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Do Manners Matter?

(August 03, 2007) As usual, lunch with Hank Stringer is refreshing. Huddled over the table in yet another big city hotel, we catch up quickly on family, former associates and the industry. Itzbig, he says, is succeeding well beyond expectations. We talk about what we've learned recently and what's on the schedule for the rest of the year.

The next morning, a thank you note is in my email box.

Hank always does that. He practices graciousness throughout his life. Gracious recruiting is his mantra. It feels like friendship.

Joel Cheezman's note about free employment branding on techcrunch was the surprising genesis of the memories of Hank. In Joel's not he describes how to use a "blog log" as a way to get free ads on websites. A Blog Log is a tool (like Jobster's buddy system) that enables readers to see the other people who visit a blog or website. Cheezman's artful articulation points out that there's no reason that you can't use a banner style ad in the same space.

You get free ads. And, if your targeting is good, they might be visible for a long time.

Except, just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Maybe employment branding that is all about being cheap isn't the message you want to convey about your organization. Maybe there's something important about being able to say that when you spend money you want the best. Maybe manners trump cheap almost every time.

You see, while you could use Blog Logs this way, you might just offend the very people you are trying to attract. And, if you do it in a precisely targeted niche, you have the opportunity to offend the very targeted people you are trying to attract.

You see, there's really no such thing as free. It's just a question of how you pay, not whether.


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