Thursday, 25 November 2010

Re-appraising Facebook for our clients

My relationship with FB as a corporate recruiting tool is a complex one (and all stuff below is a gross over simplification but its a blog post so why not)

1. We use it increasingly for PPC campaigns - very efficient/highly targeted for a certain demographic
2. We have set up with caution - Company Pages. the caution is an area i have covered many times previously. But all the classic caveats - fitting corp culture, unregulated content, a place for social interaction not biz etc
3. Therefore - our general advice is tread with care - and invest first in LI and Twitter and industry related networks/forums/blogs


i know one should not be too dogmatic and permanent in any view in digital (i have been and will continue to be wrong on many issues) but i can't help that what became a 2009 view - has almost became a mantra and that is bad.

I keep up to date and know what is going on (particularly in US) and am aware that many companies use FB as their go to place for landing pages for marketing campaigns and indeed permanent sites for talking about product/with their customers etc. However it was only when i was in US a couple of weeks ago that i saw juts how much US corporate big brand marketing is centred around and through FB. If they are happy to engage then why not UK recruitment brands??

So once again - in this hugely exciting ever changing industry - its time to dump my preconceptions/assumptions in the bin and think again - i would not want it any other way.............................

i think

Friday, 19 November 2010


Mildly exciting times for OME - so here goes with recent developments

1. New recruit starts next week - an account manager called Lissa Cardwell - we really need to add some extra account management to support the growing client list (all the current ones seem to be staying for 2011 too - he says touching wood). Is it good or bad to be out on media and client lunches and bashes in 1st 2 weeks in a company? Lets hope she comes back after Xmas
2. New clients include Lebara Mobile, Druines, TGI Fridays, BrowHaus
3. Hugely exciting stuff going on at Carphone Warehouse which i cant talk about at mo
4. On a personal level - i seem to be spending 80% of my time rolling out LinkedIn groups, Social Media pilots, candidate process mapping - media, careers site, ATS, reporting. I sort of miss doing a more trad digital media plan. I still do quite a lot of buying but that's because its the most fun bit of my job so don't want to let it go.
5. The year will end up being about +45% on 2009 - would love to make it 50% up so still some time....
6. We have bought a new agency mgmt system (Concept), engaged a new firm of accountants and just ordered new PCs for everyone - spending money hurts but these are "good" costs and will help us grow over next 2 years.

So all positive - which is great as Sumners child No4 arrives in March!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Times Paywall Update

Update on stats from Times here, essentially they have 105,000 paying customers and may generate about £5.5million from that number, a lot of progress needs to be made to make it a success and you can read those figs as very grim but as in previous post lets see if they can get some growth into those numbers. At moment they are hurting financially from decision - and the ramifications are potentially long term/permanent but the potential prize is huge too.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

In Praise of the Times Paywall...

So a heading i was not expecting to write but i saw an interesting tweet from a very clever media observer analyst who i used to work (Peter Kirwan)with Latest Nielsen stats of the decline in the Times readership since paywall went up. Now a few caveats before i give some praise - the stats are not very robust, essentially estimates in many cases, we have no idea how many free trials, promotional access etc are included in numbers and have no real comprehension of revenue therefore derived. And critically as a significant recruitment advertiser on times/sundaytimes online - we have seen response absolutely hammered and have therefore moved spend towards competitors. The recruitment part of this was not so much mismanaged as not even taken into consideration and NI probably are still not that bothered by this.

Anyway....this was supposed to be blog to praise, so here goes

1. I thought the figs would be much much worse. only 43% decline to front page views, total of 362,000 uniques per month. My gut  detailed analysis told me that nobody would register, let alone pay for content that was pretty much freely available elsewhere (BBC, Guardian, Telegraph).
2. If a decent proportion of this number were paying even £1 or £2 a week - it makes it revenue positive i would think compared to ad revenue - CPM rates are showing no sign of inflation at present and CTRs remain low.
3. I firmly believe that  users cannot expect this stuff for free in future - i love free content, and consume it and never pay for anything but the business model of providing a high quality product, investing heavily and giving it away free, relying on ad revenue does not have any commercial future. So lets applaud attempt at a different business model rather than slam it for impertinence.
4. Anecdotally - i now buy the print Times semi regularly (2-3 times a week) as i cannot access the content elsewhere. I am now an officially ex Guardian/Telegraph reader, as i can view their content via Ipad, laptop, desktop which is me pretty much covered.

