Posts Tagged “Chris Penn”

Future Hipsters: Five Lessons for Communicators

What do the future hipsters have to teach us communicators?

You may well have seen the below video doing the rounds recently to promote Social Media Week 2012 (hat tip to Gini Dietrich for posting this on her blog Spin Sucks).

If you haven’t, it’s a real laugh, and worth taking a brief moment to watch.

While I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a great promo for SMW, it has stayed with me for the past few weeks and given me plenty of food for thought regarding the current state of the communication industry and profession.

What do the future hipsters have to teach us communicators?

1.    Things are changing – fast!

New job titles and descriptions are emerging for communicators, presenting us with the opportunity to lay the foundation for future roles and best practice.

2.    Now is not the time to run scared

It’s those that can jump in head-first and hands-on that will lay the foundation for future communicators. Embrace the fact that media, human communication, relationships and business are changing. From a personal and professional perspective, it’s time to stand out as an individual and be yourself. Your difference is your strength – not weakness. The always insightful Kirk Hazlett explains this further in his excellent post. Oh, and Seth Godin even wrote a whole book about it recently (read my review here).

3.    Show the joy in your work

If you love what you do (which I certainly hope you do!), then make sure you show it. Yes, work can be stressful, and tiring – but if you love what you do, it should also be a heck of a lot of fun, and a place to learn and grow. Enjoy every minute, and be sure to show it in your work.

4.    Share wisely

This has been a pretty constant point of discussion and debate in recent years, but regardless of where you stand on the issue, there are some things that aren’t appropriate to share. An image of you being passed-out at a dubstep show (as cited in the video) is one of those things.

That said, you also need to be yourself – a delicate balancing act of sharing appropriate content that is representative of you as a person and brand, and of value to those with whom you are connected.

5.    Show them what you do

It’s interesting that the community manager in the video clip mentioned that nobody had a clue what she did. It’s a bit ironic, because although the day-to-day tasks of communicators may be constantly shifting and changing, new and improved tools mean that now, more than ever, you can analyse, measure and report back on the results and value of your work measured against the objectives of the organisation.

In short, prove results and show them what you do.

For more on analytics and measurement, I recommend heading over and subscribing to Chris Penn’s blog, and reading the work of Shonali Burke at Waxing UnLyrical (disclaimer: I also write for and contribute posts to Waxing Unlyrical). In addition to her business and blog, Shonali also runs a regular #measurePR session on Twitter where you can learn more.

As another aside for those in PR, you’d be interested to read that the PRSA last week released its new, crowd-sourced definition of PR. Just another indicator that more and more effort is being put into demonstrating what we do as communicators.


So, while you may have a good chuckle at this video, the truth is that new media, technology and business developments are changing human connection and relationships. While at times it may seem overwhelming for communicators, this moment in time presents great opportunity for all of us.

Things will only move faster – so let’s grasp this moment and enjoy every minute – because before you know it, the future will be here, and we’ll be those hipsters!

What do you think?

Image credit: Daquella manera, via Flickr, CC 2.0