How A1 Launched an Engineering Blog – With a Content Workshop

Telecoms have always been some of the technological most forward thinking companies in the consumer market, but when it comes to their perception as authentic employers – the perception of them as interesting tech employers lags behind the truth.

And the essential truth is that the data scientists and developers of A1 telecom wanted to explain to the wider tech community about the projects they were working on when it comes to 5G, CRM, data analytics and so much more.

It’s Not Marketing and PR’s Job To Create Developer-Friendly Content

While as any telecom A1 does have an extensive marketing department, they are focused primarily on consumers and business users. The market is not getting any bigger and they need to work hard in order to keep and grow the company’s market share to stay a leading telecom.

83% of surveyed Writing for Geeks workshop attendees would recommend it to a colleague!

The marketing department was definitely willing to support HR and PR in employer branding activities, but none of them could do what needed to be done: Create authentic content that developers, data scientists and the tech community will respect.

What to do?

The answer is obvious – get A1’s developers and data scientists to create the content.

In the past few years, as one of the leading telecoms in Europe and with strong c-level support, A1 had done a lot when it comes to employer branding, including launching a dedicated employer branding Instagram profile.

But they still lacked long-form employer branding content focused on topics developers want to read about.

Jelena, an employer branding manager at A1 and a partner at the HackingHR initiative, contacted me to help facilitate the content.

Easier said than done.

No Content? No Problem!

Most of them (with the exception with one who had experience as a blogger) had never written content about their work, definitely not with the goal of attracting new talent.

It was time for a Writing for Geeks workshop.

Writing for geeks onsite workshop for A1 telecom (Photo by Filipa BeroŇ°)

In the workshop, I trained and facilitated the A1 team to:

  • Define what the unique (telecommunication) topics they could write about that were interesting to other developers and data scientists; – Couldn’t provide about anythinfg
  • Learn how to write interesting, thoughtful pieces of content that they could position through A1’s LinkedIn and Instagram profiles, leading tech industry publishers like Netokracija and even – an official blog someday;
  • Motivate them to write 10 unique pieces of employer branding content during the workshop!

Again, it wasn’t easy.

How Many Browser Tabs Does Your Hard-working Geek Need?

I’m not sure, but “Who Needs 35 Browser tabs? An Ecommerce Specialist” was just one of the truly unique topics created as a result of this one workshop:

Not only did the first cohort of the A1 team start their journey on becoming content creators, they each already created an authentic piece of employer branding content.

A1 published the content on their career website, LinkedIn and dedicated Instagram profiles, earning views and engagement from the tech community:

And PR, HR or marketing didn’t have to sweat, convince the developers again and again or hire and agency for 10x the budget for unauthentic content.

Result: Authentic Longform Content To Launch A Talent Blog!

A couple of months later, I got some great news from Jelena.

A1 Telecom Austria Group, that employed more than 8,000 people, was launching new career websites, but one thing the project lacked was – a blog. There wasn’t a need thus far in any of the countries where A1 was present because up until that moment they hadn’t published employer branding content.

Until now.

A1’s team in Zagreb had a dozen pieces of unique, long-form employer branding content published and ready to move to a new blog!

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About IBB

Ivan Brezak Brkan (IBB) is an employer branding consultant, writer, and speaker. He's also the founder of the largest technology-business media brand in Southeastern Europe who has consulted and trained brands like T-Mobile, A1 , Raiffeisen bank, Sberbank and HBO on how to communicate with digital natives. Forbes has called him "The aristocrat of the Internet"