you can think of, quality followers come from a targeted audience.

5. Post Relevant Content

If your social media pages are all about home ownership, post about home ownership! People follow your pages to learn about a certain topic and when you begin to stray away from that topic you lose followers. However, it is in your best interest to talk about a variety of ideas within an industry or topic so that you do not end up restating the same posts multiple times. Find your niche and talk about all of the happenings in it.

6. Interact With Your Audience

One of the most effective ways to keep your audience coming back to your content is to respond to questions and comments that they leave. People want to feel like they are being heard and creating a conversation with followers can sometimes get more traction than the original post. One of the best accounts to see this in action is Wendy’s who have grown their following through their humorous, yet helpful responses.

What other tips and tricks have you found when working with your social media pages? Is there anything you would recommend to new users? Let us know on our Facebook page and don’t forget to check out 5 Tips To Ace Your Interview!

 

6 Simple Tips That Will Help Make You A Social Media Stud

Facebook’s New Optimized Ad Options

by Joshlyn Polk

20 April, 2015

In an effort to give more companies the competitive edge, Facebook has announced plans to incorporate new product ads–a potentially lucrative new ad unit poised to benefit brands as they seek to reach large audiences on the biggest social media platform.

In the past, a solitary ad in a campaign would be delivered to the audience at large. Brands will now be able to run multiple ads in the same campaign with different targeting and maximize the performance of their efforts! Instead of a one-size fits all approach, companies have an increased chance of upselling products or appealing to consumers for which the original ad may not have been relevant. This translates to big opportunities for added revenue and is also friendly to the media-buying budget.

Large-scale advertising on Facebook has been difficult to master for small to mid-sized businesses but with the introduction of this new ad option, more brands will be able to take advantage of the endless potential of this new promotion practice.

Click here for more information »

Newest Content Marketing Expert Makes His Mark

by Kyle Gunning

7 February, 2014

I specialize in social media and content marketing and I come to The Arland Group with a background in anthropology, sociology and psychology. If you were thinking that means I’ll be mentally analyzing people and things going on around me, you’d be right. As creepy as that sounds, it’s what I think makes me effective at my job. It’s called applied anthropology. I try to take the theories of anthropology and the other social sciences and use them to understand and solve practical problems. Claude Lévi-Strauss, Erving Goffman and Ilana Gershon are where I pull most of my ideas and theories.

When Facebook and Twitter emerged, the term we used for them was “social network.” This was by no accident. Social networks are a topic explored extensively by anthropologists since the 1800s. Every user on Facebook, Twitter and the like are actors in this play or structure in society. Whether we want to admit it or not, our actions in this structure are quite predictable. We have less control over these interactions than you may expect. From trending topics to social advertising to “trolls” sending hateful comments: it’s all something that anthropology can help understand, predict and hopefully solve. That’s what I’m here to do and I’m very excited to be the newest member of the TAG team.

SEO? Not Anymore!

by Ryan Stene

21 November, 2013

ContentOne of the biggest recruiting buzzwords that has dominated our space for the last decade has been a three letter word—search engine optimization (SEO).

[Are you a little bit behind the times? SEO was the art and science of creating web pages that generated traffic and high rankings in the search engines. It relied heavily on links, keywords and site structure.]

If you were a recruiting leader and didn’t have a SEO strategy you were considered behind the times. If you were an earlier adopter, you maybe purchased tools that optimized your job postings or indexed thousands and millions of pages for you to build your own search rankings. Or maybe you stuffed your postings with keywords. It also was something that the job boards lacked, thus resulting in other emerging players to dominate the space.

But then Google and other search engines changed the game by altering the search algorithms and moved to a secure search—meaning that you can no longer obtain keyword data on how people came to your site. So what does that mean? It means SEO is more dead than my Michigan Wolverines’ chances of making it to the Rose Bowl. (I won’t get started on that rant.)

So, who is the next big player to make an appearance? Online Audience Optimization (OAO).

OAO simply is content distribution. It allows companies to leverage their greatest assets—the wealth of high-quality content to create a steady web-wide presence—and to generate consistent new and repeat visitors. OAO uses the best practices of SEO, along with social media, content sharing and branding, to build and elevate loyal and targeted audiences.

I have to give credit to some of the leaders at The Arland Group who have used their crystal ball to see this coming for several years and thus kept TAG in a position to be a leader in this space. On an hourly, daily and weekly basis we are curating high-quality and meaningful content. We then help our employers distribute that content to their audiences through various mediums such as social media, blogs, eNewsletters and building that within the current career site structure. This resulted in more engaged candidates, faster connections and decreasing the time to fill roles.

Thinking about getting started with this strategy? Here are some things to get you started:

  1. Brand Focus – Leverage your brand and existing company tag lines and phases to build meaningful content or themes. Involve other departments to share in the messaging and give it a dual purpose. For example: candidate engagement and driving sales.
  2. Be Precise and Have a Plan – Creating a plan and having a content calendar will keep you on track but also can help you leverage internal themes that occur during that time.
  3. Cast a Wide Net Know where you are going to distribute this content. Send it to candidates who have already applied to previous roles, give them option to sign up for the newsletter and use social media. Right now, social media provides one of the clearest connections with high search engine rankings. Build out your presence on social media and content sharing sites, but focus especially on the big five: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest.
  4. Encourage Audience Participation – Use polls, sharing, comments, reader-submitted content and contests to increase interaction. You can measure this by time on your site and bounce rate.
  5. Integrate Your Mobile Strategy – It is important to optimize your experience to be both mobile and desktop friendly. Mobile content consumption is the highest platform for consuming content. FUN FACT: 70 percent of desktop interactions lead to an action within one month and 70 percent of mobile (including tablets) interactions lead to an action within one hour. Source: Modern Marketer Universe

At the end of the day just have fun and learn from your experiences. Every company is different on how audiences engage and interact. The key is to make an effort. The effort will enable to you to reduce costs and rely on vendors to drive and engage your candidates.

 

Content Writing Expert Tips—How to Survive in the Social Media Age

by Alyssa Stahr

23 August, 2013

They say content is king. How can you rule your own destiny as a content writer/marketer/social media expert? The fact that there are multiple titles to describe what we do proves that versatility is key to success as a content marketing guru.

One of the biggest questions in our market today is, “Is print media dead?” Whether the final nail is in the coffin remains to be seen, however, the important part is that writers are well-rounded enough to be good at it all. Today’s ideal writer must know how to craft appropriate content for every medium imaginable. Print, digital, social media, white papers, ad copy, press releases, blogs, newsletters—each has its own form, nuances and subsets, and being the type of writer who can adapt to it all will be king (or queen).