So in summary - it will be fascinating to see more robust stats and to see what will happen and what competitors will also do but i can assure you that if they do make a success of it - everyone will be very quickly changing their tune and you will see paywalls flying up everywhere (should insert pun on wall building here but cant bring myself to crow bar it in!)

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

A Lesson in Parking Your Prejudices

I should be blogging about fish4 take over by Trinity but i can't think of anything much interesting to say. I truly hope that they manage to resurrect a painfully neglected brand but think that it will be a very tough job.

Instead - i wanted to highlight something else - as a SME business owner - i have come to accept almost as truth that the public sector is unmotivated, inefficient, lazy and much too big. I know that's not really the case but with the cuts coming - it has become almost a mantra that jobs, services, departments need to be closed for the greater good and it will be strong medicine but etc etc...
So private sector good - public sector bad - all day every day at moment.
And then you have personal experience which turns the abstract into the concrete.
My mother is quite old and not very well at all and she has been going from hospital to home and back again for last few years - my brother and I (Top Tip - if you want to be well looked after in your old age - have daughters not useless sons) reached a point when we had to make a decision about what to do on permanent basis yesterday.
The meet up was organised by Kelly Hierons who is an SDS for Essex CC(essentially looking after the social care element) and attended by Melissa who was looking after the health element of the equation for the Health Authority, the two of us, my mum and her best friend. All i can say is - Melissa and Kelly were brilliant - they were so focused on getting things right for my mother and were endlessly patient, caring, helpful and efficient. They were clearly hugely motivated by the desire to help people in very distressing circumstances in what must be a hugely difficult job. Needless to say - i felt i would have lasted about 2 days trying to do a job like that.

Anyway - the welfare state, NHS, Education system are such easy things to criticise them until you really need them when suddenly you become extremely grateful this apparatus exists - and i will try to remember that in the future when moaning about taxes, council tax etc.

Monday, 4 October 2010

And now for some good news - OME Sep 2010

Sep 2010 was OME's best ever month in terms of billings (we are up about 45% year on year so far in 2010) - not sure if this is of much interest or relevance to anyone else - but its my blog so if you cant be a bit full of yourself on your own blog then when can you?
Interestingly - though social media and PPC show greatest growth (mainly fee led) - our spend on jobboards is showing a large increase.
This is why we have to remember in this industry (digital recruitment) not to get too ahead of the curve - the value is in many cases - doing the established, trusted digital executions well - while low cost piloting the more cool interesting things. Take your clients with you - show them what digital can do for them - and don't burn a lot of their money on stuff where you will be learning as much as them.
I probably say that too many times and i am beginning to bore even myself.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Lessons of Digital Recruitment History

Nice simple blog post - it does not need much space but has benefit of being 100% true.
It is this - every single objection i hear about social recruiting/social media recruiting
- not proven
- overhyped
- does not work
- only works for tech/geeks/young people
- no case studies
- USA different to Europe
- dont trust the metrics
- can't make any money from it (this is a supplier issue)

Are exactly word for word the objections - people made about job boards and PPC by print publishers or conservative clients.

and we all know how that one turned out.

Monday, 6 September 2010

OME's Social Media Recruitment Advice in as few words as possible

OK - going to try and summarise as concisely as possible - our current advice to recruiters (Sep 2010) on this topic. Please be aware that this by definition is huge oversimplification and generalisation but i wanted to see if i could do it.
  1. Answer question - why are you doing it?
  2. Do it - engage - don't come up with reason to delay - do something now
  3. Its more about time than money
  4. Don't outsource too much to people like us - much needs to come from within
  5. But let an expert guide you, kick you off, assist where there are gaps
  6. Appoint internal social media champion/s and give them external/internal support
  7. Measure but accept measurement tools are not perfect
  8. Don't try and do everything. Possible priority list may be LinkedIn, Twitter and micro/niche blogs, specialist forums etc.
  9. Launch, engage, measure, enhance, review.....

