Here, Here! It’s the KOTAW Cheer! Rise to the Top of the Social Media Pyramid

Cheer your way to social media success | KOTAW Content MarketingI was never a cheerleader, partly because I never learned how to do a cartwheel. But mostly, I was never a cheerleader because there was no way I was going to be on the sidelines of anything, much less a football field where all of the fun and glory were reserved for boys.

And I was never much of a team player, partly because I always wanted to be captain of the team. But mostly, I was never a team player because I wasn’t good enough to play soccer or baseball, and I wasn’t nerdy enough to try out for chess club or the debate team.

None of these personality quirks or athletic shortcomings diminished my love of cheers and the spirit behind them. I take great pleasure in telling a gifted writer that she’s talented enough to write a bestseller, a CEO that he has the vision to take his company to the billion-dollar level and an abused woman that she has the courage to get out – and stay out – of a dangerous relationship.

No Pulpit Required

I’ve happily discovered that I don’t need a pompon to encourage people or a letterman jacket to motivate them. I don’t need a pulpit to spread messages of hope and symbols of celebration. As long as I have the genuine desire to make people smile or help them succeed, the tools to do so will present themselves.

And it’s not as if the tools are complicated. It’s easy enough to voice a compliment, pat a back or pump a fist. Or to click on the appropriate emoticon before sending a message in social media.

It’s really not hard to send a message that clearly says, “I support you,” “I applaud you,” “I want to see more of this!”

Or so I thought.

In social media, my shorthand for these sentiments most often takes the form of “Here, Here!” followed by a sentence or three explaining my exultation.

Someone recently wondered if had misspelled “here.” Didn’t I mean “hear?”

For Katherine and her KOTAW Girl Gang, there's no bigger 'Here, Here!' moment than when Mary Tyler Moore spins around on a crowded city street and throws her hat up in the air -- onlookers be damned!

For Katherine and her KOTAW Girl Gang, there’s no bigger ‘Here, Here!’ moment than when Mary Tyler Moore spins around on a crowded city street and throws her hat up in the air — onlookers be damned!

Hear Me Here

No, I did not.

“Hear, Hear,” roughly translated as “I hear you!” is a perfectly fine affirmation.

But “Here, Here!” is the equivalent of “Put it here!” or “Give me five!” It’s much more than a head nod. It’s a cacophonous shout-out. It’s a standing ovation.

“Here, Here!” is the KOTAW cheer!

For anyone who’s been confused about my intentions (or command of English), please be assured that “Here, Here!” is high praise. And take a bow if the cheer appears in your feed.

Praise Without Pride

For months and months, I’ve tried to work a certain bit of language semantics into a blog post. It’s also a parenting and team leadership philosophy. And an integral factor in personal branding. Thanks to the person who brought up the hear/here question, I now have a relevant reason for suggesting each and every one of you ban this phrase from your vocabulary:

I’m proud of you!

Huh? Isn’t that a cheerleading, motivating, inspiring phrase? Why could that sentence possibly make a congratulatory person like me uncomfortable?

Because it suggests that the person making the statement deserves all or most of the credit for an accomplishment.

I have no right to be proud when Bri’s prose makes me laugh and cry in a single paragraph or when Kelsey’s artwork makes me drop my jaw in wonder. I didn’t write the words or paint the canvas. I don’t own any of their accomplishments and resist the temptation to take pride in them.

What I like to tell them is that I’m impressed and that they should be proud of themselves.

I think it’s a great personal branding tenet – especially for C-level executives — to avoid siphoning their employees’ pride. Build up their confidence without taking credit for their achievements.

Want to offer someone praise without a hint of self-congratulations? Try “Great job!” Or “Way to Go!

Even better, consider the KOTAW cheer: Here, Here!


Want to join the social media pep rally? Tell us how you support your fans, followers and esteemed colleagues (aka “influencers”) in social media. What’s your version of the KOTAW cheer?

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Comments

  1. Here, Here – hear my Mama! ;)

    Eesh – thank you for, well, always believing in me! #HUGSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    I love you so very much, Kat <3

    OODLES of hugs to imma #KatandKo

    Kitto

    PS: Please give Bri extra-special hugs on my behalf. Hope she feels better <3

    • Katherine Kotaw says:

      Of course I believe in you! And I have very good judgment!

      Oodles and more hugs back to you!

      xoxoxox

      Kat

  2. Finally made it to this wonderful post (your first line cracked me up), and as the recipient of a few of your highly-coveted “here, heres” — I must say that you once again wrote a very poignant piece here, Ms. Kotaw. I hear you loud and clear! Have to say though, while I understand what you’re saying about the word “proud,” I do use it with my kids because I remember how good it always made me feel when my parents said it to me. Rather than feeling they were taking credit for something, it made me feel that I was living up to their expectations, and that was (and still is) very important to me. I hope that’s what my kids feel too, because that’s what I hope to accomplish when I say that. I never feel like I’m taking credit in any way, but I’ll certainly now watch it more closely going forward!

