Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. With activist mainstays flexing their muscles, and smaller shareholders beginning to find their sea legs, one can't help but conclude that a new era of activist empowerment is upon us. The convergence of social media and proxy access are providing the little guy with an amplified voice and strength in numbers. Significant wins like those at Yahoo and RIM are emboldening bigger players to target bigger game. The democratization of Wall Street is under way. As a result, management structures that fail to align their priorities with those of their investors will face tougher challenges than ever before in 2012 and beyond. Richard S. Levick, Esq., is the president and chief executive officer of Levick Strategic Communications, a crisis communications firm. He is the co-author of Stop the Presses: The Crisis & Litigation PR Desk Reference. He was named to the 2009 NACD/Directorship list of "The Most Influential People in the Boardroom." Reach him at email@example.com. Kathleen Wailes is a Senior Vice President at Levick Strategic Communications with specialization in financial communications. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.