NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?

Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur


Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad


David Alexander: Managing Director, Calacus Public Relations

My NativeAdVice:


David Alexander is Managing Director of Calacus, a specialist public relations consultancy based in London. He started his career as a sports journalist, initially covering non-league football (semi-professional soccer) before working for regional and national newspapers including The Times and The Sunday Telegraph. After spells at the BBC and then Reuters in Italy, he moved into public relations. David has played a key role in a wide range of major sports event bids and campaigns, working with international governing bodies as well as other major sports, charities, brands and individuals including global sports superstars and members of royalty. A Founding CIPR Chartered Practitioner, David’s work has taken him all over the world providing communications consultancy, crisis and reputation management and good old media relations.

How did you get into the industry?

I wanted to be a footballer and spent every breaktime at school paying but I knew I was never going to be good enough.

I was always strong at English at school and from an early age I had decided if I couldn’t play football for a living, I’d like to get paid to watch it.

I chased work experience from early school years and became sports editor at my university newspaper throughout my studies.

I went to a careers chat while I was there with a media expert who said “Of those of you who DO become journalists, 75% will end up in PR.” This was the very early 1990s and I didn’t even know what PR was.

I got my head down, worked my way up from local to national to international newspapers and broadcasters and fulfilled every professional ambition I had dreamt of within a decade.

The internet then started to boom and I could see that journalists would be squeezed as a consequence.

Coupled with feeling that I had written similar stories a dozen times before and not being prepared to agree with editors who wanted negative stories rather than inspiration, I decided to move from poacher to gamekeeper.

I was thrown in at the deep end, moving from managing the production team for a high-profile TV show on behalf of a client to running the international UK office for a major sports campaign.

Any emerging industry trends?

Depending on who you listen to, PR is eating the lunch of or being threatened by any of management consultants, digital agencies, advertisers and video producers.

Media relations is not as prevalent as it has been in the past, as the industry constricts, but the fact remains: you have to be a good communicator and be able to create interesting stories that are simple to understand and inspire and engage the right audiences.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

Calacus focuses on sport and fitness, areas that do not tend to be affected as badly during a recession as some other industries. Sports sponsorship and governance will always need communications support, particularly as new events are emerging every year.

Healthy living is becoming more and more integral in daily life, so we find a lot of organizations are looking for support, from gyms and trainers to nutritionists, new fundraising sports events and medical experts focusing on recovery or specific sports injuries.

In terms of challenges, the changes to bid processes, particularly in the Olympic Movement, has changed the landscape to some degree but other bids and campaigns always arise that require our support.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

I started Calacus with a vision to ensure that we would provide first class communications support for our clients.

I’d seen in some of my agency roles a cookie-cutter approach to client activity and also that chasing a new client was the buzz rather than doing great work for those we had. The only time some of them turned up was when there was some celebrity involvement or activity and staff spent more time playing darts or table football than working diligently.

Everyone who represents Calacus has to work closely with our clients and treat them as partners rather than just a paycheck.

We provide high level consultancy for a wide range of sports and my vision is to ensure we maintain our standards and positive growth.  

What's next for the Business in the near future?

We’re working with some great organizations and individuals in soccer right now and with the FIFA World Cup taking place next summer, we’re sure to be busy.

A lot of our focus is on supporting CEOs and founders and we’re going to be expanding our work in that field to serve the individuals who are so often the face of their organizations.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

Relationships are vital in business and life. Being trustworthy and honorable go a long way and I am passionate about ensuring that my team and I maintain the highest standards.

Tenacity, creativity and curiosity are fundamental and we have built our reputations on those values.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

I moved into PR because I loved the idea of being challenged every day and that is certainly the case.

Our names were once put on a press release which went out around the world via PR Newswire for a highly controversial brand we had nothing to do with. The client didn’t think we would mind and sent the release without discussing it with us, creating a few hours of concern while we removed ourselves from the release and explained to clients that we had nothing to do with the tarnished organization (which also had nothing to do with sport).

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

Most of our clients are fantastic. They are available quickly, understand the ups and downs of communications and that it is impossible to control everything that is said about you.

Sport and fitness attracts some great people who want to inspire others through competition or participation and we are privileged to help them do so.

How do you motivate others?

I think leading by example is the best motivation.

But I also think providing opportunities and giving responsibility is great motivation.

I always tell new staff that we are a team, we win together and lose together. And through the money-can’t-buy professional experiences we undertake, the team and I know that we make a positive difference. And that feels special.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Study study study.

I am a CIPR Founding Chartered Practitioner and encourage everyone to invest in their own personal development on a regular basis.

That means being aware of new trends and technologies, reading superb case studies and spending time away from your work station learning the new skills that will keep you relevant.

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