I’ve mentioned that I’m campaigning for the Really Goode Job contest. In the process, I’m noticing things, learning things, and making notes for future reference.
What Do You Need to Get the Job Done
My personal opinion, and I could be wrong, is that you don’t need – in fact, probably shouldn’t be – an expert on wine. I think knowing wine, having a familiarity with wine, and enjoying wine is a definite advantage. I think you need to be able to hold your own in a conversation with the winemaker, but being an expert might be a little much. The job is also a learning experience and more importantly, a sharing experience.
I do think you need to have a handle on marketing. I know they call this a Lifestyle Correspondent position, but in all seriousness, this is a “marketing the winery” position that leverages social media. You need more than to be a member of a couple social networks, you need to be able to join and influence the conversation. That was a shift that happened to me yesterday. I stopped having to campaign quite as hard because people were now asking me, “How can we help you?” I had become part of the stream of information at that point, as opposed to shouting at the stream to listen.
Never Discount the Power of Traditional Media
From what I can tell, there are a lot of entrants (there are around 400 of us after all) who are focusing purely on the social media/email aspect of the voting.
I sent press releases. I sent them to local media and to my friends who work in marketing and PR (and could send them on). It got me a guest blog post on the web site for our local alternative weekly and a write-up from the wine blogger/writer for the Dayton Daily news, among other things. It also raised awareness. It got more people talking – people I couldn’t reach through Twitter or Facebook. A friend of mine will be on a popular local morning radio show on Friday and she’ll promote the video as well. Yep, I’m trying to leverage radio, a one-way communication medium. But again, you just can’t reach everyone through Facebook and Twitter, etc. You can only reach a certain demographic. Are things like AdWords traditional media? Even Murphy-Goode didn’t own the AdWords for this contest, which surprised me. I bought AdWords on the day I entered the contest.
Unclear Guidelines but New Friends
I think a lot of us entrants are a bit confused on exactly how much effect the popular vote has. At first, it seemed like the popular vote was more of a MacGuffin, distracting us. Now I’m not so sure. Does it show that you can drive traffic or does it just raise awareness for Murphy-Goode? Just yesterday I learned that voting continues for a week after the submission process closes, but that also coincides with the week that the anonymous HR firm is picking the Top 50. So do the popular votes matter? I still have no idea.
Via Twitter, I learned today that once the Top 50 have been chosen, the voting slate is wiped clear and voting begins again. Yep – the Twittersphere is going to be full of Vote for me! through at least July 7. But again, how much do the popular votes really matter? Is driving traffic what’s important, or personality? CV/resume and experience or just a damned good video? It’s like entering a beauty pageant without knowing the categories. So, is there an evening gown competition or just swimsuit?
Some candidates are receiving outside support from a company called VinTank. I’m a little weird about this, as I count a few of those candidates as my friends, as well as several of the folks at VinTank. I don’t really know what it means that they are being provided with “resources” during their campaign, which is why it makes me a bit uncomfortable. Once the final 10 are chosen, VinTank will be educating all of them on wine industry social marketing, if I understand it right, as well as whomever wins, regardless of whether they were part of the original VinTank endorsement. Yeah, I’m a little squishy on this whole topic, but I felt obliged to mention it. (Oh, why aren’t I endorsed? I came late to the party due to some family issues, so it wasn’t even an option for me.)
On the plus side, a lot of the overall confusion is driving the entrants to talk to and support each other. It’s fun to meet all these other folks, everyone with a little bit in common. A support group full of the competition – you have to love the Internet. Whomever wins, I have to believe they’ll receive the full support of everyone in the competition.
Everyone is Doing It
So it started with what probably is the dream job – a year on a gorgeous island off the coast of Australia. Now it’s Murphy-Goode’s Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent. I got a blog comment yesterday promoting the Why I Need A Break contest. A “mom and pop” wine shop is sponsoring a contest to give you a vacation, but first you have to enter a 1-minute video, yada, yada, yada.
Find a new angle. My husband last night said, “The video thing is getting old.” Actually, the video thing is rather an old technique, used on TV – what’s the difference between this and winning a prize on America’s Home Videos? Well, the prizes are certainly better this time around, but that’s about it. I don’t know – how do you, as readers, feel about everyone jumping on the “submit a video” bandwagon? Annoyed or Amused?
Even more interesting is where this is leading. My younger brother, soon to be a senior in college, is getting scared about entering the “real world” in a year. To score an interview at a marketing firm for a summer internship, he had to submit a video.
Exploitative? The Whiff of Desperation
I’ve had a few people take an entirely different perspective on the entire contest. In fact, it has turned them off of Murphy-Goode completely. Why? Because in a crappy economy, they see Murphy-Goode as exploiting many people’s need for a job. It’s true that as you watch the videos you’ll come across a slew of people who mention they’ve been laid off, are unemployed, recent college graduates, stuck in nowhere towns … In fact, I’ve seen a lot of LinkedIn group posts and blog posts that sound truly desperate. “I’m unemployed – I really need this Really Goode Job.”
Murphy-Goode is getting a ton of publicity from this stuntcasting job application process. So are they exploiting those who have desperation just rolling off of them in their video?
My take is no, they’re not, and I’ve thought about this a lot, watched a lot of videos. I think the video is a little like a super-quick job interview. Remember that old antiperspirant ad: Never Let Them See You Sweat. It applies here. I think if I was unemployed, I’d bill myself as a freelancer, not “laid off.” I’d spin it. I would not put it in the video. Why am I a freelancer? That comes later, once you make it past the Top 50.
That’s just me, but it’s also why I don’t find this exploitative. Those who mention their dire straits are doing so intentionally, for reasons of their own. Murphy-Goode has no control over who enters their contest and why. Plenty of employed folks have entered the contest and are dreaming up ways to leave their current job for 6 months.
Learning About Myself
I never think I’m overly competitive until I do something like this and my competitive spirit rears its ugly head. I try to dampen it – in this case, I almost have to. On the off chance I make it to the Top 50, I’m going to Alaska for two weeks on vacation. I won’t be twittering for votes from the cruise ship or hiking trail. In truth, that kills me, although the vacation will be good for me.
I’m also obsessive – something else with which this contest is forcing me to grapple. I’m trying, quite intensely, to not lose focus on Real Life in exchange for putting all my energy into acquiring the Goode Life. Reminding myself that I need to be part of the information stream, not the shrill voice at one end or the other.
Finally, I’ve been shocked at how much I actually want this job. When I first went into it so late, I figured I didn’t have a shot at all. But there’s always hope, and I haven’t let go of that glimmer. I also have hope that, after all is said and done, someone will look at what I created with Rainbowgoode.com and say, “hey! We should hire her to do our social media and marketing!” Basically I’ve created a portfolio just for this position that I can maintain as long as I want, whether I get the Goode job or not.
So there you go. Obviously I’m learning a bit about myself as we go through this process, as well as a bit more about marketing (and winery marketing) in general. There’s so much more going on with this contest than just a 1 minute video.
Visit Michelle @ http://www.wine-girl.net
Help Michelle Land Her Dream Job: http://bit.ly/reallygoodejob
Vote for Michelle and then tell all your friends!
More information at http://www.rainbowgoode.com