Back to School – Twitter Style

Public Relations, Social Media Posted Oct 31, 2014 by chenpr

NU LogoThose of you who know me may also know that my kids – Devon, Emma and Ben – are all Northeastern Huskies. They’re working hard in their second years, getting educated to follow their respective and different career paths.

My wife, Michelle, works at NU, too. From a satellite office in Dedham, she and her colleagues help students and parents navigate the sometimes-vexing financial aid and related administrative pathways of higher education. That’s no mean feat, either!

Wednesday night, at the gracious invitation of Michael Flint, I got the opportunity to make it a full-on Carleton NU sweep.

Michael is founder and president of Metropolis Creative, a fantastic web development shop (that just did a kickass job redoing CHEN PR’s site). He also teaches Social Media and Brand Strategy Implementation at NU’s College of Professional Studies and invited me to chat with his Twitter Bluebirdstudents about how, why and when I use Twitter.

It was a spirited conversation. We compared notes on social media comms tools, techniques, triumphs and tragedies. We also talked about what a high tech PR firm does and for what types of companies – and how I came to pursue this career path that ultimately led me to co-founding my own agency 18 years ago. It was much fun.


CC Twitter Class NU Mike's pic 10.29I love spending time with young adults who are just at their professional and personal taking-off points. It’s a rush to see how bright, articulate and inquisitive they are – and to know that’ll take ‘em far in the years ahead.

As I jumped the train home from Ruggles – after a visit to Conor Larkin’s with Michael (thanks again for the tip, fellow CHENer and NU grad Chris Conway!) – I smiled while thinking that it wasn’t just the students who (hopefully) learned some stuff. I had as well. Or, more like was reminded of same.

For starters, it was a reminder of how much I absolutely LOVE what I do. Even after 30 years of doing it. I get to work with and for and around some of the smartest, most innovative, funny, stand-up people you could imagine. While every day isn’t an ‘A’ day, the report card is weighted overwhelmingly in my favor.

I get to live at the overlap of two exciting, fundamentally game-changing circles: technology and communications.  The former has, and will continue, to rewrite the rules and tools for the latter.

Change is the constant in my career. So, too, is learning. Both keep you on your toes, make you smarter (OK, not a hard task in my case!), excited about what you’re doing and looking forward to what’s coming next. It doesn’t get any better than that.

And a shout out to Chad O’Connor, Michael’s craft-beer-loving buddy who teaches organizational communications and culture at NU, who we bumped into at Conor Larkin’s. Underscoring the power or Twitter, I’ve followed Chad for some time now and just caught his presentation at Future M, but hadn’t yet met in person. It was great to do so (along with a couple other friends) – felt like I knew him already from his Tweets!

So, thanks again for the invite, Mike.  I hope your class walked away with some useful material… beyond just the bags of candy I set out (always feed the audience sweets).

I know I sure did.