SHRM Ad to Air on CNN

By Kathy Gurchiek Aug 9, 2012
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Viewers turning in to CNN, CNN Headline News, and CNN’s Airport Channel beginning Aug. 26, 2012, will see a 30-second commercial from the Society for Human Resource Management.

“The pace of change is accelerating—the way we perform, compete, and grow,” intones a voice-over for the ad as images of a rotary phone, a computer keyboard, then cell phone and e-tablet whizz by.

“And people are driving this change. That’s the power of human resources,” the ad continues. On screen, workers onthe docks of a warehouse, in labs, at construction sites and in offices work singly and collaboratively.

“The Society for Human Resource Management and its members know how to harness that power because we help develop it. From the next economy to the next generation, we help get the most out of business by getting the best out of people. SHRM: Leading people. Leading organizations.”

The ad will air through Nov. 11, 2012, ending four days after the presidential election. The time frame coincides with the Republican National Convention, being held Aug. 27-30, 2012, in Tampa, Fla., and the Democratic National Convention, running from Sept. 3-6, 2012, in Charlotte, N.C.

It’s an opportunity to “really showcase HR and SHRM’s leadership,” said Amy Thompson, SHRM’s vice president of public relations.

‘Twitter Election’

In 2008, SHRM aired two 30-second TV spots for more than a year as part of a larger, integrated advertising campaign, including print ads in national publications.

SHRM members liked the exposure the 2008 ads gave the organization and profession, according to Thompson.

This time, SHRM’s ad will run for 13 weeks on CNN; no complementary print or digital components are planned.

“That’s OK, because it’s the ‘Twitter election,’ ” Thompson said. Just as presidential candidates get their message out using social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook, she explained, SHRM employs social media to communicate with members and nonmembers alike.

“We have our social networks to blow this out of the water. We don’t need to do what we did” in 2008 to reach thousands of legislators, HR professionals and business leaders, she added.

SHRM also has kicked off its “Have a Voice” voter education website, similar to the one it launched during the 2008 presidential campaign. It’s designed to educate SHRM members about HR-related state and federal legislation and to encourage them to vote.

Hitting the Political Conventions

SHRM staff members will be attending the national political conventions and plan to meet with congressional leaders and SHRM members in the area.

“The national conventions are a great place to network and meet with members of congress, with influencers of policy, without going through the gatekeepers that you typically have to go through in D.C.,” Thompson explained.

“Having a TV ad on top of that [networking] reinforces SHRM’s reputation as the voice of HR on these workforce and workplace issues,” she added.

While in Tampa and Charlotte, SHRM’s Government Affairs staff will meet with chapter members for policy-related events. In Charlotte, for example, it is planning a talk about the nation’s changing workforce and skills gap.

SHRM also is continuing its partnership with the National Journal, which Thompson described as “the Bible for anyone on Capitol Hill,” by advising the editorial staff on the top HR-related issues facing presidential candidates.

Using SHRM’s feedback as a guide, National Journal is preparing a 14-part series that compares the candidates’ positions on key issues, such as health care and labor. The coverage will be combined into a special print publication featuring the SHRM logo; 40,000 copies will be delivered to the hotel rooms of attendees at both conventions.

The nonpartisan nonprofit does not have a political action committee, nor does it financially or politically support any political party or candidate, according to Michael Layman, advisor, SHRM’s government relations. But the publication frequently makes its voice heard on Capitol Hill.

Kathy Gurchiek is associate editor for HR News.

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