PR Ninja, Social Media Guru, Marketing Rockstar – Oh Mud!

We’ve all seen people on LinkedIn with non-traditional sounding titles. Are these annoying or clever?  It’s a hotly divided topic. A recent survey by PRNewser Poll found:

  • 48 percent said PR firms can add a touch of whimsy to PR titles.
  • A little over 45 percent said PR firms should stick with traditional titles

A large PR firm recently spent nine months rolling out a new structure, and new title changes, giving the heave-ho to traditional titles like account executive and account supervisor, and switching to new ones,  like strategist, creators, connectors and catalyst. That’s in direct reaction to the changing nature of PR – and questions about how to deal with the old-fashioned concept of ’earned’ media when the weight is shifting to digital and word-of-mouth.

I personally moved away from a traditional PR title in Nov. 2010 — becoming media strategies manager, to reflect my natural passions. It’s not trendy, but it’s true.

In PR and marketing, manipulating words to make an impact on your target where they live is part of our proficiency – it’s key for sales.  Our titles are the perfect starting point to showcase our creativity and marketing acumen. If a PR person can’t creatively market themselves as a brand, why would a company want to hire them?

It’s a truism that titles tell other people how to think about you. Mostly, what you do, and how you show up, is what changes your relationships. Often, this happens long before we even meet. And while I wouldn’t adopt Emperor or Architect, I might if I worked in gaming, or club promotion.

It certainly makes sense to take a title that prospects understand. Head-scratching is never the best way to start any relationship. If my prospects think the title Mud is cool and important and it would open doors for me, well, I’d gladly change my title to Mud.