How H1N1 Changed My Life

When I was in my mid-20s, like most, I went through a career shift.  I had moved to the States with my husband and found a job at a company I liked, but didn’t feel purposeful.  I was 27 and knew it was time to go back to school.

I started taking classes at a local in-state university and settled on communication.  I liked it well enough, I had been doing it for years and I told myself that I could work for a non-profit when I graduated and somehow change the world that way.


At the same time the H1N1 pandemic flu outbreak began to garner attention on the news.  I paid little attention to it.  I had always gotten my flu shot, less out of a greater responsibility to prevent the spread of the flu, but because I didn’t want to get the flu myself.  At the time, I reasoned that I would get the H1N1 flu shot once it was opened up to those who weren’t in a priority group.  Until I could get the shot I reasoned that I wasn’t likely to get H1N1 and that it wouldn’t be severe if I got it.

Sound familiar, risk communicators?

Then I got it. Continue reading

Don’t Be An Info Hoarder

I’m usually wary when I run into an info hoarder.  Info hoarders, more commonly known as resource hoarders, are individuals who closely guard their data, skills, contacts and resources from others in order to ensure their own importance on a campaign or in a company.

Nobody likes info hoarders.

Info hoarders hold up work and create an unnecessarily competitive atmosphere.  They let campaigns flounder by not sharing information, because they’re not in a lead position and inflate their own importance by being the sole keeper of the expertise. Continue reading

Transparency, Authenticity and Privacy in Social Media

Originally posted on Mark Schaefer‘s blog {grow} on October 4, 2011.

A few of you have likely noticed that this post wasn’t written by Mark, but by someone named Leslie Lewis.  That’s not my real name and you don’t need to know my real name.

Having worked in social media since 2005, I knew I needed a tightly controlled message and presence online.  You could Google my name and find my blog or find me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr or Facebook.

I used my real name, shared real stories, photos and details from my life.  I was as transparent and authentic as I preached to my clients that they needed to be.

All of that ended in early 2010 when someone who knew me launched an online smear campaign with allegations that were wholly baseless and untrue but were professionally damaging.

Law enforcement was helpless to stop the flow of fake accounts in my name, due to issues of state, federal and international jurisdiction complications.  After consulting with several lawyers I was told that civil action would be long, disruptive and expensive process.  In the end I was told my best option would be to contact Google or LinkedIn every time a new one appeared. Continue reading