Australian HR Institute

Helping AHRI increase interest in HR certification

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In 2015, AHRI introduced a human resources certification program to ensure Australian HR practitioners have the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to be strategic business partners.

Key Objectives

Phase 1:

  • Engage members in discussion about the importance of HR having a strategic position in an organisation’s leadership and the role of certification in this
  • Position AHRI certification as the industry standard supporting best practice
  • Drive registrations for AHRI’s certification program

Phase 2:

  • Illustrate the benefits experienced by certified practitioners and the companies they work for
  • Create demand for AHRI-certified HR practitioners in Australian businesses

Phase 3:

  • Generate discussion about the business benefits and need for AHRI-certified HR practitioners to support business objectives and vision
  • Drive demand from Australian business for HR practitioners to be certified


AHRI created a three-phase business strategy to implement the program. This was supported by a parallel communications approach.

Our Approach

PR and
media coverage



Facebook and


Mahlab implemented a content-led approach to telling the story of certification through the organisations and individuals who have found it effective and meaningful. The program incorporated video, articles, blogs and case studies that drove audience to the certification registration page.

The content program leveraged different channels to reach the audience:

Owned: Each month, we created several pieces of content featured in AHRI’s HRM print magazine and content hub.

Paid: Content was amplified through social channels, including Facebook and LinkedIn.

Shared: Mahlab helped AHRI identify key influencers, including their own senior spokespeople, as well as certified HR practitioners, to share content through their own channels.

Earned: AHRI needed to create a news hook to talk about the need for certification. With the Hayne Royal Commission as a backdrop, Mahlab recommended a piece of research to illustrate the state of culture in Australian organisations. This became the 5 Hard Truths about Workplace Culture report, which was launched at AHRI’s national convention.

The Outcome

  • The content reached 14,000 magazine subscribers, achieved tens of thousands of views online, and generated traffic to AHRI’s certification page
  • The report findings were covered by the Australian Financial Review as well as in small business and HR industry outlets
  • The report has been read at the highest levels of Australian business, including New South Wales’s Independendent Commission Against Corruption. What’s more, hundreds of HR professionals are getting certified