Monday, January 22

Making The Times: Jobster

There are many reasons for a CEO to be excited when his or her company makes the pages of The New York Times. Unfortunately for Jason Goldberg, it was for all the wrong reasons.

Just when Goldberg probably thought that all the flack about posting was over, Damon Darlin of The New York Times decides to rehash the 20-some day old news. The article is titled "A Boss Takes to His Blog to Deny, Then Confirm," which pinpoints the original problem for those few who still don't get it. No, it wasn't that he had a blog or writes about foodie sites. It wasn't about whether his "handlers" check his posts or that sometimes he considers capital letters optional. It was all about hinting at the inevitable when it was clearly the wrong thing to do.

The reason I say this is unfortunate is because a lot of people in the recruiting industry seemed excited about Jobster's new features. Forty-one people voted for his write-up covering the Jobster's new features at Recruiting.com. I was one of them, mostly because I've been covering Jobster for a few weeks now and secretly hope, er, not-so-secretly hope, that it can patch up the hull of its ship and sail on to better things.

But unfortunately, it seems some journalists have different ideas, preferring instead to make Goldberg the poster CEO for inappropriate posts in contrast to Jonathan I. Schwartz at Sun Microsystems. Darlin even cited Goldberg's own words as to why this has come up once again: "It’s the nature of Web 2.0 and new media that if you don’t embrace openness, it will come back and bite you.”

Ouch. Shakespeare could not have written a better foreshadow.

As Jobster remains a living case study, I'll post some notes on "moving beyond bad news" when you actually have some good news ahead (this Friday). I mean, Exxon got over it. And while the handling of Jobster's layoffs were deplorable, they were nowhere near as bad as Valdez. Unless you were laid off, I suppose.

Personally, I'm starting to think Goldberg should take his own advice and hire a public relations professional from his job bank. It seems to me they need someone on the inside who really knows this stuff, inside and out.

Not everybody needs someone inside. For many, a consultant or outside firm is perfect. For Jobster, a company that relies so heavily on daily blog posts as a preferred method of communication, inside could very well be a "must have." Besides, his current public relations team couldn't even get The New York Times to write up something nice in between Darlin's post show commentary. Post show? Right, we're saving that one for after the Superbowl.

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