BC sports always played a fun part of my leisure time while in Chestnut Hill, so it’s a little self-fulfilling that I get to work news of BC’s first round Beanpot win over BU into this morning’s post.
One of the cool parts about doing a job that is “digital” while a part of the world’s largest independent PR firm is that I have had several chances to work with people from different corners of the planet that I’ve sometimes never actually met face-to-face. I have many colleagues that I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know over e-mail or conference calls as we discuss different program ideas or even new trends in the realm of digital media.
In true “social media” fashion, not only have I traded e-mails with these colleagues, we’ve gotten to know each other beyond work thanks to how we all connect on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. The idea, of course, is that if we’re going to make recommendations to our clients about how to use these channels to get the word out about themselves, we have to be comfortable with them ourselves.
In a true-to-form example, it was wonderful luck that one of these colleagues happened to be passing through our Washington office from Chicago. Although we work in tangential practices (Jessi in food and nutrition, and I focus on health policy), our work has overlapped only a handful of times. Thanks to two-plus years of shared time in the Edelman Digital network, though, we have gotten to know each other through the various Twitter updates and Foursquare check-ins. That’s actually how I knew Jessi would be in town this early part of the week, so what better way to welcome a visiting colleague to DC than a night out watching hockey with BC Alumni group of Washington?
Of course, it was great to talk about the different people we’ve both met along the way. It was completely entertaining to do it while watching BC knock BU out of the Beanpot. Finally, as we discussed during one of the game’s intermissions, it was hysterical to be really meeting someone for the first time that I’ve “known” through social media for a few years.
That’s a big part of what I do, though. Since my job is all about what is happening online, I recognize that there are several ways to learn about the things that impact my industry. Sure, there are plenty of blogs and websites with news and trends about the “next big social network.” Just as important is the fact that I use this stuff for everything from getting to know distant colleagues, managing and promoting events for the BCDC chapter or other personal ventures. There is a value in not just what these digital channels are, but even more on how we use them in our daily life – and it takes that comfort to understand each of the components that go into social media.