The first rule is to know your audience. Whom are you writing for? Perhaps it’s a client who wants a younger voice on a career brochure for college students. Maybe you are crafting social media posts for a small demographic of bakers, or you’ve been called upon to write a series of white papers outlining trends in the food and beverage industry. Clients, genres, subjects and audience will change. We at The Arland Group strive to be content chameleons daily, and switching gears at a moment’s notice is a huge aspect of our lives.

Another point to remember is to pick a style and stick to it. Whether your company has a house style, AP style, Chicago Manual of Style, each is there to provide consistency in your writing. And never, ever double space after a period. It’s wrong and very old school. And, the point is to become a better, fresher, newer writer looking forward to the bright future of the pen, pencil, typewriter, laptop, tablet, or whatever you choose to create your content on today.

The biggest piece of advice was saved for last because it usually becomes the last piece in the writing puzzle, but it is by far the most important—editing and proofing. You may have just written something to rival Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson or Robert Frost, however if there is a typo or grammatical error, all that genius goes down the tubes and the focus shifts to the mistake.

 

 

 

Don’t Listen to What They Tell You

by Keith Seiz

26 July, 2013

Pick up any business magazine or read any professional or creative blog, and you’re guaranteed to find an article about the importance of “disconnecting.” How removing yourself from your smart phone, social media, email and the Internet is a good thing. Your creativity and productivity will be rejuvenated, so these articles say.

Rubbish.

I just came back from a four-day period of disconnect on the beaches of Mexico, and I feel no more creative or productive. In fact, less so. I create for a living, whether it’s content, concepts or strategies. I’m inspired and motivated by the thousands of pieces of content I digest daily from websites, Twitter, newspapers, magazines and emails.

The world inspires me to be productive and creative, and today’s world is digitally connected. For me, it’s preposterous to disconnect in order to reconnect to the core of your creative and productive life. Connecting even more is what’s going to engage me with my work, clients and tasks at hand.

The more I learn and digest, the more I’m equipped to deal with clients, work and projects that run the gamut from Chinese broadband conglomerates to insurance companies.

So, next time you’re on vacation and see that person sitting on the beach with a Corona in one hand and a smart phone in the other, don’t look down on him or her or chastise them for not being able to disconnect. They might be digesting content that will help them change the word, or at the very least, get more beverage processors to use honey.

The Hashtag: The Little Engine That Could

by Alyssa Stahr

21 June, 2013

small-business-marketingPressing pound for more options no longer works solely on the telephone. Now, the pound sign with the more-popular moniker—hashtag—is everywhere. Even Facebook has joined the hashtag game, perhaps as more of a “everyone else is doing it so we should too” factor than something that was a target on Facebook’s wishlist.

This little symbol is clearly a powerful tool. It somehow infiltrated one of, if not the largest social networks of our time that was never designed to have a hashtag. It’s so powerful that users misuse the sign daily, just as an excuse to insert it into their content. Let’s take a look back at the hashtag’s short journey into stardom.

The first use of the term “hash tag” was in a blog post by Stowe Boyd, “Hash Tags=Twitter Groupings.”

According to hashtags.org, the first hashtag was used by Chris Messina, a social technology expert, way back in August 2007. His Twitter post read, “How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp?” The purpose was to gather discussions and online exchanges regarding Barcamp, a worldwide gathering. Since that first Tweet, the hashtag soared and became more than a search function tag, despite that being its initial intended use. Twitter began introducing “trending topics” on its home page in 2010, giving a shout out to hashtag themes that were popular that day.

A symbol that is supposed to label groups and topics, however, quickly became used (or misused, however one looks at it) in other areas as a way to denote feelings or context. Facebook was a common victim of this happenstance, because there was no way to search on Facebook using a hashtag—until now. Thanks to various platforms that sync with Facebook, namely Instagram, the migration of the hashtag to Facebook was inevitable.

No matter how you use your hashtag, this mighty little symbol has changed the face of social media forever. #amazing

Social Media and Strangers: The Changing Face of Interaction

by Charlotte Muscroft

7 June, 2013

For generations parents have warned their children not to talk to strangers. This advice is solid for those who contemplate accepting candy from windowless vans, but with the abundance of social media in this present day, is this advice still realistic?

According to Facebook research from Nov. 20, 2011, 4.74 degrees separated the users of Facebook. This suggests that strangers are not completely strangers, as 4.74 friends of friends connect you to someone on the other side of the world. And, I’m sure that number is even higher today.

Even parents that share this advice have broken their own rules. Today, many parents met each other online as strangers. According to a University of Chicago study, 35 percent of married couples that tied the knot between 2005 and 2012 met online.

Although it can seem quite scary that via social media a great abundance of people can see you, read your thoughts and see what you ate for dinner, social media provides great opportunities for people across the world to find others who can make their dreams a reality.

When looking for jobs, in many instances it is not what you know, but whom you know. Having a connection on the inside can help a job seeker more than a great cover letter or resume.

From a business standpoint, social media provides a window of reach that no other medium can compete with. The customer that a business wants and the human capital they need are closer than ever.

While “don’t talk to strangers” no longer seems to ring true, the advice of “thinking before you speak” has greatly increased its credibility and value in recent years.

When posting any sort of content online, save a few privacy settings, the owner no longer controls who sees it. This particularly finds prevalence with Twitter, as users can view the accounts and tweets of any user. This means that it is so important to think before you post on your personal accounts and especially on any business accounts you may handle. Just ask the Taco Bell shell licker guy, who may have gone viral, but also now is unemployed.

Home Grown Recruiting Conferences Can Be Better

by Ryan Stene

3 May, 2013

Seedling, home grownAs I recover and continue to digest information from the Minnesota RecruitersSpring Conference, I am amazed by the rapid growth and offerings that this group provides to their community. Their sold-out conference was a huge success, with more than 300 human resources, recruiting professionals and practitioners in attendance. The conference included a killer agenda and content from the Sourcing Ninja himself—Shally Steckerl, a globally recognized recruiting thought leader. His insights were equally thought provoking and entertaining, and I encourage you to check out the Twitter Feed from the event. I believe the success of the conference was a true testament to the values and efforts of MN Recruiters.

MN Recruiters currently has more than 4,100 members, which makes it the nation’s largest and most engaged regional recruiting community and conference. I have been a part of MN Recruiters’ growth since its inception in 2007, and I recently joined their Advisory Board. My involvement has given me the opportunity to truly examine the way our group executes its mission. MN Recruiters believes in and practices the values of learning, collaboration and getting better through local efforts, values that I think some national recruiting communities and conferences no longer successfully uphold.

Most recruiting professionals know the popular national conferences, and unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably heard of ERE and Recruiting Trends. There are also the small-niche groups TalentNet and GlobalTru. I believe that MN Recruiters is similar to what has been cultivated with RecruitDC and SMA Seattle.

