Talking Business With Bob

Where are you from? What brought you to Boston?

I was brought up in Franklin, Massachusetts, and left town to attend college. I studied for three semesters at Bates College in Maine, then transferred to UMass Amherst, where I received my B.A. Cum Laude. I then went to Brooklyn College, where I received an M.S. in Television. After living in Brooklyn, New York and Des Moines, Iowa, for a few years, I returned to the Boston area, where I have lived ever since.


What got you interested in marketing? What’s your favorite thing about your job?

I’ve always enjoyed writing. I started keeping a journal as a teenager and wrote for the student newspaper in both high school and college. Given all my experience as a young writer, I landed a job immediately following graduate school as a copywriter at RCA Direct Marketing, writing about popular music for the record and tape club. I know, that sounds like ancient history, but that was an awesome introduction to marketing, my first big break. And the rest, as they say, has been history.

I’ve been in the marketing field for over 30 years, working as a copywriter and creative director with different job titles along the way. Today, I am director of social media at Overdrive Interactive, a very cool digital marketing agency in Allston. What I love most about my job is having the opportunity to express myself on a regular basis, whether as my own personal brand or on behalf of a client, in words and pictures. Like an actor, it is both a creative role and a business responsibility in which the success of what I share publicly is measured by the response from the audience.


What advice would you give someone interested in getting into the marketing communications field?

Communication skills are critical, both written and verbal, regardless of your career path. Become a strong writer. And develop your public speaking and presentation skills. Keep current with popular culture. Be well-read and informed. Keep up to date with popular trends and topics. And today, more than ever, knowing how to use new technologies and tools is imperative.


What are some of your proudest accomplishments?

Personally, I’m a proud husband, father and stepfather. Professionally, I am proud to have been named the Direct Marketer of the Year in 2009 by the New England Direct Marketing Association (NEDMA) and to have received more than 40 awards from NEDMA for my work, including a Gold award for my blog on social media and marketing, which I started in 2004, a Gold award for “Best Tweets” and a Silver award for “Best Copywriting.” I also enjoy public speaking and talking about social media and marketing at conferences and industry events. I am a Past President of NEDMA (1999-2000), a Past President of two Toastmasters clubs and a graduate of Leadership MetroWest’s Leadership Academy.


What are your hobbies outside of work?

My biggest “hobby” outside of work is running. I’ve run hundreds of road races over the years, including the Boston Marathon 12 times (nine times for charity), three other marathons and the Mount Washington Road Race, a 7.6-mile run up the tallest peak in New England, three times.


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