In the world of digital PR and social media, there are a number of people who would consider themselves an ‘expert’ in all things digital.  They wear their expert badge with pride and hope they don’t get tripped up by the latest trend that they might have missed while they were away holidaying in Barbados…(chance would be a fine thing)..

But that is exactly the point, really, social media moves so fast that a holiday, a day off sick in bed, even just a trip to the loo can mean that you have missed the latest social networking craze or digital trend.  Every new article or book that I read and every exhibition or seminar I attend teaches me something new – it’s just not possible to read everything ever written on the topic or attend every event held, so how can one become such an expert in the sector?!

Reading Chris Brogan’s latest book Social Media 101 pointed me in the right direction, by highlighting David Maister’s distinction between experts and advisers in his book Strategy and the Fat Smoker (a round-about way to find my answer, admittedly, but I got there in the end).  He said that:

“An expert is sending out the signal that the expert is in control, that he or she is to be heeded above others, and that the client needs the expert to complete the action…an adviser, on the other hand, is someone in a relationship with the client, someone who wants to offer opinions based on his or her experience, while adding into the mix a level of give-and-take and conversation.”


Bingo!  It seems that PR could benefit from a lot more Digital Advisers, who are willing to engage in conversation about good practice and strategy, instead of Digital Experts who consider their word to be gospel.  And after all, PR is all about relationship building, so it mirrors the role of the adviser perfectly…

So with my adviser badge firmly in place, I fully intend to continue to expand my knowledge of everything digital, and am prepared to share my experiences with colleagues, clients and…well, anyone who will listen really, in the hope that I can impart something of value based on my experiences of digital media…

Please do feel free to share your only little nuggets of information with me too, I live to learn!