Seeking Full Time Position or Contract Opportunity in a combination of the following areas: Marketing, PR, Social Media/Content Strategy, Product Evangelism, Sales, Sponsorships, Business Development (B2B/B2C)
SEE LinkedIn PROFILE HERE with references.
I was a computer junkie during High School, having found a passion for technology via my Apple IIe, a gift from my folks for my 15th Birthday. It was then that I formed the foundation of my knowledge in Information Technology, becoming exposed to databases via Ashton Tate’s Dbase I, Wordstar, Visicalc and the Internet, which back then was known as the Arpanet, developed by the United States Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. I connected via a 300/1200 Baud modem, Kermit (Transmission Protocol) and a phone line that dialed into the University of Maryland’s VMS system (Yes. The phone bills dialing from Queens, NY were very high) It opened up my world and I connected to people globally via a green dot and relay chat and was in constant touch via email with my Dad’s cousin who was head of Tel Aviv University’s Computer Science Dept (Taunivm). I was a Usenet/Netnews aficionado, and was amazed and enchanted by the huge amount information that was available for FREE. I didn’t realize it back then, but I was essentially marketing in the pre-web world to spread the word to my friends about upcoming campus events using the CUNYVM Bitnet system via email and instant messaging. I even had set up a BBS in my parent’s basement (the connection screech was too much for my mom to bear) on my dual 5.25 inch floppy equipped IIe. I aptly called it the Apple Orchard BBS and after a while had some active users. It was fun. Hey. I was 15 years old!
I began programming in Motorola 6502 Assembly language and Apple Basic and created some graphic games. With my favorite show being Airwolf, for example I created a game that had a helicopter controlled via a joystick and fired missiles on command.
When I entered college in the late 80s, I signed up for a Bitnet account on the computer center’s IBM VM/370 and instantly became connected to thousands of Universities worldwide. My dad purchased a Maxum 286 Turbo (6/8 MHZ) Intel computer for my 18th Birthday that had a whopping 42 Megabyte Priam Hard Drive and Dual 5.25 floppies. I quickly became an MS Dos 3.3.expert. This was before Windows 3.1.
Upon dropping out of Queens College after 3 years of my failed search of what I wanted to do in life, I was hired by a 70 Store national beachwear chain (Sales of $80 Million Annually) as a Project coordinator for store systems. On the first day at the company, my manager, an ex-IDF Sergeant showed me 100 stacked boxes that contained state-of-the-art IBM POS registers and said. You know POS? I said What’s that? He answered Point of Sale and handed me a stack of manuals and said here you go. I dove right in, learned the 4680 Operating system that was at the core of the General Sales Application, the software that ran the system. Shortly after, at the age of 23, I was having conversations with senior IBM engineers in Raleigh, NC and I learned 4680 basic which the software that ran the registers was programmed in. For the basic modifications that the company needed, I wrote much of the code and spent a few weeks down in Raleigh in sessions with IBM engineers.
Over the next 8 months or so and 70 hour + work weeks, I had traveled the country, installing systems in over 50 stores, taking fresh inventory, setting up the systems with scanners, implementing communications between the head office in Queens and all the stores, training store personnel, handling price changes, SKU classification and pretty much all that was needed to maintain strict inventory control and sales for a full-blown multi-million dollar retail operation. I spent many nights in the stores, barely sleeping and operating the bar code ticket printers and managing retail/distribution operations on the companies AS/400 – Based ERP system via dial-up modem.
I was in my early 20s when I started at Wings and I had spent a few years at the company, when my former boss told me of an opening at Century 21 Dept. stores (then a booming retailer with 2 stores and sales of 100 million dollars plus) across from the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan. The position was as the Director of Store System Infrastructure tasked with maintaining an outdated NCR 7052 POS system while writing requests for proposals and meeting with national vendors to discuss requirements for a new IBM based system. The budget for the project was close to a Million dollars. I worked 60+ hour weeks for 3 years and was in charge of every system that handled money including cash counting, the cutting edge hand scanning Time and Attendance system for over 1,000 employees, credit card authorization and the POS system which was comprised of 150 stations that sat in the Manhattan and Brooklyn stores. I was one of the most important employees at the company and the environment was all very dynamic which I thrived on.
