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Archives: May 2012

Three Tactful Ways to Follow Up After the Interview

Whether you met with an associate editor or editor-in-chief, producer or publicist, the job interview isn’t really complete once it’s over. And considering media folks are always working on deadline and busy, busy, busy, it’s technically your job to be persistent to close the deal.

There’s always — you guessed it — the follow up. According to a piece on The Daily Muse, there are a few tactful ways to follow up without becoming that annoying guy or gal.

First, before the interview concludes, be sure to ask about next steps so you know what to expect post-interview. As pointed out in the piece, if the recruiter indicates she or he will follow up with candidates within a few days and you’re already stretching it into two weeks, it’s fine to follow up with a brief email mentioning the position, expressing your interest again, and asking for an update.

Secondly, leverage the thank you note. Send it out quickly via email and feel free to follow up with a handwritten snail mail note as well. Mention your interest in the position and also remember to spell check!

The last way to slightly nudge the potential employer is to do the fine dance of following up without being overly anxious or downright annoying. In the piece Jenny Foss writes,  ”Now, this is not about harassment: “Did I get the job?” “Do you have a job for me?” “Did you make a decision?” Not at all. It’s about offering something of value to your contact. And in doing so, you will also (by default) remind her that you’re still out there.”

Slight ways to stay top of mind include forwarding a relevant article of interest or thanking the interviewer for some advice mentioned during the interview itself. The take-away here is keeping it brief, simple, and not even expecting a response.

Foss writes, “ Nothing elaborate, and once a month is probably about right if you don’t get much response. But you can be assured that Sue will remember you, and in a good way if you’re helpful and non-pesky in the follow-up. The bottom line is: Stay top of mind. It’s half the battle.”

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Land A Feature (And A Job) At Working Mother

Where most parenting magazines focus exclusively on children, Working Mother is meant for mothers who are dedicated to their families and committed to their careers.

There are lots of pages to fill at this niche pub, as editors are on a constant search for profiles of a special mom who’s making it work, and a closer look into certain industries through the lens of working motherhood. Get a few good clips under your belt from the glossy, and you might even land a full-time gig.

“We’re always looking for freelance writers who understand our initiatives and can pitch some fresh angle,” said senior research editor Krista Carothers.

Find out which sections are the most freelancer-friendly in How To Pitch: Working Mother. [subscription required]

‘Chicago Sun-Times’ Emphasizes Digital Shifts

To say we live in a digital world is to put it mildly. Yesterday the Chicago Sun-Times announced a new managing editor and plans to shuffle around its newsroom as it emphasizes digital news.

According to Crain’s, in a memo to staff Jim Kirk indicated, “We are no longer a newspaper company. The editor-in-chief added, ”We are a technology company that happens to publish a newspaper. We deliver content. And we will deliver content on many platforms and in ways that we haven’t yet fully considered.”

Craig Newman has been appointed managing editor and will oversee day-to-day operations of news. Plus, in the memo Kirk pointed out he’s going to move all of Sun-Times Media “to a digital-first focus.”

As for other appointments, the former managing editor of the Sun-Times, Andrew Herrmann is now the editor-in-chief of the West Suburban publishing group. Linda Bergstrom has been appointed deputy managing editor for features content for the Chicago Sun-Times and Sun-Times Media. Chris de Luca takes the reigns of deputy managing editor for news and sports; and Meg Moore will be the editor of the new Pulse section.

Litzky PR: Call Me Maybe. No Wait, Don’t Call Us. Really.


A Hoboken PR firm has posted a recruitment video that involves the staff dancing and lipsynching to that song—you know the one. You don’t want to even start thinking about that song so we’ll stay quiet.

Mashable found the video yesterday. Does it work as a recruitment video?

Your (not so) humble blogger thinks not. At 3.5 minutes long, it is far too long. Nowhere in the video (until the very end) or the title does it even mention that it’s a recruitment video—you’d have to be watching the video on YouTube to have read the description to learn that Litzky is hiring.

Not only that, but after 3 minutes of a song that exhorts the viewer to “call me maybe,” an employee holds up a sign that says “No calls,” and directs users to a URL to apply. A URL that 404s–page not found. Update: Gillian Small of Litzky reached out to us and said that actually, the URL is totally fine. That is true IF you can read the type in the video well enough to realize that the url is http://litzkypr.com/jobs and not http://litzkypr.com/Jobs. (Who does this??)

And despite having been on Mashable for five hours, the video has only gained 631 views (at the time of this posting). Maybe lots of people are sick of that song.

HOWEVER. We will say that this video has one thing going for it. It looks like the folks in this video are having a genuinely good time. In a small office (which is what Litzky appears to be) culture is important, so if this video sends a message to jobseekers that it is a fun place to work –if that’s said jobseeker’s idea of fun–then, great.

Five Ways to Negotiate a Job Offer

Congrats! You’ve just gotten a job offer and endured countless interviews and now you’re ready to leap at the offer.

