Thursday, May 10

Testing Waters: TalentZoo

TalentZoo.com, a niche recruitment company and job search engine specializing in the communication industry, recently launched a new Web site. On its own, the launch of a new site is not news.

However, there is something a bit unique about this launch. There is a greater emphasis placed on its TalentZoo's Lounge, which seems to test the waters of social media by bringing a mix of company- and industry-driven content into the mainstream. Sure, The Lounge has been alive for some time, but it used to be easily missed as a backroom project.

Now The Lounge takes front and center on the home page with a host of communication industry content (blogs and podcasts) produced by people like Allen Rosenshine, Colleen Barrett, Marc Cuban, and Jim Stroud among them.

Today, I listened to Sally Hogshead's interview with Scott Donaton, the new publisher of Advertising Age and Creativity. Besides an excellent interview that provides an interesting take on industry trends, the audio podcast hints at what could mark the future of business-hosted media platforms. At minimum, it gives the company's target audience a reason to visit the site, again and again. That's smart.

As I mentioned a few months ago to Rick Myers, founder and CEO of Talent Zoo, I still think the real draw will be video over audio on the Internet. Sure, there will always be room for Internet radio, but the Internet seems best suited to be a visual platform. It takes a special kind of personality to keep listeners tuned to an audio podcast, much like live radio. (The Recruiting Animal Show qualifies, IMO, which I may be appearing on next week. Hey Rick, call in!)

There is also something to be said about editing visual content down into smaller segments like WALLStrip. WALLStrip (see some samples on our new Video Shuffle) nails the right content format for them (others might need something different). Not to mention, video provides advertisers better opportunities to advertise as VideoEgg just demonstrated by capturing Motorola product placement on "The Burg."

This does not mean that every company needs to run out and build a social media distribution platform with select content and sitcoms. But what I am suggesting is that there is ample room to develop sustainable, income-generating content on a company site. It can also be done at a reduced cost when compared to buying space on local networks and airing a program that is too long for a relatively small audience.

Local governments might take note: trying to fill a full hour of traditional cable programming with only 10 minutes of real content is too much and begins to look like B-roll. The taxpayers might even thank you for considering smaller Internet-available shows instead, especially as the Internet becomes a permanent part of the cable network line-up anyway (it will).

The bottom line is that there is a very real potential for companies to truly benefit from a social media mix as it exists in the form of blogs, audio podcasts, and video. The challenge is keeping it grounded in the company's communication strategy rather than a "show" strategy.

As for the new site, although it's difficult to find the meat and potato sections (like an "about us" page or "news room"), I think TalentZoo is moving in the right direction. As I told a few recruiters after being told my digital media ideas were laughable — it's laughable until your competitors attract more traffic. I suspect TalentZoo might be doing just that. And once they do, there's very little reason to go elsewhere.


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1 comments:

Rich on 5/14/07, 3:05 PM said...

Famous Last Words:

"I’m uploading the latest episode of Inside PR to Radio Talent Zoo. They offer the show to their members, which turns out to be a fairly large audience, something near one thousand. There are plenty of other great shows at RTZ, too." — Chris Clarke, author of Student PR (recent graduate from Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, Canada).

Sometimes the users of a platform say it all.

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