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More than a
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More than a traditional PR firm.

Confession: I was scared of social media

Post Allison O'Toole. Allison is a Director at Himle Rapp. You can follow her on Twitter @allison_otoole.

Confession – I’m scared to post to Facebook and Tweet (and blog…). As a lawyer, I have a very different perspective on putting so much of our lives on the internet. Whether it’s the privacy concerns or the fact that this content never goes away, there are valid reasons to be reserved. However, in order to be an effective communicator in 2013 and, frankly, have effective relationships, there’s a certain amount of connectivity I can embrace.

I’ve worked hard to get over my personal barriers to having a presence on social media. If you’re in the same boat, here are some steps that helped me overcome my social media paralysis:

1. Check your ego at the door and acknowledge it’s not just about you. I admit that I have a confidence issue with social media. I often ask, “Who cares what I think?” Well, people do care, if you’re interesting and aren’t sharing irrelevant or overly personal information. But it’s not just about you. It’s about being credible with your clients and contacts when you’re discussing digital strategy. It’s about being intelligently engaged in public dialogue.

2. Bite the bullet and dive in. You often can’t make progress if you don’t push yourself beyond your comfort zone. The fact is social media is where many of the important conversations are happening. If you want to stay relevant, you must dive into this realm, even if you’re scared like me!

3. Be smart about your content. Our Digital Media Queen, Liz Giorgi always says, “You have to provide good content to be an effective social media participant.” I do a fair amount of posting regarding personal matters including my exercise, pictures of my family, Lake Harriet, etc. But I also make sure to share current news articles and photos that might be interesting to my broader network. For instance, last year I helped organize the unveiling of the Hubert H. Humphrey memorial at the Minnesota State Capitol. It was a picturesque bipartisan occasion at a time when Minnesotans were wrangling with constitutional amendments regarding voting and human rights. The Happy Warrior was a true champion of both. I thought posting this picture and the accompanying article was a good reminder for my network of contacts of some history on these issues. I hoped it would help not only give some context for the issues but would encourage others to think about these issues with our history in mind.

I hope these three simple steps help any fellow hesitant posters and tweeters out there. Keep at it – you will find your way – you must!

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