I read a preposterous blog post last week by someone who should know better. The CEO of a blog design and hosting company, he declared that public relations professionals have no business helping law firms with marketing or social media programs because social media is basically personal networking on the Internet, and lawyers are the experts at personal networking.
That’s like saying PCs are basically fancy typewriters invented by Al Gore to work the Internet.
Or if you prefer, it’s like the climax of Episode 95 of “The Simpsons,” “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy”:
“They changed Malibu Stacy!”
“She is better than ever!”
“She still embodies all the awful stereotypes she did before!”
“But she’s got a new hat.”
For the record, social media is not the automation of offline processes, and there is no priestly caste with gnostic secrets (or miraculous hosting solutions, or rainmaker retreats for that matter) who hold the keys to the kingdom. Social media and its practitioners constitute a fundamentally new model for creating and sharing information, connections and experiences, and one of its most transformational characteristics is its radical meritocracy.
Social media best practices and best practitioners can be found in every industry, and expertise/mastery has been achieved by individuals from a broad range of professional backgrounds.
The “visionaries” in social media are the innovators, and genuine innovators look outside their milieu for ideas and inspiration.
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