Final Notes

  • we have stopped including Facebook ads in this area, targeted cheap effective advertising fits in snugly next to all other forms of SEM and depending on your recruiting needs - if you are not taking advantage of this source - you are missing out.
  • there is the massive issue of content strategy which i have studiously ignored above - it is very bespoke to each organisation - and requires more space than this list can provide
  • please place any fat proposal asking for £50-70K for social media strategy roll out in the bin - you will be very disappointed

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Sales Presentations - my recent bad experiences

Have received a few of these recently which it is fair to say - did not go well. I will try and group the major failings to avoid highlighting any individuals but i am always amazed that these errors still occur in 2010.
1. Sales person talking too much. Admittedly i have a short attention span but this is sooooo dull. It is not about showing off how much you know and sticking crowbarred benefits on everything. Its 2 way dialogue, exchanging info etc.
2. No real objective to meeting. equally dull as it just meanders along to no point. Is objective to close deal, get brief, update on new product. One meeting just petered out where we had all just drifted off and were all probably thinking out what we would be having for dinner.
3. Disagreeing with everything the client said. This was a one off and went spectacularly badly. The sales person just disagreed with everything client and consequently i said. Now putting aside the rights and wrongs of points made. When we have been told you are wrong for about the 4th time - your back gets up and you stop listening.
4. Going on too long. I think you should try and get 3 to 4 points across tops and ensure they are understood and then don't overstay your welcome. I think the impact gets lost otherwise.

I need to say at this point that clearly all the meetings i do are snappy, relevant and beautifully delivered......

Thursday, 5 August 2010

How to Price OME's Social Media Work?

Recruitment and social media - a thorny subject - occupying a lot of OME time (not all of the team but growing for all of us). Not the place for a debate about whole topic here - let's make following assumptions for this piece

1. social media is very important now - even more so in future

2. most content should come from within an organisation - not be sourced from external supplier

3. it is NOT a short term response fix - its a long/medium term engagemenmt strategy (some exceptions to this rule)

So the OME approach can be roughly described as (not necessarily in right order)

* Agree Objective

* setting programmes up

* beginning to engage

* decide on policy for Big 3 Social Media (FB LI and Twitter)

* identify niche sites/forums/blogs

* agree ownership internally

* agree what is outsourced

* set up measurement metrics/objectives

* execute policy

* Monitor review and enhance

But we struggle to structure our rates for this correctly i think - the amount of work we do does not in any way correlate with fees. So what do we do?

1. Charge a very big day rate or proj mgmt fees? - make hay while the demand is huge

2. Treat as loss leader? Do such a brill job that we will be engaged for ever more

3. Hide fees in inflated media or content costs? Not the OME way but stuff i see in proposals

4. Bespoke every proposal - based on indvidual client profile - size of opportunity etc. Again not really us - as it means you are sizing up client on what they can afford - not what they need although quite a typical market approach i am sure.

I think our approach has drifted towards Option 2 and it makes sense as it does mirror how we have grown our business - show what we can do - then people are happy to pay higher rates due to value received. But it also means we are underselling ourselves and potentially giving away the quality work for not a lot.

So in summary - probably stay largely in Option 2 - but the rates are going up!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Future for Job Boards - possibly...

This post is prompted by a really interesting (to me!) debate started on Matt Alder's blog here about whether Job Boards will die off in same way as print classified advertising is. My thoughts on this are as follows
1. All media need to innovate and improve their product - better search, better user experience etc. If products don't do this - they will be thrashed by the competitors forget about any seismic marketplace changes.
2. Job Boards do 2 main things - connect employers/recruiters to candidates (and vice versa) and provide a searchable CV database.
3. The CV database model is fragile i think - via LinkedIn and other methods of online profiling (which social may/is developing at at a pace. Job Boards don't add any value in its CV database (there are good and bad search tools i know) and this product has been ruthlessly exploited by rec cons and not touched by direct clients. Like a plague of locusts - the rec cons having stripped a database of its ripe fruit will move on to the next host (LinkedIn. industry forums etc) .
4. But the core ad model is a beautifully efficient way of connecting recruiters to candidates. In 10 seconds from mobile device or PC - a user can get the top 10 most relevant current jobs delivered to their screen. He/she can respond via email in about 30 seconds and be back on Facebook. I am not ignoring the approx 5 issues about process above (bad search, too easy to apply, lack of quality in jobs, lack of quality in applications. But as a method of getting consumer to provider - it is staggeringly efficient. and efficiency and speed work online.
5. Now the thing that (many) job boards have never cracked is the browser, the passive candidate (the semi mythical quality candidate who you can access via beautiful high impact branding placed where that user consumes media). I fundamentally believe this is the huge gargantuan opportunity that a lot of our social media work can begin to deliver on. And being as the job boards have been rubbish at this historically not sure they will miss out too much.

