#hiremikeholden: Taking my job search viral and starting a PR/marketing firm


—Original Post—
As I take the next step forward in my career, I’m looking to do two things and I hope you’ll take a couple of minutes to check this out and share it with people.

My goals with this blog post:

  1. Leverage my network to take my PR/Marketing job search viral
  2. Take on PR/Marketing clients and start my own firm

Leveraging my network for a viral job search
On the first item, whenever it has come time for me to take the next step in my career, I’ve almost always found that new opportunity through my network of business contacts, former colleagues, classmates, family and friends. My hope is that I can leverage my network to take my job search viral this time, putting my talents and resume in front of more people quicker. If you think others might benefit from working with me, either on a full-time or contract basis, please use the sharing options at the bottom of this post to pass it along to others.

For a look at some of my skills and accomplishments, please read on…

Taking on clients for PR/Marketing work
For over a dozen years I’ve worked in marketing and PR, compiling experience across a number of industries such as retail, education, the performing arts, non-profits, membership organizations, and more.

If you want to develop email campaigns that generate clicks to your website, I can take your objectives and turn them into marketing copy that excites people. If you want blog content that will enhance your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts and that your customers will want to share via their social networks, contact me so that we can discuss it. If creative, out-of-the-box PR ideas are what you’re looking for, I can develop campaigns that will get you press and word-of-mouth buzz. I’ve successfully pitched stories at the local and national level to outlets such as the New York Times, NBC Nightly News, Politico, Yahoo Sports, The Washington Post and hundreds of others.

Examples of my work…

  • As the media relations manager for Wolf Trap, I helped to launch the performing arts organization’s internet radio station and successfully pitched a story to The Washington Post about the way Wolf Trap and other venues were using this and other technologies such as podcasts: “Arts Groups Put on Their Own Shows.”
  • With D.C. area restaurant company Austin Grill, I launched a promotion with the NHL’s Washington Capitals that gave fans free wings anytime the team scored six goals or more at home. It received press from Deadspin.com, was mentioned by Alex Ovechkin in a post-game interview, made it onto team owner Ted Leonsis’ blog and was featured in this Washington Post article: “Caps Fans Devour Wings.” A similar version of the wings promotion lives on today with Glory Days Grill.
  • While with education non-profit ABCTE, the CEO and I brainstormed an idea to promote a free trial of our program through a call to action on the main page of our website, which ended up driving in 75-100 sales leads per week for the company.
  • In 2009, using this blog at mikeholden.com, I helped bring attention to how some D.C. area sports fans were frustrated about a ComcastSportsnet channel not being carried by Verizon FiOS. Verizon eventually added the channel (check out the comments here).
  • At the World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA), I used a combination of paid ads along with online content and contests to grow the organization’s Facebook fans from 9,000 to over 17,000 in less than six months. I worked with the IT team to launch the Kickball Today blog, using it as landing page for emails and social media campaigns. I also oversaw development of a franchise section of WAKA website and a sports franchise microsite.

Those are a few examples of my work. Please check out my LinkedIn profile for more on my experience.

But what I really want to talk about is how I can help you
I thought it was important that I list some of what I’ve done in PR and marketing, but I’m really more interested in discussing how I can leverage this experience to help you and others.

If you know someone who might be interested in working with me, please take a minute to share this via email, Facebook , Twitter, etc. using the links below. I can also be reached via email at blog AT mikeholden.com, on Twitter at @mikeholden (I’m also going to use the hashtag #hiremikeholden there to help spread the word about this blog post), or just call me at 703-606-8398.

Thanks in advance to all of you who help spread the word!

On the Web, Athletes are Leaving Money on the Table

More athletes need web pages. This doesn’t sound like something that should have to be said in 2009, but Google your favorite athlete and see what comes up. Chances are the first few results are for stats/bio pages on the big sports sites—like ESPN.com or Yahoo! Sports—or for Wikipedia pages. Sometimes the top results are recent headlines about the athlete.

But what you don’t see enough of in the top results are official websites for these athletes—in other words, their own web page through which they can grab web traffic and where they get to control the content. Some sports figures have them, but not enough do.

It may seem that, unless the athlete is someone who loves the spotlight, they don’t need a website. Or that because many of them are financially set, they don’t need their own online outlet to promote themselves further. I don’t see it that way.

In my opinion, every athlete, especially the ones on the fringe, should have their own space on the web—someplace they can show their worth, pitch their products, generate support for their charities or mobilize their fans in any way they’d like.

Next time an athlete is in a popularity contest to make the last spot on the all-star team, a player with a high-traffic website, a mailing list and a strong Twitter following could have the edge.

A website could be one way for a current athlete to set themselves up to transition into a career in the broadcast booth, by getting started now with video postings and podcasts.

Or if a coach or player decides to write a book, it has better chances of hitting the best seller list quicker if that new author has a website with regular visitors.

And for retired athletes who may have played their sport before contracts got to be as lucrative as they are today, a website could be a key revenue-generator for selling autographed memorabilia, booking speaking engagements or showing they have a following that makes them worthy of endorsement deals.

Even the last player to make a pro roster has people searching for them in Google. But if any athlete, well-known or obscure, doesn’t have a site waiting to be found on Google, etc., then all the web hits go to the ESPNs and Yahoo Sports of the world.

A simple website and a little Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should get the official site of most athletes placing on the first page of the Google results, probably in the top 3 to 5 slots depending on what else they’re up against and the effectiveness of their SEO efforts. For those who don’t want the distraction or who don’t have the time to produce content for their site, there are people who can help.

But when an athlete doesn’t have a website up and running, so they can grab some of the search traffic their name generates, it’s like leaving money on the table.