Monday, August 24, 2009

"How not get get a job in the PR industry"... Star columnist's attempt to get a job with PR firm explodes in his face

A KC Star columnist expressed interest in a PR job -- and it exploded in his face.

Columnist Mike Hendricks managed to insult the company with the job opening -- not to mention the entire PR industry -- in an email exchange regarding the job. Unhappy with being insulted, the PR folks forwarded the email exchange to a PR blog, Bad Pitch Blog, which printed the email exchange and tossed in some more digs and ridicule for good measure.

Read the Bad Pitch Blog post here.

In comments, Hendricks says he will take action against his contact at the PR firm.

By the way, if the moderator thinks he can protect his source by deleting this message, he is mistaken. I plan on informing her boss first thing Monday morning.

Hendricks may be pompous, and he has made his share of enemies, but his treatment at Bad Pitch Blog seems abusive to me.

Hat tip: Tony's Kansas City


Anonymous said...

OMG! Quite clearly, they smell the pseudo, pompous, phony, elitist idiot, whose thin skinned, just like dear leader a mile away.

He is properly referred to as a hack who berates the evils of blogging. And they smell his old communist, “I’m better than you” attitude a mile away.

After their truly objective scan of Hendricks work, where they dissect his liberal columns and his laid back work ethic, he’s going to have to go see his proctologist. But DeathCare won’t cover him in this sensative area, eh?

Anonymous said...

Just about anyone who has a regular column in a large metro newspaper is going to have a big ego. You have to think pretty highly of yourself to believe that an entire city is waiting to see what you write two or three times a week. In a metro newspaper, the columnists are the stars--they write what they want and their photo is there to identify them. So it's no surprise that Hendricks is full of himself. But what this episode shows is a mask of bravado hiding his fears of what is going to happen to him. After 30-plus years, he's not going to be able to continue his journalism career, at least not at the salary and prestige he has become accustomed to. Journalism students have been indoctrinated to believe that two roads diverge at the beginning of their careers: one the high ground of newspapers and (some) magazines; the other is the low road of p.r. and selling out. Intellectually, Hendricks sees p.r. as a potential job, but emotionally, he has to overcome an entire adult life of telling himself that taking that path will make him a lesser person. So he generates this self-sabotaging pitch to this employer..."even though I'd be embarrassed to work with you, I'd be willing to hold my nose and share with you my special skills."

Anonymous said...

Just about anyone who has a regular column in a large metro newspaper is going to have a big ego

Absolutely true. However, some can pull it off better than others. I was raised on columns by Stanton Delaplane, Terence O'Flaherty, Lucius Beebe, Art Hoppe, Charles McCabe, and Herb Caen all of the San Francisco Chronicle.

We lived in Sacramento and my father worked for the Bee for years (many years ago). We always got the Bee and the Chronicle delivered. The Chronicle was a lot more fun.

Now, remember this is all in the 50's,60's and 70's. My dad used to joke that it had been decades since Herb Caen actually paid for a meal in San Francisco.

I miss the great writers and the serious journalism. I hope today's journalists can recognize where they have gone and find a way back. I do love newspapers. I just hate the bias.

Anonymous said...

Hendricks may be pompous, and he has made his share of enemies, but his treatment at Bad Pitch Blog seems abusive to me.


There is nothing abusive about it. In fact, this is mild compared to some of the stuff that Hendricks and his cohorts have done to others on a regular and ongoing basis.

If Mike Hendricks can present himself as a public figure and spout the foul and abusively absurd crap and slander that he has been for the past few decades, then by god he can damn sure live by the same standards that anyone who demands their special, "public figure" recognition.

Mike Hendricks never requested any kind of anonymity or confidentiality in his insulting, job non-inquiry.

The entire world deserves to know exactly what kind of person their papers allow enough ink to stain their pages. If there is any blame on anyone, it is with Mike Hendricks and him alone.

Welcome down to earth Mike. Gone is the sanctity of sanctuary on high.

P.S. Price Chopper is hiring.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:20 Thank you. You have great insight into this!

Anonymous said...

If you read the comments, someone there is posting using the named Mike Hendricks. Some of the posters question if it is really him, but the posts are so laughable, I think it is him. The poster is arrogant, stupid, and threatening, sounds like Mike to me.

Anonymous said...

If you read the comments, someone there is posting using the named Mike Hendricks.

That is Mike Hendricks. His writing is like a fingerprint. He can't change it and you can't copy it.

John Altevogt said...

I agree with Kevin. I admit I enjoyed reading the blog entry, but his email was clearly written in pursuit of a position, and such communications should be held private. I can tell you that were I a serious candidate for this position I would be reticent to submit any confidential information to these people for fear it might wind up on a blog somewhere.

Indeed, let's assume this was some poor schmuck whose employer was not aware that they were job hunting. This could have led to the person terminated. I'm no lawyer, but I think Hendricks has a case here, and the bad PR is on the person who betrayed the confidentiality of a privileged communication.

Let me add that there are clearly exceptions to the rule when people engage in misconduct. There's no hiding misconduct behind a facade of privacy. But, this was just a horrid attempt by someone who is slowly coming to grips with just how far he has fallen and is trying desperately to maintain some sense of dignity and yes it is sad.

Anonymous said...

Careful folks. We all know where this leads...

