Interview: Chris Kahle on the Twitter "Request For Employment" that got him hired by CP+B


chriskahle_socialnerdiaChris Kahle is a recently hired copywriter for Crispin Porter + Bogusky, one of the hottest ad agencies in the world. While I cannot pronounce "Bogusky" very well, I'm quite aware of the agency's widely known work for Hulu, Microsoft, Guitar Hero and Burger King.

"Boulder's great. For a town out of about ninety thousand, it's got a lot going on," Chris said to me about the city in Colorado where CP+B is headquartered. It must be especially great to be there right now considering the fact that Chris was out of  a job just a few months ago when he decided to use Twitter to get CP+B's attention.



chris_rfe_cpb_socialnerdia"I kind of became a victim of the recession 3 months ago. I got laid off from the agency that I was working at in Vancouver... Being liberated by being laid off, I had free reign to do what I want," Chris explained. And working at an agency like CP+B is what Chris wanted to do so he got in touch with them. He had some contacts within the agency, but he wanted to increase his chances at standing out from the crowds (especially since so many people apply to CP+B on an on-going basis).

So Chris came up with the idea of asking people to tweet about him and his RFE (Request for Employment) to co-chairman Alex Bogusky and interactive creative director Jeff Benjamin. "I made a list of the few Twitter influencers in the advertising world, and I sent them messages saying 'Can you guys tweet my RFE to CP+B?' and for each person that sends this tweet I'll give a dollar to charity."

Some were skeptical about Chris' idea and a few even criticized it: "It got a new conversation going on about the way people use Twitter. I think a lot of people were kind of turned off by it, they saw it as spamming. Above all, it got people talking."

boguskyhires_socialnerdiaAnd as people talked, CP+B listened. And then they hired him.

A total of 80 tweets were sent on behalf of Chris, and Chris kept his side of the deal by giving $200 to charity. And just like that, Chris has made it harder for everybody else to get noticed. We are sure to hear many more similar stories, but anyone interested in getting into CP+B might have to work a little extra harder to do so.

When I asked about CP+B's culture, Chris confirmed that it really is as good as its made out to be. "Every day there's something new that makes you feel really fortunate to be here," Chris said and he gave examples about how earlier this week Alex was "doing wheelies on a bcycle" and how he rode the Disruptive Thinker Transport ("a converted prison bus" with "fake bullet holes") when he first got to Boulder. "They (CP+B) want to do things that are different, things that stand out."

I was impressed to hear about how Chris first got into advertising and how he worked on his portfolio/book without ever going to ad school. We also talked about his background, things that have influenced him, the US/Canada parallels, how Twitter has evolved, the importance of diligence + creativity, and a few other things.

Listen to the conversation in its entirety by using the player above, streaming it on our blogtalkradio page, or subscribing to The Social Nerdia Show! on iTunes.

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