So what sets MN Recruiters apart from these similar communities and conferences? We do not have outrageously high membership dues or costs. Fees range from $35-$75 based on speaker content, and our group provides attendees with at least one national speaker at every event and the opportunity to learn from local thought leaders and peers. Compare that to the national conferences that typically feature recycled content and speakers yet cost $800-$1,200 to attend—not to mention flight and hotel costs.

And, the greatest difference is that the speakers at MN Recruiters’ events actually do what they teach! Additionally, since the costs don’t restrict anyone from coming, attendees range from small firms to Fortune 500 companies—a combination that results in true collaboration. They are practitioners. The content always is current, the agendas allow for genuine networking to occur and the users actually learn from new people.

By building an un-conference style foundation for MN Recruiters through his love of giving back to the community, Paul DeBettignies, our previous leader, set a high standard for MN Recruiters’ future. DeBettignies’ commitment to the group’s values has been successfully maintained by Jason Buss, our current leader, through blog posts by members of the community, social engagement on Facebook and an interactive mobile app.

If you are reading this and you are not in the Minneapolis market, I encourage you to take a look at MN Recruiters’ efforts, learn from them and borrow our best practices to start your own grass roots community. You may find you can provide just as much value to your local community as any national conference.

Engagement Versus Likes/Followers: Which Holds the Most Value?

by Alyssa Stahr

1 May, 2013

The Arland Group office is a mecca for collaboration, and Emily Pirraglia and I bounce ideas off of each other on a daily basis. Last week’s debate centered around the importance of likes/followers and engagement on social media. Both are extremely important. But, empty likes are nothing without engagement. You can’t have engagement without followers, but you can’t grow your follower base without shares and proper interaction. However, which stood out as most important was the basis for our debate.

Clients want to grow a consumer base—after all, it’s great to be popular and have a lot of likes. A recent Napkin Labs study analyzed more than 50 brands with Facebook pages that had between 200,000 to one million fans. Results showed that the quantity of likes was not equivalent to the level of consumer engagement. Simply, the more Facebook fans the brands had, the lower percentage of engagement. Brands work hard to be engaged, but it’s tough to relate on a one-on-one basis once likes/followers grow to an unmanageable number.

A 2012 Ehrenberg-Bass Institute study showed that only a little more than one percent of fans of the biggest brands on Facebook were active engagers. A key to boosting that number is to hone in on super followers (those who engage regularly) and to pick different groups to engage with; try not to leave anyone out within those groups.

Groups can be pinpointed according to followers’ age ranges, geographic locations, interests and more. By grouping, strategically targeting and catering dialogue geared toward specific users within groups, no one is left out. It will show that you are paying attention to the people who have taken the time to follow you and become your fan.

Our discussion ended by agreeing that you can’t have one without the other, but in the end, engagement is what matters most.

 

 

TAG Takeaways From The State of the News Media Report

by Emily Pirraglia

22 April, 2013

The Arland Group attended the 2013 State of the News Media Report at the UMSL at Grand Center last Thursday to hear the latest reports on newspaper and broadcast media trends. Besides highlighting the details of the continuing decline of the newspaper industry, the report also reminded us of relevant topics in media.

Social Media: Facebook and Twitter users no longer use social media to simply keep in touch with friends and family. Instead, people are now using these sites to discover local and national news and entertainment. By engaging on Facebook and Twitter, users can easily find news and connect with companies that their friends share and like. Companies can reach these consumers by utilizing their online community; sponsored ads on Twitter and Facebook are most successful when they’re displayed to friends of fans and are helpful to the audience they reach.

Mobile: According to the report, many consumers do not access the Internet at home from a computer and instead rely on a mobile device to read information online. And, these consumers may be in the audience you want to reach. Understanding where your audience is and how they consume information is vital to the success of any marketing campaign. Examine your ads and creative content on all mediums to ensure that your message translates across different devices.

Television: Television may be struggling, but it is far from dead. Although we are experiencing dramatic changes in viewers’ media consumption habits, millions of people still consistently watch broadcast. To ignore them or act as though they’re no longer a valuable audience is not wise. However, in order for television media outlets to present a challenge to growing online media sources, they will need to develop innovative dissemination methods to reach and expand their viewership.

Why Brands are Scared to be Social

by Emily Pirraglia

4 April, 2013

Social media is here to stay.

This statement has been touted for more than five years, yet some brands still insist on maintaining silence in the social media realm. Although being social is easy, achieving success in social media requires a better understanding of the platform.

It gives power to the people
Social media is scary because it takes away control. Many companies are afraid to join social networking sites and expose their brand to the uncontrolled opinions of the masses. Yet the real issue is not the lack of control—it’s the quality of the conversation. On its own, negative feedback is not a bad thing. Only when it’s consistently ignored, deleted or handled horribly does it become a problem for a brand. By focusing on fan engagement, businesses will slowly gain loyal followers while setting the tone for their social media platforms.

It’s not about you
Pretend you’re attending a networking event and someone walks in, pulls out a megaphone, and begins a soliloquy about how awesome they are. Do you sit back and listen as they drone on about their value as a person? Or, do you ignore them and continue your conversation? Some businesses enter social media sites with the same megaphone and goal to broadcast their brand. They don’t realize that a successful social media presence isn’t about them—it’s about their audience.

It’s not about selling
People on social networking sites don’t want to be advertised to—they want to be informed, entertained and helped. They want to feel connected to a brand, not just know about it. Understanding and embracing this reality is the first step to achieving a successful social experience across all social media sites.

It’s still changing
Social networks are young. In fact, if the major ones were people, Facebook would be multiplying fractions, Twitter would be learning words with multiple syllables and Google+ would be taking its first unsteady steps. And, like miniature humans, social networks will continue to grow. Don’t let their changes keep you from joining. By staying silent in the realm of social, you miss out influencing millions of potential fans, followers and free agents.

Taking Notes from NPR’s Andy Carvin

by Emily Pirraglia

26 March, 2013

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend St. Louis Public Radio’s event featuring Andy Carvin, NPR’s Senior Strategist. Carvin develops NPR’s social media strategy, and is best known for using Twitter to report news and information surrounding uprisings during the Arab Spring.

As a “news DJ,” Carvin’s discussion focused primarily on news distribution through Twitter. However, the conversation covered topics relevant to all “content DJs”: social media managers. Carvin’s insights on Twitter were recorded by tweets using the hashtag #acarvinstl—an appropriate method, given the topic.

St. Louis, NPR, Emily Black, TwitterMany businesses approach Twitter as a popularity contest determined by how many followers they receive. Measuring this metric is important to an organization’s success, but the numbers do not wholly define the engagement of your Twitter community. Engaging people online is about building relationships by listening and responding. Focusing on followers as individuals rather than numbers will produce far greater results for your brand than trying to grow your follower count at any cost.

