Promoting a client with a multitude of program offerings and services can be challenging to say the least. However, when you have the opportunity to combine the above with a number of key spokespeople who are energetic, knowledgeable and eager to talk with their key audiences you can put forth a great promotional effort.


Personnel Decisions International does very interesting work in the management and human resources strategy consulting area. Their programs and services are based in organizational psychology and are led by PhDs and leading authorities in the field. PDI works with some very large companies on the national and international playing field.


Promoting PDI is a challenge because of its broad range of program offerings, and because it is a very large global organization, with 29 operating offices throughout Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. Also, PDI has competition from a number of large, well-known organizations.




We had a three-fold objective in mind when we began this year: to increase awareness of PDI and its product and service offerings; to advance PDI’s reputation with key audiences; and to position PDI as a thought leader in PDI’s areas of focus. Not a simple task given the broad and diverse range of focus areas.




We recommended focusing our efforts on obtaining quality hits in PDI’s target publications. Our target audience was CEOs, CFOs, Managers and HR decision-makers at global 1,000 companies. The way we saw ourselves best hitting these audiences included a plan to increase our hits in the business and HR-related trades. One of the things we would have to do to concentrate on this strategy was to simultaneously lessen our emphasis on hits in daily newspapers.




Last year saw some major targeted hits for PDI. We had 512 clips for a total circulation of 74,034,180. We met a goal of increasing coverage in business and industry trades – by 44% over 1999. We also saw an increase in human resources-related trade hits. Over one-quarter of these hits came from proactive pitches on our part. Even more exciting, another quarter of these hits came about because reporters called us directly. These reporters had heard of PDI and knew we could offer insight to some great topics.


One “easy sell” for us has been anything to do with two highly successful books PDI offers: Successful Manager’s Handbook and it’s companion, Successful Executive’s Handbook. These books are very popular with business leaders. We often pitch chapters from these books as “tips” for HR managers or companies in general.  Hits 1 and 3 below are from this promotional scheme.


Some major highlights for the year included the following coverage:


“Measuring Minds,” (Training Magazine, May 2000) -- Susan Gebelein, SVP of PDI, wrote this by-lined article featuring the executive leadership checklist from one of PDI’s best-selling books, Successful Executive’s Handbook.


“Scoring Big in the Workplace,” (HR Magazine, June 2000) -- This article quotes PDI’s David Peterson and Michael Frisch. The “How to Select a Coach” sidebar was based entirely on information from these two sources.


“Ways Your Company Can Support Employee Growth,” (Hrfocus, July 2000) -- This tip sheet listed 10 characteristics from the Successful Executive’s Handbook that support employee development. The tip sheet also ran on CNNfn and in several daily newspapers for a total circulation of more than 1.3 million.


“Cyber Move” and “The Human Element,” (Human Resource Executive, September 2000) -- This major cover story discussed PDI’s client, Williams-Sonoma and their innovative means of diving into the e-commerce field. Williams-Sonoma focused on human capital for this change, based on information they received at a workshop they attended. This workshop was conducted, in part, by PDI’s Pete Ramstad. Ramstad is also featured in the sidebar.



PDI was pleased with the extensive collection of clips we had compiled by the end of the year. The number of targeted and more in-depth hits increased and many reporters commented about the great interviews they had with PDI spokespeople.  We feel we gained some momentum to aid us as we continue to promote this ever-changing client.