Not so fast! Before you accept it point blank, it’s important to negotiate and avoid some major blunders. As pointed out in a piece on US News & World Report, for starters, do some research. Although surfing various salary websites may seem like you’re grasping valuable information, sites may be unreliable. Some job titles they include may represent a large spectrum of responsibilities and not to mention, geographic regions across the country. The best way to know what the going rate is? Talk to people within media.

Next up, be sure to talk about salary within the confines of salary. In the piece, Alison Green writes, “Salary conversations should be solely about your value to the company, not about your own finances. Employers don’t pay people based on financial need, so don’t cite your mortgage or your kid’s college tuition as a reason you’re asking for more money.”

As you evaluate the whole package, don’t overlook other components such as health benefits, retirement contributions, and paid time off. Salary alone shouldn’t be the sole determining negotiation factor; although these items may be less negotiable, they factor into the big picture of your offer as a whole. In addition, flexible work arrangements may be key, too and cut down on commuting costs and time.

One often overlooked piece to the job offer is a blatant one: Negotiating. “Whatever you do, negotiate,” writes Green. As soon as you accept the initial offer you’re given, it’s game over. You’ll never know what might have been! Before you begin, the answer’s automatically no so you might as well try to aim a little higher.

Lastly, find out the deadline. Asking for too long of a timeframe is a major faux pas but it’s common to ask for a few days to ponder it or at least think about it over a weekend. Whatever you do, don’t rush it. Ask questions, get answers, and then make an informed decision.

Zimbio Inc. Plans to Expand

According to The New York Post, Zimbio Inc. picked up $8.9 million in financing earlier this month!

The entertainment and fashion website is apparently already busy expanding. As pointed out in the piece, John Newlin, editor-in-chief has hired Danica Lo, former senior online beauty and fashion editor at Glamour. Danica will manage daily editorial operations of StyleBistro.com.

Newlin explained, “Basically, it signals a branching out from our celebrity-centric fashion coverage. She’ll bring a wider skill set to cover beauty, fashion and some retailing.”

As for other news in expansion, he plans on hiring three editors in NYC and could possibly add six additional editors as well!

New CareerBuilder Survey Results Show Boost in Summer Hiring

Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, it’s Summer, more or less. And as it turns out, many companies are in Summer hiring mode, according to CareerBuilder’s annual job forecast.

Fueled by an increase in seasonal hiring, almost one-third of employers surveyed plan to hire summer workers. While this is good news for college students and recent grads, it could be a boost for the unemployed population as well since summer jobs could lead to new contacts and extended assignments.

As for a few reasons bolstering the hiring? According to its press release, it looks like a combination of increased “consumer confidence” and vacation season, too. Although there wasn’t a specific breakdown for jobs in the media, Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America explained in the release, “Confidence is up among the employers we most closely associate with summer hiring. This is good news for job seekers, as seasonal work can often lead to full-time opportunities. A majority of employers told us they consider a summer position an extended job interview.

He added, “The forecast is also a strong indicator that the job market will continue to strengthen as we come closer to the second half of 2012.”

As for the even better news? Many employers (71 percent to be exact) hiring for summer jobs indicated they anticipate considering making permanent hires as a result of the short-term stints. And in case you think you missed the boat for job applications, think again. About 20 percent of employers in the survey will extend summer job offers in the month of June and afterwards.

Layoffs On Sesame Street

It’s not a sunny day at Sesame Street–or rather, Sesame Workshop, which produces the show and has had financial problems for a few years.

Deadline.com reports that the company has laid off 12 people in the Digital Media department, a move a spokesperson called a “shift” in resources “to better align with our strategic priorities and new opportunities.”

Sesame Workshop laid off 60 people in 2009 as donations fell off and licensing revenue dropped thanks to the economy.

In 2011, according to public records, the company reported a $9 million drop in revenue to $130 million, but ended the year in the black as opposed to the $10 million deficit in 2010 through a decrease in salaries and other expenditures.

Postmedia Slashes Editing Jobs in Canada

We’re not the only ones feeling the crunch of the economy. Our neighbors to the north are feeling it, too.

At meetings held yesterday, according to Poynter, the largest newspaper publish in Canada indicated they’re cutting editing jobs at several of its city dailies. Postmedia Network also announced it will stop printing paper editions on specific days

This isn’t unlike the announcement made from the Denver Post to reduce the number of copy editors and the New Orleans newspaper, Times-Picayune, which stopped printing editions on certain days, as pointed out in the piece. So the question is this: Is “dailies” an antiquated term?

According to its Web site, Postmedia hasn’t issued an official statement yet but as per Poynter, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa will no longer have papers published on Sundays. Interestingly enough, in Canada the Sunday newspaper isn’t that big compared to its largest edition of the week on Saturdays.

Postmedia is cutting its newsroom head count as well apparently to centralize their production to one facility in Hamilton, Ontario.

Poynter points out the company memo, “While the changes we have been making are about creating the company we need to be, it also means changing the way we have done many things in the past. While some areas are expanding, some roles across our operations will be eliminated.”

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