Brian Bose Goes to China with CoolTribe.com: The PlanetShifter.com Magazine and Networks Interview by Willi Paul
How do you define sustainability?
I have to say that I smile every time I hear “sustainability” because it really seems to have become a big buzz word these days. At least more so than in the past. It’s always been a key factor when discussing conservation, but through its constant use people have elevated it to a whole new level. We no longer have to put the word “environmental” in front of it to make sure folks know exactly what we want to protect and sustain. Which is great. It means more people are becoming aware and hopefully doing what they can to achieve that goal, which in a nut shell - and to answer your question - is to ensure the environment and its plethora of respective ecosystems are maintaining a healthy status amid Mankind’s ever-expanding presence on this planet.
What are some of your key writing and green public relations experiences?
When it comes to writing in general, I’ve the pleasure of graduating from a journalism program that specifically centered around the environment. It was an environmental journalism master’s program, which not only honed my writing skills but introduced me to a number of different local environmental issues. So, I had a great starting point when it came to working as an environmental reporter, then as a public relations/marketing rep.
Course, much of my success when it comes to sales and marketing, unfortunately, involve non-eco friendly products. Not to say they weren’t necessarily bad for the environment and our goal of global sustainability, but they certainly didn’t help. That is the exact reason why I’m so excited to now focus on products and services that I completely agree with and have a passion about. Considering I had many successful campaigns pushing products I didn’t completely agree with, like computer parts and connection panels from China, which carried a huge carbon footprint and ended up in the landfill after only a few short years, I’m hopeful to have even more success now.
Speaking Of Which, Tell Us About This New Firm – Verde Vista?
I would be happy to. Verde Vista is a media and community relations firm solely dedicated to products, services, actions, deeds of individuals and companies that help reduce the negative impact we are having on this great plane of our’s. Verde Vista, by the way, means “green view” in Spanish, and is the street outside my office window. So coming up with a name for the venture was much easier than I thought. I just looked out the window, saw the street sign and smiled.
Considering I championed many campaigns for products I didn’t quite believe in, I am enthusiastic to be putting together media blitzes for companies that produce goods that help in our goal of sustaining a healthy, viable natural planet.
What are your new green routines at home and work?
To be honest, I could be a whole lot greener when it comes to the environment. I think 95 % of us can be. I have neighbors with compost piles and bins in their backyards, but I have not followed suit on that yet. One day soon I’ll overcome my laziness of walking into the yard each time to dump my leftovers. Instead I’ve just been finishing off everyone’s leftovers for them – me and the dog.
We do our share though. We recently turned in one of our car’s so we are a one-car family. It has caused more headache than I thought trying to coordinate everyone’s schedules, but we feel good about not having another car on the road. It has also led to a lot more walking and riding of bikes, so that is good.
We do our best to buy organic local groceries too. It’s amazing what you can find at most farmer’s markets these days. The one here in Saratoga, Calif., has almost everything you’d buy at a store and it’s all local and mostly organic. Pretty cool knowing your blueberries come from a farm two miles away and not from Chile. On that note, everyone should get canvas-type bags and use them when shopping – what a waste to have all your groceries get stuffed into plastic bags each and every time, That’s an easy, green, no-brainer for everyone as far as I’m concerned.
What makes you excited about CoolTribe.com and PlanetShifter.com Magazine & Networks opportunity?
Here are two very popular and well-known players in the online environmental community. To be partnered with both straight out of the gates, is a huge bonus for Verde Vista. Cool Tribe has such a huge following, be it through their online “tribe” discussions or just visitors going to the site to help Green their lives. For them to allow Verde Vista to come in and help them advertise their site and vice versa, is very exciting. The same is true for PlanetShifter. I heard the other day that PlanetShifter has conducted more than 230 interviews with companies and individuals who are helping build local and global sustainability -- basically amazing. Hopefully, we’ll all continue to get the Green word out while also helping a company’s bottom line.
How do you find the branding nuggets in the chaos of a start-up firm?
To be honest, it’s tough. You not only are the new kid on the green block, but you have to also search for opportunities in a tough economy. While looking to push the Green label, there is also a shortage of the other green out there for marketing and advertising. The almighty dollar that is.
That is why partnering with other companies and marketing firms that share the same goal as Verde Vista is so vital. Fortunately, too, there is a lot of folks out there that feel the same we all do about the environment. The eco-revolution has also entered mainstream society – it is no longer just a minute movement centered in towns like Berkeley, Boulder, or Santa Cruz, it’s in every city now and in most households. Even companies that never intended to push eco-friendly products know the power of that ever-increasing mentality. And they are tapping into it
Tell us about your sales tool kit. How do you build relationships?
The relationship part of it all is the easy part. And the fun part because we all share the same goal. We want to be profitable, of course, but we want to do it in a way that doesn’t negatively impact the planet. Having the same goals with your client makes it that much easier to get the word out. Because everyone in the relationship has passion about what we’re doing. And many in the online, print, and broadcast markets share that passion as well. So, we at Verde Vista will feed off that and make sure each client is successful.
You have lived in some of the most environmentally progressive cities, including Boulder, Austin and Berkeley. What makes these places work for you and family?
To be honest, I never realized that until just now. Great question. It wasn’t as if I specifically targeted it that way, Boulder and Berkeley were for education purposes and my old employer transferred me to Austin. We also lived in Santa Cruz, California, which is very proactive in the eco-movement as well.
But we loved each and every one those places. Each has its own down-to-earth, laid-back attitude which is intoxicating. I remember not wanting to leave Boulder after earning my master’s degree, but left to pursue a career as a reporter. We just left Austin two months ago to move back to the Bay Area where I grew up, and that was probably the hardest. Our family met a ton of great people out there and the music and restaurants are top-notch. Course, the summer heat was brutal. As was the overall Texas state political situation. But, I digress on that.
Luckily for us, being back in the Bay Area means we get to visit Berkeley and Santa Cruz quite often. Moving back from Texas, what stuck me the most was how green and majestic the Santa Cruz mountains are. If you ever get the chance, take a drive up the Northern California coast. The coast line and the majestic redwood trees are awe-inspiring.
To end, tell us quickly about your cartoon book: “A Freak of Nature?”
Ha! Let’s just call that a project of passion. Long ago, when I was fresh out of college and looking for a job, I decided to try my hand at starting an environmentally based cartoon. I was hoping it would be the next Far Side, but it didn’t turn out that way. For one, I couldn’t draw all that well. I pretty much self-taught myself and it involved a lot of erasing and redrawing. So, they are a bit crude, but on the other hand pretty darn funny! I think anyway. Course, I’m biased.
I had many of the single-panel cartoons published in several weekly and monthly publications in and around Boulder, Colorado, but nothing substantial. I ended up getting a job as reporter in Lake Tahoe, so kind of put it all aside and forgot about it. One day I stumbled upon the cartoons in a dusty box in my garage and I thought, what the heck, I’ll compile them all together and make a book. I self-published them under the cartoon’s title: A Freak Of Nature. They are zany, Far Side, eco-satirical captions in nature and the book can be found on Amazon. I have plenty of copies still left in my garage so there’s plenty to go around!
Brian Bose - US & China Sales / Marketing Consultant
CoolTribe.com and PlanetShifter.com Magazine & Networks
brianbose at cooltribe.com
brian at verdevistapr.com