Being Human on twitter, STL NPR, #acarvinstl, Andy CarvinSome business twitter accounts remind me of the man behind the curtain in “The Wizard of Oz.” You can follow them and read their tweets, but the entire time you have no idea who they really are because their content lacks a clear brand voice. No matter who you are or why you’re tweeting, it’s important to be authentic. No one wants to feel like they’re trying to have a conversation with a RSS feed.

NPR, St. Louis, Andy Carvin, Distant WitnessFor brands, Twitter offers total exposure to your audience. Social media managers have the opportunity to share news, ask for feedback and connect with customers in real-time. The downside to this constant stream of information is that maintaining relevancy becomes difficult for brands that promote a limited message. Keep your tweets engaging for your followers by linking to sources connected to your content, sharing images that give insights into your company and following hashtags related to your work. Constantly adapt and grow, and remember to always ask the right questions about your brand.

social media, media literacy, tweet, Emily Black, NPR, St. Louis, Andy CarvinTwitter is an incredible network of users sharing all types of information—some truthful, others not so much. As a social media manager, it is your responsibility to sort the authentic tweets from the false ones. Remember to always go to the source, learn any differing information and RT with caution.

 

 

 

Facebook Gets a Facelift

by Emily Pirraglia

7 March, 2013

Facebook’s updated news feed combines the intimate nature of Instagram and clean design of Google+ to create a user experience focused on visuals, personal curation and consistency. Check out how their redesign will impact your Facebook experience:

Lots of Visuals: The redesign focuses on visual storytelling by enlarging photos, albums and videos in the news feed. Content about individuals and pages now include a section of their cover photo and timeline, and shared articles display a bigger image, longer summary and the publisher’s logo.

Choice of Feeds: Tired of reading romantic updates from high school acquaintances? The news feed features additional filters that give users more control over the type of content they see. Users can sort feeds chronologically, create feeds exclusively for the pages they follow and curate their homepage to include updates from the publications, artists and public figures they care about.

It’s still unclear what impact the design will have on a page’s exposure in the news feed; however, the changes will allow all page updates to be featured on the pages-only feed.

Consistency Across Platforms: By increasing the size of pictures and videos in the news feed, Facebook focuses on improving the mobile usability of the site. The new Facebook app for phones and tablets also embraces a streamlined, clean design, and will closely match the Web version of Facebook.

Facebook plans to introduce the changes to its website today, and will implement the redesign for its mobile apps in the coming weeks.

Twitter’s Video Response to Conveying Short Messages: Vine

by Alyssa Stahr

6 March, 2013

Hearing something through the grapevine may finally be a good thing. Since its debut in late January, the mobile app Vine is quickly rising in popularity.
The great thing about Vine is that it’s currently free on the iPhone and iPod touch, and it can be shared on Twitter and Facebook. There is no doubt that the app will be usable on other platforms sooner than later.

The bad news is that the video sharing app has a maximum length of six seconds. This begs the same question from users that Twitter did when it launched a service only allowing for 140 characters: “What in the world can I share in only six seconds?” The answer is with a little creativity, a lot.

SocialMediaExaminer.com recently came out with a list of a whopping 16 ways businesses are using Vine. Here are the top three that stood out to us:

1. Engage Your Followers in Conversation.
Engagement is everything in our business. After all, just blindly posting something without asking for feedback or engaging in dialogue has little to no purpose. Vine allows for a visual boost by not only asking a question, but giving the user video options to choose from.

2. Showcase Your Work, Products and Portfolio.
No matter if your client list is long or short, a video series showcasing what you’ve done for your clients is a really fun way to highlight your work and partnerships. And, if you have something really exciting you are about to launch, a sneak peek is a great way to get clients and readers engaged in the new product, web site, page, etc.

3. Take People Inside Your Office.
The Arland Group’s home office is in St. Louis, Mo., however we have satellite offices in different cities around the country. Giving each other and our clients a glimpse into our daily lives and our awesomely decorated desks gives us a personality behind our names. We are a fun group, after all.

Reflections and Resolutions

by Ryan Stene

7 February, 2013

As I enter my fifth month of being with TAG and embark on my first blog post for the company, I can’t believe how fast time flies when you are having fun at job that you love to do. I am amazed each day by the talent that our group is gifted with—the commitments that we have for our clients and helping them achieve their goals.

2013 is going to be a big year for me personally and professionally; I have set for myself some “resolutions” that I hope to accomplish but also maintain. With one month into the New Year down, some of us have already broken those resolutions and some have been accomplished.
For me February is a time to refocus on my goals and ensure that I am on track. Within talent acquisition or recruiting, the TAG team and I have come up with five resolutions that companies MUST focus on and achieve if they want to hire the top talent for ’13.

1. Employment Branding & Candidate Engagement
We see this on everyone’s radar in the beginning of every year, but then like a lot of resolutions, get quickly passed over due to budgets or changes in plan. Branding and engagement, if not made a priority, can affect everything that you do if not focused on as a part of your tradecraft. This should be considered as one of the key foundation blocks for your strategy.

2. Mobile
We are in the age of technology; the phones are getting bigger and the tablets are getting smaller. I recently saw someone use the tag line of the “Phablet” and I thought it was genius. It will be the devices that we all will carry around with tablet and phone features. In a recent survey 85 percent of seekers want to view, apply and receive opportunities via their mobile device. Unfortunately, there are companies that don’t even have a mobile optimized site and ATS vendors that can offer the mobile apply experience. Luckily for us there are vendors out there that can give us the functionality we need at an affordable price. Don’t lose out on valuable talent by not giving consumers multiple ways to connect with you.

3. Social Media
For those who were waiting for the social bubble to burst—its time to find your next Mayan doomsday date—social is here to stay. Eighty-eight percent of the Fortune 1000 companies that were polled said they would be using Facebook to advertise their jobs in 2013. Social can be one of the most inexpensive and effective tools for you this year—it is branding, engagement, advertising and talent community and rolled up into one for you. If you’re not in, dip your toes in. If you are in it, expand and take some risks. Social as of source of hiring nearly tripled in 2012.

4. Consulting Services/ Vendor Management
Since I have had the pleasure of being both on the agency/consulting side and on the job board side, I have now seen all the games and tactics used; some are effective and some are absurd and morally wrong. Leaders in our industry that have very complex and time consuming jobs don’t always have the time to understand and follow all the latest tools, metrics and vendors that are out there. Please take the time to slow down and surround yourself with the correct people. I hate to see my friends and leaders get hurt!

