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PR and Social Media: Using Current and Alumni Employees to Share Greatness with Others Regardless of Generation

PR and Social Media: Using Current and Alumni Employees to Share Greatness With Others Regardless of Generation

The buzz of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, and so many other social networking sites roar through the stratosphere of great workplaces. No matter the generation, everyone is online. Word of mouth (or maybe word of text) is the gateway to reaching great employees. The very best recruiters are often your current and former employees, who will share experiences and information with each other and future employees online.

Take a look around so that you know where your organization fits and what the buzz is about you as an employer. Here are some examples of where you find the generations online:

Traditionalists – tend to more cautious networking online than younger generations, but do gravitate toward sites that speak to their generation or that are related to work such as LinkedIn. The AARP’s Best Places for Workers Over 50 is an important list to pay attention to, especially the comments made by older workers. Many Traditionalists still use print media, so when there is an opportunity to highlight your company in local media, be sure to include a reference to one of your older workers who can help put a bright light on you as an employer dedicated to generational diversity.

Boomers – are increasing their online presence every day, but are more likely to share their opinions in discussions on professional sites like LinkedIn than on dedicated Facebook pages. A good way to connect with other Boomers is by encouraging your employees to keep updated profiles on LinkedIn, which generally has an older demographic than other networking sites. Keeping a professional profile of your company on the site also gives current and former employees an easy way to stay in touch with each other.

Generation X – uses social networking sites as a way to increase efficiency and to stay open to opportunities. You are likely to find them using LinkedIn and Facebook, with some Twittering, for professional purposes. Most Generation X:ers will use these sites to find information about an organization or to pass on an interesting link to friends and colleagues. Currently, they are the largest segment of Pinterest users, creating online pinboards that let friends and others know what they like the most. Watch and see more and more of them create pinboards that relate to work and how their employer fits with their overall work-life balance!

Millennials or Generation Y – look at social media as constant communication. Contrary to what members of other generations think, Millennials do not gravitate toward the one next best thing online. They gravitate toward many virtual spaces at once making the speed at which they share information on the Internet faster than lightning. Millennials will rate employers on, ask questions of employers on Facebook and LinkedIn, and show videoclips on YouTube and Vimeo. Then they will fast forward each other’s participation to friends and others, making it all highly interactive and immediate. Use your Millennials to spread the word and to monitor what the buzz is about you to avoid being caught with less than stellar reviews. Create current and alumni groups on Facebook and LinkedIn to encourage everyone to stay in touch. When you have a new opening, let them know and they will help you to find your next amazing employee.

All generations are online, but where you find them might be different. Encourage your current employees to participate with positive messages about your company. Perhaps even include a small competition for the best comment posted online! Create another competition to encourage employees to develop a short video about their experiences on the job or a Pinterest board telling others what they like most about their work. Then use that (and them!) to spread the word.

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About Dr. Annika Hylmö

Dr. Annika Hylmö is an Organizational Strategy Consultant and Executive and Leadership Coach with The Insight Generation. Annika has a Ph.D. in Organizational Communication and a M.A. in International Communication. She can be contacted at

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Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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