Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thank you, Amanda at Edelman Digital

Hi Amanda,

Thank you for speaking with me earlier this month to discuss your emerging guru status at Edelman Digital. I appreciate the time and care you put into telling me about your views of new media and listening to my laundry list of questions about the industry. For that alone, you deserve an award.

With you as proof, Edelman sounds like both a challenging and exciting place for young professionals to get their feet wet in the industry. With the growing demand for digital campaigns, I'm eager to see what my education, skills, and experience can add to the this realm of public relations. As someone who just returned from China, a place where social media is only budding, I can say that digital media literally lives on the frontier.

Again, thank you for your time and insights. I very much look forward to speaking with you in the future – with such interesting Tweets, I’m interested to see what else you have up your sleeve. In addition, if you have any recommendations of other professionals that I could speak with at Edelman, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity. Please feel free to contact me here, by email (, or on Twitter (mercurek).

Yours truly,

Kristen Mercure

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

China Disconnect

I knew my return from the Middle Kingdom would be a shock. The time-change (12 hours), the food (...what, no pickled beets for breakfast?), the sheer number of Westerners.

But I did not anticipate my greatest shock: Plugging back in.

In China, I was unplugged, in part by choice and in part due to the location. I did not bring my laptop or cellphone with me; and even when I was at a computer, the Great Fire Wall of China did not allow me to surf the Internet in a normal manner.

Therefore, when I woke up in Vermont yesterday morning (...okay, afternoon), I anxiously waited as my computer booted up and my browser popped up with my bookmarks: Blogs, news, Twitter, Facebook, comics, and e-mails.

[Oh, the e-mails. One address alone had over 100 unread messages, many of which I have no idea how to respond as I've been out of the loop for 14-days. Some face-to-face time with the senders will improve my response time. At least, I hope.]

But I hesitated. I hovered over my Twitter log-in and thought, "Would it hurt to push this off for just a little while longer?" It's difficult to go from such an acute connection to the digital world to an all encompassing one. For two weeks, I blogged on my trip to China via e-mail and that's it. No Twitter, Facebook, or RSS Feeds. I'll admit that the initial severance was disorienting - where was my connection to the outside world? The answer to that question turned out to be, "Right outside your door." I talked to people. I walked, climbed, and Skyped with them. Interpersonal communication was my mode of connection in China and I got accustomed to it.

So accustomed, in fact, that the prospect of reconnecting gave me more than a moment or two of pause. Did I really want to open up the new media can of beans again?

Yes. Yes, I did. I updated my status on Facebook, Tweeted my adventures, and logged on to this very blog.

China disconnect over; Vermont connection complete.