FBI Recruitment Campaign Breaks In Newspapers

By: Barry Janoff

(Brandweek.com) From the government agency that brought you the “Most Wanted” list now comes … want ads.

If you’ve ever dreamed about being Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, or Lewis Erskine, now is your opportunity. The FBI has launched a $1 million multi-media campaign to find a new crop of talent. About half of the budget is targeted for newspaper and radio ads. The campaign was created in-house.

This week, the bureau began running ads on radio stations in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. The spots explain the benefits of joining the FBI, with a voiceover stating, “The FBI. It is like no other career choice you’ve explored. It’s challenging. Compelling. Important. Whatever your background or expertise, you will find an FBI future exceptionally rewarding. Because the work you perform will have a daily impact on the nation’s security and the quality-of-life for all U.S. citizens.”

Usually, the bureau receives between 7,000 and 10,000 applications a year. But since Sept. 11, the FBI has received about 6,000 applications via mail and more than 22,000 via the bureau’s FBIJobs.com site, according to FBI spokesman Paul Bresson. He said fewer than 400 people from these applications have been asked to join. The FBI plans to hire more than 900 agents nationwide by the end of its fiscal year in September.

“In some ways what we’re looking for has changed in light of 9-11,” Bresson said. He said cities for recruitment ads were selected “where there is a large percentage of minorities and the lowest number of applications that we’ve received. We want to make sure we’re covering all areas of the country.”

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