Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Notes from 4/16/2010 OCA Meeting

In-depth and very engaging discussion at last week's OCA meeting.
Below are three different subjects that we covered:

All-in-One Job Descriptions
- We've all seen them... job descriptions that encompass everything plus the kitchen sink. Below is a shortened list of duties from
an actual job posting on Craigslist:
  • Write, design, and produce materials, including proposals, presentations, corporate collateral materials, and more.

  • Write press releases, seek opportunities for press coverage, track press activity/presence.

  • Advertising concept/writing/design for newspapers, sponsorships, and other publications.

  • Website design and maintenance for corporate site, intranet, extranet, and property sites.

  • Develop and maintain corporate mailing list/company database for use by sales force.

  • Research new technology, resources, and marketing tools.
And this is for a Marketing ASSISTANT position, looking for 5 years of related experience.

Someone in the group had an interesting point and analogy. Would an engineering firm post a job position that required a candidate to have mechanical, electrical, structural, and civil engineering experience? We understand the need for marketing generalists. And, of course, smaller companies can't afford to hire specialists, but rather need employees who can wear several hats.

Regardless, there's an overwhelming sense that recruiters and hiring managers are expecting the recession's talent pool to produce all-in-one candidates - at bargain prices. In addition, all too often job seekers are interviewing for positions that are mislabeled. PR/Communications roles, for instance, that are titled "Marketing Director," etc. and the kitchen sink mentality could indicate a lack of real knowledge of how the many functional areas of marketing actually work within a business.

Social Media
Another interesting position requirement we're starting to see everywhere is a need for "Social Media experience." Not only are companies looking for this, they're searching for job candidates who can lead them in this area. Postings for Director of Social Media and Social Media Strategist are popping up across the job boards.

Is it a fad or a viable marketing tool companies can utilize? Our group definitely skews toward the latter view. SM is a way to build relationships with customers, opening a two-way conversation. This added avenue of communication can then lead to product improvements, address customer satisfaction complaints, and help launch new products or services.

While Social Media may not result in a direct correlation to bottom-line sales,
monitoring tools, such as Brandwatch and Radian6, are helping marketing organizations realize their return on investment.

While most of us are exceptional at dissecting positional statements and recommending communications strategies, it's an interesting conundrum when we need to look inward and market ourselves.

One obvious way to do so is by networking.
Two weeks ago, we touched on the need to build tactical relationships with companies and hiring managers. What's often lost, however, is the crucial aspect of casting a wider net.
- Let everyone in your professional and personal network know that you're looking for work. You never know who may hear of an opening.
- Stay top-of-mind by doing so more than once. If time has passed, people may assume you've already landed something and not think to pass you the lead.
- Be specific, and ask for help. Let people know what you're looking for and ask if they know of anyone with whom you should connect.

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