Dave Armon is the President and CEO of Brand.com . He has 20+ years of experience building and protecting brands through PR, marketing and technology innovation. I asked him 5 questions. These are his unedited responses.
1. You've been in communications, PR and marketing since before the Internet was relevant. Did you see the digital revolution coming even back then?
Even in 1982, I was typing in the language now familiar to kids texting on their phones. At United Press International, our message wire connected our news bureaus via a 60-baud teletype circuit. Since we were sharing the same line with Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, New York Local and New England bureaus, we had to brief. “NXF-DV How pls Kodak earns?” was short for the New York Financial desk asking me to expedite my Eastman Kodak Company earnings story. So, yes, I enjoyed a digital lifestyle over the UPI message wire, a Radio Shack TRS80 Model 100 laptop with an eight-line LCD screen and acoustic cup modem, a CompuServe dial-up account with the screen name 76645,75, and then a job at PR Newswire, which fed press releases to newsrooms via K-band satellite and a noisy Okidata printer.
2. How did you adapt to the digital seismic shifting of the business landscape?
The only way to grow your skillset and not go crazy when disruptive forces threaten your existing business is to embrace new technologies and methodologies rather than digging in and denying their power. But it’s possible to go too far and run away from a perfectly good legacy business. Take the lead from your customers. If they will keep spending on the old stuff as well as your newer offerings, you’ve nailed it.
3. What is your favorite Web site?
I prefer to set it and forget it, and for news to find me. So I rely on Critical Mention to send me alerts for breaking news on TV and in mainstream online media. For NYC news, I visit Gothamist. PR Week, Ad Age and Mediabistro’s PRNewser blog are important for my work life.
4. How much time do you spend on Social Media each day?
I’m always on social. I try to keep tuned into LinkedIn and Twitter in real-time, but mainly in response mode to content involving me directly. Creating original content or interacting with friends generally happens early in the morning, late at night, or when I’m traveling. Facebook gets a look once or twice outside of work. When I have interesting video content, work or family related, I upload and share via YouTube.
5. Has there been a day in the past month when you haven't checked your smartphone (as in completely turned it off)?
When I upgraded from my iPhone 4s to my iPhone 6, there was a half day when things were not working properly. It was refreshing. I think I even read the New Yorker that day.