Social Media Done Right Means No More Social Media “Experts”

Where will all the social media experts be in five years?

Where will all the social media "experts" be in five years?

“If I do my job right, I shouldn’t be doing it in five years.”

That’s what I said almost three years ago when Walton Smith and I started our social media practice here at Booz Allen.  Like Geoff Livingston, I’ve felt for a long time that social media shouldn’t be considered some “special” strategy or some public relations parlor trick, but rather as part of an overall communications strategy.

Seeing as I’m part of a 500+ person team of strategic communications professionals here, my goal was not to create one smaller team of geeks who blog and Tweet all day, but to get all 500+ people on the team to know, understand, and use social media just as they know, understand, and use press releases, email pitches, and town hall meetings.

Sure, there will always be a need to call in the “experts” – the people who live and breathe this stuff – but for the most part, every communications professional needs to understand social media and its place in the overall mix of communications strategies and tools.   If I hear one more person tell me that they’re “too old for this stuff,” or that “I’m just not ready for that,” all you’re really telling me is that you’re not interested in being a really good communications professional.  These types of people won’t last for much longer anyway.

Over the last three years, we’ve made a lot of progress here in integrating social media into our overall communications capabilities – we’re no longer doing public relations, change management, crisis communications, event planning (among others) AND social media.  Social media is not a separate discipline – it’s just another set of tools in the toolbox that a communications professional has at their disposal.

Well, a little more than halfway into my prediction above, I can proudly say that I think my statement still holds true.  If anything, it might happen sooner.  Seemingly every RFP I come across now includes social media, and almost every one of our client projects has at least asked the question, “is social media right for our client?”  For the last three months, my days have been filled almost completely with meetings with various projects and clients to talk about social media, writing the tech approaches to several proposals, and giving internal presentations to our senior leadership about the importance of Government 2.0 and the role social media is playing in the future of our government.

Though I’ve been working my butt off lately to handle the incredible demand for social media and Government 2.0, everyone here has also realized that this demand isn’t going away anytime soon – in fact, it’s only going to increase.  I’m hearing more senior leaders here say things like, “This can’t just be done by Steve’s team – we need more people who know and understand this stuff.”  I’m seeing more performance reviews being conducted where people are being asked what they did to learn more about social media over the last year.  I’m getting more requests from people outside of my immediate social media team asking how they can get more up to speed with social media so that they don’t always have to come to us for help. I’ve found out about really cool Government 2.0 work that we’re doing after someone has already started it, instead of me being the bottleneck for all that work.

At the current pace, I imagine that I’ll soon just be Steve Radick, one member of a 500+ person team of communications professionals, all of whom know how to write a press release, create a corporate newsletter, write a speech, craft engaging blog posts, use Twitter to engage with their audiences, and develop a strategic communications plan.

Then, I’ll move on to my next challenge…

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About sradick

I'm Vice President, Director of Public Relations at Brunner in Pittsburgh. Find out more about me here (http://steveradick.com/about/).

View all posts by sradick

47 Responses to “Social Media Done Right Means No More Social Media “Experts””

  1. chrishemrick Says:

    Great post, Steve — totally agree. I’ve been telling people that I see social media like email was in the early 90s. It’s something that people are a bit hesitant to jump on, thinking it’s only for young people and computer guys, but then when they try it they realize it’s no big deal and it helps them do their jobs easier. Then our job is to get people over that hurdle.

  2. chrishemrick Says:

    Great post, Steve — totally agree. I’ve been telling people that I see social media like email was in the early 90s. It’s something that people are a bit hesitant to jump on, thinking it’s only for young people and computer guys, but then when they try it they realize it’s no big deal and it helps them do their jobs easier. Then our job is to get people over that hurdle.

  3. kristen_okla (Kristen Turley, Says:

    Twitter Comment


    RT @tweetmeme Social Media Done Right Means No More “Social Media” Experts | Social Media Strategery [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  4. kristen_okla (Kristen Turley, APR) Says:

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    RT @tweetmeme Social Media Done Right Means No More “Social Media” Experts | Social Media Strategery [link to post]

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  5. hthrflynn (Heather Elias) Says:

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    RT @sradick: Social Media Done Right Means No More “Social Media” Experts ([link to post]) [amen!] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  6. hthrflynn (Heather Elias) Says:

    Twitter Comment


    RT @sradick: Social Media Done Right Means No More “Social Media” Experts ([link to post]) [amen!]

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  7. renzistone33 (C. Renzi Stone) Says:

    Twitter Comment


    He nailed it! RT @tweetmeme Social Media Done Right Means No More “Social Media” Experts | Social Media Strategery [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  8. renzistone33 (C. Renzi Stone) Says:

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    He nailed it! RT @tweetmeme Social Media Done Right Means No More “Social Media” Experts | Social Media Strategery [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  9. Jonathan Rick Says:

    Couldn’t agree more, Steve. Ideally, social media shouldn’t be its own practice, but a tool within each practice.