    • Katherine Kotaw says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for giving me so many reasons to cheer!

      I know my take on “proud” is a bit radical, and I certainly would have welcomed a few “I’m proud of you’s” growing up. But I still remember a day when I was being honored and feted for a professional accomplishment and people greeted my mother with a single phrase, “You must be so proud of her.” My mom sidestepped the first half dozen or so of these comments, and I felt hurt. But to the seventh person, my mom said something I carried with me to this day: “Why should I be proud of her? I have no writing talent. She did this on her own.” The person sputtered a series of “but-but-buts” and my mom smiled and said, “I am proud of the person she’s become. I do believe I had something to do with that.”

      In any case, “proud” is just a word, and it’s the intent behind it that matters. And your kids know yours.

  3. Gerry Kelly says:

    Here, here to you Katherine, thanks for all your support and help so far.
    You Rock.

    Cheers

    Team Sonas. :-)

    • Katherine Kotaw says:

      ha ha, thank you, Gerry! And Here, Here to ethical clothing and animal protection — to looking good and doing good!!

  4. Brian J Wood says:

    I like this post too and hear me on that comment. My take on cheerleading is it really needs to be done for all of the right reasons or not at all which seems antisocial at first but I think is really the opposite. OT maybe: the times when I see cheerleading done for the wrong reasons I know right away that it is sort of pointless in a groaning, OMG, what were they thinking way. More to your global points about personal branding success I feel as though we stick our necks out when we say “I Like This!” or “Hey, this person is worthy of your attention.” I am getting your point about you not being a cheerleader on the sidelines looking in. My understanding of the why part is different though. If I am on the sidelines and have absolutely nothing to do with the participants of the game I still want to do a “Go Team Go!” when I see something I like and want to share with my friends. I think about the why part a bit before I do my cheerleading though but I think I hesitate for the right social agenda reasons. Sticking our necks out occasionally is not such a bad idea especially when it is done in a pay-it-forward fashion and I have no doubt you will be behind me on that point. Go homeless person or domestic violence victim! Show us how you can turn it all around in a few short weeks! We love you for wanting to succeed where so many before you have failed! Switch out “homeless person” with your favorite sports team or billionaire with a cause and you will get my point. I hear you and support your message Katherine and am proud to say I am one of your cheerleaders

    • Katherine Kotaw says:

      Awwww, thank you, Brian. I’m one of your cheerleaders, too!

      Yes, sticking out our necks is a good idea — as long as we do it for the right reason. If it’s just to get noticed or score some points, then we should remain a turtle.

      But, if you believe in someone or some cause, stick your neck out. You may not always back the right person or agenda, but so what? You can tuck your neck right back in if that happens.

      I believe it takes courage and conviction to support people on social media (beyond the “like” and “retweet” conventions) and I applaud you for all that you do for so many of us who are lucky enough to know you and earn your respect.

      Here, Here to your brand of cheerleading!

    • Katherine Kotaw says:

      Awwww, thank you, Brian. I’m one of your cheerleaders, too!

      Yes, sticking out our necks is a good idea — as long as we do it for the right reason. If it’s just to get noticed or score some points, then we should remain a turtle.

      But, if you believe in someone or some cause, stick your neck out. You may not always back the right person or agenda, but so what? You can tuck your neck right back in if that happens.

      I believe it takes courage and conviction to support people on social media (beyond the “like” and “retweet” conventions) and I applaud you for all that you do for so many of us who are lucky enough to know you and earn your respect.

      Here, Here to your brand of cheerleading!

  5. […] that makes me smile, makes me laugh, inspires me, or makes me want to shout “Here, here!” gets the #KOTAWesome stamp of […]

  6. […] The first time I spied (with my little eye haha — sorry, I couldn’t resist!) this quote, I immediately pinned it to my here here board, a candy grab-bag assortment of this-es and thats, things that make me want to stand up and passionately proclaim, here here! […]

  7. […] made my board cover the iconic image of Mary Tyler Moore throwing her hat up in the air. Funny how “HERE HERE” has also made its way to the foreground of my personal brand story, when it was also one of my very […]

  8. […] am an unabashed, enthusiastic cheerleader. I’ll applaud anyone who works for me every step of the day. But, if you want to work for a […]

  9. […] reading challenge my mom and sister and I are doing together. Which is definitely a KOTAW Girl Gang HERE HERE moment to celebrate. As is the fact that I’m an official writer for the KOTAW […]

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