The above is oversimplistic and all your advertising, engagement and employer brand impacts on each other but if you want to recruit and you put up great web/search friendly content in the right place with a super efficient response mechanism -the job boards (and PPC) will continue to deliver for you in coming years.

NB with proviso that someone somewhere is coming up with something so brilliant that any long term prediction can make fools of us all!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Times/SundayTimes and Rec Advertising

OK - the paywall went up this week which means we now have to pay to access the editorial content here. Now i am slightly conflicted in that i want to support innovation and new business models (OME, in its way, has completely re-written what a successful rec ad agency might look like) but.....
Our job is to plan and buy the best media for our clients and the redesign and re-launch of their sites have the following issues.
1. If you have to register (lets forget paying for time being) - many people won't bother - speaking personally i wouldn't bother unless there is information data and content that is not available elsewhere. Does the times site have this? i really don't know. Therefore traffic is and will be down - this is fact not conjecture. Therefore response is and will be down - fact not conjecture.
2. At same time - the times and Sunday Times have split sites. Now for last 10 years - users have been going to timesonline to access jobs and adverts for senior executives. Now - no rec con can advertise on Timesonline and no job above £40K salary. So the user goes to where the relevant jobs have been for 10 years - searches and gets zero ads returned. Result - the user goes elsewhere...
3. The damage here would be lessened if there was proper signposting of where users (indeed recruiters) should go next - instead its a maze and requires a lot of dead ends and clicks to try and find what you need. Not a shock to anyone but the digital user is a lazy person who wants instant gratification not to have to think about where should i go next?
4. If you are gong to make this sort of change - you had better have a big marketing budget to persuade people - i have yet to see this.

So all this is without looking further at damage of a paywall - my overall thought is - i love the Times/SundayTimes as a media. i really like the people we deal with but this appears to have been done without putting the recruitment advertiser or candidate anywhere near their thoughts. And the really silly thing is - i reckon you can solve some of the issues above in a day but will they do so before real damage is done??

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Marker Post to end of B2B Print Media

It did not warrant much comment and i only noticed it this morning but Personnel Today's print edition is no more -it was a rock solid big margin product for most of its 22 years existence and now its gone. Not much of a prediction but next 6-9 months will see it joined by a host of other B2B print products. Much sympathy if people have lost jobs but an inevitability.
I also see that Trinity Mirror's(national and regional newspaper publisher and owner of some "interesting" digital acquisitions) Sly Bailey has announced 25% reduction in journalist jobs, 41% plunge in profits. I would not wish to be personal but this is from a person who said decline in print classified revenue was cyclical and would return - still good to see that at the same time she has awarded herself a performance related pay rise of £676,000. Nice work if you can get it.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Motivation and the Business Owner

A rare moment of self analysis and honesty - we set up OME 4 years ago and we are doing very well at the moment but....
1. My own personal motivation is not quite what it has been - it just does not feel very exciting at the moment
2. We weathered storm of 2009 and did fine and have come out of it very healthily - so also lack the best motivator of them all - sheer terror that you will lose everything and the shame of failure (always found this to be my chief driver!)
3. We have a team in place who can do all the things i do but actually are better at doing what they promise to do - so don't feel the whole thing would fall down without me. In fact can absolutely say the whole thing wont fall down without me
4. Plenty of medium/long term things i should be doing but due to factors above - cant quite get round to doing them - this is chiefly around topic of business strategy and potential investment

Now apologies for navel gazing - and i know i will snap out of it soon and this is not exactly a major problem but as Arsene Wenger once said (probably) " who motivates the motivators"

