ComPRehension

Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
February 11, 2009

Confusion Creates Opportunity


I’ve been watching major companies struggle with how to communicate in the digital age. These are institutions which for decades have perfected the art of “controlling” the message through advertising, media relations and internal communications. It’s no longer possible. The digital revolution has rewritten the rules of traditional journalism and has turned TV advertising into 15-second entertainment spots. But for public relations and communications professionals, this revolution is a gold mine waiting to be tapped.

The funny thing about it, however, is that the people who best understand the digital world — the people who truly “get it” — tend to be under 30, inexperienced and naive about the corporate world. This creates tremendous challenge for employers, and a lot of opportunity for job seekers. The question is, can a seasoned, smart, proven communications executive master the weird world of social networking, twittering and blogging, or is it up to the next generation to define how this world will look and work? Conferences like The Digital Impact Conference are a perfect place to explore these issues and understand the impact the digital revolution is having on the job market, the art of communications and ultimately, corporate strategy.

By Don Spetner, executive vice president, Corporate Affairs, Korn/Ferry International, has served as a corporate communications professional for more than 20 years. He focuses exclusively on recruiting senior-level executives with expertise in corporate communications, media and investor relations, internal communications, advertising, branding and crisis management. Mr. Spetner oversees strategic corporate initiatives including the monetization of the firm’s intellectual property, the formation of new products and solutions, and the integration of future investments. He also serves as a senior client partner in the Corporate Affairs Executive Search practice. Prior to Korn/Ferry, Don was the vice president of Corporate Communications for SunAmerica Inc., and before that, the vice president of Corporate Communications for Nissan North America. Don also worked for three major public relations agencies before assuming his corporate roles. He is a member of the Public Relations Seminar, the Arthur Page Society and a member of the board of directors of The Lagrant Foundation and the Los Angeles Free Clinic. 

Join Spetner for his session “Human Capital: Managing the Digital-Age Communicator” at The Digital Impact Conference: Learn to Profit From New Media, Thursday, April 30–Friday, May 30 in New York, NY!

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