with Michelle LaRowe
Editor in Chief
At the 2012 INA Annual Conference, I had the opportunity to meet Peter Shankman, the king of all things social media, public relations and marketing. If you happen to follow Peter on Facebook, you know he’s pretty transparent and super interactive. So when his Facebook status showed a picture of funny-faced Peter with a caption mentioning he was bored in a taxi, I jumped at the opportunity to help cure his boredom and emailed over 10 questions about his recent big announcement: He’s having a baby!
Here’s what I asked him and what he had to say.
#1 When is your baby due?
#2 How did your wife tell you?
She was so shocked (we weren’t trying) that she called me on my mobile when I was on the Metro in DC. “Hey hon, what’s up?” “I’m pregnant.” “Um… OK then.”
#3 What was your initial response?
Floored, then I looked around at the eight people on the Metro with me and was like, “Should I tell them this?”
#4 What scares you?
Not being able to be there for her at any time.
#5 What doesn’t?
Lots of things scare me. That’s how you know you’re alive. I’m not scared that she’s going to be creative and talented. It’s in both family bloodlines.
#6 What’s the one thing you want to teach your child?
Be honest, be true to yourself, and ALWAYS listen to your gut.
#7 What’s the one thing you don’t?
I don’t want her to care about what other people think about her. Some will love her, some will hate her. I wasted WAY too much time in my life caring what people who didn’t matter thought about me.
#8 How do you plan to balance being in parent in the public eye?
It’s very simple: She’ll come first. Family first, always.
#9 Will you cut back on travel?
I might in the beginning, but during Hurricane Sandy, my wife’s office was closed for a week, and we were home all week together. By the fourth day, she was like, “Um, don’t you have a trip to take or something?”
#10 How about sky diving or other adventures?
You’ve got to live your life. My “control-alt-delete-brain-reset” is skydiving. It’s what I need to do to be the best person I can be, and alternately, the best father I can be to my daughter. I believe that if it’s your time, it’s your time. Wouldn’t you be SO angry if you quit skydiving to be “safer,” and then, the day after you did, you were hit by a pie truck and killed?
Peter is entrepreneur, speaker, worldwide connector and author of Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work and Why Your Company Needs Them (Wiley and Sons 2006) and Customer Service: New Rules for a Social-Enabled World (Que/Pearson, 2010). You can learn more about Peter at http://shankman.com and follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/PeterShankman.