The MSPRA session I dreaded most – SCN Encourager 3/20/2014

This was a train wreck I could see coming.

Hey! That's me in the white hat & overalls.

Hey! That’s me in the white hat & overalls.


I felt eerily uneasy as I settled in for the “Managing Your Online Reputation” presentation by the social media coach and teacher-consultant Sommer Poquette.

Sommer’s remarks were both wise and engaging, so the queasiness in my stomach had nothing to do with her.

I was just worried if I (once again) would sit hopelessly through another self-help talk that would not have any value for me.

I’ve attended other sessions in the past.. on other topics… at other workshops… and, despite all manner of enthusiastic prodding from the presenter, I’m rarely able to avoid the future consequences caused by my current habits (aka karma).

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 3.10.58 PMI’ve attended sessions in managing your money, managing your teenagers, managing your in-laws, re-imagining your managing, and “how to manage co-workers who are reading Managing Difficult People all because of you.”

None of them helped me at all.

So I knew that the “Managing Your Online Reputation” presentation would be one more to add to the list.

By now,  you may be thinking, “Ha, ha, Tom. Quit exaggerating!”

I’m not exaggerating.

I would never exaggerate in the Encourager.

Well… not really... except for those few occasions  where I’ve stressed out over my three daughters’ looming wedding expenses and couldn’t help myself.

Who wouldn’t?

But I have to tell you about what happened yesterday – without any exaggeration – as it illustrates why I’ll never be able to manage my online reputation.

Fate simply won’t allow it.

Recall that yesterday’s Encourager included a glowing shout-out to Kristin Tank (MAISD, Muskegon) and Debbi Hartman (Rochester Community Schools).

I also linked up a great document that Kristin prepared which provided effective message points for explaining Michigan’s 21F mandate to our school communities.

It was my first-ever perfect Encourager. (an unbiased self-assessment)

It contained sincere praise. √
It contained relevance. √
It contained a helpful pdf. √

And I could tell that my online reputation was about to sky-rocket!

So you can imagine how I felt when right after sending that Encourager to your inbox, I received an “Urgent” email back from Kristin informing me that I had sent out the wrong version of her 21F document!

What?!? How could this be?!? 

I had finally crafted the perfect Encourager and now I’m finding out… it was wrong?

Good grief.

So here’s Kristin’s correct version for you:  21F The Accurate One.

Treasure it.

It came at the cost of my online reputation.

Fortunately, Sommer Poquette had a tip for restoring damaged online reputations.

She said you need to consistently churn out high quality, high interest content in order to “overwhelm” the negatives dragging you down.

You can’t just pack it in.

You need to keep creating content that will “push all of the bad stuff down the line.”

This makes web-sense, but the “high quality, high interest” component may be a bit of a reach.

But what choice do I have?

Oh well, my journey toward average rolls on.

Tom Page, SCN
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