This seems a little self-serving to be MIA for weeks and then pop back up to talk about an award, but one of the main reasons I was busy was preparing my speech! Christa Wittmier made me feel better by saying, "Blogging is so two thousand and late!"
Last night, I was honored by the Public Relations Society of America-Hawaii Chapter (PRSA Hawaii)--more specifically, by Nathan Kam--with the President's Leadership Award. Unlike the Gregg Perry PR Person of the Year, which is awarded by a jury of one's peers, this one is given at the sole discretion of the president (which Nathan is).
The theme of the night was social media, and although many of us use it, not so many PR pros are super active on it. In fact, compared to our mainland counterparts, Hawaii lags far behind in social media activity. I could go into all the reasons why more PR people here won't get more involved in the use of social media or get others into it, but my--and Nathan's--hope is that they will.
In a volatile economy, having the network created by social media is what saved me. I lost my job at the end of 2008, but because I had carved a niche through my overactive Twittering, I was able to pick up clients, like Pearlridge and Waikiki Beach Walk, who needed that service. We're looking ahead to the end of the year and the opportunities seem endless. So my question to my peers was, "If you lost your job tomorrow, is your personal brand and network strong enough to keep you working?"
Maybe. If they've embraced the technology and actually do some social things, the transition is easier. Even if they're not tech savvy, if they reach out to others to help them learn, that's social in itself. I can't say enough about how I've met so many wonderful people via social media that I wouldn't have met otherwise.
Anyway, this wasn't meant to be a sermon on social media, although I do wish more of our readers were also more into it. I'm grateful for the opportunities that this blog and my Twitter have brought me, and I'm so grateful to Nathan and PRSA for this once in a lifetime award. I'm truly honored.
Congratulations to the winners of the Koa Anvil program awards, too!