Will Somebody in Publishing Please Hire This Woman, And Why I Think Hyper-Targeted Internet Ads Are A Fine Price to Pay for Getting to Use Facebook For Free

By • Aug 2nd, 2009 • Category: 26th Story, Big Ideas

Marian SchembariThe publishing industry desperately needs people with these skills: creative, innovative, risk takers who know how to work the tools of the internet and aren’t afraid to use them.

I discovered Marian Schembari yesterday when I noticed her ad on my Facebook page saying she wanted to work at HarperCollins. How clever. I clicked through on the ad and found the most awesome, “2009″ resume.

A few hours later, I saw a screenshot of this ad on another HarperCollins employee’s Facebook page with a note saying “Uh, this is kind of scary.”

Of course I had to chime in with my 2 cents :)

Not scary at all, I countered. I think it’s creative and innovative and blah blah blah. On and on I went……..to which she replied that it’s the Facebook tool of using her personal information to target ads to her that she finds scary. I must point out that we both have the fact that we work at HarperCollins as part of our Facebook profiles — so I’m not sure Facebook has used anything we declared as private for this woman to be able to target us with her campaign. I’m sure what’s fair game information is all in the fine print of Facebook.

The conversation went on a few more rounds with others chiming in about the brave new world and their thoughts on targeted ads, etc..

Here’s the bottom line for me: I would so much rather have an ad that is targeted to me than some spaghetti on the wall generic message that I could care less about. Please, give me an ad about a book or someone in publishing rather than make me endure a laundry soap commercial or car ad or any of the other products that I care nothing about and yet am held hostage to as the price to pay for consuming traditional media. Hyper-targeting is one of the many advantages that internet media has over traditional media platforms, and is a modern day gift to marketers. It’s Nielson ratings versus Google Analytics — and it’s why I think Facebook and Twitter and all of the other free platforms that we use are going to be just fine in the new economy.

Now if marketers could just be fabulously creative and interesting with their targeted ads, we could all be happy and prosperous.

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  • Seale Ballenger

    I thought this was brilliant. I clicked right through and wish I had a job for her. Bravo!

  • http://robertwahl.blogspot.com/ Haste yee back ;-)

    Hyper-Targeted Internet Ads… Okay, Debbie, comin’ straight atcha! I NEED PIGEONS!

    See, I have this bird-dog – names Bay. Picture here – http://robertwahl.blogspot.com/ He’s almost eight months and he needs live birds at this point in his training . Now, I figure the smartest, wyliest, most pugnacious, no-guff pigeons are from New York City. They’re versed in City Pigeons tricks. I’d like to buy some. Or I’ll send you a pigeon trap… take ya 20 minutes outside your building or on its’ roof to catch ‘em! ( If your good, I’ll spread the word in Texas… good part-time job)!

    Haste yee back ;-)

  • http://theharperstudio.com Debbie

    @ Haste yee — you crack me up.

  • http://robertwahl.blogspot.com/ Haste yee back ;-)

    Deb, having your business cards printed, review copy, please…


    We sell pigeons with Big City attitudes!
    Think your Dog’s tough? Think he’s something?
    Try ‘em on my ill-tempered *having-a-bad-feather-day* birds.

    Contact: DEBBIE STIER
    New York, N.Y. dabba dabba do zip code

  • LHK

    I agree. Brilliant, both regarding the job seeker and targeted advertisements. I’m at the Denver Publishing Institute and someone in book publishing actually recommended we look at her site. What I’d like to know is whether she’s found a job yet and if not WHY?!

  • lee

    Wow. What a BRILLIANT idea – and that kind of attitude and creativity is exactly what the publishing industry needs right now. Someone better snatch her up quick!

  • AODT

    Fantastic idea – and has everyone looked at her site? It’s even better! If she doesnt have a job by now, I’m at a loss.

  • KFormost

    I have personally witnessed this young woman’s work over the past few years and I can honestly say she is not only one of the most talented writers I’ve ever come across, but also THE most disciplined, hard-working, self-starter I have ever come across. Her instincts in the interview process are honed but professional, her writing style is smart but accessible, and her ability to reach the reader (especially the female population) is far beyond her years. I wish I could hire her full time- if I could give advice to anyone reading this, it would be to snatch this young woman up before you regret it.

