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December 2006
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February 2007

SIMSTL Speech on Corporate Blogging: Notes

I normally don't post the full text of my speeches on line, seeing as that information is usually intended for a specific audience, and my written account is more of a guidepost than the accurate text.  These were my set of notes for the SIMSTL speech I gave last Tuesday, and I thought they might be interesting for some of the audience, as was requested.  These are just notes, not a full article.  I've attached the Powerpoint, also.

Download SIMSTL.ppt



Text of Speech: How Blogs Can Make (Or Break) a Corporate Reputation

Social media is the relatively new phenomenon of many-to-many communication, versus the more traditional one-to-one or one-to many communication that has dominated the business world since the first introduction of newspapers. There are many forms of social media: Blogging was the first of these to gain phenomenon status, but in the last two years, social networking sites like MySpace, Online Video portals like YouTube, podcasting, vloggin, viral marketing, and consumer-created advertising have all hit the mainstream. The basic principle is simple – corporations used to craft a message and broadcast it to the general public. This was one way communication, where the message was tightly controlled. Social media is in part a wave of reaction to a glut of marketing messages, but also an expression of the very real need of human beings to share their thoughts, their experiences, and their accomplishments.

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Post-Dispatch Gets New Partnership With Yahoo

The Post-Dispatch began its program of having advertisers purchase jobs through Yahoo HotJobs instead of directly through the Post-Dispatch.

Companies now post their jobs on Yahoo Hot Jobs, and get a discount if they have enough volume.

A partnership officially will start Sunday in which classified job postings from more than 150 newspapers, including the Post-Dispatch, can be listed on Yahoo Inc.'s Internet job site.

The deal, which was announced in November, is designed to link ink-and-paper advertising to the Web and to give newspapers a deeper toehold in online advertising.

Newspaper advertisers will pay for the listings on Yahoo HotJobs, but they will be able to earn discounts on the Yahoo listing fees, depending on how much advertising they buy through the Post-Dispatch, said Kevin Mowbray, the newspaper's president and publisher.

This is part of the aggregation of job postings occuring around the web.  With Monster and Craiglists and the vertical search engines and niche job boards, newspapers need to upgrade their offerings, and Yahoo offers that partnership.  The real question is whether dropping these jobs into a larger pool will bring better candidates.

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iBridge Solutions Interview: Jasen Morisaki

Jasen Morisaki of iBridge Solutions agreed to an e-mail interview for StlRecruiting.  iBridge Solutions is a St Louis-based staffing firm located in Creve Coeur.   Read further for juicy tidbits - this is not your typical interview.   There's also a job description  at the bottom that will be loaded into St Louis Recruiting Jobs.

Ten Questions with Jasen Morisaki of iBridge Solutions

1.  What is your role at iBridge Solutions?  How long have you been there?

My current title is ‘Director of Recruiting’ and my role includes maintaining a full-recruiting load, in addition to mentoring / training junior and new Recruiters, general team direction, assistance with Account Management, etc.  I’ve known the owners, Craig and John, since I first got into this industry in ’99 and have worked here at iBridge for the better part of the last 6 years. 

2.  Every company says they are different in the way they recruit. We can't all be the best, so what makes you unique to the client?  And for this question, you're not allowed to use marketing speak.

With as many opportunities as there are for Recruiters to make placements in St. Louis today, its pretty easy to just get into the habit of pushing paper and becoming a ‘resume pimp’.  One of the things I think we do extremely well for our clients that extends beyond the typical screening process, is we deliver them qualified AND ‘closed’ candidates.  We have had very, very few offers extended over the past several years that were not accepted.  According to a number of our clients, that has been a huge problem for them over the last few years.

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Free Job Postings for St Louis

I spent a small amount of time this weekend working on it - and the bare bones are up.  There are now five channels for free job postings for St Louis recruiters.

Sales
Recruiters
ASP and .Net
Java
Business Analysts

I'm going to work on the domain names - probably turn them all into subdomains, but that means I have to change the settings on my stlrecruiting.com page parked on Pairnic to Custom DNS.

As you can see - these are really bare right now, but I will be fixing them up and writing out some instructions for each channel.

The basic rules are this -

1) Follow the posting guidelines: (They are there to give you the best exposure)
2) Provide a live contact: For this to work, high-quality job-seekers have to know this is a way to get straight to a real recruiter
3) Candidates will be asked to put StlRecruiting as their e-mail title, so that you know that a targeted  resume is coming in.
4) Comments and Trackbacks will be turned off. 
5) One link per post will be permitted to send back to your home page

You post your own jobs in the appropriate channels, and no one can edit them but you.  I'll send you a guest author login if you contact me.

(We're already the number three result for "free job postings St Louis.")


The Product Manager Employee Blog

My friend Jeff Lash e-mailed me a couple of weeks ago to let me know he had started a new blog on product management.  Jeff is a good organizer, a former Usability guru, and now works as a product manager for a well-known international firm.

His blog is goodproductmanager.com, and he's doing an excellent job of maintaining it.  That should come as no surprise, as Jeff has been blogging for a while on personal sites, as well as being one of the first people I knew who used internal blogs to communicate within a company.

