CAMPAIGNS: Office rage is a good hook for Pertemps - Media Relations

Client: Pertemps
PR Team: Le Fevre
Campaign: Office Rage
Timescale: July - August 2002
Budget: undisclosed

Recruitment consultant Pertemps was set up in Birmingham in the early 1970s. It has 190 branches, provides part-time and permanent staff for industry and commerce, and payrolls more than 25,000 workers each week.

It is one of the largest independents in the sector but, despite this, Pertemps' profile outside the West Midlands has been low.

For the last two years, Le Fevre has been building the company's presence in the recruitment and workplace sections of national newspapers, such as Creme in The Times, Office Hours in The Guardian, Career Express and the Opportunities section of the Financial Mail on Sunday.

The next stage was to take Pertemps further into the mainstream media on the back of a more general news story.

Objectives

To build and reinforce Pertemps' reputation as a national player in the recruitment business and establish it as an authority on workplace issues.

Strategy and Plan

'Road rage' had long been a topic of discussion in everyday life, and public figures such as Naomi Campbell and Roy Keane had been headline news in stories revolving around anger management issues.

Against this background, specially commissioned research on 'office rage' found that half the working population had, at some point, come close to hitting a workmate.

Conflicts were caused by such issues as pressure of work and rudeness, although computer failure elicited the most violent responses. Pertemps was to be positioned as able to give guidance on defusing flare-ups and dealing with workplace tension. It was thought the dramatic news hook - how many people come close to blows - would be of interest to the print media, while the offer of solutions would appeal to talk-based radio looking for issues to discuss.

Measurement and Evaluation

Pertemps' previous appearances in the media had been to comment on such issues as Repetitive Strain Injury, health and safety, office pranks and the value of temps, but this was the first 'hard' news story with which it had been linked.

National coverage would help to build the Pertemps brand, while the success of the campaign was to depend this time on the company giving advice on air or in print.

The research had been broken down by region, creating localised hooks - such as people in London and the south-east being the most stressed at work, with Scots apparently the calmest.

Results

Seven national papers - The Sun, the Daily Star, Daily Express, Daily Mail, The Guardian, the Mail on Sunday and The Observer - carried the story, with the latter building a feature around it.

The London Evening Standard and Metro also picked up on the research, along with six other regional dailies, including the Western Daily Press, Liverpool Echo and Shropshire Star.

Pertemps' management were interviewed on 22 radio stations, including 16 minutes in two appearances on LBC. Five HR trade titles and eight online news sites also carried the story.

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