  • http://www.26thstory.com Debbie Stier

    Wow. @KFormost What a great recommendation. I wish I could hire her too :)

    Marian — you’ve got to keep us all posted when you accept a job.

  • http://www.publishingtrends.com Laura Hazard Owen

    Wow! This is pretty awesome. Marian, I agree–will you let Debbie know when you get a job (I am sure you will)? I LOVE your website/resume, too.

  • http://melissacwalker.com Melissa Walker

    I think it’s an awesome idea too. Hope she makes it onto a marketing team soon!

  • Nico C


    1. Because what an amazing, unique way to market oneself.


    2. Because somehow this comes as no surprise… having witnessed the determination of Ms. Schembari firsthand, this is just one of many examples of her incredible creative sense and how she uses it to get what she deserves. I second Kformost’s advice.

  • http://www.marianschembari.com Marian

    Wow is right. I’m blushing!

  • http://www.marianschembari.com Marian

    On a related note, just wanted to thank everyone for such lovely comments! Have been getting some great feedback, and hopefully a job will come out of it. I really appreciate all the encouragement :-)

  • http://robertwahl.blogspot.com/ Haste yee back ;-)

    If all else fails… I’ll send you some pigeon traps!

    Just suggestin.’

    Haste yee back ;-)

  • DDomo

    I’ve had a great deal of experience working with Marian in both professional and more personal realms, and I cannot adequately express how deeply I’ve come to admire her. The insight she has to offer on any given issue is never less than razor-sharp, and her gift as a communicator makes her work not only magnetically entertaining but also comparable to one seriously powerful brand of fuel for opening discussions, minds, and avenues for change. Excuse my enthusiasm if you must – but it’s only because I can’t tell you how much better life would be if everyone I worked with was just like Marian… Still, I’ll keep wishing!

  • Cynic

    Hmm…of course, for people that work at other publishers her ad says “my dream is to work for X” (with X being whatever publisher you work for). Still innovative, I suppose, but a lot less genuine feeling. With chops like that, maybe she should be looking for a marketing job instead.

  • http://www.marianschembari.com Marian

    Dear Cynic,
    1. I could have just said “I want to work in publishing” HOWEVER a) it gets less people’s attention (and statistics wise the ad will get less clicks), and b) I do genuinely want to work for X ;-) Meaning, I only put ads out there for companies that I actually want to work for.
    2. That being said, I agree… and am going to take “chops” as a compliment!

  • Cynic

    Well, there’s a difference between wanting to work somewhere and having it be your “dream.” That being said, your choice of words has been quite effective, so who am I to criticize? And feel free to take “chops” as a compliment. I’m sure you’ll go far.

  • Brittney

    I just saw Marian’s Macmillan version while I was logged into Facebook, and I clicked through too. Then I saw that Debbie had blogged about it – how fabulous that this campaign is getting so much attention! Best of luck in your job search, and may we all learn a lesson about effective targeted online marketing!

  • http://indiebookworm.wordpress.com Melissa

    the person that called her ad “scary” is probably feeling threatened. not to be mean, but yeah, they’re threatened. that’s normal though.

    best of luck, marian…you’ve obviously proven that you have the moxie to challenge the rules in order to get noticed…could perhaps serve you well in the field of book promotions and publicity as well as online marketing, n’est-ce pas?

  • http://robertwahl.blogspot.com/ Haste yee back ;-)

    Marian, I hope you got a job, cuz I still ain’t got no pigeons… dogs pointing shiny gum rappers, all may be lost!

    Haste yee back ;-)

  • Judy

    “Targeted”…except that I got the same Facebook ad from Marian stating that it's her DREAM to work at Penguin. :) Clever idea…poor choice of wording.

  • max191

    Interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks a load!
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  • itjobs1

    Great article, thank you

  • itjobs1

    Great article, thank you

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  • darwinlopez

    Awesome example!! thank u!

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