When I speak to public relations professionals about social media, I’m frequently greeted with dazed and fearful looks. Public relations professionals are witnessing a wholesale change in the world of media, and they tell me that they feel overwhelmed, confused and even afraid.

Well, relax. Yes, the past five years have witnessed the beginning of an epic transformation in the relationship between institutions and their constituents. Change of this magnitude creates waste and uncertainty as people struggle to define a new world order. That’s normal.

But there are huge benefits to change as well. We are privileged to play a part in creating new ground rules for the profession, and this can be enormously exciting. I remember my grandfather telling me about the experience of watching the first automobiles rumble down the streets of San Francisco. I was fascinated and a little jealous that he had the opportunity to witness such a turning point in history. In the media relations world, this moment is no less defining.

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