Back in January when I wrote Re-design 2009, I never imagined that my redesign would include an executive position with a leading global public relations firm. In fact, I didn’t even realize that over the last few years I had become a “PR person.” I just wanted more flexibility in my project choices and changed my business model accordingly. Today, I’m very proud to announce that I have become the EVP and Global Director of Digital Strategy and Social Media for Porter Novelli.
As someone that has been in online marketing for 15 years, I view the changes going on in the marketplace through a holistic lens. I don’t see these shifts as merely “social media phenomena.” I think about digital broadly, understanding all aspects of the evolution we’ve been experiencing for two decades now. Back in the 90′s I participated in the “e-commerce revolution” and worked for companies like Barnes & Noble.com to figure out how online consumer sales would change the world of retail. Guess what – it did! Media, publishing and communications are now experiencing these same cataclysmic shifts. My latest career choice is a symbol of this change and I’m excited to continue to push the envelope of this industry – now as part of the Porter Novelli team.
This was truly a kismet kind of situation (yes that is meant to be geek double entendre). Serving on a panel for @pepsico, I got to meet Marian Salzman and was blown away by her brilliance and spirit. For those who wonder why I’d want to give up working for myself in a very entrepreneurial way, I’ll quote my dear friend Tara Hunt in her recent post describing her decision to leave San Francisco, “because it is time.”
Yes, large companies bring security and money. Honestly though, talented and experienced independents that know how to execute (and sell) do very well in this business. I could have easily continued working for myself and had a very lush life. This choice is about the opportunity and the team. I’m ready to take on bigger challenges and play in a global pond. I am excited to work with an array of blue-chip clients and be backed by an organization with resources and a commitment to transforming their business through digital marketing. I am also excited to spend more time writing and thinking about trends in this business (when you work for yourself you spend a lot of time on sales and operations and the writing gets put by the wayside).
The Porter Novelli family stole my heart with their passion and smarts. The Executive Team (shout out to Gary, Anthony, Marian, Julie, Michael, Lisa R.) and Brad McCormick (who I will work with hand-in-glove) are total rock stars. Aaron DeLucia and the team in Austin are amazing (and I cannot wait to go visit them soon and have some BBQ and start plotting SXSW 2010). Together, we will cross-pollinate our ideas and experience and innovate in a way that differentiates us from the pack.
Stephanie Agresta Consulting, InternetGeekGirl, Affiliate-Karma and my other burgeoning ventures (TechSet and UltimateRaceDay), will continue in some form and fashion. I’d like to think of myself now as “Powered by Porter Novelli.”
You can find the “official press release” on the site. As my good friend Jeremiah Owyang pointed out: “It screams so “PR;” I do hope you have a heart felt social way of telling the story too.”
Well I do. My story is much deeper and more complicated than everything I can put in this post, but it’s a start. I look forward to seeing many of you in the coming months as I head out on the road to meet PN staffers. As I told Jeremiah – I don’t believe in throwing out the baby with the bath water. There is still a place for a collection of words and quotes and background information. How it gets delivered and to who is evolving. But ultimately, there are many ways to tell a story.
I want to give a shout out to the many people who I consult when I think about my life choices. @chrismccaffrey, my family and non-industry friends make up the foundation of life. Plus my colleagues that I rely on for guidance and support and laughter: Brian Solis, Tara Hunt, Chris Brogan, Howard Greenstein, Rick Calvert, Cindy L’Esperance, Hugh MacLeod, Steve Rosenbaum and so many more I can’t fit them in here. THANK YOU ALL!!