To All Ye in a Job Search Panic

By | Social Media | 2 Comments

Hi there!

I know you’re freaking out because you thought you’d have a job by now. But what’s really happened is that you’re at the bottom of a hill looking up, and you’re not really sure now how you’re going to get to the top because that hill just keeps getting bigger.

I get it.

I hear how you’ve been “networking,” by asking people to coffee and lunch, asking to pick the brains of others (what are you, a zombie?).

I want you to stop a second. Back up. Google Thyself. Do you like what shows up? Have you paid attention to it? Do you have a LinkedIn profile? Are you proud of it? Is there nothing, or not much at all to find? That says something, too, you know.

Here are 12 Things to Do on Your LinkedIn Profile Today. 

What are you doing with your resume? Is it searchable? As in, is there an online version of it? Have you bought the domain that is your full name? Do that. It’s inexpensive. And then put your resume on it. I promise there’s someone you know who can help you with this. Ask a high school kid.

You’ve done all that? Great. Now, start working on what I call the “Five a Day” plan. FIVE. Reach out to (see in person, call, write a letter, send an email, text, bake a pie and deliver it) five people for help in your job search. Five. A day. Seriously.

Expand your thinking. Be open to new ideas. Perfect is the enemy of great and other buzzy workplace platitudes. Just get in there and stop panicking.

There’s a lid for every pot. Go find your lid.

Then come back here and tell me how you found it.

 

United’s PR Opportunity

By | Communications, Public Relations | 2 Comments

Some people like to play fantasy baseball. I play fantasy public relations.

By now, you’ve heard about the doctor who was forcibly dragged from his United flight to Louisville, Ky when a flight was oversold and seats needed to be made available to United staff.

 

In the wake of the incident, the airline’s CEO released a statement that surely, no PR professional touched.

 

There’s universal agreement among PR pros and the general public that this was a PR failure of epic proportions.

What United Should Do Now

  1. Apologize for the mistreatment of a passenger and take steps to insure nothing like this ever happens again.
  2. Stop overselling flights, and lead the industry in changing policies to make air travel humane, courteous, and pleasant again. (This is where the fantasy comes in because airlines will always oversell flights, hedging against no-shows and missed connections, to make the most money possible on every flight).
  3. Ask the CEO to step down. This guy is a disaster in a crisis. Not what you want in an airline.

If United does this, and puts in place a new CEO with a strong relationship to their PR team, they will be on track to salvage what has become a terrible reputation. The likelihood that any of this will occur is small, because, realistically, our attention span for this kind of thing is short. As passengers, we have limited choices of airlines going to the destinations we seek. We need to select the least expensive option when we shop for airline tickets and our morals will only last so long when we need to fly somewhere. We will keep flying United, even if, for now, we’re determined to do otherwise.

The Importance of Asking for What you Want

By | Marketing, Public Relations | No Comments

In 2010, after working remotely from Virginia for a firm in St. Louis for five years, I decided I just couldn’t do it anymore. The flights, often delayed, once a month back to Missouri, the isolation of being the only person on the team not in St. Louis, and the lack of control over the client work had taken a toll. I knew I could continue my local client work as an independent and began to consider opening my own firm.

There was one big problem. Like most people working for PR firms and agencies, I had signed a non-compete agreement stating that the clients belonged to the firm. Most such agreements require a one-year period in which the former employee steer clear of the firm’s clients. I was prepared to do this, if necessary, but hoped it wouldn’t be.

Since I moved to Charlottesville, every local client I’d gained had a relationship with just me. They knew other members of the firm a little bit, but I was the one who met with the clients regularly, who corresponded with them, and provided the bulk of the deliverables. If I left the firm, who would continue to take care of those clients?

I took a deep breath and I asked my boss to be released from my non-compete. I asked to take my clients with me, allowing me to start my own business. I promised to continue to serve other clients as a subcontractor to the firm and to ease transition.

It was a crazy thing to propose.

But she said yes. That client work gave Jaggers Communications a healthy start. Clients said they didn’t care to what account they wrote their checks, all they knew is they wanted to continue working with me.

Just ask.

True LinkedIn Confessions

By | Social Media | One Comment

I just got a notification that read, “Christopher Long would like to connect with you on LinkedIn.”

Now, it’s not completely ludicrous that Superbowl winner, New England Patriot, and former St. Louis Ram Chris Long would want to be connected to me. We have met, after all, when I worked on the media relations for Champion Brewing Company’s collaboration Waterboys IPA.  We live, in the off-season, in the same town. I saw him at the gym just last weekend.

If you’re still not sure to whom I am referring, this guy:

 

Chris Long

 

Still, I saw the notification and I said …

Get. Out.

GET. OUT.

And, like a SCHOOL GIRL, thought, “He remembered me!”

And then I clicked through to LinkedIn.

Not him.*

Sigh.

 

 

*Apologies to this Christopher Long, whom I have not met. He probably gets mistaken for the other guy all the time.

 

Does Blogging Still Work for Business? Marketers say Yes

By | Social Media | 2 Comments

I spoke to the local chapter of the American Marketing Association last night. Many of the people in the audience represent small businesses and are often the sole marketers in their organization. There were varying levels of experience with blogging, but for the most part, they were all trying to get a handle on how to get the work done.

I’ve had business owners question whether blogging or as I prefer to call it, publishing your own content online, is still worthwhile and relevant. I really believe it is, based on measurable evidence of client engagement, traffic, and lead generation. In the research I did for the most up-to-date statistics, I found the following infographic from Digital Information World.

  • Small businesses with blogs see 126% increase in generation of leads
  • The average company that blogs gets 97% more inbound links
  • 78% of businesses that blog daily (I KNOW) have acquired business through their blog

Part of what we do is help businesses figure out the best blogging strategy for their business and a way to get the work done. I’m interested in learning what other people think about blogging for their business, what successes they’ve had and what challenges they face.