In the course of my correspondence with Mark Ragan yesterday, he mentioned a blog post titled "25 Women Who Rock Social Media."
"Her experience as a writer and editor for The New Yorker and New York Magazine have helped prepare Lauren Salazar for her current role as the Social Media Manager for Weight Watchers. Lauren uses the same personal touch with the community management at Weight Watchers that she does with her own Twitter account. She does a great job of creating a true engagement by finding a way to really connect and relate to her audience. …"
It used to be that writers and editors came to corporate communications when they wanted to get married and have kids after 10 fun years at the Virginian-Pilot.
E.B. White, on the other hand, edited an employee newsletter at a silk mill—for a few weeks, before quitting out of fear that the job was too easy and would make him soft.
And once a young David Murray, then editor of The Ragan Report, interviewed for a job in employee communication at Aon Insurance. The corporate communication director tossed a copy of The Ragan Report across his desk and said: "You write this. Why would you want to write our shit?"
I've always seen corporate communication work as being exactly as honorable and worthy as its practitioners. I've known more than my share of whip-smart communicators, and I've seen some profoundly good communication.
But now here come the best and the brightest, fresh and enthusiastic, from the most respected publications in the world, to "connect and relate" to the the customers of Weight Watchers. Well, they damned well better rock social media. I hope they use their brains and energies and hearts to rock their employers, too.
Update: And thanks to Writing Bootista Liam Scott, who was so distressed by this item that he dug into Salazar's background. It appears that "25 Women Who Rock Social Media" blogger Lee Odden may have pumped her up a bit when he said she was a "writer and editor" at The New Yorker and New York Magazine. According to her résumé, she spent "Fall '06" as a "creative services intern," where she "developed integrated campaign pitches, executed special event marketing … and provided copywriting support for advertising sales staff."
She did more editorial work at New York Magazine; among other responsibilities, she did "beat reporting for citywide retail, fitness, restaurant, and nightlife venues."
So I guess we can't expect Ian Frazier to be rocking social media at Zappos anytime soon. But we do expect Lauren Salazar to punch above her weight at Weight Watchers.