Public Relations For Peaceful People

The wild ramblings of an aspiring betterer of the world

Month: November, 2013

PR in the age of flying cars

So I just cracked open chapter 20 in Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals which is titled “Skilling Up For The Future.”

I was expecting laser guns, flying cars, and Philip K. Dick-esque ninja cyborg women and whatnot. (You can thank the Writing about Literature course I took a few years ago for that).

What I got from the chapter was, while maybe a bit less exciting than watching Indiana Jones battle a robot clown woman, something much more valuable. Knowledge.


A point is made in the book that (in the author’s opinion) in today’s world the ‘ideal’ PR professional, while being unique (like a beautiful snowflake), will also exhibit a “commonality of structure” (like beautiful snowflakes) that should be instantly recognizable. This commonality of structure includes a few things and is referred to as the “Y-Shaped PR Professional.”

Why Y?

Well, this is Why:

According to the book I keep mentioning, this second-to-last-letter-of-the-alphabet-shaped PR professional will have “breadth and depth across three broad areas of expertize,” those areas being:

1. Storytelling- The “Trunk” of the Y-shaped tree. Totally super-important to be good at it if you want to succeed in PR. No longer a one-way street, it is important to recognize that “getting your audiences to co-create your story is the future,” and that this is made quite easy (compared to years past) through social media.

2. Content- After the stories have been created we need to then ask “what will be the best ways to bring them to life, have them shared and allow audiences to shape how they develop?” Good question which I’m not going to answer, buy the book if you’re interested. However, I will say this: Make sure your writing skills are as good or better than mine and you shouldn’t have problems creating good content. Good writing skills never go out of style, Imho. lol, rotflmao <– (It’s ok, this is a blog.)

3. Technology platforms- I like how the book says “Now, don’t panic. This doesn’t mean we all need to rush out and get a degree in IT to continue working in PR, but it does mean investing time in using and understanding key online platforms.” Good thing I check my Facebook before I get out of bed in the morning I guess. The book mentions learning about Real-time tools such as Radian6, TweetDeck, and Conversocial, understanding the data and analytics portion of social media (shudder!), as well as being insatiably-skeptically-curious when it comes to staying informed about social media and what things happening on the forefront of internet technology.

So that’s the rundown, in a proverbial nutshell, of a few ways that PR professionals can “skill up” for the future. I hope that you all found some worth in this post, if only because of my creative linking practices and mentions of the author of Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep.

Like always, here’s a bit of awesome for ya. One of my favorites:




Can social media be a full time job?

I sure hope so because I friggin’ love it.

I wouldn’t call myself an expert in social media just yet (key word: yet), but then again who can really say something like that? I’m aware that some people are way ahead of the curve in terms of the vast wealth of social media knowledge they possess, but we’re talking about being an “expert” in Facebook, a master Tweeter, or a humorously eloquent  blogger, not to mention knowing this-and-that about all the other emerging and changing social media platforms. Keep in mind that’s not a complete list.

This is just a tad different than being a doctor or an accountant or something more respectable like  “Professor of Thermodynamics” or some other lofty-sounding title. I may be highly proficient in “#StraightFlexin” on Instagram,” but it just doesn’t have the same ring to it.


Actually, scratch that. I AM an expert.


Maybe not to a person like Brian Solis but hey gimme a break, I’m working on it. I guess what I’m saying is that while I might not be an expert when compared to the likes of Solis, if you ask my dad I’m a freaking computer genius! In fact, I even write a blog about social media. BAM, expert.

Perspective is everything.

I think that one of the most important ways to get considered an expert in social media is pretty straightforward: You have to use social media well. When people check you out online they should finish the experience thinking “Wow, they really have a handle on all of this social media stuff.” When people talk to you about social media, what do you have to say about it? Is it insightful? Is it interesting? Is it helpful? These are all good questions to ask yourself. Social media questions come up in job interviews all the time nowadays.

When online, don’t just post. Strategize. Think. Listen. Consider as many different perspectives that exist out there in the virtual world as you can. Think about what is likely best for the people you communicate with on the internet just as much (if not more) as you do for yourself.

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. If you’re a downer online, change that REAL quick. It feels nice to vent, yes. But the whole world is seeing this stuff and nobody likes a party pooper. I strongly recommend finding a healthy outlet for anger, depression, frustration, angst, sadness, and the like but trust me, if you ever want to have someone look at you as a social media pro/expert/amazingmagicalgenius, don’t post all that stuff about your personal life online.

There are so many other ways you can portray yourself as an expert on social media but if I wrote everything I know in one post, no one would read to the end.

A few parting tips:

Be kind, it goes farther than you think.

Be honest because nobody likes a liar.

Be helpful. It pays off.

Learn as much as you can.

Explore and be creative.

And most of all, have fun! people can usually tell when you are enjoying yourself and personally speaking, I want to be around fun people, both online and off.

Social media is a great big brilliant and expansive communication playground, open for anyone to become an expert in. Your learning starts here.

Enjoy the week everyone! Here’s some awesome for ya: