Now Featuring: Shonali Burke!!

13 Oct

Be My Guest!

Topic of the Week #8
This week, I invited Shonali Burke to be a guest blogger on Sideline Chatter. Why am I excited? Well, not only is she my first guest blogger ever, but according to PRWeek, Burke, who owns a consulting firm in Washington D.C., is considered one of the “Top 40 Under 40” public relations professionals in the nation. In other words, she’s legit.

While browsing though her Waxing Unlyrical blog for the first time, I was immediately struck by her recent post “The Difference Between Experts and Expertise,” which discusses how the goal of  becoming an expert may not be what we should be aiming our careers toward:

“To me, though, “being an expert” is a completely different thing. An expert is defined not by one’s opinion of himself or herself, but by the opinions and perceptions of others.”
“You are considered an expert when you know more about your industry and business than the majority of your peers do.”
“You are considered an expert when people start turning to you for advice.”

However, what we should be striving for expertise in our workplace?

“For me, it’s continuing to hone my craft of public relations, which includes learning as much as I can about social media, networks and how new technologies impact the way we communicate with each other. And then putting what I learn into practice, not just for myself, but for my clients…”

“Expertise is a journey. It possibly has a defined starting point – the day, minute, moment you knew this was what you wanted to learn more about and make your life’s work. But it doesn’t have an end point.”

For Burke, expertise is about…

“…continuing to hone my craft of public relations, which includes learning as much as I can about social media, networks and how new technologies impact the way we communicate with each other. And then putting what I learn into practice, not just for myself, but for my clients. “

And she’s right. When we humble ourselves, admitting we can never stop learning and we will never learn it all, we become most effective in our craft. Because public relations is always, always, ALWAYS changing due to the constant growth in technology and social media, we, honestly, can never become “experts,” but must always be willing to learn new communication strategies that can help our clients in the greatest ways.

In my opinion,  you should read the rest of Burke’s post, “The Difference Between Experts and Expertise.” Whether you are a PR professional or PR student, or even if you are not, this is something we all need to understand!

And thanks to Shonali Burke to being my guest blogger and enriching the life of a poor college student 🙂

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3 Responses to “Now Featuring: Shonali Burke!!”

  1. Rachel LaFlam October 15, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Great guest post! I’m definitely going to check out Burke’s blog. It is always good as a PR student to soak up as much information as we can from those who excel in the field. This really goes for all fields of study. Reading a blog from an expert such as Burke really will help us learn and grow in the field of PR.

  2. afurmage November 15, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    I was so surprised when Burke contacted me almost immediately after I tweeted at her. I think it’s so cool how we can use social media to communicate with people we don’t even know. It was a cool experience.

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