Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The disappearing courtesy of rejection

When you think about job hunting, you might think the process goes as follows: You jazz up your resumé, send it out, get called in for some interviews, then you hear back in one of two ways—you got the job (Whoo!) or you did not (Crap!). However, if you've actually done any job hunting, you know there's a far more common, and even worse response.

Dead effing silence.

Now, some amount of this can be explained away. Companies sometimes receive thousands of resumés is a week, and responding to every one with a "No thanks" could be a full time job (which they could hire someone to do, but that's another story.)

However, if you get an interview, and that interview doesn't end with a job offer or a rejection, shouldn't you assume that you'll hear when a decision has been reached? After all, we communicate at the speed of lint these days, so you'd assume that rejecting people would have become less of a chore than it once was. I'll demonstrate:

"Thanks for your time, Mr. Smith. Although you had remarkable qualifications, we cannot offer you a position at this time. We'll be in contact if we have need of your services in the future."

Less than one minute, and Mr. Smith is out of my life for good. But more important than that, he has closure.

Perhaps it's the same technology that makes communication so easy that also makes it that much easier to ignore. If it will take less than a minute, what's the  harm in putting off another day? With the impetus to respond residing with the recipient and no longer an assistant, no one is making sure Mr. Boss is communicating with anyone.

Ad boys and girls, the only way to fix it is to take it upon ourselves, and vow that we will not do to others what has been done to us. So, here is my promise: Should I ever be so lucky to be in the position to hire anyone, I vow that those I do not hire will be given proper notice.

Until next time,


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blogging for the man

Do you have something you really like doing, but you want to stop liking it so much? Here's a tip from ol' Uncle B—get paid to do it. It will start seeming like a whole lot less fun.

It's been, oh, about ten months since my last post. What have I been doing while I wasn't blogging? Blogging. For clients. I've been doing other writing, too, but a few of our clients have pretty active content marketing programs, and someone has to write that stuff.

It's all good, don't get me wrong. I've learned a lot about things I never, ever would have researched on my own. But it hasn't left me in the mood to post anything here.

If this seems like a pointless post—keen observation. But the only way to write is to write. And the only way to blog is to blog. And now there's only one way to go—upward and onward.

'Til next post (hopefully not another ten months), farewell.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Advertising folks are just a bunch of Fish Oil salesmen...

When we look back at advertising of old, we shake our heads and laugh at what companies used to be able to claim before regulation. Back in the day, cigarette companies could say their deadly little sticks could cure a sore throat. This was back before the government made sugary cereal manufacturers put the "part of" in "Cap'n Crunch is part of a balanced breakfast."

These days we wouldn't stand for outrageous claims that beer cures stomach ulcers. Or would we?

I have been seeing a commercial running with a elderly couple dancing. The VO says something like, "Studies show dancing is good for your heart. So is fish oil." The takeaway is that the Omega 3s or whatever in fish oil can slow the effects of aging on your heart. Near the end, though, there's tiny print that says the FDA hasn't substantiated these claims.

Will the FDA ever get around to proving or disproving this? I doubt it. After all, fish oil isn't that new. I mean, fish have been around for, like, years, right?

The argument is that some studies have shown that fish oil has health benefits. Some studies have also shown that drinking sugary soda helps kids get better test scores, which also hasn't been proven by the FDA. I try to imagine the backlash if Coca Cola tried to run a commercial claiming drinking soda was good for kids.

If fish oil has no proven benefits, it should have to sell based on its brand image, just like every other meaningless product. Advertisers should have to make people feel cool for taking fish oil. Fish oil should get a social media campaign, making virtual tribes of fish oil enthusiasts. Dedicate a store in the mall to fish oil, with a bar in it where you could go up and get all your fish oil questions answered (as long as you're a card-carrying fish oil brand advocate).

Am I serious? Not really. But I do think we'll be judged in the future for our laundry lists of pharm side effects and our mouse-type belying all healthful claims made in commercials. I just hope we learn our lesson before we need a Fish Oil Council to reduce oil use in kids.