Where are you based?
State College, Pennsylvania
What job do you do?
Growth Marketing, PR, Social Media
How did you get into marketing/communications?
I was getting my MFA in Playwright writing and an alumnus visited to teach a class on TV writing. He was developing documentaries with NYTV and he said “Use that network. Be assertive. Be Pushy. Call and ask for the job.” So I called him and asked for a job the next day and started doing documentary development.
As the dot com boom was happening, Documentary Development became Corporate TV, Corporate Communications, and Digital Agency stuff. I was a producer and copywriter and I rode along that wave of development and expansion as NYTV became NYD2 and then D2 Creative, a full-service branding and creative agency.
I wanted to see the process from the inside, so I worked with other technology start-ups and joined Ariba, then moved onto AccuWeather to return to the nexus of technology and media where I was happiest. I started as Integrated Marketing Manager (a title we thought was funny even at the time) and became PR Director.
I left AccuWeather after 12 years and wanted to find the most exciting area in technology and media and settled on games (an old love) and blockchain (a new fascination).
I am currently with indie PC-games studio, Heroic Games, where I am PR Director and with an Australian Full-Service agency for ICOs (crypto and blockchain clients) called Crypto Profits.
I have gone from documentaries to the web explosion of the 1990s to weather/media and now block-chain and PC games. I’ve had a very fortunate series of event and the chance to work with many exciting companies, from F500 to start-ups, in literally dozens of verticals.
What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
I’m always happiest when a story is well told. It connects my core value as a storyteller (and once playwright) and my current work. I’m proud of taking Heroic Games pre-Alpha MMORPG “Ship of Heroes” and helping to make it a known and anticipated successor to the much-missed “City of Heroes”, twilighted 6 years ago but still fondly remembered by a strong online community.
I am proud of much of my work with AccuWeather, but loved the moments when B2C and B2B would blend with a “broadcast media” edge. One example was AccuWeather’s Spotify channel which used big-data combinations of weather conditions and user data to give users playlists based on what people in their location like to listen to based on the weather. That was a huge story and appeared in every major tech publication and many mainstream news outlets like HuffPost.
I’ve taken that same approach as a growth marketer and experienced PR professional and I’m happily applying it to a number of ICOs. One client, Treon is bringing the ability to make block-chain-based payments on utilities, a real advantage for 1.7 billion un-banked mobile users in places like Africa and part of Asia. Treon is making it possible for those users to avoid standing in long lines where conditions are uncomfortable and potentially unsafe and local currencies may be unstable. Block-chain may create advantages in places like the US and Europe, but in emerging economies its distributed security and ease of use will change and improve lives, letting people make easy payments on block chain instead of spending 20 hours/month waiting in line with hard currency at local utilities offices.
How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
I’ve helped get the message out with Heroic Games and Ship of Heroes. It’s involved lots of media outreach, messaging, media development and media outreach as well as constant social media community management. We have taken Ship of Heroes from a game that was unknown to a much-anticipated MMORPG to launch in 2019.
With AccuWeather I helped to write the proposals and form the relationships with OEMS/ODMs and handset manufacturers. That’s what really helped make AccuWeather a global brand with over 1.5 billion daily users – pre-loads and apps on mobile phones and IoT devices all over the world. I also helped found AccuWeather’s social media and news teams and changed the way that they do PR outreach which had a major impact on coverage, allowing them to meet and exceed the mindshare of their major competitor even though that competitor has a 24-hour cable channel all over the US.
I’m excited by the work I’m doing with ICOs like Treon, PlayChip, Worbli, Virtuse, and Peer Mountain. We are helping to bring new and innovative solutions to the market – some of which will change the world. It’s a great place to be for growth and new challenges.
What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
It’s always a challenge to reinvent yourself and I’ve had to several times – from TV to new media, from new media to big data and IoT implementations and now onto block-chain and crypto currencies and PC games. It was a challenge to move on from AccuWeather after being there so long, but I leveraged the fact that I had the chance to work with so many different kinds of implementations and have hundreds of media contacts I am in regular contact with (many reached out to me to see how I was once I left AccuWeather. It was really nice of them.) Of course, writing is always at my core – writing and telling a great story which crosses all boundaries of medium and audience. That’s what took me into gaming and the crypto block-chain space.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
I once read that most successful people get their opportunities not by reaching very far out of their network of contacts but by making the most of the opportunities close to them. I’ve made a few professional leaps but it has always been a matter of connecting the dots between what I do well and what the client needs. There is always a demand for people that will help new clients and established brands tell their stories well to a broader audience, whether that is lead generation, acquisition marketing, community management, or public relations. As long as you play to your strengths and find where your skills are indispensable, which takes some nerve and creativity to make that mental leap, you will always maximise the opportunities that come your way.
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