As best as I can recall, I have never used this blog to promote either my own consulting practice or that of my employer -- the public relations and public affairs consultancy Hill & Knowlton. Forgive me, then, if I make an exception this one time with the reassurance I'll return to my normal probity immediately afterwards.
Having spent 25 years or so providing counsel to organizations and companies on reputation and issues and crisis management, and seven years as head of the corporate communications practice for Hill & Knowlton Canada, effective this month I'll be focusing almost exclusively on helping build H&K's social media and digital communications business as practice leader. I will be working with a team that includes the inimitable dean (my description, not his) of social media in Canada -- David Jones -- the talented and creative Lynn Crymble, the Quebec digital communications luminary Michelle Sullivan and others in Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver.
Although I am not, shall we say, in the demographic usually touted as the natural home for social networking, I recognized five years ago -- about the time I began blogging -- that social media and social computing are a rupture in the fabric of personal, political and business communications. For five years I have been proselytizing within my firm, on this blog, in classrooms, with clients and in speeches globally that the public relations business' media relations, crisis management, government relations, product marketing and reputation enhancement and defence models of the past will over time have to be vigorously renewed if not replaced.
Rather than this belief remaining a passion, I now have the freedom, and the charge from our CEO, to help people more expert than me at H&K do something about it.
Yes, I can already hear some of the 'snark' about me positioning myself as a 'self-styled social media expert', which of course I am not. As with any young discipline, there are people within social media consulting and writing in North America who are nasty, gossipy and narrow-minded especially when they feel others who aren't part of the clan are pushing into their territory. I'll ignore them because as Cato the Elder said "We cannot control the evil tongues of others; but a good life enables us to disregard them."
My juiced up new focus will change the content of this blog only marginally. I will continue to write about the intangibles, but now through the more apparent filter of how social media can make things more tangible and persuasive.
Wish me luck.