I’ve known, Doug Haslam, account director at PR powerhouse, SHIFT Communications, for a couple of years now. I think we first met at one of Bryan Person’s Social Media Breakfasts in Boston and all I could think of is why is this guy’s name “Dough?” Dough is of course Doug’s calling card on Twitter, a tool he has become incredibly good at. Doug is also synonomous in my mind with the “utter-cast” or a short podcast, usually done from a mobile phone via the microblogging site, Utterli.com.
But enough about Doug and on to his answers to the five questions in my Experts in the Industry: 45 Interviews in 45 Days:
In one sentence, please describe what you do and why you’re good at it.
I create best-of-breed, out-of-the-box communications solutions for bleeding-edge clients, because I am expert in human-interactive paradigm shifts. (I’m in public relations, and I’m good at it because I am forever a student and lover of the media.)
How did you get into the world of online community, social media or social marketing?
On a dare (I saw blogs rising in 2004, and dabbled. Became more active upon joining Topaz Partners in 2005, and started a Podcast there as well– -from there, Twitter, Second Life, you name it. I was and remain a serial social media tool user.)
If you had $10 million to invest in one company and one company only based on their use of “social,” which company would it be and why?
Facebook- they have become the first true mainstream social network. Everyone is there now, including people who ignored me in high school who now want to Super Zombie Poke and have pillow fights with me (why didn’t they want to have pillow fights when I was 17? That would have been cool).
Which business leader, politician or public figure do you most respect?
I’m glad you didn’t say “like” because the ones that get my respect don’t care about being liked, and I don’t necessarily like them myself. My congressman, Barney Frank, is one of those people. He fights and doesn’t care what people think. You don’t have to be a flaming liberal to respect that, but it helps. Another, believe it or not, is Jason Calacanis. He may or may not be a complete jackass and often deserves the bombs thrown his way in public discourse, but he delivers and he has been successful no matter what you think of him. Plus he gives back to the community– just on his own terms.
Would you join a toothpaste community? Why?
Yes. Two painful root canals and an 11 year-old who is good at brushing, but always could use a nudge about tooth care. Plus, I would enjoy grossing people out with my wisdom tooth story.
Freeform – here’s where you can riff on anyone or anything – good or bad. Or just share a pearl of wisdom.
Duke Ellington said there are two kinds of music in the world: good and bad. He was also fond of the phrase “beyond category.” That’s great to remember when we try to box up people and tools into categories. Define things for yourself, but don’t get thrown off when someone else defines it a totally different way– even if it’s your brand. Oh, and I understand the Duke was pretty sharp with the ladies.