Mike Hendricks offs himself after being exposed as a pompous turd. Star rehires Roxie who immediately accuses everyone he has ever slandered, or lied about of being guilty of his death.

John Altevogt said...

What's good for the goose is good for the gander (gandress?) Here's Mike's response naming names.

Mike Hendricks said...
Ere's a couple of points for your discussion:

1. Just how did the correspondence between Hendricks and Brandy Ernzen at Ogden Publications in Topeka, KS. end up on this blog?

2. Will Ernzen's superiors approve of the material being leaked to soemone outside the company?

3. How many other job seekers will be interested in working at Ogden once they are aware of the complete lack of ethics displayed by one of the company's brand managers?

Mike Hendricks

McClatchy Watch said...

John -- Bad PR for the PR firm Ogden Publications.

Anonymous said...

3:55 PM

Not at all. Exposing Mike Hendrick or the KC Star in general is a huge boost to anyone's creds.

Hat tip to them. I'd be proud to work there.

Anonymous said...

Don't cry for us, commentator-

"Consider this a gift and get out while you can. The last thing you want is to end up like Mike Hendricks. Alone, isolated and begging for crumbs like a rat trapped in a cage."

August 11, 2009 12:08 PM

So said the anonymous commenter on McClatchy Watch--the right-leaning blog devoted to the goings-on at the McClatchy newspaper chain.
- Roxie The Cockeyed Optimist


How's that working out for you again Roxie?

Ya'll know Roxie is a regular here, don't you....Cough, Troll, Cough, Cough....

Anonymous said...

I loathe MNI, laugh at the leadership of the KC Star and have no use for condescending columnists, but truth be told, I think his letter was pretty much to the point. I've known of other people (not just journalists) to send out similar "feeler letters" and get hired largely because of their forthrightness.

And as someone who has worked in Ad/PR, I can attest that many job descriptions labeled "entry level" are designed for new college graduates who end up working more as an admin assistant than a true PR representative.

John Altevogt said...

If Ogden were my company Ms Ernzen would not have a job. Who she did it to is irrelevant. What matters is that she betrayed confidential information that could cost potential job seekers their current position and greatly restrict the pool of applicants her employer has to choose from.

This was not a casual letter to her. It was a communication with her company and, as such, it was not hers to share. Her actions speak for Ogden. It was unprofessional, unethical and, I would argue, cause for termination. Hendricks is not the only one whose confidence she betrayed. Ogden is just as big a victim of her stupidity,

Anonymous said...

I've known of other people (not just journalists) to send out similar "feeler letters" and get hired largely because of their forthrightness.

Oh come now. You've never really seen anyone get hired for a job by sending out a "feeler" claiming to be more qualified than the positions superior, with no experience except across the counter.

That was one for archives of audacity. A person would have to be a complete idiot to think that was going to fly without being posted on a bulletin board, somewhere. I just have to wonder if he was drinking heavily when he sent it.

Anonymous said...

"Not that I'm wholly unpolished when it comes to sending out job letters....I think my salary expectations did me in on that one.
Just for the sheer heck of it, I decided to try a different tact with you."

Trust me Mike, you're wholly unpolished.

Now, just for the heck of it, dump the condescending know it all crap and apply for jobs in areas where no one knows you or everyone agrees with you.

The DNC, ACORN, Media Matters, Daily KOS, Planned Parenthood, The Hemlock Society, etc. Those are the people that will hire you sir. Otherwise, in your field, you are done.

Anonymous said...

What a turd.

Anonymous said...

John, I've been one of your most consistent critics on this blog. But on this one, you are absolutely right.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mike!

Anonymous said...

Someone should point out to Mr. Hendricks, an allegedly-professional writer, that you don't "try a different tact". The word is "tack", a nautical term -- if you're not making good speed, you try a different TACK.

John Altevogt said...

PS on this issue. I emailed Mike Hendricks to ask about his dealings with Ogden. With his permission, he shared that both the woman who forwarded his emails and her boss were sincerely apologetic. He also indicated that she should not be fired and that all parties have agreed to move forward having learned from the experience.

McClatchy Watch said...

4:00 interesting, John.

I'm guessing the woman who forwarded the emails didn't imagine the Bad Pitch Blog people would be so cruel in their blog post.

Anonymous said...

With his permission, he shared that both the woman who forwarded his emails and her boss were sincerely apologetic.

He also claimed yesterday that a woman had pleaded in a post not to publish it and Bad Pitch took it down. It didn't happen.

I wouldn't believe a word Mike Hendricks said if he told me he was dying of thirst in a desert because I'd know that snake has a canteen he is hiding from everyone else.

Anonymous said...

First of all, since when did confidence become a bad thing? Secondly, hes right on the mark about everything he stated about young PR people, and PR is supposed to be about the truth.... Thirdly, I find it SICK that this "Great PR Firm" would publish this on the web. WHO DOES THAT?! I would definitely sue the PR firm for Libel and defamation of character. [Just beause hes a writer for a paper doesnt mean hes a major celebrity protected from slander and libel] Seems like the PR firm now needs a PR exec...... and they can put an ad out for a lawyer too...... What a sick bunch of people generating bad Press for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Guess what? The leaker, Brandy Ernzen, has the job title of "Brand Manager"