Brian Solis recently commented about some of the key attributes professionals and others today need to explore and adapt in order to survive the digital environment.  Having a strategy, vision, influence and a localized focus are just some of the characteristics Solis has suggested that will help others be proactive in social media and new media communications.

However, along with each of these points, we have to look at what other tools we can propose that would be beneficial for professionals to know. Two attributes come to mind for me – one is mentorship and the other is visual curation.

As professionals and scholars, public relations is experiencing a transformation not only as a profession, but also in the classroom as well.  Students want more information that will help them become a student of the field and be prepared for the workplace.  However, where does the professor come into the equation?  This is where we become a curator of knowledge, visuals (info graphics, videos, photos, links), skills, and networks for the students both physically in the classroom as well as online.

We also have to serve as mentors by providing insights to what is being expected in the field, what opportunities they can take advantage of and what they need to do to distinguish themselves from others online and in person.  This is actually the panel discussion topic I will be part of this upcoming AEJMC conference in August with fellow colleagues in PR. We will be discussing some of these key issues along with mentorship among professionals and in the classroom as well with new emerging technologies.

Tony Obregon wrote a great post on Social Media Today about how to form a visual curation strategy for brands and professionals – but why couldn’t this be applied for professors in the classroom as well?  The ability to organize, comment, and share information relevant and timely to an audience is both a science and an art, and another characteristic that should be included in the digital influence concept.

In summary, we will have to continue to explore the nature of digital influence both in the academic and professional fields of PR.  This continues to be a growing topic of conversation and focus in both research and practice.  We have to continue to have these discussions and it will be exciting to see what research comes out related to this concept.

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,