Faizaan Sackett

Tough Love. But It's Still Love

No need to leave a comment. This is fact and consider it my Christmas gift to you.  Even if you feel compelled to do so I  won’t read your opinion because, at the end of the day, I’m trying to help and if you don’t want it then that’s fine and, quite frankly, I don’t care. Take it on board or don’t, for as soon as I press send on this I’m wrapping up for Christmas, cartwheeling out of the door and on my way to getting plastered. Merry Christmas, you filthy animal.

What I do care about is the Tech PR sector and those that work within it. It’s growing, it’s exciting and it’s interesting. So, for those who work within it, have a read, consider and know that I love you.

“Tell everyone how awesome you are. Sell yourself. Show me how damn good you are at your job, who you help and what you've done for them.“

I came across a meme on LinkedIn’s home page a couple of days ago, picturing a man holding his head in his hands with a caption that read something like, ‘Recruiter calls me, has no jobs to talk to me about’. Below were the usual comments from people who agreed/disagreed, attacked/defended, blah, blah, blah. There are obviously strong feelings about this, evidenced by random people being compelled to voice an opinion that no one else, especially the person who posted it, will ever take on board. However, it got me thinking.

I’ve written before about how the candidate market is very passive. Most PR agencies do a good job of looking after you, developing your skills and experience and pay good wages. It would have to be different to get your attention. An agency worth its salt would be interested in talking to talent within the sector, even if they don’t have an immediate headcount requirement - The chances are they will very shortly. They want to know who is out there and they want the chance to tell you want they can offer you. Maybe it’s not something you’re currently receiving but would like to have or develop.

A good recruiter (not always an oxymoron, I promise) will want to know what the people in their niche sector are interested in. Does someone want to move into a more digital role? Is it the actual storytelling you’re interested in? Do you want something other than pitching stories; different clients; different budgets; different tech slant; B2B/B2C? There are many options and, if I know what you want, I can contact you as soon as your ideal appears on my radar. Because…can you keep a secret? I ask the agencies the same questions. Genius, isn’t it?

Now, if we haven’t had that conversation then I’m looking at your profile that I’ve mapped out on my database, which has likely to have come from LinkedIn. LI is a great but noisy place. You get hit by lazy, wide-boy recruiters spamming you with anything and hoping to get some response – By the way, do you know how many emails I get from recruiters telling me they’re ‘reaching out’ in regards to an ‘opportunity’ in a tech PR firm for a SAM or AD position? Loads. They see my job title and PR mentioned then, without even reading my profile, spam me a job spec. Morons. - Therefore, I’ll be trying to ascertain whether the vacancy will be of interest to you from what you’ve written on your profile. Which finally brings me to my point.

Talented people taking their skills and experience to grow another agency is good for the sector. It’s a beautiful symbiotic process that only helps the tech PR/comms industry grow. You also bring in cute and lovely grads to nurture and develop, bolster the foundations before growing again. It’s Elton John’s Circle of Life, Baby. It’s Mufasa holding Simba to the kingdom. The Lion King is life and I….OK, that was awkward. Where was I? Oh, yes…

LinkedIn is a business tool. It’s not Facebook, it’s not Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or any other social media site that I avoid like the plague. It’s a business networking site. Literally 10 minutes ago another meme appeared that caught my eye. This one with Star Trek’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard, again with head in hand, which reads, ‘LinkedIn connection accepted. Immediately receive sales pitch via inmail’. No shit, Sherlock. It is what it’s for. It is for business. It is for networking. It is for spreading business information, contacts, products, services and everything else related to professional services. Take your over-used, opinionated Picard themed meme and do one.

Sorry, that one got to me. Where were we? Oh yes, profiles. I want to be as selective as possible. Unlike the bell-end who created that meme, you’re busy people. You don’t want to be hit with everything. You want to be loved and recognised for all your good work. You have ambitions to achieve, deadlines to hit, pathways of success to carve. You don’t have time for irrelevance. That’s why I read your carefully constructed LinkedIn ‘business’ profile, trying to get in at least the same ballpark with the first swing of the bat. After that we can refine things.

The problem I face is that a HUGE percentage of you don’t fill in your profiles, outside of a generic job title and who you work for. I don’t know if you’re B2C, B2C, enterprise IT, cleantech, edtech, cloud tech, big brand, challenger brand, start-up or kick-starter. You’ve made the decision to use a business networking tool and haven’t used it properly. At least give me a link that will take me to somewhere that does tell me what you do.  Don’t moan at me when I too have to use such twaddle as ‘reach out’ and ‘opportunity’ but it’s not what you want (at least I would have got your profession right, unlike wide-boy recruiter).  That’s your fault. Tell me what you want and then I’ll bugger off until I’ve got it. Even if it’s not recruitment or sales-pitch related, how is someone going to know to network with you if they don’t know who you are? Yes, LI states you’re only supposed to connect with those with whom you’ve met, but have you met everyone on your connections list? Blimey, you must be exhausted.

Do the Jerry McGuire thing and help me to help you.  Tell everyone how awesome you are. Sell yourself. Show me how damn good you are at your job, who you help and what you’ve done for them. Shout it from the LinkedIn rooftop. That way, one day out of the blue, you may just get wind of something that really excites you and ticks all the boxes of your ambitions. It will be delivered to your doorstep with some real personal attention and you’ll be glad, as it will have just come at the right time in your career.

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