• How EAPs Can Use Public Relations to Communicate Value

      BackBone, Inc. (BackBone, Inc., 2018)
      Executive Summary: EAP practitioners are continually required to communicate and prove their value — particularly in a business climate where every service provider needs to demonstrate ROI — not just this month or next, but at regular intervals. To business executives, value is defined by the correlation between EAP services and productivity. To end-users, or employees using the EAP, it’s defined by the efficacy of the counseling and the speed with which the individual is able to mitigate or remove barriers to performance and personal well being. EAPs typically use several communications vehicles to convey value, from utilization reports geared to senior management to brochures, e-mails, and HR intranets targeted to end-users. However, few EAPs look toward standard public relations to communicate — indeed validate — their business model and the efficacy of the services they provide. Effective public relations — which is to say, getting broad, sustained, and positive media coverage — can be beneficial to both external EAP vendors as well as internal EAP organizations. If you’re an external EAP, it provides a vehicle for obtaining third-party validation of your services, programs, or business model. This goes a long way in establishing credibility with prospects —indeed, we’ve found that many organizations vetting outside service providers often visit the service provider’s media page to gauge press coverage and read not what the company is saying about itself, but what others — in this case, respected publications, writers, and analysts — are saying about it. For those of you who handle EAP internally, you can use media relations in ways that are just as beneficial. First, it can raise awareness of your organization as a “Best Place to Work.” We know that balancing work/life issues is a primary concern for employees and benefits remain an important component in recruiting and retaining valued employees. That’s why it’s important to communicate that message to end-users so they better understand the value of EAP benefits and how to get the most out of them — employees are more likely to take notice when their organization is profiled in a national publication. A favorable write up about the company’s EAP program or a particular aspect of it, is an effective way to get the word out to the workforce...it’s obviously also a great recruitment tool as it showcases your forward-thinking and the value you place on your staff. The objective of this white paper is to convey the value of Public Relations to EA organizations seeking to differentiate their services and their business model.