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If you’re a veteran PR person who’s still chasing after those mythical reporters with a “Press” card tucked into their hat bands, how did you ever find this blog? No, the PR people reading this aren’t old-fashioned or antiquated. You might feel hopelessly behind the times in weak moments, but take heart—everyone does. If you’re groping for ways to adapt to the new ways of PR, take a look at this interview I did for The Firm Voice, a publication of the Council of Public Relations Firms. But then come back here to find out one more thing they didn’t ask me cardI hope you enjoyed that interview, but I don’t think most of you needed it. I think if you’ve been regularly reading this blog, you have heard a lot of the same stuff before. So, the question is, “What do you need?”

If you already know what to do in your head, but you somehow haven’t been able to execute, it could be that the problem isn’t in your head. It’s in your gut. The pit of your stomach, to be exact.

Most of the folks I know that have not taken action are in some way afraid of the consequences. They might be afraid of taking a chance. Or appearing foolish. Or of what other people would say or think. Or of just not getting it right.

After all, you already know how to do everything right the old way. You have that game wired. Now, that little voice inside your head that says, “This game isn’t working as well as it used to” and “Is the world passing me by?” can be safely denied and ignored for one more day, right? Because the fear of stepping out into something new and risky seems a lot worse that the steady drip of effectiveness leaking out of the old ways.

Over time, however, that little drip becomes a flood—a true crisis. At some point, the boss (or the client or the customer) challenges you on this old-fashioned approach and asks about the new stuff because they just read about it in Forbes. Now it’s a problem, because you don’t know anything about it and you’re supposed to be the expert.

It’s better for you to get your feet wet now than to wait for the flood. To get used to being wrong. To understand that there are no experts in Web PR, just people who have learned by doing. If you start small, with low expectations, you’ll learn enough so that it never becomes a crisis.

Because there are worse things than being wrong. You could be ignored.

Main photo credit: European Parliament via photopin cc

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Mike Moran

About Mike Moran

Mike Moran has a unique blend of marketing and technology skills that he applies to raise return on investment for large marketing programs. Mike is a former IBM Distinguished Engineer and a senior strategist at Converseon, Revealed Context, and SoloSegment. Mike is the author of three books on digital marketing and is an instructor at Rutgers Business School. He is a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO, a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research, and a Certified Speaking Professional.

8 replies to this post
  1. Good post and interview. One thing I noticed, that appeared to be missing, is conversation around the fact that all PR will be held responsible for tangible results and trackable results with these new media tools. While we embrace it, some of my peers run screaming from it. Fortunately or unfortunately, for some, this will quickly cull the slow gazelles in PR. It is another fact of life as PR morphs to meet the future! Keep up the good work!
    Sterling Cross Communications
    Traditional Storytelling Integrating Today’s Technology
    @MrChristopherL on Twitter/Plurk

  2. Good advice, Mike. I’m lucky to work at a company that’s not afraid to take risks. I’ve screwed up so many times in the past six months that I’m now showing everybody else the ropes…including the boss.
    Thanks @MikeLizun for sharing on Twitter.

  3. I agree, Chris. I’ve spoken about that before and it’s a very good point. Both marketers and PR folks must be willing to stand behind their work with metrics that show the business value of what they do.
    And, Mike, you are certainly on the right track. It’s those many small mistakes that teach us so that we avoid the biggest mistake of all–standing still.

  4. Fear stops us from moving forward,just stop and think,”it can’t hurt to ask” you may be surprised at what you will get from that small request.Take the risk if you don’t how do we learn.

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