Archive for June 2012

How *not* to do social media

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In August of 2007, I submitted a resume to Kforce.com as a part of applying for some position or other. Shortly thereafter, I accepted a full-time position elsewhere, never heard back from Kforce, and promptly forgot about them until March of 2008 – that’s when a recruiter contacted me about a new full-time position that was opening. I replied to them, letting them know I wasn’t in the market for a job anymore, and they left me alone… for 3 months, when a second recruiter contacted me about yet another position. *That* email prompted me to unsubscribe, using the link in their email (which, conveniently, generated an outbound email with a time-stamp showing I sent it within minutes of receiving their email). And, that’s the last I heard of them…

Until this week. On June 2, I received a “Welcome to the Team!” email, congratulating me on my new position. This was followed a few hours later by an email with the subject “Email sent in error”, apologizing for the earlier email. At about the same time, they tweeted the following:

Old-school paranoid that I am, this rings much too close to “the dog ate my suppression list” territory. I’ve opted out of their mails – their having emailed me, even by mistake, is a violation of the provisions of CAN-SPAM. Mildly irked that they believe that ‘oops’ is a sufficient explanation, I replied to them:

That generated two response tweets:

The first of these is *ludicrous*, for multiple reasons. I didn’t opt out my *name* – I unsubscribed my *email address*. No one else has that email address. Also? My name is pretty unique – I only know of one other person who shares it, and he’s 13. The second, however, is even worse. I’d already unsubscribed. Recommending that I unsubscribe *again*, when your actions have already put your unsubscribe mechanism on shaky ground, is not going to win hearts and minds. I tried to tell them this:

But, perhaps my sarcasm was a little too thick, since they didn’t understand:

Kforce screwed up, plain and simple. They’ve sent mail to people (yes, people – Kforce’s Twitter feed around June 3rd and 4th shows a number of response to “why did you email me?” questions) who had previously opted-out of communication with them. They’re compounding the error by asking those people to unsubscribe again, and by giving inadequate and ludicrously wrong answers on Twitter. One hopes that others learn from this bad example and think carefully about public responses to PR problems like this.

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Written by hanov3r

June 6, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized