2012 PR People Awards: Social Media Professional of the Year

Co-Winner: John Earnhardt

Director of Communications, Cisco Systems

When John Earnhardt wrote the first blog post at Cisco in 2005, it kicked off the social media era not only for him, but for the brand as a whole.

In 2008, Earnhardt took control of the @CiscoSystems Twitter account, building it into a key platform of 140,000+ followers. Over the last couple of years, Earnhardt took over the corporate newsroom team, renamed it the Social Media Communications team and relaunched the corporate news site under the banner of "The Network: Cisco's Technology News Site."

Under Earnhardt’s leadership, Cisco’s digital efforts have evolved into multiple platforms for employees to tell the company’s technology story to consumers. His end goal: to ensure that all content produced offers value and increases engagement with target audiences.

In an era where the media market is shifting and social outreach is moving to the forefront, Earnhardt is constantly making sure his team is ahead of the curve, which in turn puts Cisco ahead of its competitors.

Co-Winner: Dallas Lawrence

Chief Global Strategist, Burson-Marsteller

Widely recognized among his peers and in the media as a leader in digital strategy, Dallas Lawrence has helped grow Burson-Marsteller’s global digital practice to include more than 170 professionals around the world, providing social media strategy to hundreds of the most recognizable brands.

Lawrence is known for his deep understanding of the online marketplace as well as for his ability to leverage online connectivity to create powerful and measurable offline impacts in the issues, crisis, reputation management, political and public affairs sectors. Over the past year, Lawrence has been the brains behind award-winning digital-based campaigns for Ford Motor Company, Nuclear Energy Institute and Nevada’s travel and tourism, among others.

Lawrence’s innovative thinking led to the creation of a social monitoring platform called BursonPulse, which takes social listening to the next level, delivering actionable client insights for engagement, influencer tracking and overall brand management in the online space. —Jamar Hudson

Honorable Mentions

Tony Balasandiran, New Media Specialist, Flowers Communications

John Cangany, Vice President, Social Media, APCO Worldwide

Pat Connelly, Associate Director, Digital Strategy and Communications, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company

Tim Haran, Senior Manager of Social Media, USANA

Marcy Massura, Digital Supervisor, Weber Shandwick

Greg Swan, Vice President, Digital Strategy, Weber Shandwick

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