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  • Writer's picturecarolineswiftholden

My NBC Sports Experiment - How a Tiny Social Media Campaign Got me a Meeting, a Rejection, and More

A few months ago I decided to enact an experiment: I would make a tiny social media campaign, primarily centered around a video cover letter/sizzle reel, in an attempt to get a job at NBC Sports.

So I’m sure the first question you have is: Why?

Well, I had seen several job postings pop up at NBC Sports Stamford offices, just a mere 6 minute drive from my home, that included a variety of roles in Content, Social Media, etc that I believed I could be a great fit for. After reaching out to a couple of people I knew who had contacts at NBC Sports and not seeing anything pan out, I decided to do something a little different.

A Social Media Coordinator position with a focus on the NHL and Soccer really caught my eye. As a former hockey player of 14 years and a soccer player for 8 or 9 years, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I was going to show my expertise on ice hockey and soccer in addition to my skills in film editing and social media to prove that I would be a great fit for the job.

Did it Work? What Happened?

I posted the official video (see above) on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Linkedin and one short form video on Linkedin and Instagram. Prior to the video, I regularly post on Facebook and Instagram, occasionally post on Linkedin, and rarely post on Youtube and Twitter.

As expected, we had low to zero hits on Twitter and Youtube, due to my lack of regular content/followers on those platforms.

Instagram’s post was surprisingly low, but the shortness of the video did not seem to translate as well as the longform video. Similarly, we only had 100+ hits on the shortform Linkedin post.

Facebook had a fairly large response within my personal network primarily with older family members and some friends. Although we don’t have numbers on how many people watched the video, we did have 40+ likes and 30+ comments.

Linkedin, as expected, ended up making the biggest splash. We got over 1,000 hits in under 24 hours and eventually plateau’d out around 3,500 hits about a week or so later with 22 comments and 90+ likes. So, not viral in any sense of the word, but the video did accomplish one of my goals.

I wanted to be noticed by the right people and get a meeting with NBC Sports. And I did.

As of 12/12/19, I had 119 views from employees at NBC Universal/NBC Sports (according to Linkedin).

Friends and friends of friends began tagging their connections at NBC and NBC Sports. One friend suggested that they could introduce me to someone at ESPN if NBC didn’t work out. An alum from a rival college of my alma mater spotted the video and got me on the phone a week later to introduce me to several people at NBC Sports in her network.

And, I got a meeting.


Now, although that meeting didn’t result in a job (ESPN, now would be a great time for you to step in!) my little stunt revealed a lot of things that I knew logically but maybe didn’t believe in fully prior.

  1. People love to help others: don’t be afraid to ask for help.

  2. Find a way to prove your expertise/your worth

  3. Make sure whatever stunt you pull off is for something that you really want

After I posted the video, I had numerous people reaching out to me asking how they could help me get a job in sports and say that they absolutely loved the video. The response was a tad overwhelming. I had no idea that people would reach out as enthusiastically as they did and who those individuals would be.

I had people from my previous work recommending me in the comments, people who hadn’t seen me in years tagging NBC Sports employees with enthusiasm, even former clients of mine who were trying to make this little dream I had on a whim happen.

I also had a strong response from strangers who loved the idea of a video resume or cover letter who commented or liked the video simply because they liked the concept.

Lessons Learned

I realized something really quickly. If I was going to do this again, I needed to create something that would create a clear call to action that may be a little bit more flexible, but I may also need to use some more direct advertising strategies in crafting the video.

I had several friends in the ad/marketing/sports world give me legitimate criticism that the video was too long and should get to the point in the first few seconds, especially if I was trying to mimic a real social media sizzle video.

The slow start to the video, though well crafted, threw some potential viewers off, especially if they had not seen the recent Bohemian Rhapsody movie. The call to action of the video was at the end of the video, instead of the beginning, which meant that the majority of people who maybe started the video but didn’t finish, never realized what the film was actually about.

Moving Forward

For the past month or so, I’ve been crafting my next big stunt, a true video resume/cover letter if you will, as a true call to action to friends, strangers, and potential employers, to hire me in a creative digital or social media marketing role.

My hope is to make this video a much larger splash on my social platforms and to do the one thing that my previous video did not: ask for exactly what I want from the start AND prove that I’m a phenomenal candidate for several roles.

For now, I’m still working on it and hopefully you’ll see my newest video in the next couple weeks (fingers crossed!) but my advice for you is to just go for it! I made my NBC Sports video on a whim and got a lot more attention than I was expecting. Finding opportunities to show off your actual skills (in my case, expertise in hockey/soccer and in film editing) and utilizing social platforms, especially Linkedin!

What do you think? Do you have any more tips and tricks for standing out in this job market? Leave a comment down below!

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