What We Need to Know
I saw this post on the ASAE’s communications listserv last week:
“ I would like to hear from other associations on how they are using social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) – Which ones? Benefits? What’s worked?”
Wow … how many days do you have to listen? There’s no bigger question in communications today.
I sense stratification in our professional community. At a panel that I moderated at the ASAE Annual Meeting this summer, it was possible to pick out the genetically encoded early adopters from those who were struggling to catch up. You could almost tell by the body language.
The early adopters were foraging for ways to exploit what they had already mastered. The others were still learning. They seemed frustrated and fearful.
It was demonstration of what Seth Godin meant when he wrote in his new book, Tribes, that the cost of innovating too early is small, compared to the cost of acting too late.
But not everything new today will prove useful tomorrow. I think we can count on that. Since time is our most precious commodity, what must people know today?
That’s the challenge that the Communications Council for ASAE has taken on. We’re updating a document that outlines today’s core competencies in communications. No offense, but the current version, written only a few years ago, is badly out of date.
Still, the basics are the basics. You gotta know how to write, pitch stories, research your markets, plan campaigns, etc. But of the new social technologies, what is now fundamental? And if you can’t experiment freely, what can you safely observe from a distance, for now?
We’ll take our best guess, because we can only guess at the future. No one on our team is clairvoyant, as far as I know. Maybe through the wisdom of our little crowd, we’ll get it right.
We hope the document will be a career roadmap for new communications professionals, and a learning menu for experienced pros. It will evolve rapidly and often.
We could use your thoughts. Among the new technologies, what is already a must-know? Conversely, if you must choose your experiments carefully, what is OK to watch for a while?
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