This Sunday shoutout is a real pleasure to do. Ruettimann is a bloggers blogger. Possibly the biggest celebrity blogger in the HR space. She is often imitated, but never emulated, and imitation is the biggest form of flattery. I could never write like Laurie, though I have studied her style since the PunkRockHR days. (Ruettimanns former blog.). I first met Laurie at Recruitfest in Toronto when I was first dreaming up #TruLondon, and Laurie has been a constant ever since. What I love about Laurie’s writing style is that she talks to her readers, and is in tune with what they are thinking, but perhaps not saying. She drops enough F bombs, B bombs and S bombs to be shocking, but not enough to be offensive. I mean this next bit as a BIG compliment, she has mastered the art of leaving a post hanging so that any reader feels the need to add a comment or view, and everyone who contributes is answered. It is the perfect community blog, where readers feel like members of the community. If you don’t know it, check out The Cynical Girl, for all things HR, Social Media and Cats.
Ruettimann is well-known among the blogging and HR community for being supportive and a great resource. I can personally think of 8 prominent bloggers in the space who were mentored and advised by Laurie whilst they were building up their popularity and following. She also has an uncanny knack of knowing just when you need a word of advice or a friendly word of support, and the messages come without prompting. I’m grateful for the support Laurie has offered me.
In April 2011 Ruettimann joined Brett Starr’s unique team at The Starr Conspiracy, the mysterious band of collaborators in the HR Capital Management space. Take a look at their website to see what I mean. Ruettimann is described on the site as AgentOO8, the cat lady. Ruettimann has responsibility for among other things social media implementation and advice to clients among other things, but it is perhaps her innovative blog incubator project that has most caught my eye. Ruettimann has always been an activist for bloggers rights. She inspired me to believe that I shouldn’t really write for free, and it is a practice I have stopped, and a message I have passed on to other bloggers. Ruettimann is a big believer that bloggers spend time perfecting their craft, researching and creating content and building a following. This has a value, particularly when you add up the combined niche audience, and the credibility that bloggers bring to advertisers by association. The Starr Conspiracy have the customers to add revenue streams to credible bloggers. It is another example of how Laurie is looking to support the blogger community at large.
Ruettimann has been a big supporter of #trulondon, and has helped to bridge the gap between the US and UK communities, and is always a welcome face in the crowd. She always has a new and challenging view-point to the conversation, and despite her celebrity status, is approachable by everyone. I know that Laurie’s involvement has brought credibility to the crazy circus, and has gone some way to attracting participants. I’m thankful for her support, involvement and friendship.
Aside from her blog, where Ruettimann posts most days, she has been a columnist at The Conference Board since 2009,an advisor to SmartBrief and is regularly featured in publications like Forbes, The New York Times, US News and World Report, CFO Magazine, Mens Health and Shape Magazine outside of our niche. Ruettimann has also founded HR start-ups New Media Services LLC and HRM Today. Prior to joining the writing and social-media merry=go-round, Laurie had an HR career spanning 11 years, working for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer for 3 years, insurance company Kemper for 2 years, Unilever for 1 year, Spherion as a recruiter for a year, Yoh managed staffing for 3 years and The Hershey Company for 8 months. It has been a progressive career, leading up to becoming a spokesman for both the industry and women in business. The latter was recognised by Forbes when PunkRockHR was listed in the top 100 blogs for women in business.
Away from the HR and social-media world, Laurie is married to Ken, and is ruled by 4 cats, who feature regularly in her posts, It is another of Laurie’s writing qualities that she connects with her readers and social connections by sharing her personality , personal life and pet tales in proportion to news and commentary, that allows everyone to make a personal connection. Scrubby, her oldest cat, has its own clan of twitter followers and Facebook friends, though the rest of the family are often featured. At the end of this post I’ve included Lauries presentation on pet blogging which shows her philosophy.
Thanks Laurie for all you do, you set the bar for all of us to try to reach, but more importantly, thanks for being a friend.