A weakened FOMO made me a NOGO at NSPRA – SCN Encourager

But I won’t be MIA next year!

NSPRA 2016 here I come!

SCN bought this  on Craigslist... a sweet deal!

SCN bought this on Craigslist… a sweet deal!

In fact, I’m going to reserve the SCN company car right away.

I definitely made a mistake by not going to Nashville this week.

Chalk up yet one more lesson learned the hard way.

I do have a good excuse, though.

It’s just that as I get up in years – gaining experience and wisdom in theory – I’ve lost some of that motivational FOMO factor.

Now, FOMO shouldn’t be confused with MOJO, but I’ve probably lost a fair measure of that, too.

FOMO is the “Fear Of Missing Out.”

And if I had it in good supply several months ago, I would’ve signed up for NSPRA 2015 in Nashville within minutes of receiving the seminar flyer.

But I didn’t.

Social Media Acronym FOMO as FEAR OF MISSING OUTOn too many occasions this past year, when my wife and daughters (in their 20s) would sit at the table talking about future wedding arrangements, I would quietly slink away to something else, somewhere else... actually to anything else, anywhere else.

Because I had no FOMO.

Last fall when my brother-in-law was recruiting helpers for a DIY insulation project at his gargantuan home, I passed on the opportunity.

Because I had no FOMO.

But Cindy signed me up for the Saturday work crew, anyway, coldly oblivious to my lack of FOMO.

My struggle with FOMO for NSPRA 2015 wasn’t rooted in any cavalier know-it-all-itis.

Like you, I like to grow in my “what I know.”

There’s energy and power when school communicators gather together.

But my school district is in the midst of some difficult budget balancing, so I wasn’t sure about what to do.

Kristin Magette

Kristin Magette

Besides, when I saw that Kristin Magette (an insightful and fun school communicator from Eudora, Kansas) was one of the presenters, I felt I could stay home.

After all, SCN profiled Kristin back in May along with her excellent book about social media, so what more could there be?

I had already purchased and read her book, for crying out loud.

I wasn’t making my decision in an isolated bubble.

But I might as well have been.

Because I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Here’s why.

Prior to her presentation on Monday morning, Kristin sent out a tweet to tell people that they could join in with her presentation by using the hashtag #embracesocial.

I had never done anything like this on Twitter before – ever – and it reminded me of how the longtime great Detroit Tigers play-by-play announcer Ernie Harwell would tell us fans tuned in on the radio how we could all “keep score” at home.

But then I thought, what the heck... what would be the harm in checking in with #embracesocial every now and then?

Well, it was a new experience for me.

The participants at Kristin’s were incredibly enthusiastic, which was no surprise.

But there were several tangible takeaways to be grabbed via Kristin’s hashtag; and that was a surprise.

Have seen one of these “word walls” generated by an audience in real time?
Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 12.42.31 PM

This was brand new to me!

(And this started the ol’ FOMO to stir within.)

Luckily, one NSPRA colleague dashed out a tweet with how to do this.

Thank you, Jen DeLong Harris! 


And for all of us who were still dutifully keeping score at home, Kristin passed along this document.

It’s provided for you here, thanks to NSPRA member Savannah Pyron.
Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 12.55.46 PM


See, I guess old dogs can learn new tricks – even if the best they can do is to bark out old clichés.

I’m grateful to Kristin, Jen, Savannah, and all of the other attendees who were so generous in sharing their learnings.

I am now planning on hash-tagging right along with you IRL at NSPRA next year.

You can’t say you didn’t get ample warning!

And yep, I had no idea that IRL meant “in real life” until I read Kristin’s tweets yesterday.



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