Hi there! Chances are, if you’re hitting this page, it’s because you found me via my Twitter page.
If you did, then I thought I’d give you this quick page to get some kind of quick background as to who you just followed. And before we even get all into that, thank you for following me! That’s quite nice of you!
So… Much like any weekly TV show that needs to fill two minutes of "what happened previously," I’ll try and catch you up to speed on who you just followed, all in two minutes or less.
Who am I?
My bio is here, which will tell you a lot about me. Nutshell? I’m a CEO, who’s sold a few companies to much larger companies. I'm a corporate and conference keynote speaker with several hundred keynotes to audiences ranging from 50 people to over 20,000. I run a series of business Masterminds designed for entrepreneurs and small-to-midsize business owners, and I'm a partner in a Customer Service Marketing Consultancy, designed to change the world. I’m an Angel Investor in several start-up companies and a consultant to Fortune 100 companies around the globe. I started my career by getting lucky enough to be one of the founders of the AOL Newsroom back in 1995, when AOL was cool.
From there, I moved back to NYC, where I still live today. I’m a born and raised Manhattan kid, and went to LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts. (Yes, the “FAME” School.) That was followed by Boston University.
When I’m home in NYC, I spend the majority of my time being bossed around by a beautiful wife and daughter, and a psychotic cat named NASA. (He’s on the right. Karma, on the left, passed away a few years ago.) Karma was named because I found her and figured it was good Karma to save her from the streets. NASA was named because when I found him and took him in, he ran around my apartment like a psycho – Figured if he kept doing that, he’d go into orbit.
What I do
I've launched several companies, ventures, and the like. The most well known was HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, which I founded in 2007. Still the largest source repository in the world for journalists looking for sources, and the largest place in the world for any company or any person to get free shots at PR, Help a Reporter Out, for free, connects over 1,200 sources per week with journalists looking to quote them. HARO was acquired in June of 2010 by Vocus, Inc.
As I said above, I’m currently a partner in a customer service consultancy that's helping to improve customer service in companies around the world. Other things I do include talking to companies across the globe about how to better implement customer service and marketing in their corporate environments to generate additional revenue. See, I’m one of those people who believes that as “cool” as the things you can do with marketing and customer service might be, if you’re using it for your business, and not generating additional revenue with it by creating additional users/buyers/customers, or solving problems with it before it costs you money, then you’re doing it wrong. I’ve never met a CEO of any size company who believes that “”cool” trumps “revenue,” so my thought process is the same – Whatever you’re doing, it needs to be about building revenue, as well as your brand, audience, etc.
I have three books out. Most recently, “Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management is Over, and Collaboration is In,” came out in April of 2013, and is my first best-seller. (Yay!) My second book, New Rules for Customer Service in a Social Media Enabled World, published by Pearson in December, 2010, is on that very topic. My first book, “Can We Do That?!? Outrageous PR Stunts That Work and Why Your Company Needs Them,” was published by Wiley in 2006.
The first company I ever started, (all the way back in 1998), a PR firm aptly called “The Geek Factory, Inc.,” had the staff and clients acquired by a larger PR firm in 2001, and now, the Geek Factory serves as a sort of “holding tank” for any new ideas that spring forth from that odd bowl of tapioca I call my brain. Finally, I'm an adjunct professor of communications and writing for PR strategy at New York University.
So in teaching all those companies about customer service, marketing, and the like, and traveling as much as I do to do it, a good portion of my tweets come from either airports, planes, or similar locations. I try to keep them interesting, usually throwing something in about why the TSA is as messed up as it is, or randomly asking if anyone wants to have dinner in whatever city or country I currently happen to be. I frequent countless United Club Lounges on a regular basis, as I’m a loyal United Airlines flyer. I usually tweet every time I find myself in a United lounge, so if you travel at all, keep an eye out, and you’re welcome to be my guest at a club if we happen to be at the same airport at the same time. (Hey, United is one of the last lounges to offer free drinks – It’s worth it!)
I do a TON of corporate and conference keynoting, ranging from local PRSA conferences, to global corporate events, all the way to multi-thousand person mega-trade shows, where I usually try and swipe someone else’s name badge and then ask people what they think of the keynote. That’s always fun, and it’s yet to get me into that much trouble.
Boards: I sit on several advisory boards and councils, some of the more fun ones include NASA, and the ScotteVest, hands down, the best travel clothing out there. In late 2010, on a dare (and to raise money for Best Friends Animal Society,) I spent four days in Asia armed with no baggage – nothing but my ScotteVest jacket, which held everything I needed. It was pretty cool!
I’m also an angel investor, with investments in several start-up web, advertising, and social media companies.
In my spare time, (about two hours a month,) I’m a B-licensed skydiver, and I completed my first Ironman Triathlon on November 28th, 2010 in Cozumel, Mexico. I’m always training for something, including my next Ironman, in Louisville in the summer of 2014.
Finally… Here are the multitude of ways to find me:
Any other questions? Feel free to ask me.
Lastly, for no apparent reason, here’s a photo of me holding a Koala. I find myself needing to say that I’ve lost over 30 pounds since that photo was taken in early 2010.
Finally – I know that much like wearing spandex, having an audience anywhere (Facebook, Twitter, TV, etc.) is a privilege – not a right. With that said, thanks for visiting – I promise to try and keep it worth your while, and if you haven't already signed up for my incredibly non-annoying-and-very-infrequent-email-update, you're welcome to click on the word "subscribe" at the top right of this page.
Thanks again for being here.