A Google search on Myrna Soto returns 379,000 results. They include her LinkedIn profile, her bio as HITEC’s vice president, her Twitter account, award announcements, YouTube videos, and much more. Soto is satisfied with the results because she’s not surprised by what she sees on the screen—she’s worked hard to manage it. “I monitor that image to ensure it is consistent with facts and serves the purpose I am hoping to project,” she says.
Soto is a senior vice president and chief infrastructure and information security officer at Comcast. She is responsible for all of the company’s enterprise and infrastructure security strategy, in addition to protecting the customer database and ensuring compliance. She is also responsible for Synergy and Integration efforts with NBCUniversal.
As she’s built her career, she has been careful to project the right public persona. “It’s important that your online brand speaks to your professional posture, your personal interests, and a social cause of sorts,” she says. Dig through Soto’s Google results, and you’ll find out she’s a tech leader who likes golfing, great food, travel, and a bit of wine. Sandwiched between Twitter posts about hacking and youth empowerment, she’s posted pictures of a night out at a popular Philadelphia Italian restaurant.
But most of Soto’s digital brand revolves around her passions for diversity, inclusion, and helping Latinos reach the C-suite. “My biggest driver is owning my digital presence by being out there and not passive about it,” she says.
In March 2015, Soto was named one of the “Top 16 CISOs and security leaders you should be following on Twitter” by tech leader Checkmarx. The popular company blog advises, “Follow Myrna for a healthy dose of tips for fellow CISOs and women in the security field, and stay around for pictures of mouthwatering food and wine.”
There are some simple tips Soto suggests to those looking to improve their own online efforts. “When using the various platforms, it is extremely important not to blur the lines,” she says. “Thoughts, expressions, and overall statements should be well crafted and leave very little to potential misinterpretation.” Soto’s golden rule (although she admits to having violated it a few times) is to avoid using social media to express political opinions. At the same time, making genuine connections and sharing topical commentary and interests helps build a following.
Pitfalls to avoid include excessive promotion, unclear objectives, and lacking authenticity. “I have seen over and over again individuals and companies that make an attempt at being humorous without considering the context of their diverse audience who could be offended by a particular message or statement,” she says. But be careful not to swing too far in the other direction either; being too prescriptive and cleansed can push followers away. Individuals and organizations that network online should remember to incorporate interactive components to build real conversations instead of simply dumping information. Don’t miss the opportunity to send a message, promote awareness, and engage. Soto reminds herself of this with the acronym CEA: connect, engage, and act.
In the chat room with Myrna Soto
Q: What do you consider most important when building an online brand?
A: Begin by being clear about what you are attempting to accomplish. My online brand says that I’m a technology executive, a CISO who enjoys golfing, wine, and being a foodie. Most importantly, though, is my agenda around diversity, inclusion, and serving as a role model for Latinas. An online brand is less about the title you hold and more about who you are and what you stand for.
Q: What are some of the most effective ways that a young or aspiring executive can get their name out there today?
A: Get involved with organizations and groups that allow for potential online references as a result of work and contributions. As a technology executive, being involved in HITEC puts me among a high-level community of leaders. It is also smart to use social media to share structured messaging to promote who you are, what you do, and what you are passionate about to raise awareness of accomplishments.
Q: What are you most excited about regarding technology today?
A: I am extremely excited about the continual evolution of the power of “connection.” Online collaboration, advancements in communications via technology, the power of engagement on a broad scale, and utilizing online platforms are extremely exciting.
See more with Myrna here.
More from the cover story: Hanging out with HITEC