Here is my latest IACP blog post. It is my favorite one yet. http://blog.iacpsocialmedia.org/Home/tabid/142/entryid/266/Default.aspx
We often find ourselves giving up something we love. I find myself in that position right now, leaving a job I feel passionately about to the next step in my career. As I write this, I just spent the first day training my replacement. In thinking what I would say to him, I was reminded that when I began this journey I was a social media user versus being a social media professional. How did I make the jump? By building personal relationships.
Knowing that I didn’t know what I was doing, I reached out to people that did. In my case, Drexel University was offering a New Media Marketing class. I contacted Dr. Larry Duke and he agreed to let me “sit in” on the class. It was ten weeks of meeting various people that are kicking butt in the digital marketing space. Each week there was a lecture from experts like Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive, Eric Harbison of True Action, or Jed Singer of Stuzo. The best part about it was all of these experts are local. They are close by to meet for lunch or coffee and let me pick their brains.
I was lucky enough to build relationships with some of the most successful marketers in Philadelphia. You can do the same thing in your community. Does your local college have a marketing department? Reach out to them. Is there a business that you think is doing a great job? Give them a call. Everyone has a stake in public safety and I find that good marketers are always willing to share their tricks of the trade.
The guidance and direction I got from the relationships that came out of that class were priceless. My advice to the Philadelphia Police Department’s new Social Media Community Manager or to anyone else involved in social media… to make more friends online, make more friends offline.