I got scooped on my own announcement. And I couldn’t be happier.
Over the last few days, I reached agreements with Jeff Sonderman and Lisa Rowan to take the first two positions on our community engagement team. As they were giving notice to current employers, I was notifying other candidates for the jobs. I asked Jeff and Lisa not to spread the word generally until I finished telling the other candidates. By the time I finished doing that, I was starting a full day of meetings and interviews (I have four more positions to fill).
I didn’t have time to blog or tweet the news myself. But in a quick email to Jeff and Lisa, I lifted the embargo. They started spreading the word in a blog post and tweet from Jeff and a tweet from Lisa.
That’s fine on every level. We shouldn’t be sitting on news here, even a simple staff announcement. I don’t want Jeff and Lisa or the other staff members I hire waiting for me to act first. I valued initiative in the hiring process (heard from both of these people before I ever posted a job), and I would have been surprised and a little disappointed if either of them had left it to me to announce their hiring.
Jeff is metro editor and online editor at the Times-Tribune in Scranton, Pa. I have been following his News Futurist blog for the last year or more and I know he is exactly the kind of forward thinker our operation needs. Lisa is a senior media researcher at Vocus who made a strong impression from her initial contact, through her email pitch for the job, the interview process and her follow-up. Her Quarter Life blog, which “explores thrift, vintage, and consignment shopping in and around Washington,” is exactly the kind of community blog we will be seeking for our blogger network.
I like that she started trash-talking baseball on Twitter right away. I need some confident, aggressive hosts for this team and deference toward the boss, even in trivial matters, is not what I’m looking for.
I’ll blog more about our community engagement team when I’m finished hiring. And I’ll blog later about the hiring process (sharing advice for other job-seekers from what Jeff, Lisa and others did to catch my attention and state their cases).
But I thought I should catch up with Jeff and Lisa on this bit of news, which is huge for all three of us. I expect much of my work now will be trying to catch up with them. And that’s just how I want it.
One final point: Baseball is not a trivial matter. I’m looking forward to showing Lisa, a Phillie fan, some of my baseballs autographed by Yankee greats (one Steve Carlton ball in there, too). I’ll have to introduce her to my second blog, Hated Yankees. Sonderman’s a Cardinal fan. Perhaps I need to tell him some stories about watching the 1985 World Series in Kansas City (the Royals are my second favorite team). Don Denkinger, by the way, didn’t cost the Cardinals that World Series; they blew it and the Royals beat them fair and square.