I would never consider writing this post but a local business reporter sent me an email this morning and it caused the following reaction, “are you kidding me?”
There are a few things in the email I take issue with but here is the quote that has me a little bent out of shape:
“Paul, I hear you had information prior to official announcements about the layoffs. You blew your chance to break news. What kind of a blogger are you?”
If you are thinking to yourself that maybe this person is joking they are not. There are lots of juicy quotes in the email.
So let me answer the question, yes in all three cases I was aware well in advance of official announcements.
A disclaimer, in not one instance did a recruiter or HR professional confirm what I was asking but their “I don’t know” or “I can’t say” replies were some form of confirmation by tone of voice or a short but odd silence.
There were other signs too. More frequent resumes posted on job boards from the companies. My blog statistics were showing more frequent referrals from those domains.
So when I started asking questions I only needed some indirect confirmation. Then I was getting employees who were doing active job searches saying they heard what was about to happen.
My first message on Twitter (and messages are reposted on this blog) was:
Daily Twitter Notes June 16, 2008
- MN layoffs: Receiving inquiries, seeing trends on Monster, hearing rumors. Might see multiple stories before end of the month/2nd quarter
Daily Twitter Notes June 18, 2008
- Carlson Companies: I have been sitting on this for 2 weeks. Hear that major force reduction has been announced. Anyone know anything?
And the third:
Daily Twitter Notes June 24, 2008
- Carlson Companies to layoff 200. Thank you to my Twitter friend for confirming the rumor I had been hearing for almost 3 weeks now.
During this time I had passed on the Carlson Companies information to a business reporter who also was not able to get confirmation.
So why did I not run with it?
I was not sure I had the numbers correct. For Carlson Companies, it was correct. For UnitedHealth Group I incorrectly had more and Northwest Airlines I incorrectly had less.
I have friends that work at all three companies and family at one. It did not feel right to me that I would be posting information that would impact them before hearing about it from their employer. I had been asking them though if they knew and they had not.
I do little “breaking news” because that is not my day job, being a reporter. I do not do investigative journalism. Surely I check facts, source, etc but again I am an IT Recruiter and a blogger not a journalist.
So back to the business reporter. Rather than hack on me for not “breaking news” maybe you should look at yourself and your own newsroom.
How did some blogger dude know this stuff and you professional types did not?
Oh, and the next time I write about something and you or one of your colleagues see it here, write about it there, and do not cite the source (being me) maybe I will do a nice article on your “research” skills.