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The Rise Of The Social Media Specialist

Does your company have a social media specialist?

Seems they are on the rise, reflecting what I said awhile back that social media would become a profession in its own right. As the medium expands, the requisite skills to operate and drive leadership get more complex.

“Twitter has gotten to this place that everyone is interested in it,” said Josh Bernoff, a Forrester analyst and co-author of a book about social technologies. But interest does not equal ability, he said. The qualities that make someone a good social media maven — which include being available round-the-clock to anyone who writes — are different than the skills used by mainstream corporate publicists.

“They are not acting like spokespeople, but real people,” Mr. Bernoff said. “You have to be careful about what you say while, at the same time, be much more personal than the average corporate P.R. guy. You need people who understand the mores and etiquette. Not everyone knows how to do that.”

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