When I set into writing my review of David Meerman Scott's Real-Time Marketing and PR I realized that this is very much a book for businesses and is not really targeted to individuals at all. It's a testament to how engagingly it is written that this particular fact had not crept into my consciousness the entire time I was reading the book, even though it is evidently targeted to what business can, should, and must do to make the best of the evolving world of communications since the advent of the various Social Media tools.
Scott makes this material quite lively with numerous real-world case studies, from the notable United Breaks Guitars viral video (with the reactions of three different companies), to details on "real-time" marketing such as done by the post-Garcia Grateful Dead on tour (under various names).
As I've noted many times before, this sort of stuff is dead-center on my job search, so it flows through without question, but, in a changing business world, anybody can benefit by being able to put themselves at the leading edge of the wave. One part of the book put this in pretty clear context:
Big business is designed to move forward according to plan, at a measured and deliberate pace.
Back when the attention and obedience of consumers could be bought with media advertising, this worked reasonably well. Big business was able to set the pace.
Today, though, with only limited guidance from mass media, consumers set the pace. Left to their own devices, they imagine all sorts of things. They take unpredictable initiatives. They improvise all over the map at high speed.
Having for generations selectively bred such rash traits out of the corporate DNA, it now takes a huge and deliberate effort for big business to adopt a real-time customer-driven mind-set. Most large companies can't even get their heads around the idea.
I've talked with people all over the world who are wrestling with the challenge, and most are not at all comfortable with adopting a real-time mind-set. It's not on the corporate agenda or the business-school curriculum. And when the notion is put to them, many people dismiss quick response to opportunities and threats as "reckless" or "risky".
Attitudes are so ingrained that even when confronted with an iceberg off the bow, companies persist on choosing slow and cautious over quick and nimble. Way too much time is spent checking, getting permission, reaching, and running it past "experts". By the time a decision is finally reached, it's time to head for the lifeboats.
Putting his advice into action, Mr. Scott responded to my review within 12 hours of my posting it, commenting with information on how individuals can apply the information in the book. This included a link to a blog post he had written which specifically addressed this, which had a link in it to another blog post (admittedly, a couple of years old, when the current recession was just starting) on "new rules of finding a job". Needless to say, this involved paying attention to Twitter and other vehicles (he likely found the review via my post-posting tweet about it), and having the mind-set to turn around and take action.
Again, Real-Time Marketing and PR is clearly not a book "about the job search", but it is full of information that can help put you in a place that is on the leading edge of the new communication reality, which should make you more "marketable" to potential employers. As always, more details are over on my review site.