To Find A Job, Start Your Own PR Campaign!

Lee Kravetz here, Senior Account Supervisor at LCI.

A couple of weeks ago I switched on Anderson Cooper 360 and was surprised to find that a friend of mine was the subject of a feature segment. After a year of unemployment, it seems my friend (and my friend’s wife) took his “sans job” status to a new and innovative level: they created a website called myhusbandneedsajob.com. It was unique enough that it caught the eye of two million web surfers, including producers at NPR and Harpo Productions (yes, Oprah!).

A half-dozen or so friends have lost their jobs in the past year thanks to the economic downturn. Many have talked to me about how they are now thinking about their job searches more as PR campaigns.

Utilizing Social Networking

In the age of Web 2.0, old school job networking is now complemented by social networking. Several friends have foregone job fairs, which were once a necessity, and instead have invested in posting their resumes on their blogs and personal websites. They are using the tools at their immediate (and cheap) disposal, everything from Twitter, to LinkedIn, to Facebook to starting a blog at blogspot.com or wordpress.com.

Expanding Your Value Proposition

PR campaigns hinge on highlighting a client’s value proposition, especially in what is typically an over-saturated market. To maintain their value propositions, and keep people returning to their websites and blogs, my friends update their social media platforms daily or weekly with information on business-related classes they are taking and places where they are volunteering their time in the community. This negates any gaps in their resumes and shows any potential employer that, while they may be out of work, they are still actively working within their field. Plus, with each post, readers are routinely directed back to their sites, keeping my friends top-of-mind as positions become available.

Finding Key Partnerships

Like any good PR campaign, you want to find key partnerships that will leverage your name brand – in this case, that brand is you! Since losing their jobs, three of my friends have started their own businesses — everything from a speech and language pathology clinic, to a kosher local organic meat supplying business, to a job recruitment business. My friend in the kosher meat business partnered with a food conference and a Bay Area farmer, bringing 25 volunteers to the farm to harvest 25 turkeys for dinner at the conference. The San Francisco Chronicle covered the event, which wound up on the front page and generated interest in both his business and in the non-profit organization that sponsored the conference.

Developing Your Marketing Message

All PR campaigns involve crafting marketing messages. My friends have updated their resumes to include their marketing message. My buddy Marc added this marketing message to the top of his resume: “Ad sales professional aims to drive and retain customer loyalty at Fortune 500 company.” He then re-crafted his resume to bridge back to his key marketing message. While there is no guarantee that this will land you a job right away, it’s a great method for strengthening your resume. (PS: It helped Marc get a job at AOL.)

Like any PR campaign, your ROI depends on multiple factors. Finding a job is in itself a full-time job, and with a PR plan in place, you’ll be a step ahead of the game.

This week’s “buzzworthy” summer reads:

For a yummy (and wonderfully written) summer read, check out my friend Stacy Perman’s new book, In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules.

Also, be sure to pick up the new book by the brother and sister writing team Daniel and Dina Nayeri, “Another Faust”.

And a final shameless plug for another friend’s book: The Mercy Papers: A Memoir of Three Weeks by Robin Romm.

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4 Comments

  1. David Landis Reply

    Lee, they say that if you really want to be successful in landing a job that the act of getting that job has to be your full-time work. But with technology, you’re right – you have tools that make it that much easier and present your capabilities in a highly professional manner. I met a friend over the weekend who is a graphic designer and her entire portfolio is now online – not only does this tell potential employers that she knows and understands how to use the technology, but it showcases her work in a more professional manner.

  2. Mimi Kravetz Reply

    Lee, this is a great post. As your wife and a satisfied client of your PR support on the job search, I can attest to the fact that these techniques work. One other lesson that you taught me and that proved out in my search was around the value of building and maintaining relationships. It’s all about who you know, and who they know, and not just for networking sake, but also for the sake of building real, long-term mutual relationships. In my case, I got the job I really wanted after keeping in touch with a prospective employer for almost 9 months.

  3. Amanda Reply

    I agree that starting an online “PR campaign” when job searching is among the best ways to get noticed by employers. For students just out of college, it seems the internet is often the only way they conduct their job searches. With blogs and sites like Monster.com where job-hunters can post their resumes, it seems other forms of job searching (mailing resumes, job fairs, etc.) take unnecessary time and resources.

  4. Jessica Landis Reply

    Lee, you are so right. And like Amanda said, many people my age only job hunt online. Here’s a great example of a friend of mine who has really taken “start your own PR campaign” to heart:
    http://annawantstobemarypoppins.blogspot.com