So just how does the old dog learn new tricks?

February 2, 2010 at 12:35 am 1 comment

Sandra Fathi, president and founder of Affect Strategies, wrote recentingly in Bulldog Reporter that the media landscape is evolving faster than some PR professionals and that some of us old folks should catch up. The whole story is here. This is one old dog that’s been trying to learn new tricks, but I keep coming to the same question: How?

First, understand that I’m a one-person department serving a lot of masters who all agree that they are the most important thing on my plate. No, that’s not poor writing: Each individiual internal client things he or she is the most important thing on my plate which means spending my days dealing with the squeakiest wheel. Strategy? Hah. I don’t even get to tactics! And more and more corporate practitioners are in the same boat. In my case, I also have no internal or external help.

So hours and hours to play on the Web are out.

I’ve been known to ask my friends, but the ones who are in corporate PR are in the same boat I am. The agency folks I know think a statement like, “I wish my tweets were retreated more often” is a prelude to a new business pitch.

What’s equally scary is the number of businesses that have grown up to teach this old dog…at a price, of course. Ususally a stiff price. But not to worry: Each one promises me the best, most knowledgable people. They all say that when I leave, I’ll be able to instantly improve my organic standings and rule the roost with my newfound knowledge.

What’s an old dog to do?

I go to PRSA workshops, which usually are good. But you still get the idea it’s a business pitch. Everyone talks new media but nobody’s showing me how to  do it! I tweet. I have a Facebook page and a Linkedin page. And you’re obviously one of the 12 or so readers who know first-hand that I blog. And I even optimize my news releases!

So I’m watching and experimenting. I look for the corporate stars of new media because they’re not out to sell me anything. And of course, I speak to  PR practitioners who come with great recommendatons…like Sandra. But the biggest frustration I have isn’t learning new tricks, it’s knowing which teachers are best and who to ask in hopes of an answer that will actually let me do something!


Entry filed under: Dealing with social media. Tags: , , , , , , , .

This thought might give you some paws: What do people compare you to? Study says blogging not as popular. Oh well.

1 Comment

  • 1. Sandra Fathi  |  February 5, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Hi Doug,

    Thanks for referencing my article. There is a plethora of free resources online that help teach PR professionals the ins and outs of using social media in their efforts. However, it’s as much about strategy and time as it is about know-how. Finding a good partner to help guide you is helpful. Eventually, you can take off the training wells and ride off into the sunset on your own.




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