public speaking

Matt Kovacs | public relations expertise for his clients

Matt Kovacs blaze pr public relations strategist experience

How will the lockdown change the public relations industry?

Matt Kovacs is my guest today. Matt is the president of BlazePR, a corporate brand focused public relations company based in Santa Monica, California. We had a great conversation about how corporate branding public relations work and the recent changes to business travel. The PR industry has already pivoted from in person pitches and trade shows to Zoom calls and Matt sees the benefits and shortcomings of being a “remote” PR firm.

Matt talks about the evolution of public relations going from traditional media sources to bloggers to influencers and now includes “micro” and “nano” influencers. BlazePR has to constantly make the adjustments to the ever changing trends. We also discuss the phenomenon of “cancel culture” and how he prepares his clients and even his own company with the potential of being “cancelled”.

Connect with Matt Kovacs on social media:

LinkedIn

Connect with Blaze PR on social media:

Instagram

Website

Twitter

Facebook

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Intro song “Road Trip” by Robin Tricker

ABOUT

Matt Kovacs is one of California’s most respected consumer PR strategists, putting his 20 years of experience in strategic thinking and unique approaches to work for recognized brands such as Marriott Hotels, Honest Tea, Easton Sports, Newcastle Brown Ale, AmaWaterways and ESPN. In addition, Matt and his team have been instrumental in rebrands and start-ups such as AmaWaterways, Performance Bicycle, KeVita Sparkling Probiotic Beverages and Hangar 24 Brewery.

Kovacs adds his talent as the senior strategist at BLAZE PR, the nationally recognized consumer PR division of Davies. BLAZE represents leading brands in luxury travel, hospitality, consumer and lifestyle. In recent years Kovacs and his team at BLAZE have been recognized for their leadership in consumer PR, taking home two Hermes Awards, Communicator Award, PRSA PRism and Silver Quill Awards. Kovacs understands the opportunities and challenges each client faces, he leads his team to develop innovative, influential programs to overcome these obstacles and successfully achieve clients’ business objectives.

Kovacs’ expert orchestration of traditional PR and social media tools sets BLAZE apart, from earning coverage on the Today Show and Robb Report to attention on Facebook and with key bloggers. He holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Communications and History from the University of Southern California.

Mike Robbins | pivoting careers is nothing new for him

Mike Robbins public speaker motivation baseball california

Mike Robbins is a public speaker, author, an expert in teamwork and leadership and my guest on today’s podcast. Mike was a suggested guest by my sister who saw him speak a while back in Ojai, California. His career started out as a professional baseball player but then like many athletes he had to pivot his career into a new field after injuries removed him from the game he loved to play. Mike’s background of having to pivot at a young age will prove useful for him and his team as they learn how to be successful operating a public speaking organization during a time when you aren’t allowed to gather or have companies gather for functions.

“Somewhere around 25 events either postponed or cancelled and my new book “We’re All In This Together” just came out, so we had a whole book tour and book events that were scheduled and we had to adjust”.  ~ Mike Robbins on how COVID19 affected his business

His fifth and latest book “We’re All In This Together” was titled many months before the lockdown but it is a perfect title for how we had to revisit our purpose and careers as business travelers. We discuss his thoughts on speaking engagements in the future, whether virtual or with social distancing, as well as how his book can help individuals going thru these unprecedented times.

Connect with Mike Robbins:

Website

Instagram

LinkedIn

YouTube

Facebook

ABOUT

Mike Robbins is the author of five books, Focus on the Good Stuff, Be Yourself Everyone Else is Already Taken, Nothing Changes Until You Do, and, Bring Your Whole Self to Work, which have been translated into fifteen different languages.  His fifth book, We’re All in This Together: Creating a Team Culture of High Performance, Trust, and Belonging, was just released.

As an expert in teamwork, leadership, and emotional intelligence, Mike delivers keynotes and seminars around the world that empower people, leaders, and teams to engage in their work, collaborate, and perform at their best. Through his speeches, seminars, consulting, and writing, Mike teaches important techniques that allow individuals and organizations to be more appreciative, authentic, and effective.

His clients include: Google, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Schwab, LinkedIn, Deloitte, the U.S. Department of Labor, Gap, Harvard University, Coca-Cola, Chevron, eBay, Kaiser, Airbnb, UC Berkeley, the NBA, Genentech, Adobe, the Oakland A’s, and many others. Mike is a member of the National Speakers Association and is one of less than 10% of the professional speakers in the world to have earned the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation.

He has been featured on NPR, ABC News, the Oprah radio network, and in the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, the New York Times, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and many others. He’s a regular contributor to Forbes and the creator and host of the popular podcast, We’re All In This Together.

Prior to his speaking, writing, and consulting career, Mike was drafted by the New York Yankees out of high school. He turned the Yankees down and instead chose to play baseball at Stanford University, where he pitched in the College World Series. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals out of Stanford and played three seasons of professional baseball in the Royals organization before arm injuries ended his playing career while still in the minor leagues.

After his athletic career was cut short, Mike worked in sales and business development for two Internet start-ups. When the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, it allowed him to follow a deeper passion – empowering and inspiring people – and opened the door for him to start working full time as a speaker, author, and coach.

In addition to earning a degree from Stanford in American Studies with a specialization in race and ethnicity, Mike has continued to educate himself. He has extensively studied many disciplines of both personal and professional development and received training from the Coaches Training Institute.

He’s also a former board member for two non-profit organizations – Challenge Day (a powerful youth organization that focuses on inclusion, mindfulness, and personal development for teens) and The Peace Alliance (an organization focused on creating a culture of peace in America and around the world, as well as a grassroots political campaign to create a cabinet-level U.S. Department of Peace).

Mike is a contributing author to: Chicken Soup for the Single Parent’s Soul, Creating a Marriage You’ll Love, and Thirty Things to Do When You Turn Thirty.

He lives in Novato, CA (in the San Francisco Bay Area) with his wife Michelle, and their two daughters, Samantha and Rosie.

SUBSCRIBE

You can subscribe to The Travel Wins Podcast on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, Castbox, Overcast, Breaker, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, and Spotify.

Intro song “Road Trip” by Robin Tricker