tl; dr; I’m looking for an awesome PR or corporate communications role. I want to grow your business, your clients and your team. Check out my resume here.

Seems like I dust off the blog only when I make a career change. And this time is no different except this change was a bit different. I was recently “restructured” out of my last role. PR is a results-oriented business and I delivered some really cool results including:

  • More than 50 unique placements
  • More than $250,000 in demonstrable revenue from communications programs
  • Expanded the Pro Staff program into several new verticals
  • Secured numerous review opportunities including having landed more than 12 unique reviewers prior to being laid off
  • Organically grew the social media audience by more than 85%

So now I am in search of my next adventure and ready to jump into my next amazing opportunity.

What am I looking for?

I’ve been thinking about what type of role and company I would like to be a part of moving forward. Here’s what are important to me in what’s next:

  • Comfortable in a B2B, consumer and pro-sumer environment.
  • A role that fuses PR and social media in order to drive business results
  • Ability to lead a team and/or mentor junior team members
  • Ability to utilize resources such as design, web development and subject matter experts to bolster content creation
  • Company or agency that values customers
  • Types of companies I would love: Outdoors sports (hunting, fishing, camping…), consumer technology (audio, VR, augmented reality), enterprise hardware or transportation technology

If you’ve got an idea that fits into the bullet points above or even if it doesn’t, let’s make it happen.

Connect with me on LinkedIn here. Or, you can view my resume here.

An alternative title to this is “How I plan to shape the future of PR from within”

You see, after nearly six years helping run PR programs across global organizations that are launching their first-ever tablet to startup software companies looking to reinvent their brand with a new product or application it’s time for me to go chase awesome from behind the brand.

Starting next week I’ll be helping a local Seattle manufacturing company share its awesome story and running its communications team. RAM Mounts makes a mounting system for tablets, smart phones and cameras so they can be secure in planes, boats, cars or on your helmet.

I’ve had a lot of really cool opportunities over the year and I’m extremely appreciative of the opportunities I’ve had, especially with Voxus PR. I’m bummed to leave a great team doing some really cool work but I’m off to chase an adventure and RAM Mounts gives me that adventure.

So, what does this mean? It means that I get to learn, grow and experiment some more. It means I get to help a home-grown company (it started in south Seattle and the current manufacturing and corporate offices are just a few blocks from where it started) tell some awesome stories. I get to work in the outdoors/lifestyle sector and there might be some B2B things to work on in the near future, but we have nothing specific to announce at this time.

But what about those lessons I promised in my headline? Sure, I’ll give you five lessons I’ve learned from PR.

  1. Be awesome. Tell awesome stories. Put up awesome pictures. Give awesome quotes. If you’re not being awesome, nobody will care about you.
  2. Don’t back away. Publish the blog post. Put the bolder call to action on it and then blast it everywhere you want. It’ll be OK.
  3. Be human. Have a voice, have something to say and be passionate about it.
  4. There’s a story in there somewhere. Every product, new customer, new use case or even potential announcement has a story that can be told. Put content together and tell that story.
  5. Have fun. I have adopted a motto: “It’s PR and not the ER.” For some, it is. But for most of us, lives don’t hinge on our next tweet or press release. Get it right and refer to lesson #1 if unsure.

There you go. A major life announcement, a listicle and a cool image. This blog post had everything. Here’s to adventure!

The bruises and scarring and suffering are not a PR problem.

The signs of battered woman syndrome are not a PR problem.

The tears of children are not a PR problem.

These are our problems and ones that society as a whole must address. The recent spate of domestic violence issues surrounding NFL players such as Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and others has shone a blinding spotlight on these issues and I hope it doesn’t go to waste.

But this is a PR blog and so we’ll tackle the PR issues. The NFL isn’t “messaging this correctly.” How could they not “get ahead of this?” What’s the talking point around the league owners’ positions?

This, of course, is all nonsense. The only thing that matters right now is for society to ensure that we do what we can to eliminate the sense that physical and emotional assault are acceptable behaviors. For the NFL, this means that any player arrested (key word as investigations do need to occur) for domestic/child abuse is suspended indefinitely without pay. A conviction results in immediate expulsion from the league.

I am an ardent fan of the NFL. I have spent more money with that league than I should even consider admitting. And I know that, ultimately, my singular voice is not enough to instigate change. But for those considering boycotting, do it. For those considering selling season tickets or burning Adrian Peterson jerseys, do it. For those considering reaching out for help, by all means, please do it now. Please.

