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It was a difficult conversation with my boss that started the ball rolling on “Joe, you can’t ignore social media any more. You’re going to get left behind in your career,” he said over lunch about a month ago.

Many of the new social media and social networking tools befuddled this blogger for years.

My writing abilities and business experience have been my calling card in my public relations career. I was one of the few PR professionals who had been a corporate executive, come from a finance background, and found my way into PR through investor relations and corporate finance. My ability to understand the businesses we worked with and quickly digest their value propositions, to digest financial statements, and communicate with the C-suite had differentiated me from my peers. But recently, the worm had turned. The rise of social media tools like Twitter, blogging, LinkedIn, Facebook, and others like them had given companies the opportunity to be the media, to be a source of information. My peers who knew how to use these tools to build audiences, identify and connect with influencers, had become more and more sought after – and more and more valuable within my firm. I was facing a world where my skills would be marginalized and secondary afterthoughts.

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