Friday, February 9

Experimenting With Blogs: Recruiting

A few weeks ago, as I was introducing just over a dozen University of Nevada, Las Vegas, students to my "Writing for Public Relations" class, I noted how social media (blogging) and the internet have made public relations a moving target. The rules of engagement are changing and public relations practitioners would be wise to stay ahead of the curve.

In some cases, I said, some of the information I'll share over the next 11 weeks will be obsolete (the structure of a news release, perhaps, among them). But some things, I stressed, will remain unchanged. For example: you cannot choose what the media says about you, but you can choose how you react to it. The same applies to bloggers, which tend to be even bigger wild cards in the game of communication.

In answering by example, I referenced how while writing about my living case study on Jobster, one blogger attempted to take me to task, going a bit beyond the difference of opinion and giving me the moniker “Mr. Mustache" and calling me a sissy. The majority of my students were, very literally, slack-jawed and appalled.

Look, I'm always up for a game now and again, so given that most of my students are working professionals in addition to attending UNLV, I asked what they thought I should do. Of all the answers, ranging from ignoring him to considering a slander suit (imagine!), one still sticks in my mind because only one student got the joke.

"You should have shaved off your mustache," she said. "And that will be that!"

No, I have not shaved my mustache; I only do that from time to time, temporarily, if someone pays me $100. (I'm not one of those guys who is "afraid" to shave it off). I did not file a slander suit (they meant libel, but that's why they are students) and I wouldn't even have a real case if I was silly enough to do so. I did not ignore him.

What I did do was choose how I would react to the labeling and I chose to find it funny, because, well, it was funny. Then I applied the most of basic public relations strategies, responding to his argument (but in my style), which generally does not include name calling. We agreed to disagree on the issue, and both offered up that we were mutual fans despite our different styles.

Since, I've written about two other recruiting companies (Talent Zoo and Monster) for different reasons related to communication, mostly because I'm tracking Jobster to wrap up the case study sometime in the near future. Or maybe not.

You see, Recruiting Animal e-mailed me a couple days ago, inviting me to join the growing group of talented bloggers over at Recruiting I've visited the blog a few times, and know that two other bloggers I met while tracking Jobster (Shannon Seery and Amitai Givertz) also contribute there from time to time.

So I accepted the invitation from the blogger who called me a sissy, despite repeated warnings that I could expect equally fiery and unabashed comments and critiques: "Also note that participation in a joint blog would not hamper our ability to criticize each other as fiercely as is common online."

Certainly, Recruiting Animal is not everybody's cup of tea (though he prefers to be called, in his words, a "prick"), but I find his posts a nice blend of practical and entertaining commentary. He also encouraged me to check around about him; nah, I already had a sense of what other people thought of him and also know I generally get along with people who aren't vanilla (not that there is anything wrong with vanilla). I look forward to getting to know him more: good, bad, or indifferent.

In sum, it's an experiment, which I find especially interesting because this seems like such an unlikely association. Heck, Recruiting Animal has already asked that I quit saying "thank you" so much, noting he never got that I would from my posts. That's okay. I would have never guessed Recruiting Animal has a real name (he does, you know ... shhhhh.)

Of course, I also look forward to getting to know the other writers, authors, and bloggers at Recruiting ... I've read some good stuff over there. So in addition to mentioning that some posts "here" will be reframed for "there," this can also serve as my post first-post introduction, which hopefully is more entertaining than writing "blah, blah, blah" about me.



Rich on 2/9/07, 6:07 PM said...

Famous First Words:

It seems a "chat," sparked by this post, has opened up over at the joint blog Recruiting between myself and Jobster's Jason Goldberg. Check it out if you like: A Public Chat or add a comment here as it suits you.


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