Campaign: Office romance stats add interest to H&LR - Corporate PR

Campaign: Work-Love Balance Client: Human and Legal Resources PR team: CHA Timescale: January-February 2004 Budget: Around £10,000

Employment law adviser Human and Legal Resources (H&LR) wanted to raise its profile by positioning itself as an expert on employment law and HR policy development. CHA was drafted in to put the dry subject of employment law and HR policy on the national agenda, while providing a critical business angle for the trade press. Objectives

To raise awareness of H&LR as a supplier of employment law advice to HR departments. To drive traffic to the firm's website. To provide a basis for marketing activity.

Strategy and Plan

CHA wanted to identify a topic for the research that the general public could relate to but which also linked directly with H&LR's policy development offering.

As Valentine's Day was approaching, the team decided to commission a survey on the topical theme of romance at work and its effects on teams and productivity, with an additional focus on employees' knowledge or ignorance of their organisation's policies.

The agency believed the theme had serious business connotations and would appeal to the national and trade press. The Christmas climax of BBC comedy hit The Office and its romance between characters Tim and Dawn also presented a consumer news hook to sell in the story.

CHA tested the theme with ten of its journalist contacts, found it to be successful and brought in online research company MyVoice to conduct the survey. Since the results could not be predicted, the agency was careful to ask questions on a variety of topics to ensure that interesting statistics would be generated.

Measurement and Evaluation

The Guardian, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Mail, The Times, Metro and The Independent covered the story. Radio 5 and Radio 4 interviewed H&LR managing director Derek Kemp.

Trade magazine coverage included Personnel Today, Employers' Law and People Management, and stories were sold in to seven regional newspapers through PA newswires. CHA estimates that all coverage was positive.


H&LR's web traffic doubled in February and more than 500 people downloaded the report from the website.

Two trade magazines and The Observer have asked for further contributions from H&LR and Kemp has been invited to speak on the work romance topic to HR directors at two industry events. 'I was so impressed with the article that I decided to put H&LR on our preferred contributor list,' says Personnel Today deputy editor Penny Wilson. 'Organisation was slick and the press release was excellent.'

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