Friday, 14 May 2010

Unintended Revenue Streams

I was reviewing 2010 figures this week and we seemed to have made done a lot of work in LinkedIn Consultancy this year so far. I am of course aware that we are out there helping our clients use the power of Linkedin but had not comprehended how much of a rev stream it had become. and you know what - i am actually a little uncomfortable with some of the work we have doen/are doing. I am not getting all precious about it - its just that our most popular service in this area is helping recruiters upload their profiles effectively, populate it well and show them how to network, join/set up forums and search for users.
Now the fact is much of this is freely available ( even we do downloadable 1 pagers on it) and ultimately - some of the work becomes sitting with someone while they upload their CV - which i am not sure ever appeared in the OME business plan.
Anyway i will shut up now and find some other new and welcome revenue streams

Friday, 30 April 2010

seminars and debates

Ran the latest breakfast briefings this week and its amazing how far they/we/industry has come in last 2 years since we started these. As ever - i stated the fact that we love job boards - great ROI - good execution will get excellent results but the reality is there is very little interesting to present on the topic at moment (so covered it in 30 seconds). I maybe also try and keep it fresh for myself too and dont like presenting the same old stuff. Its more of a compliment i think to the sector - everyone gets it now.

I also retired a slide that i originally ripped off tim and alastair ex of Enhance which maps IAB/PwC market value of digital vs national press/trade press/business pres. The West has been won - digital is dominant - its now about how best to exploit a complex ever changing sector.

Feedback and dialogue were at a really high level during and partic after event - and it was a pleasure to run.

Tenuous link to last night leaders'debate - but we try not to patronise and talk to audience like a 10 year old as the politicians are advised. I am not going to get involved in political views (did have a bit of a twitter exchange last night though) but the biggest thing it reconfirmed to me is that there is no absolute truth - just individual perspective. I watched it and was fairly convinced by who came out well and who did really badly. I find the opposite reported on TV and newspapers. Are they right or me? did i just convince myself as i wanted a certain output that this view was the most compelling argument.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

April 2010 - Nobody has a clue

Met with two ex colleagues this week and both have started (or about to start) new ventures -
Ex boss 1 - was in a corporate "trad" publisher charged with maintaining some print revenues and cutting costs and turning round some distressed web sites.
Ex employee 2 - is in a 2nd year start up which had such a complex (game changing) offering that i still don't really get it after it being explained to me twice.
Now normally i would form a very quick view on the prospects of these ventures but i had the humbling realisation that we are again at such a massive turning (tipping!!) point in our industry, economy, society that i have no idea which of these or both or neither has greater chance of success.
Think i should keep my eyes on the OME shop - and let others fight their own battles

Monday, 15 March 2010

Running a Rec Ad Biz - Part 2

I wrote the last post when buzzing one morning - this one is at 5pm on a slowish Monday - i wonder if this will affect my tone
Its my attempt to summarise how we do it here at OME (as we near 4th anniversary) and is as near a personal statement (can't bear to insert the word mission in here) as i am ever likely to come up with
- pay your bills - i once worked for a company who paid everyone late or not at all if they could help it. It was horrible when you make a creative wait 90 days for his money or having to persuade media to take your booking as you promised "cheque was in post" etc. We wanted to have a good rep and good media and supplier relationships from Day 1 - i think we achieved that
- if someone seems like a bullshit artist - they absolutely are going to be a bullshit artist. This applies to suppliers (and clients!) but most particularly any staff or business development outsourcing you want to do. You and your senior team are the best people to sell and market your business
- If you can avoid it - don't do tenders (this is may not be good advice). They may be written by people who don't understand the questions they are asking - who if they are looking at costs and commission - are asking completely the wrong questions in a digital recruitment world. So why put yourself through it. Having said that - i just did a well written tender last week that we were invited on (small shortlist etc) and managed not to win that either - so it may just be us!
- Be good to people and stay in touch if they are out of work etc. Two reasons - 1. they will appreciate what you have done and may help you in future and 2. BECAUSE ITS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!
- and finally - keep your confidence up - many people will question your business model, you as individuals, your name/logo/offices etc. People are bitchy - its just life. Don't second guess yourself - and if your confidence is down - just fake it - it will be OK

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Launching and Running an Ad Business - Part 1

