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No, seriously, you don’t. You might have a clue about the ballpark range of my age because of my photo here, you know where I work (because I’ve told you), and you know that I at least have a degree in Public Relations.
So why are you still reading this post? Who says I’m the authority here?
Allow me to explain the questions I pose . . . .
I recently had a conversation with my Aunt Jane and explained to her how great Twitter is, and how I’ve caught the “blogging bug.” But I think the major point I stressed to her was the enormous amount of opportunity for young folks to position themselves as experts, no matter what it might be in. For Pete’s sake, there were about 100 or so nominees from Len Kendall’s 30 Under 30 Tweeters, so someone is taking notice of these “youngin’s” out there! And most of us know one or two twenty-somethings that have in excess of 20,000 followers on Twitter.
Let it be said, I really dislike when people self-label themselves as “expert” or “guru.” Fellow PRBC member TJ Dietderich especially hates “maven.” Ha! She continues (and I completely agree), “I just don’t believe people who call themselves those things; I believe OTHER people who call them those things.” So if you offer fantastic resources, information and are an all-around super-star at what you do, and someone deems you worthy, then by all means (in my opinion), run with it! . . . And continue to deliver.
So have the days passed when you had to be a seasoned vet to be considered a PR expert? Is it a good thing that such fresh faces have been able to stake their claim? When did this happen and why did we “allow” it?
Being biased, because yes, I am in that under-30 category, I think having young people positioning (if not branding) themselves as PR experts is a positive thing, so long as that privilege of having a loyal band of followers is not abused. Young people can offer new and innovative ideas regarding trends and practices in PR . . . perhaps more risky than our more experienced counterparts. On the other hand, we must recognize the PR legacies which have come before us and honor what they have taught us. This industry has had its ups and downs and would not be what it is today were it not for the well-experienced veterans.
So I ask for your feedback. What is it that allows a young PR person (and please go hog-wild with your definition of young) to label themselves as an expert? Is it Twitter? Is it blogs? Is this beneficial to our industry?