I don’t believe I’ve told anyone, but this blog is the product of one of my 2011 New Year’s resolutions. I had been fiddling with the idea of creating a space to engage with others about PR’s larger role in the world, and had been itching to make it happen. Thus, on June 11 and after weeks of planning and preparation, this blog was born.
So here we are, a year after that resolution. Things are looking good. What better way to end the year than to look at what’s been accomplished and what lies ahead?
Influencers 0f 2011
I believe that ideas are borne solely through other ideas, and that they belong equally to the influencers who inspired them. A single idea cannot be claimed or credited to a single person. Thus, I’d like to first take a moment to give credit where it’s truly due: to the influencers, sidekicks, goons and gurus with far more experience and wisdom than myself.
Paul Adams – A Irishman by birth, Adams is helping translate the offline social experience to the online world through his contributions at both Google and Facebook. He has influenced me to think critically about sociology and psychology’s role in the digital space, especially when it comes to sharing. He has a Posterous blog with the brilliant title of “Things I Notice” (here’s my favorite post).
Gini Dietrich – If there were a movie that featured spin doctors as the villains, Gini would be the PR superhero leading the fight. She’s a master blogger, an author, a CEO, and an all-around awesome person. Along with her highly-entertaining and informative blog SpinSucks, she’s mainly influenced me think about the dos, don’ts, and ethics of public relations.
David Armano – A Harley Davidson rider with a Klout score in the 70s, David is well-deserving of the following he’s acquired. He has influenced me to begin graphically visualizing ideas about public relations and social business (a term that he himself coined), and is leading the curve when it comes to innovation in the digital space. If he ever decides to write a book, I assure you I’ll be the first in line to purchase it.
Priya Vaswani – I may be biased by including my girlfriend here, but don’t let that eclipse her intelligence. As a Windy City PR pro herself, she sees the world through the scope of AORs, brand placements and entertaining crisis management gaffes. Needless to say, this makes for an abundant supply of interesting discussions and brain fodder. Stay tuned for a guest post (or a few) from her in the near future — she’s got some great ideas up her sleeves.
Morehei Ueshiba – Ueshiba’s teachings have influenced nearly every thought that crosses my mind. As the founder of the martial art of Aikido, his teachings emphasized a blending and redirecting approach to conflict rather than forceful confrontation.
Of course this list is far from complete, but I wouldn’t be able to rest until giving these folks the recognition they deserve. So to you, o’ influencers of 2011, I give ceremonial +K.
2011 Topics & Ideas
To add to this list of influencers, below is a brief summary of the topics and ideas that this blog has addressed this year.
- Brand Authenticity
A loaded concept that cannot be avoided in this age of digital reproduction. The first article on The Avenue addressed this topic: Brands & The Aura of Authenticity
One of the buzzwords of 2011, it seems, has been far oversimplified. To address this, I proposed using the term with more specificity: What Does “Transparency” Mean?
If something negative is present, it’s not always possible (or desirable, or ethical) to just make it go away. So use it to your advantage: What the Martial Arts Teach Us About Communication, Tunisian Tourism: Rebranding a Nation, Don’t Fear the Passive Voice
- Brand Storytelling
Humans have communicated through stories for centuries. The best brands do exactly the same, and here’s how: Telling A Complete Brand Story
- Diversionary Brands
I discussed the possibility of using a dispensable sub-brand to attract and absorb the crisis of a primary brand: Brand Lightning Rods: A new form of brand defense
- PR of Ideologies
What happens when an ideological group becomes represented by an unrepresentative minority within it? I believe PR holds the key to correcting this problem: Where Are The Moderate Voices? The PR of Islam
- Online vs. Offline Sharing
Social networks are still in their infancy when it comes to replicating the offline social experience online. Here, I attempted to characterize the differences: Google Plus: A More Natural Way to Share, Broadcast, Meet Your New Friend: Conversation
Planned Topics for 2012
Here’s a very brief list of additional topics I plan on writing about and discussing in 2012:
- Archetype marketing
- People profiles
- Information entropy
- Crowd dynamics
- Offline influence and measurement
- Brand design
- PR and social causes
- Game theory
- Modern journalism and blogging
If you have any interest in submitting a guest post as well for 2012, please let me know.
See You In 2012
Here’s wishing everyone the best of luck in the new year — I’m personally very excited to see what lies ahead.
And for the record, the world will not end in December 2012. As this article’s header image suggests, I’m fully convinced that the Mayan calender itself (the image is Aztec, but close enough) will start spewing out confetti and fireworks on Dec. 21, 2012, and the laughter of the Mayans will finally start to fade on Dec. 22.