5. Employee Referral Program
This should be a priority every year and your No. 1 source of hire. but in ’13 think about giving it a facelift—new ways to engage your employees, put more emphasis on it, engage upper management to take part and make it mobile friendly.

 

Engaging the Next Generation of Great Marketers

by Keith Seiz

31 January, 2013

I just got back from visiting my old high school, where I was asked to speak about “what I do” to a class of juniors and seniors in a Sports and Entertainment Marketing class.

I love speaking in front of people. It’s one of the favorite parts of my job. I’m passionate about what I do, and I love telling clients and anyone who will listen about marketing and branding. But speaking in front of high school kids was a whole new ball game. They were engaged (at least most of them), and asked good questions, but it was difficult for me to get any read on if my message was effective. No one stuffed me in a locker on my way out, so I guess something of value was conveyed.

What I learned from the experience is how quickly the next generation of marketers will be ready to take my job. Social media is such a significant part of my job, and every kid I spoke to probably has just as much experience using these tools as I do. By the time they are primed for the workforce, they won’t need work experience because to them, the tools of content delivery are part of everyday life.

I’m not even sure if they need to go to college to realize a career as a successful marketer. I’m not selling my profession short, just coming to the realization that content is marketing, and high school kids consume an obscene amount of content on a daily basis. By the time they are ready to start their careers, they will already understand the tools needed to disseminate the message.

They may not know how to craft the message, and maybe that’s where us “dinosaurs” will maintain employment.

2012: The Year of Visual Marketing and Mobile Technology

by Keith Seiz

20 December, 2012

This year was the biggest year ever for social media marketing. No matter how social or what kind of social you wanted to be, Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and more, had you covered in 2012.

According to this story by the Content Marketing Institute, roughly nine out of 10 businesses now use social media to drive their message. This is a good idea considering we are such a technologically bound society. We seem to always be plugged in and looking for smarter, harder working instruments. Smartphones, laptops, tablets and televisions have taken over our world. In this world, digital photo sharing and online shopping emerged in 2012.

Read more about 2012 content marketing trends here.

Getting Social with The Arland Group

by Alyssa Stahr

13 December, 2012

We at The Arland Group are a creative agency that focuses strongly on social media strategy for clients. Therefore, it’s only fitting that we put some focus on our own social media, right?

The Arland Group’s Facebook page serves as our home of sharing. Whether it is sharing a client site launch or news; fun around the new office; or posting our weekly blog from one of us, Facebook is the place to go for the latest in Arland Group news.

Twitter also is growing by leaps and bounds. The Arland Group tweets multiple times a week, making sure we are up on the latest client news, as well as our friends in social media. We also are on LinkedIn and Google+, following and sharing job interview tips, blogs and job openings through these media.

Lastly, for those wanting a more visual presence, follow The Arland Group on Flickr and Instagram. Here you will get a chance to be upclose and personal with The Arland Group family … and their cute babies. And, who doesn’t love a cute baby photo?

Distracted Much?

by Deb Andrychuk

14 September, 2012

Someone shared a blog post with me recently where the author, Joe Kraus, talks about how we are creating a culture of distraction: he says we have created an environment where we have become increasingly disconnected from the people around us and unable to engage in creative long form thinking all due to overuse of technology. He laments our loss of ability to truly interact with people and develop real relationships and how we are further diminishing our ability to think creatively because we are filling our down time with texts, tweets and emails and other tech related interruptions. For example, instead of waiting in a line at the bank and spending five minutes letting our minds wander and having time for our long form creative thinking to kick in, we immediately look to our phone to stimulate us, to fill the gap while we wait. Have you ever glanced at the car next to you while stopped at a red light? Look around, and you will see everyone is head down, intently focused on their smart phones, and terrifyingly disengaged with what’s happening around them. It’s no surprise to me that there were 100,000 accidents last year involving texts according to the National Safety Council. Frankly, I am shocked the number isn’t much, much higher.

Do you get your best ideas in the shower? If you do it’s because it’s probably the only place where you haven’t implemented technology to divert you. Just think how creative and productive you would be if you weren’t getting pinged every 2 minutes on email. Or, how much more relaxed would you be? What could you accomplish if your mind was able to meander quietly a few times a day?

In addition to the negative consequences already mentioned, this unhealthy over stimulation of the brain is also causing us undue anxiety. The constant need to send that pay off signal to the brain when receiving emails and texts is comparable to the feeling we get when we are playing a slot machine. I’m sure all the hard core gamblers are thinking this could be okay, but seriously, it’s not good for you! We need to change!

My commitment to myself is that I am going to put forth extra effort to be less distracted, more present in social situations with clients, friends and especially family.
Here’s my personal plan to be more engaged, less stressed and “wired up”:

  1. Sunday will be a Tech Free Day. On Sunday’s, I will be strive to be 100% present with my family. No technology allowed at all. This will be very difficult for me as I love to “check in” on Foursquare, scan Twitter and Facebook and am constantly reading texts.
  2. During the week, especially in meetings, I am committed to not sneaking peeks at my smartphone emails, Tweets, Facebook posts, etc. and focusing solely on what everyone is saying right in front of me and being the best listener I can possibly be. Admittedly, if I am in a long meeting, I am dying to check my phone.
  3. When I need to focus on getting a project done, I will shut off my email for set periods of time. This will be a game changer for me.
  4. Despite the magnetic pull to do so, I will refuse to check my smartphone for texts/emails in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning. I will at least save it for after that first cup of coffee.

So, I will let you know how this new way of living is working for me. I hope that you will give it a shot as well. I would love to hear what your experiences have been! We could all benefit from fewer distractions. It’s time to start living again…exchange words…listen to each other. Day dream. Be present. Enjoy life!!

Why It’s Important to Embrace Employee Engagement Now

by The Arland Group

28 August, 2012

This article about what companies will do differently in the digital future has a good section- embrace employee engagement. This really supports our point for why companies need to have a separate careers page on social media because it’s not only about recruiting active and passive candidates, it’s about showcasing your company’s culture and the fact that current employees actually like working there. We really try to stress this when we talk to companies and when explaining why it’s becoming more and more important to embrace the cultural shift and have a presence in social media from an employment branding standpoint. http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorieclark/2012/08/28/four-things-companies-will-do-differently-in-the-digital-future/

The Real Secret to Mastering SEO

by The Arland Group

24 August, 2012

Time and time again we get asked what the secret to mastering SEO is. We find ourselves explaining that the key isn’t through clever tricks, maneuvering or figuring out some deep dark secret. It’s about reaching people. And the greatest way to do that is by providing great content and avenues for interaction on your site. This article pretty much sums up what we’ve been saying all along.

