I often get PR questions that I am not able to answer right away, or if I am, I get the follow up: “Says Who?“ question. Sometimes, even if I am confident that I have given my client the appropriate answer, I like to touch base with a “Says Who” response: an article; paper; or book that outlines in detail (and authority greater than mine) my original statement or suggestion.
It’s divine intervention when a Twitter conversation helps me to follow up on a prior discussion where a client or colleague has asked for my PR perspective. Case in point: someone recently balked at my suggestion that social media, including blogging, had anything to do with finding a job, finding clients or recruiting the best people to work for a company. Most articles on this offer basic social media etiquette, such as the obvious: don’t post naked pictures of yourself; wacky political rants; or racial slurs. There seems to be a lack of understanding by some as to how social media and careers (either job searches or recruiting) collide and co-exist.
In his book, The Rise of The Creative Class, Richard Florida tells us that 40 million Americans – over 33% of our national workforce – create for a living; meaning, their jobs (like mine) are within a creative field where production lines, factories, and the number of widgets made per day does not matter. Florida surveyed 20,000 creative professionals and gave them 38 choices to select what made them the most satisfied at work.
Top #10 [as noted in Seth Godin’s book, Linchpin]:
- Challenge & Responsibility
- Stable Work Environment
- Professional Development
- Peer Recognition
- Stimulating Colleagues & Bosses
- Exciting Job Content
- Organizational Structure
- Location & Community
Of these, my recommendation is that you communicate (either as a job seeker or recruiter) on all but one: money (#4). Really, those conversations should be private and in person when possible, but otherwise, social media is the perfect arena to discuss your organization: the location; organizational structure; environment; challenges; and methods of recognition from a company. Yes, it may be difficult at first to discuss these items without giving away private information and sounding like a automaton, but as corporations begin to explore (and, dare I say it) embrace social media, they will find that it gives them free range for broadly, creatively and specifically wooing the top talent to their company.
Those looking for jobs, especially within a creative field, have an expansive canvas on which to create a picture of what they offer as an employee or consultant. Creative who are using social media well discuss projects in which they showed great success, highlighting challenges they overcame and problems that were solved. Social media is also a quick and effective way to highlight professional developments and recognitions (a little boasting is called good personal PR) as well as suggestions for what types of jobs, clients or projects they are interested in. If a resume conveys facts and dates, the social media can be the conversation that gives that data context.
Both the creative professional and the corporation interested in recruiting them can use social media to provide valuable information. Companies that do not see a need for social media in production, may find a need to implement social media as part of an employee relations strategy.