The era of successful jerks in business and marketing is over, according to Peter Shankman. The founder of Help a Reporter Out HARO and now VP and small business evangelist for Vocus, which acquired HARO in 2010, has dealt with a fair amount of jerks throughout his career. ClickZ caught up with Shankman following the release of his latest book, “Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management is Over – and Collaboration Is In,” to learn more about his positive vibrations in marketing and how marketers can be effective without being a jerk.
As Shankman prepares to launch a new consultancy next month based on the teachings in his book, he describes how business leaders can generate more revenue by empowering their entire workforce to simply do what is right.
ClickZ: How does one become a successful marketer without being a jerk?
Peter Shankman: When you look at 50 years ago, no one really cared how you acted. You could do pretty much whatever you wanted and you didnt get in trouble because it was really hard to catch you, as it were. But, the problem is now you have everything out there. Everyone you meet, everyone you talk to, everyone you know has some sort of 24-hour connection to the Internet and the ability to grab anything – audio, video, or otherwise – anytime they want. That, fortunately, winds up resulting in the ability to lie disappearing. It used to be when you would screw up at some capacity at a company, there was nothing they could do about it. They were upset, they told their friends maybe. Now its everywhere and its very easy. So with this 24-hour connected world that were in, the easiest way to keep the clients you have and gain new ones is simply to be 1 percent nicer than what we always expect, which lets face it is crap.