We all make mistakes.
Nobody is perfect.
I certainly am not.
In these very pages I’ve made comments that may not have been as well considered and expressed, as they could have been.
It’s all part of the risk that comes with the territory of making a living by expressing a view about people and events using social media networks.
Once a mistake is out in the public domain, the power of social networks to highlight the mistake is incredible.
Just ask Ben Elton. His new comedy show on the Nine Network Ben Elton Live From Planet Earth lasted just three episodes before it was axed. The ratings were certainly poor but the scathing comments circulating on Twitter left Nine executives under no illusion what many of the viewers thought was wrong with the show.
In fact The Age included ‘a savage mauling in the twittersphere‘ as one of the three reasons the show was axed.
Last week, a consultant at Manpower Professional found out the power of social networks in amplifying a mistake.
On Friday morning, New Zealand recruitment industry blogger, Jonathan Rice (also owner of rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting ) posted on his blog about an Australian Manpower job ad run on Seek NZ.
The ad was calling for engineers in the Christchurch area who were ‘…looking for an opportunity to get away for a while’ to apply for positions predominantly in Brisbane. Rice expressed his distaste for the timing of the ad, posted 48 hours after the Christchurch earthquake had struck.
Within 6 hours, Lincoln Crawley , the MD of Manpower Aus/NZ, posted an apology on behalf of Manpower and 2 hours later, industry news service, ShortList, posted a story on the sequence of events I’ve just described. The following day, US recruitment commentator, Gerry Crispin , tweeted a link to Rice’s original post.
Heavy traffic to Rice’s blog made the post, in less than 48 hours, his second most popular ever. Two days later it was number 1.
Who knows where the story might go this week (moral outrage on Today Tonight – not out of the question)?
I encourage creative sourcing tactics and I love quick thinkers, but please check in with your moral compass as well.
Online communities are always watching, even if you don’t watch them.