As we steam towards OME's 4th anniversary (May 2010) i thought i would jot down my thoughts on the lessons i have learned along the way.
NB this mail is written in warm glow of a good first quarter and a certainty that we have survived the recession and are in a position to flourish so more positive than i sometimes feel. But we have made and continue to make plenty of mistakes - so this is not - "how clever am I" - its more "have a look at some of the pitfalls and also things that went well"

1. Pick your Partner/key personnel carefully

Most people go into business with a partner for lots of different reason but primarily as it can be pretty lonely, scary and occasionally miserable when you start out. I admire those who go completely alone - but know that i could not possibly have done it. It is a form of marriage and the same fault lines will appear as in any close personal relationship. The same things you initially liked about them - may well be the things that make you want to smash their face in after a few years (its an analogy - not a real example...i think). I should take this opportunity to thank my business partner Mr Sean Paterson - who is better than me at most things but quieter about it. We have sort of complimentary skills which is cool but essentially i trust him completely which is good as he looks after the money (that decision took about 5 seconds)

2. Get your idea and execute it violently

Inspiration probably won't come - you won't come up with such an amazing idea that will have people flocking to your door.(if you do come up with something new - it will be copied by 5 people very very quickly). So just work out what your product/service is - check that some people may want to buy it - and then just do it. talk any one and everyone through what you do - once you have done that - find more people or same people again and repeat the sales pitch. Try to never stop doing this.

3. Be brilliant at what you do (or at least try very hard to be)

Your best source of business will be recommendation - so don't be a bullshit artist who does all the above in point 2 and then fails to deliver. It will kill you stone dead. People bought into us in first 2 years as they believed as a small business we would work hard for them and they believed in us as individuals that we knew our stuff and would apply our expertise to help them. I believe we repaid that in spades.

4. Core Business or Diversification

I fundamentally believe that you need to be focused on your core business - but my advice is to be flexible about the definition of that core business. I would say in Years 1 and 2 - we were digital media agency and now we are a digital recruitment business. Not a quantum leap - merely a natural evolution.

5. Focus on stuff that clients will actually pay for

this is very much linked to digital recruitment media world - there have always been fascinating developments in the last 4 years and it has always been possible to have 2.5 hour conversations with clients and suppliers about them but ultimately most of the proposals which resulted were never and would never get signed off. Social engagement stuff in 2008 did not get signed off, Myspace + Secondlife proposals never got off the flip chart.
If your business model depends on the cutting edge make sure your pricing model reflects the time put in. Or concentrate your efforts on things that can and will deliver quantifiable results/business.

6. Take time off - don't work too many weekends - be nice to your family

Launching and running a biz is incredibly important but its also not as important as life. You probably went alone to free yourself from being in the grip of the corporate world - shite bosses etc - and hopefully earning better ££. Don't just recreate that corp world in your own business and if the work is taking all your free time too - you are either doing it wrong or pricing it wrong. Go and do something else.

Anyway - Part 2 to follow soon - would love to have any comments on any of this

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


Sadly i am not going to make it to theRecruitment Unconference this week which will heavily focus on social media and recruitment and latest trends and predictions for what is happening in digital recruitment world. I am sure it will be a great event (many of the top people in our industry are contributing) and i wish them best of luck. I have a very good excuse in that i am getting married on Friday but it has got me thinking about events and what i bust a gut to attend as opposed to attend if i can.
My "rules" are as follows
1. "Its about clients, stupid" - our business is funded by clients - i attend events where i can meet new and old ones and hopefully make some connections that can turn into future business. Many events are supplier led where i am the client - which though nice to be popular - don't offer me valuable new contacts as our supplier relationships are generally very strong already.
2. "preaching to the choir" - connected to above. I am part of the vanguard of the recruitment digital community and it is populated by charming funny interesting people however though i find it enjoyable mapping the future of our industry at a seminar or over a beer - it does not necessarily pay the bills. and i find myself disappearing up my own backside as i extol my latest thoughts on any and everything.
3. I love OME events. Funnily enough as we organise our own breakfast seminars (2010 programme coming soon - new media partner recruited) - i occasionally have an insanely petty jealousy about other people's events and quality of info provided. I am aware this says certain things about me - most of which are not positive. It has a parallel to my eldest daughter wanting her birthday party to be best - only she (at 8) is a little more mature than me in her attitude.
4. "What about now" - some of these events (by their nature) get too caught up in the future and therefore little practical application now - or next 2 years. In digital - "the next 2 years" is an awfully long time. Our success as a business has been based around PRACTICAL application of digital techniques - combining innovation with effectiveness and probably erring on latter. Most senior HR people want to be at forefront of the latest effective techniques - virtually all don't want to be the first to do it though.