Jeff answers several questions on what it takes to be a good product manager or a bad one, giving the no-so-secret thought processes behind those who make common mistakes and those who are successful.  It takes a second to get used to, until you realize he's being ironic, and giving the pat answers you hear from those who justify bad product management processes.  For example;

If you want to be a bad product manager, don’t give your sales staff a preview of product enhancements or new product launches. Their job is to sell the products that you produce, not to help create them — why would it matter what they think? Any time they spend talking with you is time that they’re not selling, and you don’t want to have a negative impact on their sales performance. Plus, if you did preview for them what you’re working on, they’d just go out and start selling that immediately, even though the work in progress may not be exactly what you’ll release. Since there’s potential to confuse or unintentionally mislead customers, it’s best not to show your sales staff anything until right before it’s ready for release.

The first time I read that, I was pretty shocked. If he really believed that, I might be forced to reevaluate my estimation of his talents. Of course, he was just setting the reader up, because he continues with his explanation of why a good product manager should involved the sales team.

I like it - it's a good format, and I look forward to seeing where this goes.  More important, this is an example of a thought leadership blog, one where an employee sticks their neck out and tells the world how they would run things if they were in charge. We need more of these, certainly in St Louis, but globally, too.  Jeff's blog isn't there to make money, or improve branding, or hire new people. It's there to make other product managers better at what they do and provide personal experience as a guide.

His company is lucky to have him.  He's writing the model employee blog, that even the most cautious lawyer would hesitate to shut down.  Keep it up Jeff, we'll be watching - and add me to the resource page, willya?

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Video Will Have No Impact On The WorkPlace?

Dennis Smith at WirelessJobs points us to this video of a man quitting his job, with, uh, well, with flair.  It's clear that he has no intention of ever returning - and in fact he's using the video to promote his new site (which I'm afraid to go to).

For all of those Human Resources people who wonder about how video and blogs are going to affect their workplace - how do you stop this story from getting out to the local news when it is spread around the world in a day?

Shouldn't you know something about blogging and video before this happens to you?  Reading blogs is no longer something just for techies.  If you are in charge of your company's public persona, it it your responsibility to look out for your reputation. Yes, this guy is an extreme example, but I would hate to be the HR manager responsible for learning why this video is all over the web, and how you're powerless to stop its spread.

Most CEO's will see this and think a lawyer can sit a note and get it taken down.  They are wrong.  Threatening to sue just causes other bloggers to post it - far more bloggers than you have lawyers.  So what can you do?

You start by asking for advice.


Free Job Postings in St Louis

I was talking to Rob Humphrey yesterday, when the idea hit me on how to bring free job postings to St. Louis.  The key is independent channels for each kind of job category.  Java developer, SQL DBA, HelpDesk, SAP.

If companies get place their jobs in one specific channel for one specific area, at no cost, would they do it? 

I think they would.  So what I'm going to try to accomplish is to set up some of these channels here on StlRecruiting.com, and make them available for free job postings.  As they are set up, any company wanting to post job ads will be given a author posting to do so.  The number of jobs you can post are unlimited, and there is no cost.  The only moderation I will use is making sure jobs go to the right places.

Free SEO, free jobs, and I'll make sure these jobs end up posted nationally. How's that for a deal?  So how do I monetize it?  Branding.  While job postings are free, companies interested in going further can buy space on the jobs blog to put their logo, and I'll also toss in an interview or two on this blog to help their traffic and site SEO.

I figure a logo can be bought each quarter, with a cost of $250 a quarter for your logo and direct links to your website.  Compare that to the cost of posting one job in the Post-Dispatch ($350), Monster ($425), or Careerbuilder ($419).  I'm going to build these this week, and launch the first channel February 1st.  Interested parties should contact me at jdurbin@durbinmedia.com.


Chameleon Integrated Services

Mike Tiffany is the general manager of Chameleon IS, a St Louis staffing firm with a heavy focus on government contracts.  You've seen him in the pages of this blog before, as I profiled him earlier in the year when he worked for another company.

Mike now works for Chameleon, and because he is a fellow recruiter blogger, we're going to talk about his company.  They are getting free search engine juice because they have a blogger on staff.  Go figure.

The description of Chameleon is below the fold, but I can tell you that Mike is an excellent trainer with a forward thinking grasp of recruiting.  You'd do well to get to know him, even if he is a competitor.

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Speech Tuesday: How Blogs Can Make (or Break) A Corporate Reputation

Don't forget I'll be speaking next Tuesday, January 23, at the SIM-STL meeting in the Savvis Auditorium off 141 and 40.

"How Blogs Can Make (or Break) a Corporate Reputation" presented by Jim Durbin, Director, Corporate Communications for Durbin Media Group. The presentation begins at 8:00 AM at the SAVVIS auditorium, 1 SAVVIS Parkway, Town & Country, MO 63017. Site is near Hwy 40 and Hwy 141

Cost for non-members is $25.  Members are free.   No sales or commercial activity allowed.

They even made a flyer.