Being fired; going viral ...


So, another Monday with another “book feature” … which the observant of you will have noticed is the new title over in the graphic <=== there.  I got so frustrated in trying to line up interviews (even the mini “softball” interviews that I was running here) with authors that I figured that I should just accept it and not try to bash a square peg into a round hole.  So, if you see that graphic on the post, you’ll know I wasn’t able to get the time of day from the author.

Now, this is particularly irritating to me as I spent a decade running a book publishing business, fifteen years in consumer product PR, and various other gigs in communications and marketing, and to not be able to get the attention of an author or their publisher to provide “some ink” (or the electronic equivalent) just boggles my mind.  In the case of Fired! (the main book that I was going to be featuring this week) I tried reaching the publicity department of the publisher, I tried reaching the author, and I tried reaching the author’s agent, and heard nothing.  As somebody who has been “on the other side of the table”, I have a very hard time understanding how this happens … I was always “all over” any offers for coverage for our books.  If PR/publishing had any “standards”, this would be a case of gross negligence!

Anyway …

Annabelle Gurwitch’s Fired!: Tales of the Canned, Canceled, Downsized, and Dismissed is an amusing look at the reminiscences of fifty or so (mainly entertainment industry) folks of times in their past where they were terminated from a job.  These run the gamut from one gal who lasted four hours as a coat check girl to an ad agency executive who got fired from the same account every few years.  There are several famous names in the book (see my review for details) and it is interesting (if with a whiff of Schadenfreude) to see what various folks had to survive on their way to greater success.  Frankly one thing this book highlighted for me was that I’d never been “fired” from a job, with nearly all of my “job transitions” coming from the company going out of business … I wonder how much this has shaped my job search.

However, if you, or friends of yours, are coming off an “involuntary separation” experience, you might find some solace in the stories in Fired!.  Not only are many of these worse than yours are likely to have been, in nearly every case the subject of the story got back up off the mat and went on to bigger and better (or at least OK) things.

I initially wasn’t going to feature this next book in here, because it’s pretty “technical” from a Social Media and marketing standpoint, but given the lack of an interview for the preceding book, I figured that I might as well toss it in this as well.  Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves by Adam Penenberg is a fascinating look at the concept of “viral” growth in business settings.  As I note in my review, this is, functionally, not something new with the Internet, but a pattern that can be seen in various situations historically, from the eponymous Charles Ponzi (of “Ponzi scheme” infamy) through Tupperware and assorted other “network marketing” ventures, the word-of-mouth person-to-person marketing channel has been around a long time.  However, the global reach and immediacy of the Internet caused an explosion in what could happen when a company, product, or idea “went viral”, and this has become even more the case in the realm of Social Media.

Viral Loop is not a book about the job search, employment, or hiring, however, so I was hesitant to pass this along here.  But, if you’ve found any of the other “Social Media” books I’ve covered of interest, you might also consider picking this up.  It has intriguing break-downs of what is involved to get a truly “viral” spread, and would certainly by handy (as a source for key words and concepts) for anybody looking for work in the PR, Advertising, Marketing, Communications, Internet, or Media fields!

Leave a comment