Mon, 14 July 2008
Last week Hudson launched IT Hire Wire, a blog targeted at professional-level IT candidates. For me, it is the culmination of nearly 10 months of work to test a more transparent way of doing business online for Hudson, and an intense bit of learning in my marketing career (check my tweets along the way). Before I get to outlining the project and some of the lessons learned to date, let me first encourage you to visit the blog, read some entries, and leave any comments that you’d like regarding the project. I appreciate any feedback received.
Making the Case for a Recruiting Blog
IT Hire Wire originated through the same strategic process that brought about our Web Video efforts. As I mentioned here,
…our global marketing team convened to discuss new media and the social web phenomena. At the time, recruitment on Second Life and MySpace was grabbing headlines, while YouTube and blogging were creeping into corporate communication strategy. The common themes were transparency, authenticity and audience control of the message.
On a limited budget we agreed to test one or two new media channels to begin to participate in this movement. While not ideal to choose a channel before defining goals, we knew that a certain amount of experimentation would be required to remain competitive.
To shepherd the project, I started by getting more knowledgeable about blogging than I ever had been before. I familiarized myself with the latest tools like WordPress and various social websites like MyBlogLog, Del.icio.us, RSS feeds, Twitter, and Facebook. This resulted in my new personal blog and a blogroll filled with competitive sites that I admire.
With this as a backdrop, I lobbied hard for the blog project when budget season came around. I wanted the help of an agency to make sure we set the cultural groundwork properly within Hudson, and to have enough resources to complete the project on top of an already heavy load.
Enter Cowboy Advertising
In November of 2007, we contracted with Cowboy Advertising to assist with our blog effort. From that time until our launch, the Cowboy team was instrumental in getting our internal group of bloggers aligned with the project mission. Together we chose our IT practice to pilot the program because we felt the target audience was most comfortable with blogs. At the same time our IT recruiters were likely to be the most blog-savvy of our employee population.
Cowboy helped to facilitate conference calls as we concurrently decided upon a creative and technical direction as well as got our bloggers up to speed on how to write content. We wanted to differentiate the site’s look from the many tech news or gadget blogs out there and, at the same time not take ourselves too seriously. We ended up with a theme that evokes the balance of work, life, and the technical knowledge it takes for a successful IT career.
The Cost of Blog Development
None of the agency-provided services came without cost. While the theory is that you can do a blog for practically free on any public blogging platform in an evening, the reality is that involving an agency cost us significant dollars. I do believe that it bought us excellent creative, and a thought out editorial process that will be crucial to our long-term success.
I’ll provide updates on further development as the project progresses. For now enjoy the blog, and let me know what you think!