Monday, January 31, 2011


Donna and I went to see Black Swan yesterday. And though I can't honestly say that I liked the movie, I was struck by the final words spoken by the main character: "I was perfect."

I periodically consider the notion that I am becoming a dinosaur; at least as far as my marketing skill set. Not naturally drawn to social media personally, and working for a firm whose clientele is primarily local businesses, I struggle with the usefulness of these tools. I know that I'm not alone, but that is small comfort when the feeling of being left behind haunts me as a marketing professional.

OK, so how does that have anything to do with the Black Swan quote? Just that among the advice I read about jumping on the social media bandwagon is that you do NOT have to be perfect to do it well. Get off the sidelines. Join the conversation. Experiment. Make mistakes and learn. And other cliches, which all point to encouraging dinosaurs to refrain from ready-aim-aim-aim-fire.

My training, which fits with my personality propensity, to believe that you have only one opportunity to make a great first impression, is at least a bit inconsistent with the advice I'm reading about using social media to engage customers and prospects. In fact, even using the terms customers and prospects may be another indication that I don't quite "get it" yet with regard to social media.

So, my New Years resolution - better late than never - is to get beyond feeling like I have to be "perfect" at social media. I'm committed to evolving, learning, testing and becoming more at ease with integrating "new media" tools and techniques into my well worn "classic media" (notice I didn't use "old media") tool box. I know that I'm damn good at planning and using classic media. Now I want to become equally good at utilizing the advantages social media are capable of delivering. That's my goal for 2011. And I'm modest enough to know that this will require the help of others.