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Prior to founding STIR-Communications in 2004 as an initial tax loop hole, Greg Salsburg was hailed as a “PR Wunderkid” by The New York Daily News. Further proving you can fool all of the people all of the time, his business insights and skills were also noticed by Crain’s New York Business who called him “A sagacious marketer with keen tactical instincts.” TIMEOUT said of his work, “Creative, forward thinking and exciting.” Following a move to South Florida, Salsburg was immediately named a business “Up & Comer” by South Florida Business Journal and named South Florida CEO’s “Power Player.” All of which has made his grandmother very proud and her bridge partners envious. You too can see for yourself why Greg has charmed the masses through witty and insightful ramblings here.
Today, STIR-Communications is a solution focused Advertising, Strategic Public Relations and Multimedia firm, formed to kick the asses of all the unimaginative sycophants piously hiding behind their marketing jargon gleaned only earlier in the day from their local coffee shop.
MO: How much experience did you have working with ‘unimaginative sycophants’ before starting your own PR and Advertising firm? Did regular contact with insipid people in the industry provide some of the motivation for becoming an entrepreneur?
Greg: I am amazed by the deafening tone of the status quo. Far too many have come to regard rampant infancies as an expectable norm. It’s not the fault of business owners as they have been doing all they can just to stay afloat and as such any lifeline looks attractive at first blush. However, these firms only know how to create awareness at best, not value. Ever try depositing awareness at a bank?
Prior to founding my own firm, I worked in various businesses and was often the person responsible to hire the outside firm. I was struck by how much effort was made by these “outside firms” in trying to impress me with how wonderful and smart they were. Acronyms and sector lexicon were used ad nauseam in attempts to further distinguish themselves. All the while they forgot their sole purpose: to solve my business needs. I have always been an entrepreneur, even when I worked within other companies. To me, entrepreneurship is driven by a mindset: to create value, be unwavering in pursuit and take full responsibilities for your actions. We apply those principles as our company mandate.
MO: When you were hiring for the position of VP, you gave candidates an unusual way of communicating how compatible they were for STIR. Can you please explain to our readers what you did, why you did it and if they should implement similar strategies during the hiring process?
Greg: As you know, there is only so much one can glean from a CV and an interview. As such, we view a successful company is a living organism and one way to ensure your company culture is set forth and maintained is through gleaning a bit of insight into an individual’s personality. We may be labeled as being in the business of creative advertising and strategic public relations, but we are also in sales, finance, branding, technology, strategy and much more.
These types of questions help me dig deeper into the capabilities of the applicant to determine how a candidate may react to many demands. More importantly, the whole process makes me laugh. Some examples of the questions are:
• Who I am as a person?
• What’s my passion?
• What makes me unique?
MO: I loved reading that you start each day with watching one video from Ted.com. How do you decide which video to watch and how are you able to channel that sense of feeling inspired into the rest of your day?
Greg: Your question makes me wish I was more methodical and deliberate with my actions as to project deep thought. Truth is I purposely just click. I never read the introductions and never search topics. I never want to allow my preconceived thought patterns or notions to guide me, as I aspire to find inspiration from all walks of life. Wow, maybe I am deeper than I imagined!
I cannot recall an instance where I am not either guided by a principle or inspirational thought learned earlier that day. However, at the very least I will often share something directly or indirectly that was inspired from that daily intake. Having that pay it forward moment is reason enough.
MO: Can you tell our readers how you were able to shift your business strategy during the collapse of the economy in a way that left you thriving instead of just surviving?
Greg: As John Dillinger once replied to the question of why he robs banks, “because that’s where the money is.” Just prior to the worst economic turmoil since the Great Depression we chose to revamp our entire company. At the time, more than 60 percent of our gross revenue came from the real estate industry (and as we all know that was about to vanish). To mitigate loss, we shifted strategy in every facet of our business. This resulted in growth during a period of time when many faltered or became stagnant. More importantly, since we knew we had what it took to survive, our abilities to become greater assets to our clients became evident. Our success opened the door to providing more than our core competencies to our clients by delving deeper as true consultants.
MO: What’s been the greatest lesson you’ve learned while founding and developing your own company?
Greg: “Never waste the opportunities offered by a good crisis,” said Machiavelli. We have spent the past three years flying under the radar – since many were struggling we felt it was in poor taste to shout from the mountaintops. Throughout this time, we spent the past year writing a blog, http://gregsalsburg.blogspot.com/, which has built a substantial following, sharing our experience and insight to those interested.
MO: What are you looking forward to achieving next?
Greg: A true result of building upon existing and forging new relationships with clients is the opportunity to jointly form a new digital media company focused on education.
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