This is a hard post for me to write, but after seven years of work I’m no longer with Voce Communications. There are reasons for this, of course, but I’m not going to go into details here. Buy me a beer sometime and I’ll tell you all about it.
What does this mean? Well before I start looking to the future let’s look to the past a bit.
I joined Voce in early 2009 and was lucky enough to be working with two guys I respected immensely, Mike Manuel and Josh Hallett. Between the two of them, and with the staff they had at the time, they’d already done a lot at Voce, including building blogs and content publishing programs for those blogs for clients like eBay, PlayStation and Disney Parks, an impressive list for an agency which at the time had about a half-dozen dedicated social media staff. My coming onboard was part of the formation of Voce Connect, a group that was formalized with the acquisition of cnp_studio down in Winter Haven, FL, the team of WordPress developers that had built those blogs. So it all came together.
In my time at Voce I’ve had the opportunity to do some amazing things when it comes to content publishing programs. I’ve worked with companies like Intel, Sony, Comcast, eHealthInsurance, VeriSign and DC Entertainment. That last one was my biggest and longest-lasting client, allowing me to manage a program that published an average of ~1,200 posts a month in the last two years of what wound up being a four-and-a-half year working relationship. At its best, that relationship, like any other good partnership, pushed my thinking, skills and ability to new places. It also brought me to San Diego Comic-Con five times to do live coverage (an exhausting feat that I could write at length about and might some day) as well as to other conventions.
I’ve also been the person behind Voce – and later Porter Novelli’s, after the acquisition by that larger agency – social media accounts and blogs. That’s allowed me additional outlets on which to do my own writing, the ability to be editor-in-chief for other people’s contributions and much more. One of the things I’m most proud of in my time there is what is now PNConnect Weekly Reading. That started out as a short email to the Voce Connect team with interesting news from the past week and is now an email newsletter that goes to all 1,500+ of PN’s worldwide staff, as well as a public-facing blog post. In addition to that I created and have maintained one-sheet downloads on most major social networks and apps that are of interest to content marketing pros, again something that started out as a bootstrapped project and soon became a formal internal initiative.
Surprisingly, I don’t have many regrets about my time at Voce. As you can see from the above I had tremendous opportunities, some of which were offered to me, some of which I seized on my own because they were there for the taking. I met some great people and had the chance to work on some great projects. I’d still recommend Voce to anyone who asked.
In addition to Manuel and Hallett, my Voce tenure gave me the opportunity to work with a couple guys I’d liked and respected for years, namely Dave Coustan, Christopher Barger and Doug Haslam. Each moved on from Voce at various times and for various reasons but they all contributed to an amazing experience and pushed me to think of things in new and interesting ways. They were sources of laughter, inspiration and much more. I could name more of the Vocians who have left a lasting impression, but the list is too long and I’d inevitably leave someone important out. But they know who they are and how much they meant to me.
So now for the “what’s next” section. The truth is right now that I don’t know. I’m looking for something new, of course, and want to work for a Chicago company again, as most of my career I’ve been a remote staff member, even when I’ve worked in a Chicago-based office. I’m a writer at my core and, while I do content strategy very well (if I do say so myself) I’ll be looking for opportunities to write any and every chance I get. When I know what the next chapter of my journey will entail, I’ll share it here. In the meantime, if you’re looking for someone to be awesome and bring all his passion to bear for you, this is where you can find me. You can view my resume here.