Never Knowingly Underrated

18 May 2017 | Liz Bowen

And best PR campaign of the week goes to … The John Lewis Partnership.

Except, what I’m talking about is neither PR nor a campaign, it’s just good practice.

The retail giant, which includes Waitrose, has been named the most sought-after employer for the second year in a row in a list compiled by LinkedIn.

In fact, retail came up trumps in the survey, with Asos, Topshop owners the Arcadia Group, Harrods and Sainsbury’s all ranking highly, alongside the likes of Virgin, Google, Facebook and the BBC.

In situations such as these, there is no PR that can top this. You can do the most innovative, in-your-face, big money campaign but nothing says, ‘we’re cream of the crop’ like coming, well, top of the crop.

So many companies have the end ‘product’ in sight, that they focus more on their outward-facing reputation than their inner workings.

It’s understandable. Take retailers; they have products to sell and they need to get people into their stores to buy said products. John Lewis is, of course, the master of advertising. I know it’s only April but let’s be frank – Christmas ad. 

However, for all its marketing techniques, it has formed a huge reputation on being good to its staff, or should I say partners – the partnership is the largest employee-owned company in the UK, with all 86,700 partners given a say in how it’s run and equal percentage share in the profits.

Companies should never ignore their staff. Whatever their role or position, they are your public representatives and how you treat them has a huge impact on how prospective consumers foresee themselves being treated. It’s all about respect.

On a business level, companies also have goals. Can you really be reaching these goals if you do not have the support of the people employed to help you achieve them? It works both ways – a ‘I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch mine,’ kind of deal, and who can fail to be impressed by that?