  10. Jonathan Rick Says:

    Couldn’t agree more, Steve. Ideally, social media shouldn’t be its own practice, but a tool within each practice.

  11. sradick (Steve Radick) Says:

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    Social Media done right means no more social media “experts” ([link to post]) #socialmedia – Posted using Chat Catcher

  12. sradick (Steve Radick) Says:

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    Social Media done right means no more social media “experts” ([link to post]) #socialmedia

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  13. freecloud (Alan Patrick) Says:

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    RT @sradick: Social Media done right means no more social media “experts” ([link to post]) #socialmedia < useful when in knitting – Posted using Chat Catcher

  14. freecloud (Alan Patrick) Says:

    Twitter Comment


    RT @sradick: Social Media done right means no more social media “experts” ([link to post]) #socialmedia < useful when in knitting – Posted using Chat Catcher

  15. jcuene (Jim Cuene) Says:

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    RT @sradick: Social Media done right means no more social media “experts” ([link to post]) #socialmedia – Posted using Chat Catcher

  16. jcuene (Jim Cuene) Says:

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    RT @sradick: Social Media done right means no more social media “experts” ([link to post]) #socialmedia

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  17. MurrayComm (Michael Murray) Says:

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    RT @sradick: “If I do my [social media] job right, I shouldn’t be doing it in 5 years.” ([link to post]) #socialmedia #boozallen – Posted using Chat Catcher

  18. MurrayComm (Michael Murray) Says:

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    RT @sradick: “If I do my [social media] job right, I shouldn’t be doing it in 5 years.” ([link to post]) #socialmedia #boozallen

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  19. sradick (Steve Radick) Says:

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    “If I do my [social media] job right, I shouldn’t be doing it in five years.” ([link to post]) #socialmedia #boozallen – Posted using Chat Catcher

  20. sradick (Steve Radick) Says:

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    “If I do my [social media] job right, I shouldn’t be doing it in five years.” ([link to post]) #socialmedia #boozallen

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  21. workingchris (Chris Lambert) Says:

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    RT @sradick: “If I do my [social media] job right, I shouldn’t be doing it in five years.” ([link to post]) #socialmedia – Posted using Chat Catcher

  22. workingchris (Chris Lambert) Says:

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    RT @sradick: “If I do my [social media] job right, I shouldn’t be doing it in five years.” ([link to post]) #socialmedia

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  23. AFCEAHelen (Helen Mosher) Says:

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    RT @tjohns06 RT @sradick: “If I do my [social media] job right, I shouldn’t be doing it in 5 years.” ([link to post]) – Posted using Chat Catcher

  24. AFCEAHelen (Helen Mosher) Says:

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    RT @tjohns06 RT @sradick: “If I do my [social media] job right, I shouldn’t be doing it in 5 years.” ([link to post])

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  25. Agent11 (Cheryl Hackley) Says:

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    Social Media done right means no more social media “experts”. Good post by @sradick [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  26. Agent11 (Cheryl Hackley) Says:

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    Social Media done right means no more social media “experts”. Good post by @sradick [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  27. tomcarswell (Tom Carswell) Says:

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    Social Media Done Right Means No More “Social Media” Experts | Social Media Strategery [link to post] (via RT @tweetmeme) – Posted using Chat Catcher

  28. tomcarswell (Tom Carswell) Says:

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    Social Media Done Right Means No More “Social Media” Experts | Social Media Strategery [link to post] (via RT @tweetmeme)

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  29. unloveablesteve (Steve Berry) Says:

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    Social Media Done Right Means No More “Social Media” Experts | Social Media Strategery [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  30. unloveablesteve (Steve Berry) Says:

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    Social Media Done Right Means No More “Social Media” Experts | Social Media Strategery [link to post]

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  31. NahumG (Nahum Gershon) Says:

    Twitter Comment


    RT @sradick: @macon says that if he does things right, he’ll work his way out of a job – I said same thing ([link to post]) #g2s – Posted using Chat Catcher

  32. NahumG (Nahum Gershon) Says:

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    RT @sradick: @macon says that if he does things right, he’ll work his way out of a job – I said same thing ([link to post]) #g2s

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  33. sradick (Steve Radick) Says:

    Twitter Comment


    @macon says that if he does things right, he’ll work his way out of a job – I said the same thing ([link to post]) #g2s – Posted using Chat Catcher

  34. sradick (Steve Radick) Says:

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    @macon says that if he does things right, he’ll work his way out of a job – I said the same thing ([link to post]) #g2s

    Posted using Chat Catcher

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