I’ve been having trouble reconciling, of late, whether I’m an Old Testament PR student or a New Testament believer. I tend to cling to the tried and true methods of Public Relations. You know – your traditional press releases and media advisories. This whole blog thing makes sense to me, but it’s the marijuana of methods, man. It’s become a virtual gateway to all kinds of new online stressors, making me toss and turn in my sleep from such haunting words as Technorati and del.icio.us and Second Life. So clearly one could see why when David Reich’s blog “My 2 Cents” affirmed, in an interview with PRWeek, my suspicions and what my instructor Kelli Matthews has been telling my class the entire term: SOCIAL MEDIA LITERACY IS ESSENTIAL – Well, let’s just say, I kind of blogged my pants.
To quote directly, Reich says “Yes, it’s good to have some knowledge in social media since that’s the new hot media venue the public relations world is try to understand and possibly harness for its own message disseminating purposes.”
I am proud of the fact that this didn’t immediately convert me. I’m stubborn sometimes and I was quite reuctant to give up Rollerblades when everyone told me long-boards were “in”. My stubbornness paid off this time because Reich goes on to say that he values skills and experience more than social media savvy. For instance, he says the ability to write clearly and concisely is very important. Duh, but still a ray of hope!
Reich also goes on to say that experience in social media can do more than just shine up a resume, but it’s a chance to showcase skills and published writing. I’ve been sending out resumes and have listed my blogs so that people will have an idea of my processes and critical thinking.
It’s not that I’m anti-social media but in choosing the PR industry as the field of choice for my career, I really wanted it to be about communicating with people directly, talking with them, listening to them and then helping them create a message. I suppose I’m afraid that the industry’s changed too much and I won’t understand it. Or maybe the world has.
The thing, though, about this situation, is that I really will get along just fine with the skills that I’m learning. My generation is the most social-media literate group of people existing and I need to remember that investing in social media tools and knowledge maybe won’t squelch my traditional devices, but rather enhance their reach.
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