My Glass Isn’t Just Half Full, It’s Broken

by Deb Andrychuk

3 February, 2012

Years ago, I had a prospect that I had been pursuing for several months, with zero success.  I couldn’t sell them a thing. I had used all of my awesome sales training (Selling to VITO, Spin Selling, Give ‘Em the Pickle and more) to no avail. The client had expressed their pains, and I had listened attentively and then diligently worked alongside of them to fashion a solution that they agreed would solve their problems and certainly make their lives easier.  The stumbling block was neither my contact nor his boss would take the risk and pull the trigger.  Why? Because, in their eyes, change meant running the risk of making a huge mistake in front of peers or senior executives.  Their fear of failure paralyzed and wedded them forever to their existing solution which was an admitted failure.

After disclosing in a tense pipeline review that another month would pass without this account closing, my manager sat me down.  He had disappointment in his eyes and said these words I will never forget:  ”It’s time you change up your approach- you’re growing stale.  You need to get serious and break some glass or you will never get your customers to break it!”  I was super frustrated and confused (break the glass?  What in the world was he talking about?!)  I wondered if my manager could tell that I wanted to throw everything in my cubicle including him.  Then being sensitive to criticism, I felt my neck grow hot, embarrassed and shocked that someone actually thought my approach had gotten old.  I mean, seriously, who the heck was he talking to?  I had been told by clients that I was like an entire cheer squad, or a cute puppy with a severe case of ADD, but never had I been called stale.  It took me a long time to get over that horrible moment in my cube…Looking back now; I understand what he was trying to do.  He was giving me the big shove I needed to take a different approach and ruffle some feathers to get my point across.

Today, I speak to talent acquisition leaders daily and some of them are managing recruiting programs that are seriously flat lining. Sadly, some are incorporating recruiting methodologies and processes that were used 10-15 years ago and they are genuinely disturbed and saddened that the old “post and pray” isn’t effective anymore.  Unfortunately, this is what happens when no one questions “the method behind your madness” or no one cares to challenge the status quo or when HR can’t get support from the rest of the business and they are relegated to being just a huge cost center.  And, let’s face it, recruiting is not an easy gig right now and there is certainly no silver bullet.  It is much easier to just sit back and keep riding the same old recruiting train.  We can kick back and make stops here and there to lay blame:  job boards don’t work, social media is unsafe and unproven, we lack resources or budget, or our website sucks, the economy blows, my recruiters are lazy, and the list goes on and on and on…

Personally, I made a vow to myself at the beginning of the year to find ways to start chipping away at the legacy glassware that has become the accepted and the norm.  I am pushing myself to have frank, honest and sometimes uncomfortable discussions with my clients and hope that they don’t get their feelings hurt or throw me out of their offices.  The questions aren’t that crazy, but you never know when you are knocking someone’s baby.  ”Do you know who you are and why anyone would want to work for you?”, “Do you believe that your (fill in the blank with-process/job postings/ careersite/ branding) is effective?” or “Why do your current employees stay/leave?” Oh, and by the way, if you do know the answers to these questions, then why in the heck aren’t you sharing your story and/or fixing the issues?   It might be a little uncomfortable, but not asking would be a disservice to our clients.  I am going to help who I can that will listen and divert my attention from those that continue to don their 1999 recruiting earmuffs.  I know that I might emerge at the end of 2012 with a few cuts and bruises, but I’m sticking to the plan because I can’t let myself or my customers get stale.

Final thought:  I don’t recommend going in Rambo style and shattering everything in sight, but my mantra is “Take out your velvet hammer and start tapping, kids!”  Life is better when the glass is half full and a bit broken.

House Advantage Swings to Google

by Keith Seiz

7 December, 2011

When we started The Arland Group six years ago, social media was not even on the list of services we provided. Facebook was for college students and Twitter wasn’t even an idea yet.

Today, social media is not only one of the most exciting segments of our business, it’s also the fastest growing. We now employ people just to develop mountains of content for our clients’ social networks.

To date, most of our efforts have focused on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But there is a new player in town in the form of Google+. I’m a cynic when it comes to new social media networks, mainly because I think the big three are innovative and continually push for improvements on their platforms. It’s hard to be the new kid on the block when everyone loves hanging around with the older, cooler kid.

I have a Google+ account, but I don’t get it. I think the user interface is clumsy, the concept is contrived and not too many of my friends and colleagues have embraced it, so I feel pretty isolated when on the platform. Despite what I perceive to be its shortcomings though, Google+ has an immense house advantage: the algorithm.

The mysterious mathematical equation Google uses to determine the results of search engines is the holy grail of digital marketing. As an agency, we strive to make sure our clients are on that front page of search results when their clients look for them. Getting on the front page requires an immense amount of work, of which I won’t go into detail here (you can call me though!).

On a recent Google search of  “The Arland Group,” we were shocked to see our Google+ page was the third result posted! It was above our Facebook and Twitter pages, despite the fact that we only have five posts on Google+ and hundreds on Facebook and Twitter. Despite building a solid brand on Facebook and Twitter, Google played its house advantage and tilted the algorithm to Google+.

Kudos to them. If you have an advantage, you capitalize on it. They have singlehandedly forced our agency to start launching Google+ accounts for all of our clients. We’re not sure it’s the best way for them to promote their brand, but with a world of information driven by Google, it’s imperative that our customers are present and accounted for on Google+.

Some Things are NOT Better Together

by The Arland Group

26 October, 2011

When I present our social media solution to companies, a common question that I get asked is,  “Why do I need a separate Facebook and Twitter careers page for our company, can’t we just incorporate this onto the corporate pages we’ve established?”  The answer is no.

First of all, I like the St. Louis Cardinals page on Facebook. Does that mean I want to work at Busch Stadium? No, it doesn’t. (Although, if it meant free World Series tix, maybe.) People don’t necessarily become fans of a company on Facebook or follow them on Twitter because they want to work there. A corporate Facebook page is and should be geared toward consumers. Consumers often like to use this as an avenue to voice their praise of a company, but unfortunately, when you take the good, you get the ugly as well. Consumers LOVE to voice their negative opinions and experiences on these pages, which brings me to my next point. Are negative comments about your company the content you want your potential candidates to see?

You’d be surprised, but we rarely see negativity on career Facebook and Twitter pages. When we do, it’s more about not hearing back after an interview or resume submittal rather than unfounded accusations from disgruntled employees. These types of comments are actually a great opportunity to show responsiveness to the person posting and this responsiveness is seen as something positive to other job seekers. Win-win, right?  Also, by keeping your employment brand social media pages separate, you can really focus on providing content that will interest your current employees and potential candidates.  You can show people what it’s really like to work for your company through posts about work culture, highlighting individual employees for their achievements and showcasing the variety of career paths you have to offer.

