Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone
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A graduate in the US had his first journalism job offer rescinded after posting the good news on a blog.
Kristopher Brooks, who had just completed a graduate journalism course at New York University, was reportedly thrilled to receive a job offer from the News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware. As a result, he published the news on his personal Tumblr blog in press release format, quoting from the offer letter and using the company’s logo. But the News Journal wasn’t too happy. Brooks told online lifestyle website, Loop21: “I just told my immediate editor what the post was about. And he said ‘Oh, that sounds OK.’ Around a quarter to six, [local editor] Phil Freedman called me and told me [the blog] was an illegal use of the company logo and I wasn’t supposed to quote from the offer letter that I got….and that they wanted to rescind my job offer because of that.” He immediately offered to take down the offending blog, but the News Journal was unwilling to bend and he lost the job. Brooks told Inc.com, an online publication aimed at small-to-medium businesses, that he was baffled by the move. “If you read the tone of my original post, I was trying to say ‘I’m really excited to be here’. And from what this guy [who wrote the offer letter] has written to me, I think they’re really excited to have me. So why not express this joy? I wasn’t expressing it in a negative light,” he said. But Sharlyn Lauby, an HR professional who blogs for the HR Bartender, said that there appeared to have been an avoidable miscommunication between the parties concerned. “This is a misunderstanding and both sides share the blame. First, the young reporter should have asked the company about how his hire would be announced,” she said. In her experience, some employers liked to make the announcement themselves as part of the onboarding process, Lauby added. “On the other hand, the company didn’t tell the young reporter how he would be onboarded into the organization. And appropriate hiring announcements are a part of onboarding,” she explained.