How AHRI created a Content Brand for HR Professionals to be a Thought Leader

by GCN Editor

Human Resources is a department people often only consider when something goes wrong, but the profession is currently alive with change and controversy. There’s no “right” way to approach or handle any particular person or circumstance, so it’s no surprise that debates in the world of HR are fought tooth and nail; from arguments over how to deal with a toxic employee to where the profession’s allegiance should lie.

As the national association representing human resource and people management professionals in Australia, the Australian HR Institute (AHRI) has to provide value to members, educate them and help them develop in their career. To do so, the content brand HRM was created.

The objectives of HRM are to build a sense of community and become a go-to resource by positioning AHRI as a thought leader in the field. To fulfill this purpose, we ensure that we provide information that HR professionals need for their careers and speak intelligently about the issues that affect them every day."


Readers are at mixed stages in their careers, ranging from graduates to HR directors; covering a mix of private and public sector organisations, as well as universities. Operating in a highly competitive media sector, advertisers are predominantly companies that offer SaaS platforms, professional and academic training courses and recruitment services.

To cater to all readers (regardless of their age or stage of their careers), we harness both print and digital channels. HRM is a omni-channel publishing platform that includes a monthly print magazine, a content hub (, a eNewsletter and social media. Readers are the 20,000 members of AHRI and potential members who have access to the online content.

The strategy also includes a wide range of topics to ensure each reader finds something of interest to them. The editorial strategy is constantly evolving to deliver the best value to the readers. For example, in the last 12 months, we have introduced more conceptual covers for the print magazine to reflect a magazine of ideas. We have also delved into the biggest issues in HR including #metoo, leadership cultural accountability and pay transparency."


Articles are thoroughly researched and provide a fresh angle on well-­established or contemporary  topics. The editorial approach covers subjects such as certification, recruitment, diversity and inclusion, health and wellbeing at work, and the future of work. 

HRM’s print and digital entities are not distant cousins. There is an ongoing conversation between the two platforms – the website generally covers breaking news and tough topics in a quick way suited to online audiences, while the magazine offers a more detailed analysis.

The online content has recently reflected the coronavirus situation, HR professionals being at the forefront of their organisations and having to provide support to employees. Stories have ranged from remote leadership and onboarding staff virtually to isolation advice from astronauts.

The daily online content is published on different channels, including the eNewsletter and AHRI’s Facebook page. This ensures the content reaches both members and subscribers, and non-members who could convert after being exposed to the HRM content."


Revenue: HRM’s advertising strategy is focused on adding value for clients with bespoke advertising opportunities including lead-generation campaigns, high-impact print options and thought-leadership content.

This resulted in the advertising revenue being 22% higher than FY19 target, while the target was 8.9% higher than last year’s.

Reach: Looking at the same period last year, the traffic on the HRMonline has increased by 35%. In March 2020, HRMonline surpassed its record month for page views (209,008 vs 205,297) and smashed the records for unique users (118,551 vs 84,098) and unique page views (193,208 vs 171,966). 

Reputation: In October 2019, Mahlab conducted a survey among AHRI’s members. 75% of AHRI members mentioned that HRM is the main source of HR news and information for them. We’ve created a recognisable brand for HR professionals, and one that is incredibly useful for them to do their job better. Our readers know that between all of our platforms they are gaining a 360-degree view of what the HR industry looks like and where it is headed.

Action: Certification content is labelled informative and useful – with 2 in 3 taking some form of action after reading it. The HRM magazine is driving event/ training attendance, with 6 in 10 attending something they saw in the print magazine.

Audience: “I treat the magazine as an avenue to be aware of current and developing issues affecting the working environment and role of managing and recruiting staff for businesses."

Disclaimer: This case study is published without any editing of the award entry submission for CMS Asia Awards - ANZ edition.