Still not convinced? I could give you several other reasons on why you need to keep your corporate and employment brands separate on social media, but here’s the bottom line:  Social media is here to stay and the recruitment aspect of it is rapidly growing.  Pretty soon, traditional recruitment avenues will become irrelevant and it’s important to stay at the forefront of these developments. By establishing your employment brand on social media, you’re keeping yourself on top of the recruitment game.

Use Your Gut to Make the Best Decision

by Erin Canetta

22 September, 2011

We have all experienced running into an image, concept, person, etc. and it seems to reoccur to the point where we ask ourselves, “what is this and why does it keep coming up in my life?” That has recently happened to me with the concept of intuition.  Intuition is defined as the act or faculty of knowing or sensing without the use of rational processes. In recent months, I have read a series of articles in various magazines, caught a speech by Steve Jobs and had conversations where intuition ends up being the center of attention. So I finally stopped and told myself that maybe it’s time I examine my intuition—and not so much in terms of what it will mean but what it has meant in my life so far. In doing so I came to the realization that I have made by best decisions when I’ve gone with “my gut” or intuition.  When my head has gotten involved too much I mess it up.

Here’s an example of time when my head got in the way: When it was time to pick a college, my gut told me to go to the one close by my house that was affordable and good enough. But my head told me to go to an expensive and prestigious university. Almost 15 years and countless student loan payments later, I wish I had trusted my intuition. I’ve since learned that what you mean to your clients in business is less about who you are and more about what you’ve made them mean to you. If you can adopt their business as your own and cherish it the way they do, you’re golden. Where you went to school isn’t even a moments’ thought.

One of my best business decisions was made almost completely on my intuition. When Keith Seiz called me to meet with him and Jason Wood for dinner to discuss the possibility of joining their new company—TAG—my head told me to wait. Coming from a big corporation to a new small business was just too risky for my brain to accept. But my intuition told me to take the leap of faith without the slightest moments pause. That coupled with an already well-earned trust I had in Keith, I allowed myself to take that leap and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I now work everyday with a group that is not based on ego or title but more based on building solid client relationships and we all win in that. I don’t even dread going to work Sunday evening. Actually, with a mischievous toddler in the house I often look forward to it.

My intuition has been right on many other occasions from deciding what house to buy, to when it was time to have a baby and then another baby, calling my dad the night before going away for a couple days just to say “hi” and when I had come back he had passed away, right down to stopping into a small grocery store nearby to check their prices and now it’s my main grocery store and I’m saving $300 a month. I’m finding that I’m forcing myself to stop thinking too much about a decision and allow my gut to guide me once in awhile. On those occasions, my answer is usually resolute and always the best choice.

Maybe this will be your second or third time of running into the concept of intuition in recent days or maybe it’s the first. If nothing else, maybe you can look back and examine when you went with your gut and what the outcome was. I hope it at least gives you the pause to “think” differently if only for a moment and ask your gut a question or two.

Strategizing Makes Success a Piece of Cake

by Sharon Lynch

15 September, 2011

Here at The Arland Group, we pride ourselves on applying successes from one area to another, sharing ideas from consumer marketing to recruitment marketing, vice versa, and on over to business-to-business. Similarly, I like to borrow work strategies that can extend to my personal life. For one, pro-active planning, creativity, detailed project management and research are just some of the things we do here to ensure success and I’m hoping to carry that forward to a large undertaking at home . . . I am already thinking ahead to my son’s 4-yr birthday party and it’s 2 months away – I just can’t help it. I enjoy planning and love being pro-active, so that makes for a great fit when planning client strategies . . . I am hoping this will also help me make a Treasure Chest Birthday Cake – not your average 3-step box cake or store-bought cake (one step: pickup). It has so many steps it needs a VIDEO to go with the recipe! http://familyfun.go.com/parties/parties-by-theme/pirate-parties/treasure-chest-cake-686531/ Yikes!

So as a first step to my “planning and strategy” while I’m considering this I decide to draw on my business world acumen. Network. Use social media. I post the idea on Facebook only to get an immediate reply from someone who actually already made the cake! (How’s that for personal research?) And she got huge applause for it. Well then, I guess I’m “in”: decision made. And I will use my business strategies: project management, pro-active planning, and prioritizing to get this done. I will enjoy every step of it as I do working with my customers and just as I experience the success of a Target Mail with a very creative message and high open rate, I will love to see the happy face of my 4-yr-old and his friends.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

by The Arland Group

30 August, 2011

Let’s face it, we live in a world where success is measured in tweets per second, likes per post, and daily page views. This can seem intimidating and sometimes incredibly frustrating when orchestrating a social media campaign. I find that very often at the core of these frustrations is impatience and a lack of understanding of how to really build a successful network.

When The Arland Group launches a social media campaign, we try to really stress that social media is a slow build process that yields huge results. It’s something that needs to grow, requires a strategy and constant evaluation. Makes sense right? The concept is easy to swallow, but as I stated earlier we live in a fast paced world that craves quick results.

To put it in perspective, let me give you an example of another area where the quick results approach doesn’t work. The weight loss industry capitalizes on this concept only to leave consumers searching for another quick fix in the end. Consumers are on this cycle, even though they know weight loss is achieved by simply cutting calories and increasing activity. The problem is that lasting results take time and patience and it’s hard to have to wait for the end result.

Now, I’m not trying to say losing weight and social media are one in the same, but I am stressing that it’s often easy to focus on seeing big results too soon and lose sight of your real goal. That’s why it’s important to remember that we’re here to give you the tools for success and implement a social media plan that will, in time, allow you to reap lasting rewards!

Why We Hired a Content Marketing Manager

by Keith Seiz

22 February, 2011

It’s been a busy start to the year for The Arland Group. In January, we launched websites for industry leaders Nationwide Insurance and PSAV. In February, we welcomed our newest employee, Megan Gattung, as content marketing manager.

In six years, our firm’s growth has only been outpaced by the services we offer. When Jason, Jonathan and I started in 2005, content marketing wasn’t on our list of services. Nor was social media or video production. We were a creative house, and we did creative things on websites and print advertising campaigns.

Content was important, but content was viewed as a piece of a creative project, not the entirety. Content was words that fit on a website or brochure. Content’s sole purpose was to make an immediate connection. There was no content strategy beyond the immediate impact that the words would create when they were read.

Not anymore. Content is major player at The Arland Group, and an area we plan on dominating for years to come. Content is now offered throughout our services, from social media to webisodes to white papers to blogging and micro-blogging. Content is words, videos, books, articles, white papers, ideas, music and any other form of expression we generate on behalf of our clients for the sole purpose of making a connection with their audience. Content is a tool we use to promote our clients to their audience. Content is just like advertising, marketing or public relations. And, it is just as effective.

