How to Get A Job: Part II

A couple of weeks ago, I posted “How to Find a Job in Public Relations,” a piece that grew out of concern for graduating seniors at my university who are hitting the job market this month. Many of you kindly commented with great advice.

Tomorrow I’m going to be addressing a women’s leadership class through the Mankato YWCA around a slightly different topic: “How to Use Social Media to Get a Job.” Any job, really.

Now, I’m no expert at social media. The last time I posted an image of “the new social media prism,” Benidt quipped that it looked like a turkey on steroids. And it’s true: it does.

But it seems to me that one of the ways you can get through the loss of a position or even prepare yourself for the worst of times is to reach out now to others in your industry or profession, to long-lost colleagues and best friends, to new people who share your interests. Put together a safety net, so to speak, so if you fall you might have a softer landing spot.

Look. You already participate in the social media set. That’s why you’re reading this blog. (And we at the SRC thank you.) But if you actually comment on the posts, you become a public part of the social media landscape and we get to “know” you.

Actually, what we at the SRC don’t want to tell you is how easy it is to set up your own blog. Just go to or and if you can follow three steps, you’ll be blogging. Write about your field, your profession, your passion. (Let us know where you are and we’ll send you some “link love.”)

Do you twitter? Why not? In 140 characters or fewer, you can carry on mini-conversations with others around the world about industry openings, helpful articles, best practices in any profession (try #journchat on Monday evenings for great discussions among journalists, public relations people, students and nerdy professors.) WARNING: twitter may be addicting.

Are you on LinkedIn? Think of it as a grown-up version of MySpace. Or, how about MySpace or Facebook? Those are certainly ways to build contacts. Just remember: what you put on the Web lives forever.

What other ideas do you have for helping each other out during these uncertain economic times?

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Are You Part of the Social Media Prism?

Had a wonderful lunch today with a great local writer, John Gaterud. He’s an even greater friend I first got to know in the early 80s when he, Benidt and I molded young minds at then-Mankato State University. I tell you, those young minds have not been the same since.

(A recommendation: For those not familiar with John’s work, I’d invite you to check out the beautiful Stardust and Fate, a collection edited and published last year by John and his daughter Abbey. If you value words, stories and typography you’ll value this book.)

John and I were laughing about the brave new world of social media we aging hipsters are tip-toeing into these days..blogs, twitter, facebook, LinkedIn. And it reminded me of a posting by Brian Solis, who some say is the guru of social media networking. Solis believes we’re all going to have to learn how to navigate our way around and through this social media prism unless we want to become extinct in the 21st century. (Not really. I’m making that last part up.)

Take a look at this prism. Like your secret crush in 8th grade who didn’t know you were alive, it’s both pretty and intimidating. It’s pretty intimidating.


Wow. Staring at this social media prism intently, as if for the first time, I wonder… If I take it just one little bit at a time, could I do it? Could this 35-year-plus baby-boomer, who’s quickly losing her short term memory, possibly learn and then keep up with it all? Let’s see. There’s pownce. ning. Twiki. flickr. Zimbra. Furl. Bacn.


Did I tell you I had a wonderful lunch today…

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Minnesota’s Blog Scene Gets NYT Coverage

The New York Times has an interesting look at the impact it believes Minnesota’s bloggers are having on our State’s political landscape. The article focuses mostly on the role Minnesota Democrats Exposed is playing in the Senate race, but also mentions True North, Truth vs. The Machine, MNPublius and the Minnesota Campaign Report.

– Austin free printable invoices fine

Who’s Judging the Media Judges?

Why do reporters need to be at the center of political debates? To expose the truth, say many.

Well, during last week’s presidential debate, CNNs John King took on that role with self-righteous zeal: “Tonight, Senator Obama, you’ve talked about more transparency. You also at one point criticized earmarks. And yet, a recent report came out that identified you — lower on the list in terms how much money senators seek and sneak into the budget for these pork-barrel spending projects, but it still said you were responsible for $91 million in earmarks. And you have refused to say where the money went, what it’s for. Why?”

Dang. Zinger, right? Refused to disclose. Hypocrisy! Given that Senator Clinton’s xerox line flopped, this was perhaps the hardest hit Obama took all night.

Well, actually it turns out Senator Obama did disclose his earmarks. In fact, he disclosed in about the most up-front manner imaginable, via a news release beamed to the news media and posted on his official website titled “Obama Announces FY08 Federal Funding Requests.”

Why not let candidates debate each other instead of giving reporters a platform for making themselves the story?

– Loveland

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Real-Time Teachable Moment From American Airlines

For those of you who are or aspire to be better crisis communicators, there’s a situation unfolding at American Airlines that will bear following. According to news reports that are effectively everywhere, a woman on an American Airlines flight last Friday died after being denied oxygen – twice – and discovering that two oxygen tanks on board – plus the defibrillator – were malfunctioning.

Here are some initial discussion points:

Is the story accurate? As you’ll see, much of the coverage is actually pick up of a single AP story and while there’s no immediate reason to discount the accuracy of the story, it’s worth noting that the reporting depends on information provided by the deceased’s brother and cousin.

Was AP justified in writing up the story the way it did, based on the accounts of two people who are anything but objective observers?

How should American be responding even while it’s investigating this situation? American’s position in these stories is almost non-existent (a longer statement is referred to in a package done by WABC).

Should the airline be more visible in the story and – if so – how?

What’s coming next? I think it’s safe to assume that newsrooms all over the country (the world) are trying to figure out how to advance this story – interviews with the family, tracking down other passengers on the plane, investigating American’s inspect procedures, etc. You can expect lawsuits to be filed shortly as well.

How does American get back in front of this issue (assuming you think they should and it’s possible)?

What should other airlines be doing, if anything, on this story. How about responding to media inquiries wanting to know their rules regarding medical emergencies on board?

Who should be speaking for the airline? Should there be a statement only (that seems to be American’s current approach) or should spokespeople be available? On camera?

Those are just the starting points. As Keanu Reeves said in Speed:

“Pop quiz…”

– Austin government loans kind