Anyway - this is not a negative slant on attending events (i think) - whenever i do attend - i meet great people and always pick up a few morsels of food for thought. It just explains why i have attended a lot less in the last year.
PS can someone send me the notes from the sessions?

Friday, 5 February 2010

Jan 2010 - an OME picture

OK - some messages from the frontline - lets turn this around by starting with the

  1. We lost a client through a procurement process (pettiness prevents me from naming them). I can bitch that the competitors offered free artwork and design, that i suspect it was a bit of a stitch up based on previous relationship etc but it still stings. And i think they will soon realise what they are missing or in other words... we will never hear from them ever again.
  2. OME website still not done (all our fault) i could claim business with client accounts but still not good enough
  3. I seem to have a had more petty spats with media suppliers than is desirable - i feel this sort of conflict could be easily avoided if suppliers just simply agreed to what i want them to do immediately without comment. I did actually apologise twice in January which is twice more than i can remember in 2009.
  1. Phenomenal month for revenue - 100%+ year on year.
  2. This was based on the beautiful combo of more from existing clients and new clients kicking in (welcome Cote Restaurants, PGC, Decision Resources and a major new retailer - Sean always wants to keep things secret!)
  3. Bethan Tresize our new account manager (started October) is brilliant - she is organised and intelligent and has got into the OME ways remarkably quickly
  4. Working on new products/projects - making some small revenue from Twitter, some great, cool careers site work, and bizarrely a burgeoning print media business
  5. The whole busy vibe of the office, our clients and media - meant that i have not enjoyed my work as much in ages (point 1 may have influenced my happiness levels)

so on basis of 5 highs versus 3 lows - high points win easily

Monday, 25 January 2010

In and Out of Love with Twitter

2009 saw me as an absolute Twitter evangelist - really enjoying the interaction, connectivity and wealth of useful and useless but interesting info that was out there. The last few months have seen a change in my professional and personal views (i don't pretend here to be giving an industry view - its just my personal feelings and how i use it.)

Professional - why i love it

1. I have a network of people who are not friends(a few are) but people i know and the info we share can be really useful and impossible to get without scouring sites and conducting arduous email conversations.
2. I think its going to be the big thing in recruitment communications - i just know it will (is) work really well - and create a genuine conversation between employer/recruiter without the pitfalls of a site like Facebook
3. We are seeing really nice experimentation - trial and error - low cost pilots. That shows nobody has got it 100% right yet but there will be a good set of data to make some improvements next quarter
4. It really does cost almost nothing - but does require application and thought - the best sort of combination. These digital new things that cost a lot and deliver little are very passe in 2010.

Personal - why i don't love it
1. The chatter has become rather tiresome - the "journey into work" problems interest very few
2. Clearly everyone i follow has a more interesting life than me - their saturday night consists of theatre/abseiling/art galleries/truffle hunting - mine consists of being too tired to switch over from All Star Mr and Mrs
3. Their relationships are great too and their children perfect....(just like mine, he says quickly)

In summary - the personal stuff is all a little self publicist oriented (and yes i know this as i am self publicist extraordinaire)

But the professional side is going to be fascinating and brilliant

Anyway - have to go as need to book my table at The Ivy on saturday night with Brangelina, Michael Jackson and Elvis.

Monday, 11 January 2010

In Praise of MonsoonCareers

I really like how Monsoon Accessorize are running their Twitter recruitment account (let me declare an interest - we work with them on some media stuff - but not this). It feels exactly what a company should be doing at the moment (given budget restrictions)
- posts jobs - but not just bare text
- it has a tone of voice which reflects company and rec team
- it is up to date and busy
- its not trying to blast in and get 1000 irrelevant users - it seems they are happy to organically grow it and let it take (a directed) life of its own

anyway - enough of being positive - i will find something to criticise now