I spend a great deal of time at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport which is just a hop, skip and a smelly cab ride away from the headquarters of P&G, our largest client. Like many of my colleagues, I have become intimately familiar with every nook and cranny of that airport while awaiting my fate at the hands of Delta, air traffic control, and Mother Nature – who can be counted on to kick up a nice blustery wind around the time I’m due to be winging my way home towards Newark Liberty airport – and Lord knows, we wouldn’t want to land a 757 in the middle of a little breeze. So when I’m not sorting and resorting the toiletries in my well-worn quart Ziploc bag, mindlessly deleting Blackberry spam, or gazing bleakly at the Departures monitors, I’m likely to be found spending money needlessly at my favorite airport haunt. I’m speaking of course of the Borders in Concourse B, the retail balm that soothes this weary road warrior’s soul.
This Borders cleverly caters to the interests of the captive business travelers lurching through Concourse B like so many ground-delayed undead by offering one of the best selections of business literature I’ve ever seen. Thanks to their well-edited offerings, I have learned to Blink, understand the Wisdom of Crowds, and gotten better at Organizing Genius. I’ve freaked for Freakonomics and tripped out over the Tipping Point. I’ve even attempted to condense my life into a Four Hour Work Week, but that’s not quite happening, especially when the average delay getting from Cincinnati to Newark is about, oh…four hours. Speaking of four hour work weeks, author Timothy Ferriss tells us we must detox from the barrage of information coming at us daily by delegating, outsourcing, and simply turning off the spigot: cancelling RSS feeds, ignoring emails (his book is a snappy read, by the way, as is his blog). But hey – I LOVE information. It’s part of my job, and that of my colleagues on the DeVries Strategy and Innovation team, to continually scour the on- and off-line worlds for what’s new and what’s next, and serve that up for the benefit of the account teams at this agency and the clients they serve. Information is our currency and it’s my personal addiction – and I don’t wanna go to rehab, no, no, no.
My current information drug of choice? Hands down — del.icio.us. Through the wonders of social bookmarking I can organize and tag all that glorious information to my heart’s content! I picture myself moving through the day in the gauzy embrace of my tag cloud – a floating Dewey Decimal system of my own creation that reflects the primary attributes and interests of many of my clients (beauty, self-expression, style, community, causes) alongside newer cloud bedfellows (beef, incontinence…two tags that come to think of it really should never be expressed in the same sentence.)
I may be a Web 2.0 Johnny-come-lately, but now that I’m here I have never been more energized or inspired by technology and how it’s enhancing professional life. I’ll never understand the vagaries of airport ground delays, but I can certainly use the latest Web 2.0 tools to collect, organize, share and shape information in ways that make the practice of public relations richer, more inspiring and frankly, more fun.
Stephanie Sage Smirnov, EVP Strategy & Innovation Group, DeVries Public Relations