HR Magazines as a Credible Source

by Frank Roche on March 8, 2013

in Communication, Writing

I just finished reading another HR magazine. By “reading,” I mean “scanning.” Because like all the ones that came before, it was all opinion. Oh, there were the requisite interview snippets with junior middle management HR types (who are mysteriously referred to in the HR blogging community as “HR leaders”) with fancy SPHR credentials appended to their names.

An extended aside: If you graduated from law school or medical school, I think it’s cool that you can use Esq. or MD after your name. If you have a PhD and are actually working in academia, you can use PhD after your name. You’re never Doctor So-and-So unless you’re at a university. If you took a test that didn’t require a specific course of academic study — or if that test allows anyone who has the money to pay for the test to take it — then it’s pretty lame to use those initials after your name.

I say this with love. At one point in my career I was a credential collector. I was a Certified Electron Microscopist, Certified Reliability Engineer, Certified Quality Engineer, Certified Quality Technician; I held Series 63 and Series 7 licenses; I have a master’s degree; and I was a Professional Dog Handler. I don’t use any initials after my name, except in legal documents because I’m John Francis Roche III. I’m certified to be the third in a line of unoriginal namers in the Roche Clan.

So…back at it. Here’s a challenge for HR magazines — and HR writers in general: Be as credible as HBR. Be the writer that real HR leaders cite as leading edge, peer reviewed, market tested, results proven ideas.

All is not lost, by the way. It’s just some thinking about quality thinking and writing. I’ll start you off with something good: Read my friend Rita Pyrillis’s writing in Workforce. Rita is a real-world journalist who applies that skill to the HR space. She has a distinct voice and a reporter’s eye for getting the story right.

Who else would you recommend? I’m talking about people that HR leaders would be willing to cite to their CEO and Board of Directors. Suggestions?

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