I'm very excited to announce I'm going to be joining Porter Novelli as their VP, Social Media at PN's flagship office in New York City. I had a fantastic run at BlogTalkRadio and am happy I left at a time when things are going so well for BTR (Barack O'Bama was recently on the network, for instance) and wish all of my friends and colleagues there continued success.
There are numerous reasons I'm yea and verily pumped to join Porter, not the least of which is my new boss, Stephanie Agresta. Although I haven't had a ton of personal contact with her over the years, I certainly know of her work as InternetGeekGirl and her events/work with TechSet and Brian Solis. She's got an amazing reputation amongst geeks and clients alike, and I'm honored to join her team. I owe her a big ol' shout out for introducing me to the folks at Porter and for providing me the chance to come onboard. (You can read how Stephanie joined Porter here).
I also have to mention PN's CFO, Anthony Viceroy in regards to why I'm excited about my new role. In my interview with Anthony, I was actually inspired (a word I use sparingly) by his combination of pragmatism and inspiration (you can read some of his articles on PN's site here). It's refreshing to meet someone who is a straight shooter about goals but just as articulate regarding vision. I'm a big GE fan and Anthony quoted Jeff Immelt a few times when we met. He's also a big Sopranos fan, and having auditioned for the show a number of times in my acting days it was fun to chat about the mock Mafia in an interview.
Shout outs as well to Lisa, Julie, Brad and Alexa at Porter. Really enjoyed my meetings with them and look forward to hitting the ground running on Monday when I start.
Beyond the fact that PR Week recently cited Porter as an "agency to watch" for 2009, I've been a fan of Porter for years because of my good friend, Matt Snodgrass. I covered the first Podcamp as the About.com Guide to Podcasting as I'd been following Chris Brogan's work and it was a transformative experience that eventually led me to organize two Podcamps in NYC.
Matt's presentation on how podcasters should organize their content to be more reachable to advertisers still stands out in my mind as one of the best talks of the event. He outlined how people could focus their content to be more accessible/attractive to advertisers if they wanted to make money doing what they loved. His would be the first of about seven trillion talks I've heard on how to monetize social media, but waaaay early on Matt demonstrated that he and Porter looked ahead to emerging trends/technologies versus being focused solely on one or two methodologies for delivering a message.
Finally, in my work at BTR and in general I've come to firmly believe that it is in the realm of PR that some of the most exciting work in social media is being done. Where it seems in the past that PR came into play after strategy had already taken place, now PR gets a seat at the table up front with budgets to boot. Since media these days tends to focus on the social side of things this makes sense, as PR folks should be the experts at dealing with influentials on a personal and relevant basis.
But who knows how PR will evolve? And who even knows if the term "PR" will stick? I'm not married to any sacred cows if they don't provide value for clients and resonate for real. Essentially, it seems to me that the work of any solid PR firm involves four primary steps:
- Create relevant, real and captivating campaigns for clients.
- Execute the snot out of those campaigns while providing solid metrics to determine actual ROI.
- Provide over the top client services so people literally could not do without you.
If I've left something out it likely falls somewhere in that mix.
Along with Porter's amazing list of current clients we'll be adding more soon and I'll get to focus on emerging trends like augmented reality and focus on subjects I hold dear to my heart like transparency as well.
In summation, I'm pumped.
Feel free to reach me at my personal email (johnchavens AT gmail DOT com) until I have my Porter contact info, or you can find me on twitter at johnchavens.