Seattle-area domestic violence resources:

I know this is a sensitive topic and that words and actions matter. I am hoping that the PR and league leadership show that these issues truly matter and quit trying to sweep it away with union contracts and empty talking points about “due process” and wondering if certain players are “available” for a game.

Of course, there’s the story line of football being an aggressive sport and that they aren’t equipped to “shut it off.” I have spent off-field time with multiple NFL players. Some more genuine than others perhaps, but I’ll be damned if they weren’t able to turn it off. This is a cheap out for those that are accused of this. It’s time to take that easy excuse away.

So yeah, this isn’t a PR problem. This is our problem and I’m hoping that we as a collective society won’t continue to tolerate this problem.

I’m spending the weekend in a small town (the sign says population 350, but I’d guess it’s half that) attending my sister’s high school graduation. A large part of my time here will be spent just sitting and watching the customers in my mom’s small cafe.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about customer service, public relations and the importance of word of mouth marketing by sitting in my mom’s various restaurants. She has a 40+year career as a waitress, restaurant manager and now owner/operator of small cafes, and has always been full of lessons that she does not know she is able to share.

Reputation is everything

In a town of 350, bringing in new business is actually second to ensuring that the business you do have sticks around. Keeping the regulars happy, even the ones who come in only for a morning cup of coffee is vital to your long-term success. In PR, we see similar opportunities. That reporter at the small, independent blog could soon be leading TechMeme’s leaderboard. By taking care of those around you, you can ensure that your reputation bolsters your ability to generate results.

A quality product goes a long way

The Seiad Valley Cafe is known for its pancake challenge. You get two hours to eat a mountain of pancakes that occupies the space a medium pizza normally would. But by offering a great product that is of consistent quality, the success of the business is ensured. This means the avocado is freshly cut and the gravy is made every morning. Your product needs to keep the customers coming back. It needs to solve problems that customers didn’t even know they had and encourage them to want more of your products or services.

Community is key

This is the most important aspect of running a successful business. For my mom’s restaurant, it means treating everyone with respect, buying the occasional meal and welcoming weary travelers making their way down the Pacific Crest Trail. Similarly, we utilize social media in an attempt to share content and to embark on a “content marketing” mission. The reality is, by utilizing digital and social media, we are enabling our community to interact with our businesses as people. This is why being a human (and not a bot) on social media is not only a good idea, but something I advocate for as being a best practice. Even if you’re simply sharing a news item, adding just a slightly human voice can make a tremendous impact on your overall success.

By embracing the same principles as a small-town restaurant’s approach to its daily operations, you can build your business’ marketing and pr programs with ease. Just make sure your biscuits and gravy are the best in the area.

We recently found out that my wife is pregnant with our second child. With that comes a fair amount of introspection, thinking about the future and what is to come. For me, this sense of adventure, this sense of wonder, was coupled with an opportunity.

That sense of adventure and that opportunity to pursue it are leading me to a new opportunity. Starting in a couple of days, I will be joining a scrappy PR agency called Voxus where I will get to work with a growing client base that is focused on emerging technologies, service providers and consumer companies. I get to work with startups again and this makes me happy. I get to help shape some amazing stories. (and, as with our first child, there’s precedent too)

I’m going to miss the friends I have made over the last 3.5 years at Waggener Edstrom. I have had some amazing opportunities to do amazing work with amazing people. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. 

I mentioned amazing experiences and opportunities. I’ve helped bring Windows 8 to the world, I’ve helped bring Microsoft Surface to the world. I’ve been a part of countless brainstorms, strategy sessions and other activities that help set the course for one of the biggest companies in the world. These experiences are what I keep this in mind whenever I had a frustrating experience or was asked to pull coverage at 4pm on a Friday or refresh that briefing doc for the 12th time. This is the best job in the world, hands down. We get to tell stories and create. We get paid to create amazing that makes people happy, elicits emotions and rewards the junior software engineer coding away on the next version of Dynamics or Office or a new database schema with their moment in the headlines.

I am thankful for the laughs, deep sighs and countless swear words exclaimed. I am thankful for the happy hours, the events, the times looking for pizza in Austin at 1am. I am thankful for the lessons and the support for me and my family. And with that, I am going to work with a small and scrappy agency that helps small and scrappy clients tell big stories. I’ll still be doing digital work (which means too much time on Twitter) and even sharing learnings and some best practices from time to time.

Away we go on a new adventure. And, if you’ve ever wanted to work with me, now’s the time. Let’s go tell some amazing stories!