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Content Marketing is what you do!

An Interview with Joe Pulizzi,


Joe Pulizzi, founder of Junta42, will tackle the topic of "Circulation — Going Social Media Kicking and Screaming" at the 2010 Summit & Expo on May 20. Pulizzi will tell you why Twitter isn't really that stupid, why social media will become nearly automatic and why business owners are publishers whether they realize it or not. Pulizzi, who literally wrote the book on content marketing answers questions about his unusual career path.

Q. What's your "elevator speech"? What do you tell people that you do?

I'm the "poster boy" for content marketing...meaning, I help businesses learn how to be publishers to grow their business.

That means, teaching businesses how to create and distribute great content to attract and retain customers.

Q. Is there a magazine during your early years that had an impact on your life? If so, which one and why?

As a young boy, it was LEGO magazine...which is probably why I've always loved the idea of content marketing (LEGO magazine is one of the greatest examples of content marketing). LEGO created loyalty with me because they send me great information...and I'm still a LEGO fan today (as well as my kids, who also get LEGO magazine)

Q. What inspires you?

Besides my family, I get inspired by trying to inspire others...through my writing, speaking, businesses, etc. If I can positively affect someone's life, then I'm on the right path.

I'm also inspired by people that take the road less traveled.

Q. What do you think the biggest misconception about social media is?

First, that their customers DON'T use social media. Second, that social media can be used to distributed sales and marketing information. You can't have a successful social media strategy without a content strategy first. Third, that social media is siloed. Social media needs to be integrated with your entire marketing campaign.

Q. What's been your most memorable career moment?

There have been a lot. Probably the day I left Penton to start Junta42. It was a huge decision for my entire family. I also love the fact that I've been able to travel to so many different countries to talk about content marketing.

Q. How does your job differ than what you did 10 years ago? (biggest change)

The job I'm doing really didn't exist 10 years ago. Traditional marketing, although declining, was still working for the most part. Today, all businesses are publishers and don't have to go through middlemen to communicate with their customers. So, the change has been a complete 180.

Q. What do you like most about your job? What do you like least?

I like the fact that working is not really working. It's the difference between a career and a job. In a career, you always need more time. In a job, you are always looking at the clock.

It's hard to say what I like the least. I'm doing what I love. Probably the travel schedule.

Q. Describe a high or low point in your career and what you learned from it.

I've failed a lot. The first time I failed after launching my business, I thought that was it. Now I realize that failure is part of success. I don't hope for failure or anything, but I try lots of things now with the idea that a failure or redirection is part of the success process. So my outlook right now is to try as many things as possible that make sense for my business, my family and myself. It's scary and liberating at the same time.

Q. If you weren't doing what you do now, what would you want to do instead?

I'd probably be an actor. I love being on stage (probably why I love speaking so much).

Q. What do you think is the most exciting trend in the world of publishing right now?

That there are no barriers to entry. Publishers can do anything if they aren't restricted by their idea of what publishing is.

Pulizzi was interviewed by Sherry Collins founder of Swirlwind Media, Inc, a content strategy company. Collins is an active member of MMPA who is looking forward to the summit. She can be reached at