A New Look, and New Logo, for SHRM

By Nov 14, 2007
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LAS VEGAS—The venerable SHRM logo—a back-to-back H and R—has been given a makeover.

As part of a branding campaign announced June 24, 2007, during the opening general session of SHRM’s Annual Conference and Exposition here, the organization is adding the letter S to the beginning of the logo and M to the end.

The new logo—now an acronym for the organization’s full name—reflects SHRM’s growing influence and reputation in recent years, according to SHRM President and CEO Susan R. Meisinger, SPHR.

Moreover, it’s consistent with how most people have come to know the organization.

“SHRM is the name by which we’re known in the worlds of business, research, government, academia and the media,” Meisinger said. “Our new look not only mirrors SHRM’s current popular image but also marks the beginning of a higher profile for the Society and its members.”

The new logo is only one part of a larger branding initiative that members said they wanted, according to Meisinger. In addition, SHRM will be revamping its web site and all of its printed materials to deliver a more unified message about the role of the HR professional, and about the organization in general.

“Members have been calling for a more relevant and customized SHRM brand experience, and that is exactly what this campaign is all about,” Meisinger said.

Over the years, SHRM has developed dozens of products and services that have served member interests well, but, at times, the sheer volume of products could be overwhelming. As part of the branding initiative, SHRM will categorize its offerings differently to ensure that members can find what they need from the organization easily.

In the future, all SHRM materials will be developed with five key goals in mind:

  • Be clear. The organization will be putting members—their goals, aspirations, struggles and achievements—on the marquee at all times in all SHRM communications.
  • Be market-oriented. All SHRM content will be organized around member needs and objectives. The emphasis will be on the benefits of SHRM offerings.
  • Be on target. We will be customizing information to different types of members and more clearly articulating how our materials help members do their jobs and advance their careers.
  • Be consistent. We will be looking and speaking like one organization—under one banner, not many.
  • Be personal. We will move from an impersonal an institutional approach to a less formal, but still substantive, style.

“We need to communicate with our members and to the profession with one voice and one look,” Meisinger said. “We want to make every piece of SHRM communication immediately recognizable as belonging to SHRM. Our new brand strategy accomplishes both of those goals.”


And who better to introduce the branding campaign to members than SHRM members themselves?

As a key part of the initiative, several dozen SHRM members have been randomly selected to highlight what they value most about the organizations. Many of these members, who represent a cross section of SHRM's membership, will be featured in SHRM ads and other marketing materials as part of an "I Am SHRM" campaign. Many of the campaign "poster children" are here this week in Las Vegas.

One featured SHRM member featured, Colleen Capel, PHR, vice president for human resources at J.P. Morgan Chase, praises the organization for being her "main source for cutting edge HR information and professional development resources."

The campaign also features Shella Kauser, a new SHRM member who is a manager at Countrywide Financial Corp. She says she quickly became a loyal reader of SHRM's HR News.

L. Daryl Smith, SPHR, senior vice president for HR at ESPN, Inc. and a SHRM member since 1999, says his favorite member benefit is the HR Knowledge Center's research reports, which "help in creating proposals on work/life, diversity and global strategies."

Testing the Look and Feel

The branding initiative is the result of a long period of introspection at SHRM and takes into account the advice and suggestions of scores of SHRM members, as well as an experienced brand team.

“We tested the new look and feel with select employees, members and non-members,” Meisinger said.

The Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) and the SHRM Foundation, both SHRM affiliates, are currently undergoing their own branding process. Like SHRM, they are reviewing research, their own needs and goals and the direction that SHRM has taken and might make changes in the future.

SHRM chapters are all being provided the standard “Affiliate of” logo and guidelines on how to use it. Guidelines for chapters that want to incorporate the new logo with their own name are still being developed.

Rita Zeidner is manager of the SHRM Online HR Technology Focus Area.

For the latest HR-related business and government news, visit daily.

See more coverage of SHRM''s 2007 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas.

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