Making a Move

The last time I switched jobs, I was barely blogging, and didn’t feel the need to publish anything about my move. Really, who cared?

Today is different. I suspect that most of the people who read this blog closely are friends or know me enough to be interested, which is why I am writing here about my move from Topaz Partners to SHIFT Communications (actually, I suspect many of you know already, but I’m still posting here just in case).

Oops, did I bury the lead?

Yes, I am changing jobs, to become an account director at SHIFT. My new role will stress management and team-building rather than pitching the media, an evolution I am eager to make. As much as I loved pitching stories to the media, applying my expertise to helping others do it properly holds a ton of appeal for me.

Also important: SHIFT keeps in place many of the things I look for in a public relations agency, especially a social media emphasis that does not ignore- or segregate- “traditional” media PR.

I look forward to joining Todd Defren and the team at SHIFT, including former (soon to be “former-former”) colleagues Sandy Kalik and Ashley Girard and some of the other young social media stars in the PR world.

As for Topaz, I want to thank principals Tony Sapienza and Paula Slotkin for the opportunity and encouragement over the last three-plus years. Similarly, I would like to thank colleagues and friends such as Adam Zand, Todd Van Hoosear, Glen Zimmerman, Tim Allik and a bunch of others, too many to include them all (sorry!). My time at Topaz is the reason I am so active in social media in the first place (Tech PR Gems, PRobecast, my introduction to PodCamp and more), and I did not make this decision easily.

Still, I can’t wait to start a new chapter in my career, and I will share what I learn as I settle in to my new role.

One Last Thing
The toughest part of changing jobs is packing the desk and deciding what to keep and what to throw out. The most difficult decision: I never EVER throw out my copies of PC Magazine, some of which are pictured below. But how to carry them? I fret.


  1. Someone needs to send this post to Lance, stat!

    Congrats on the move. I think the world of Marie and Chris in SF. Great people, both of them.

    Interns – make the intern carry them out to the car, and the new intern carry them in to the office. You gotta protect the back for your marathon.

  2. Good luck and much happiness in the new role. Could have just as well wished you over at twitter but thought this would be more fun. Quite like a handwritten letter in an age of email.

  3. Hey buddy. You’ll be sorely missed.

    You’re not dead to me–I have a lot of respect for the team Todd et al. have been able to put together. In fact, I’m less mad at you than at Sandy, because I explicitly said she could go ANYWHERE but to SHIFT and look what happened there…

    At this point it goes without saying that TOPAZ is ALSO hiring at all levels… ;-) (IF you think you can come close to filling Doug’s shoes–but heck, even if you can’t we’ll still talk to you.)

    Bob, Todd, buy me a few more beers and I won’t hold it against you so much…

    Good luck, Doug!

  4. Dave Beaudouin

    Hey, Doug: Congrats on the move! My advice–recycle anything older than 6 months. Or do a ritual burn!

  5. Liz Page | @lizwebpage

    Doug! Congrats on the new job. Wishing you continued happiness and fulfillment in your fabulous career. I’ll even buy you a free beer next time I see ya! ;)

  6. Doug,

    Congratulations on your new position at Shift. I’m sure you’ll be great in handling teambuilding and management duties, and I understand your attraction to putting your strategic thinking, mentoring and love of people to work in this new role. Best wishes and good luck! I hope we can tweet up soon when you come to San Francisco, or I visit Boston.

    Cheers, with a toast to your success,


  7. Congratulations Doug! It’s always exciting and scary to make a move. I hope it’s everything that you hope. Glad to hear your interested in passing on your knowledge to others – it’s one of the things I like to do most!

  8. Call me gullible, I’ll take you at your word that you are doing this mostly for the good of our planet, reducing your annual carbon foot print by approximately 2.13 tons to a mere.09 tons based on calcuations. I realize that new career developments and responsibilities are a nice side benefit, but let’s be honest here – I know where your heart is with this environmental stuff and I admire your fierce loyalty to the Earth Mother. Just don’t try to ride a bike to work wearing Tivas unless you want to lose a toe nail. All the best, Tim

  9. Thanks for the kind words all:

    Jeremy– sure, Lance U. (PC Mag’s EIC, folks) can sign all my copies!

    J. and Kate: Interns! That’s why I love the Webs, for all the great ideas

    Daniel- Thanks man, I think I’m still allowed to Twitter and Utter, etc. so there will be lots of thoughts thunk in public.

    Kristin– great to hear from you– thanks!

    Liz – Can you buy me an expensive beer instead of a free one? ;)

    Chuck– yup, 2 miles– I could walk it if I wanted to

    Tim– yes, that carbon footprint will shrink big-time (now about my methane footprint)

    Todd V: implementing Operation: keep Todd V drunk will be my first act in my new role

    David– I don’t do ritual burns, but I do do slow burns…

    Deeps- doesn’t matter where you comment– thanks for doing it here though!

    Cathryn – with a SHIFT office in SF, I am more certain we will finally meet in person one way or the other.

    Jackie, Max, Marina, Phillip and Kevin– again, thanks for the kind words!

    Todd D.: “Moseying?” I see you have already been told about my management style. Yup, I mosey a lot. Looking forward to joining you!

  10. Congratulations on the new role and move, managing people can be a lot more fun sometimes. :-)

    Doing it yourself is sometimes easy, but getting other people to do the work for you, why that’s an art.

  11. Your absence will be like a 1940s hat –
    The PR Glimmer Twins will get the band back together soon – you and our fans/detractors can book that!
    Cheers mate, Adam

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