The recent wedding of Heidi Hall, long-time VHPR Account Manager who is now at APCO Worldwide and Scott Tafferra, who formerly worked for First Mutual (a VHPR client) was a great VHPR reunion and as well as a time to reflect on the evolution of social media.

Why this strange connection? Around the time that Heidi first met Scott (when she was preparing him for a media interview), Heather Reynolds (another former VHPR employee), along with my son, Garth, and daughter, Dana, were all trying to help me accept this new thing called “social media.”

What I learned at the wedding is that both Heather, who is now a Content Manager for Birthday in a Box in the “other” Washington, and Stuart Perkins (another former VHPR Account Manager who also lives in Washington D.C.) are using social media almost daily in their new jobs. At VHPR we now find that the rules and approaches so critical to social media — such as transparency, relevance, great content and the ability to move quickly — are a part of each project we take on. In every case, the applications are practical and fairly easy to undertake.

At Birthday in a Box, Heather’s audience is the network of (mostly) moms who plan birthdays and other celebrations. As a way to separate itself from other companies selling the same products, their “Birthdays To Go” provides ongoing tips, ideas and how-to lists for planning a unique party. Participants are allowed to share ideas and Heather is actively involved in communities of “Blogging Moms” – a highly sought after new demographic. Stuart, who is Public Relations Manager for ASID, a national organization representing interior designers, used his considerable skills in LinkedIn to set up a networking community for designers across the country. At last count, he had more than 1,000 participants!

As for VHPR, I can’t think of a client meeting, project or brainstorming session that hasn’t involved questions and discussions about online media and how it changes the way we tell our stories. Bottom line? This wave of change isn’t coming, it’s here. We would all do well to jump in, start learning and find the tools that most appeal to us.