Since about 2009, I’ve been on a fairly constant quest to prioritize one area I’m truly passionate about and makes me employable so I can center my online personal brand around it. After all, people tend to be most effective at developing an online reputation as being qualified if they talk about one thing all the time. My struggle with this is I have so many seemingly unrelated curiosities, which I develop more and more of the longer I work in public relations:

  • China
  • public relations
  • social media (which I maintain public relations professionals should know as much about as media relations)
  • communications measurement
  • business-to-business communications
  • how to manage companies and teams
  • cloud and mobile computing (which are connected)
  • increasingly, LGBT rights
  • various pop culture, usually involving LGBT celebrities

So what do all of these have in common? When people ask me why I like Beijing so much, the answer is very obvious to me: “I like Beijing because it feels like you are in the middle of something very important that is changing very quickly.” I realized that I could say the same about any of the other topics listed above. All my professional interests are:

  • important
  • changing quickly
  • misunderstood or under-appreciated

“Important” is a subjective term. In this context, I mean something that currently affects large numbers of people, creates a lot of financial opportunity, will become part of history textbooks decades in the future, or some combination of those factors.

In terms of the under-appreciated or misunderstood aspect, this could be why I took American Sign Language as my high school language and why I’m drawn to an industry with such a bad reputation among the general public as public relations. The main reason I was interested in traveling to China as a child, before I ever anticipated I would work there for two years, is that China is the world’s most populous country and has an amazing history, but in school we learned mostly about the U.S. and Western Europe. There is a lot of ignorance within the U.S. about what China is really like and vice versa, likely as a result of China and the U.S. not having even basic diplomatic relations until President Nixon visited Beijing in 1976.

So, there you have it. I will blog and tweet and do whatever else online (on websites I use for professional interests) about things that are important, changing quickly, and misunderstood or under-appreciated. I think for the sake of simplicity now, though, I’ll call the topics China, public relations, and a little bit of high tech. :)