Guest Post: Building Relationships for Tomorrow

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A Guest Post by Valerie Simon

There’s a little song I learned back in Girl Scouts (yes, I was a girl scout… rocked the cookie sales, horrid when it came to crafts!). Make new friends, but keep the old. One is sliver and the other gold.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that little song lately. Participating in social media has allowed me to build new relationships at an accelerated pace. And the convenience of communicating wherever and whenever helped maintain relationships that might have otherwise fallen by the wayside.

But what are the limits to the number of people with whom one can maintain a stable social relationship? Social media has thrown a new wrench in the work of anthropologists such as Robin Dunbar and Peter Killworth who have developed formulas to address this question.  I hold the term relationship in high regard, and while there is certainly a wide gamut of feasible relationships, those relationships of value require an investment of limited resources- time and money.

So what can we do to assure that we receive the greatest return on our investment? What steps can we take to assure that the relationships we build remain strong connections? One of the most valuable lessons I have learned, is the amazing power of community in developing relationships. Whether you are a part of a Twitter chat, an active member of a LinkedIn group or Ning network, blog or subscribe and comment on a favorite blog, participation in a community is an opportunity to engage with a larger group. While one on one conversation is limited, by listening and sharing within a community you can create regular and consistent communication with greater numbers.

You have no doubt made many new relationships as a result of your own participation in social media. Which relationships stick? Where will those relationships be in 5 years? And perhaps most importantly, what steps are you taking to make sure that the relationships you build today continue to have meaning tomorrow?

Valerie Merahn Simon serves as a Senior Vice President at BurrellesLuce media monitoring and measurement, and writes a national public relations column for examiner.com. She is also co-founder and host of #PRStudChat, the monthly twitter chat between PR professionals and students moderated by Deirdre Breakenridge. Valerie can be found on Twitter or LinkedIn

4 Responses to " Guest Post: Building Relationships for Tomorrow "

  1. Valerie / Deirdre
    I have been giving this subject a lot of thought over the weekend, and have a slightly new take…
    I think the big risk lies in the potential damage being done to our existing ‘offline’ relationships – via social media where are connecting with people we have a great deal in common with, and circumnavigating the often arduous process of ‘meeting’ like-minded people (whether it be professionally or personally).
    I think the choices re: balance will be ultimately personality driven, but don’t be surprised if we experience a big shift in the dynamics of our relationships over the next few years – there’s only so much of yourself you can ‘give’ and as we spread our collective audiences, we may lose just as much as we gain.
    I hope that isn’t the case, but we’ll only know the full impact in a few years time.
    Adam

  2. […] colleague at BurrellesLuce, Valerie Simon (@valeriesimon) recently guest posted on the PR 2.0 Strategies blog, regarding the limits to the number of people with whom one can maintain social […]

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  4. […] great thing about guest blogging is that it provides a platform on which to build great relationships with other bloggers. Guest blogging is a win-win situation when you provide content of an […]

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