With Megan on board as content marketing manager, we will be able to expand our content services to all industries we serve, including consumer. B2B and employment branding. It is our job to get our client’s messages to the intended audience in the most effective way. Our content capabilities serve as the perfect complement to our creative capacities to accomplish this goal.

Happy Designers Produce Amazing Work – Thank you PSAV : )

by Jonathan Galbreath

13 January, 2011

There are 100s, 1,000s … 10s of thousands of amazing designers in the United States alone. How many are relevant? How many are practical? How many do you trust?

You’ve been through several agencies and there hasn’t been a good fit, yet. You’ve saved the last 50k of your VC money to find and hire the most talented agency on the planet.

We’ll be honest with whoever knocks on our door. You can hire The Arland Group because we are reliable, intelligent and trustworthy. But, if our work isn’t beautiful … really, what’s the point. We encourage all of our prospective clients to “shop the look”. We DO produce amazing results for our clients because we are very talented folks, but most importantly because OUR CLIENTS TRUST US.

You fancy yourself as a great designer, photographer, social media guru? You just might be. But, you’ve knocked on our door and you’ve put your trust in The Arland Group. Now, let go and enjoy the experience.

Our design team doesn’t always focus on being “Out of the Box”: We’d rather “change what the box looks like”.

Take for instance one of our favorite clients: PSAV

When PSAV contracted us to imagine their employment branding and recruitment website … we were ecstatic.

PSAV needed a simple tagline that expressed a fast-paced, demanding, exciting lifestyle that is a PSAV associate. “You’re On.” not only harks back to “showtime”, it says “you’re the (wo)man”. You are in control. You are in the drivers seat. You contol your success.

BOLD is what our design team had in the back of their minds when conceptualizing PSAV’s career website. PSAV’ers are techy and fast paced – they embrace the latest in social networking and technology, thus Real-time Twitter feeds. To our best knowledge, no other recruitment website has taken this approach. We also built microsites to better target segments of PSAV’s employment initiatives: Another first in the industry.

Of yeah … and it doesn’t end there …

Kudos to all at PSAV for “changing what the box looks like”!

I Answer to Many

by Deb Andrychuk

29 June, 2010

I Answer to Many
One of the hallmarks of the Talent Acquisition Group at The Arland Group is that we work as an extension of our clients’ recruiting teams. One day I might be writing job descriptions, the next could involve identifying key trends in source of hires or assisting with the implementation of a multi-faceted social media campaign, and in between I could be researching CRM’s or wrapping up the sale of a career site. Much of our company’s success depends on the interaction between Arland and the client or “partner.” And, because of the nature of the projects on hand, I “report” to a specific project lead at each company and I become part of that partner’s team. My contact varies on each assignment. I work with recruiters, HRIS leaders, marketing folks, recruiting admins, managers, directors and VP’s of recruiting and human resources; vendor managers, procurement, retail operations and legal teams. Because of the different levels of interaction, I think of my role as a game: adjusting my style, my personality, my skills and knowledge to fit into a particular company’s recruiting structure and process. If I don’t adapt, I don’t succeed. Success is eminent though if I work effectively with each new “boss” and deliver strategic solutions that fulfill needs, budget and timeline.

By the way, if you are known for hating every boss you work for, you shouldn’t work in recruitment marketing sales. I technically have about 45 leaders in my life, all and I answer to each one as if he or she is the President of The Arland Group. My friends ask me, “How annoying is that, reporting to so many people?” I don’t have to think long before responding, “Yeah, sometimes it’s not so fun and can be overwhelming, but I love what I do!” I am still in awe that after 2 years on the job I still get excited when starting my work day. I consider myself pretty lucky as many people I know can’t stand what they do for a living. For me I find satisfaction in that every day at Arland is different. Every day I learn something new. Every day I get to make an impact on our partners’ recruiting missions, saving them time or money or improving their brand equity. And, I enjoy the challenge that comes with juggling multiple projects. Trust me! There is never a dull moment in my life! This is a very good thing for someone like me who has adult ADD. Most of all, I love the relationships that develop along the way. So many of my clients become good friends and there is wonderful sense of camaraderie- who could ask for more? I’m happy to say that I answer to many chiefs and dig every minute of it!

What is a Black Hole?

by Sharon Lynch

1 June, 2010

What is a black hole? Some may say it’s a “region of space from which nothing, including light, can escape. …” or some may say “that’s where my sales rep went after the contract was signed.”

At The Arland Group (TAG), our Talent Acquisition group guarantees that the media partners included in your recruitment media plan will not disappear into a black hole but rather, become stars and shine their knowledge even more brightly after the sale. To this point, we recently setup three media partners to appear at our customer Ministry Health Care within six weeks of the 2010 Media Plan contract being signed.

We firmly believe in helping our customers truly get the very most for their investment. At The Arland Group, our “account management actions” meant that we invited three vendors who are key partners in the 2010 Media Recruitment Plan to cover best practices, competitive benchmarking, time-saving tips, etc.  Monster, Simply Hired and Healthecareers came to our customer’s headquarters in Milwaukee where they had 15 people, primarily recruiters/end users who came eager to listen, learn and brainstorm about how they can best utilize specific products to fill their job openings.  Each media partner brings a distinct strength to the media plan, and in this group setting, by pulling the entire recruitment team together, also allowed for our customer to pro-actively at the onset of the contract term, establish their own internal best practices.

Mike Schmidt, Director of Recruitment at Ministry Health Care, said his recruiters considered this Vendor Summit as “one of the best meetings we’ve ever had.” With the introduction of many new tools available outside of the traditional job postings and resume search, having direct contact between media partners and end users/recruiters is invaluable to help them best use new products.

This post-sale support and “product on-boarding” are even more critical as new products are introduced with the advent of Web 2.0 and trends developing around social media. Monster’s Media Specialist, Dennis Stevens, said having the entire recruiting team assembled to discuss new products now in their mix will help ensure that one of Monster’s unique and most successful products, Career Ad Network, will garner the best possible results.

Healthecareer’s strategy involves developing partnerships with industry-specific associations to help drive job seekers to their site so they had Jennifer Badding, Senior Manager, Association and Partner Development, in attendance to speak directly with the Ministry recruiting team about associations that were meaningful to them and their specific job openings.

Meanwhile, Simply Hired in the job search engine space, will help Ministry reach job seekers in new places and help them connect with seekers who are searching solely by location and industry/job title.

Now that a baseline has been established, and expectations established externally with media partners and internally among recruiters, Quarterly Reviews will be more significant and informative. It also makes a contract more than a contract; it turns a piece of paper into a true partnership. If you’d like to learn more about how to keep your media sales reps out of the black holes and keep them as stars, you can reach me directly at slynch@thearlandgroup.com .