A major Army recruitment drive has ambitious plans to increase by a
quarter the number of civilians applying to join.
The Army has previously carried out all regional marketing internally
but Golley Slater Group (GSG) has recently been appointed to handle a
pounds 3.2m recruitment advertising and PR campaign, while recruitment
group Search Consultancy has been appointed on a trial basis in
The aim is to increase recruitment, as the Army is 8,000 short of full
According to Army recruiting boss Colonel Wayne Harber, the problem has
arisen because traditional recruitment methods have proved too
'We don't have a large enough footprint on the ground,' he said.
The Army has 123 recruitment offices nationwide but only 30 in prime
high street locations.
In a bid to target prospective soldiers more effectively, the Army has
divided the country into 12 regions. GSG's brief seeks to complement
Saatchi & Saatchi's national marketing campaign and ensure the
recruitment drive is more responsive.
GSG has begun a roadshow to visit the commanders they will report to in
the different regions. The roadshow is an opportunity to discuss
strategy depending on the demographics of each area.
Mike Leeson, who heads the GSG account, describes its task as 'traffic
GSG is using affiliates Northern Profile in Leeds, Manchester and
Newcastle, and Drury Communications, which replaces McCann-Erickson in
Northern Ireland later this year.
Scotland, however, has come in for specialist treatment with the
additional appointment of the Search Consultancy. This is the first time
the private sector will be involved in Army recruitment. Search
Consultancy will handle most of the recruitment process, although final
selection remains in military hands.
From a PR perspective, Search will carry out most PR north of the
border, although GSG will provide complementary activity.
'Golley Slater will have a small team in Scotland specifically for
regimental activity. Its approach will be small and localised but will
still drive recruits,' said Harber.
If a success, the recruitment agencies being tried in Scotland may be
introduced elsewhere. According to Harber, the Army can't afford for the
campaign to fail.