After I left Century after a few years of hard (but enjoyable:) labor, I consulted in the area of Retail Systems for such companies as The Gap, Louis Vuitton and Steve Madden, moving on to San Francisco, where I worked for a Fortune 500 Consulting firm in charge of recruiting and biz dev at the height of first startup explosion of the late 90s. When the bubble burst, I went back to school for a degree in Communications.
Elements of Sound
It was right around the time of my stint at Century 21 in the mid 90s that I became involved in the music business when I met a musician in my building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that I discovered had mutual connections with me in Israel. I fell in love with his band that melded the music of Shlomo Carlebach and 60s Psychedelia. I went on to manage, book and promote them using whatever technology was available with the still-in-its-infancy WWW (Way before there was a term Social Media Marketing) through the use of such avenues as email (for whoever had it) and YahooGroups coupled with real world marketing (word of mouth, posters, fliers and PR), booking and packing venues nationwide. Carlos Santana, Jane’s Addiction, Steve Kimock, Merl Saunders, Israeli artists Ha’Banot Nechama, J.Viewz, Geva Alon and Coolooloosh are just a few of the acts I have worked with, having placed artists over the years on stages in front of tens of thousands of people globally. As new technologies made their way into the public sphere, I would apply my acumen for sensing promotional opportunities via Blogging, MySpace, twitter and Facebook; all the while using writing as my tool to connect with music fans.
It was around this time, that I met a beautiful girl under a tree in Sheep’s Meadow in Manhattan’s Central Park. We got to talking and she told me that I should start writing. So, I began a journey that had a pen flying across hundred of sheets of paper over the next few years while on my global travel adventures and as the road manager for a few bands on East coast tours.
When I moved to San Francisco in 1997 for 10 years, I continued on my music path in a variety of ways, working in various aspects of the music business in Booking, Promotion and Music Production. I also graduated with a BA in Speech Communications from San Francisco State University with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Persuasion, my true passion.
I have also had the pleasure of working for and with some of NYC’s and San Francisco’s top Music Event Promoters and Production impresarios who have worked with the likes of of U2, REM, Bruce Springsteen, Dylan and with whose who had worked with who many view as the greatest Rock promoter in history, Holocaust refugee and the Legendary Bill Graham (discovered Carlos Santana, Managed Jefferson Airplane, founded the Fillmore in NYC and SF) ; taking part in producing events from anywhere from 500 to 60,000 people. This is my passion. To heighten awareness and raise visibility of products, ideas and entities via the written and spoken word; to place them on a pedestal via Sales, Business Development, Marketing, PR. Whatever it takes.
I strongly believe that in today’s Web 2.0 and traditional PR world, companies need a 360 degree marketing plan. I have a solid background in PR, writing, product evangelism and understand how Social Media all ties together so that organizations can enjoy increased visibility and secure goals.
Once I discover an opportunity, I naturally devise a strategy to contact the right person using the right words to make something happen. I’m a big fan or PR and have had much success in a number of different areas getting stories covered. I believe in Organic marketing and while advertising is great, there is nothing like good ol’ fashioned PR. Read this story that will communicate the difference between PR and Advertising. I also believe that by using my methodology, I have proven that with the right message to the right person, I can make things happen, whether it is in Sales, Marketing or PR, all facets I have seen some success.
Content Marketing is gaining steam and rightfully so. But, it must bring insight and new knowledge to audiences. By utilizing such avenues as LinkedIn and coupling it with a compelling content writing strategy, you can connect with your target market and drive enormous amounts of traffic.
But, I have a lot to talk about and I am very confident in saying that my skills and experience may very well be a great match for what you need, and would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you in person.
After almost 7 years in Israel, I am well-connected in the StartUp scene, having consulted well over 30 companies in the areas of Marketing, PR and Business Development.
Living in the Limelight, on a lighted stage is not only a product’s universal dream. It is also a dream of mine to put one there.
Thanks for your time and I optimistically look forward to hearing from you.
Alex S. Gutman