Whatever Happened to the Guy Who Wanted to Be USA Today’s Social-Media Manager?

Remember Josh Chiles, who announced his plan in December to use social media in his quest to be hired by USA Today? It didn’t work, but all was not lost.

Chiles deleted his USA Today Hire Me Facebook page and Twitter account, telling WebNewser, “The campaign has ended, so I removed the profiles to be clear that I am not connected to USA Today in any way, shape, or form,” but this was the note he had posted on Facebook:

A big thank you to everyone (784 on Twitter and 140 on Facebook) for joining me on my quest to be hired by USA Today as their social-media manager. It has been a great honor to receive all the encouraging comments and inquiries on how my campaign is going.

Well, today I have good news and bad. First, the bad news. USA Today will not consider me for the position as their social-media manager. The week before Christmas, I received an email and phone call from their recruiting center to set up a time for me to meet with their current social-media manager, Alexandra. Apparently, this was just a polite way to lead me in a different direction because of the attention my social-media campaign had made. As the recruiter said in an email, “I believe she gave you some valuable information and leads for potential employment opportunities in the D.C./Virginia area.”

After that, I received an email from Steve Hyatt that was sent to his team members that said, “Stop all contact with this gentleman”. Steve Hyatt himself was out of line when sending this email. I only sent a follow-up email to check on my status to be hired by USA Today.

I must say, I am very disappointed in the way USA Today handled their communication with me throughout my campaign. It all makes sense, though, Alexandra herself said that USA Today is mismanaged and a total mess with their social-media efforts. She told me the staff at USA Today doesn’t want to be burdened with using this new technology. I could continue to bore you with the details of my communication with USA Today, but I will leave it at that.

So, I guess you are asking yourself what on earth could the good news be!?!? The good news is that this campaign has opened many doors for me. Back in August, I started a social media firm called Engaged! because I was receiving requests from many business owners about the how-tos of social media. My passion to help and teach others was the driving force behind my desire to take a leap of faith and start my firm. Then in early December, I saw the ad from USA Today. I truly thought I could help thousands of people understand and benefit from using social media by working for USA Today, so I started this campaign. But I have learned that USA Today is not open-minded to using social media as a valuable way to communicate.

I do understand what my calling is: It is to help people one on one by continuing and growing my company. In the past few weeks, I have started writing blog posts for Boating Industry magazine on topics about social media, I have attracted the attention of 80 (yes 80) marine dealers looking for social-media help, and I have an investor helping to make it all happen. I have even started a campaign to help businesses get started in social media. Read more about that on my Web site. Here’s a hint … $1,500 in FREE social media services!

What can you take away from all of this? When I started my campaign to be hired by USA Today, I wanted to be noticed by USA Today and I wanted to inspire people to follow their dreams, no matter how big. So here is what you can take with you. Dream big and always go for it! Even if your dream seems out of reach, take small steps, and then one day, you will have your dream in the palm of your hand.

Stay social, my Friends!

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