How Not To Respond to a Linked In Connection Request

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

linkedin-conversationsScathing response goes viral, results in public apology

If you use Linkedin regularly, you will get connection requests from people you do not know. Most of us just click the Ignore button and move on with our day.

However, one Kelly Blazek in Cleveland, who runs a job bank there, decided to teach a 20-something requester a lesson, but looks like it backfired on Blazek – big time.

Diana Mekota, who is 26 and just moved to Cleveland, contacted Blazek on Linkedin in an attempt to connect with her and subscribe to her job listings email. This is the response she got:

‘Your invite to connect is inappropriate, beneficial only to you and tacky. Wow, I can’t wait to let every 26 year-old job seeker mine by top tier marketing connections to help them land a job.’

The missive continued: ‘I suggest you join the other Job Bank in town…oh wait, there isn’t one.’ She concluded most gracefully with, “You’re welcome for your humility lesson of the year. Don’t ever contact me again.’

Mekota decided to post the response on social media and it went viral. Mekota says that she posted it on Reddit, Imgur and Facebook. It was then linked to Buzzfeed. After that, Mekota sent the email to WMMS, a radio station in Cleveland, and it was picked up by their morning show. Mekota even did an on air interview on the radio show about the incident.

Blazek soon received all sorts of scorn and abuse in her inbox on linkedin, Facebook and email. Eventually, Blazek had to make a public apology to Mekota in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

It was rather an odd response from Blazek, who describes herself as Job Bank Mother, and was named as 2013 Communicator of the Year by the Cleveland Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. Some in the Cleveland community now want to rescind her award. The lady’s reputation in Cleveland is in ruins. All because she got uppity on Linkedin.

All of this is rather amusing of course, but at the end when we are done laughing, we should always remember something: We all are held accountable for our actions in life, and this is truer than ever in the online, social media-fueled world in which we live. Social media makes it very easy to say things we should not say. If we are not consistent in our interactions with people on and offline, we can be called out in the most public way and humiliated. It can take many years to build up your online reputation, and just one mistaken click of the Send button to ruin it.

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