I decided to clip this article and repost it here since it deals with something the ActiveRain community is constantly debating, reviewing, and conversing about. My original post is at SocialMediaSystems.com E-PRO Classes and Social Media Training
As a professional, my original interactive marketing experience started out in the recruiting industry working for the largest interactive ad agency in the world at the time- TMP Worldwide. As I progressed through corporate life and learned my lessons, one of the critical items always found lacking in numerous large businesses was up-to-date training.
Training however, is critical at all points of development. We cannot fail to realize that. In an industry I am very familiar with (the real estate industry), the National Associate of Realtors has a program it endorses called E-Pro.
From their description "The e-PRO Certification Course is an educational program unlike any other professional certification or designation course available, comprehensive and Interactive. It is sponsored by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and is specifically designed to help real estate professionals thrive in the competitive world of online real estate. In addition, the e-PRO Certification Course is geared to ensure continued success in online real estate after the course has been completed and certification earned, by online participation in the e-PRO Community and the e-PRO Referral Network."
I found a mixed review of the program, ranging from harsh critiques to glowing testimonials. Like all certification programs in a big organization there are all sides to consider.
One quote I found online by the Jim Cronin at the Real Estate Tomato "The e-Pro class is so far removed from what it takes to be competitive in the internet marketplace, that 'graduates' deserve nothing but a tinfoil badge for their efforts."
While programs like E-Pro may not be the cutting edge of the internet marketing art, professionals of all backgrounds and experience levels need to be brought up-to-speed about online technology. As a marketing savvy friend to many start-ups in the Northwest, it is my belief that everyone has a place in the realm of social media and it is our responsibility to assist and nurture everyone into an understanding of the benefits they may be missing.
Unlike Cronin, who goes on to say things like "If you are having to drag you agents into the 21st century with a class like E-Pro you are not only wasting their time, but it's too late to help someone who needs a 'beginner's guide' to grasping the internet. Let the dinosaurs sleep."
~I ask myself, perhaps we can take the dinosaurs out of the past and leverage the incredible strength they have?
In the real estate realm, I am on the younger side of the audience. I understand the technology on a fundamental level, I "get it" and I even wake up in the middle of the night thinking about fantastic new ways of changing the industry. Yet I do not have the thousands of relationships that a 25 year veteran of an industry has... I do not have the experience of seeing true depressions in a market... I do not have the knowledge of a great number of things.
That is were the partnership of strengths becomes greatest.
I do not need to take the assets of those who have gone before me, I merely need to help them understand the new community they interact with. I need to focus on what I do best, to strive for a way to help everyone become something better than we are as individuals. I need to accept that I am best at what I do, and for everything else there is someone I must turn to.
This is the very nature of social media: of collaboration and community. Perhaps the military figured it out before everyone else did: it is the idea that no one should be left behind. There are no dinosaurs in my world, merely some of us who may be weak in one area, and stronger than Goliath in another.
Perhaps, when no one is looking and my youthful insight fails me... I will fail.
I should be grateful enough that one of those dinosaurs that were left behind by other people repays me and picks me up.