By Pamela Muldoon published October 16, 2014

The Pivot: Crime and Public Relations—a Content Marketer’s Story

Pivot_JoeC-01More than likely, you know the name Joe Chernov as the VP of Content Marketing for Eloqua. Or perhaps he’s familiar to you as the inaugural CMI Content Marketer of the Year in 2012. Joe’s current position is that of VP of Content Marketing at HubSpot, a role he has held since December 2013.

In this recorded conversation that took place shortly before he assumed this role, Todd Wheatland sat down with Joe Chernov to get to know the man behind the titles and awards. Todd wanted to know Joe’s backstory — the real story behind his success.

What may surprise you 

What makes “The Pivot: Marketing Backstories” interviews so different is Todd’s ability to pull out some unknown surprises from each of his guests. In the case of Joe Chernov, did you know the following?

  • Joe fancies himself an introvert masquerading as an extrovert in his online persona. The greatest compliment he has received was being included on a list of the most accessible marketers via social media — a role that he loves but that tends to collide with his true identity as an introvert.
  • Joe was a middle child, having an older brother and a younger sister. He often played the self-appointed role of liaison between his siblings and his parents. To this day, he carries with him a strong sense of justice, which plays out when he witnesses an event or moment that seems unjust.
  • Joe’s first career was in the public sector, helping crime victims by connecting them to the system to get restitution. It was one of these situations that would be the first of two pivots for Joe.

Joe’s pivots

Joe Chernov experienced two major moments in his life that pivoted him toward his role as a modern marketer:

  • The first pivot occurred when the daughter of a client became the victim of a crime. He knew he couldn’t continue working in the public sector. His first step was a visit to the local library to get as many books on PR as he could, which started him on the path to his current position in the marketing industry.
  • The second pivot for Joe occurred while sharing with a prospective employer the most recent press his last agency had received (including The New York Times, The Economist, and a spot on the CBS Evening News). The only response he received was “How many Twitter followers do you have?” That question stopped him in his tracks. In his words, “Until I had a good answer to that question, there was a new world that was opening up and I wasn’t going to get a key to that gate.”

Joe’s definition of influencer

One of the key topics Joe and Todd chatted about was influencer marketing, which is something Joe is passionate about. Todd asked Joe to share his thoughts, as an advisor to social intelligence software product Little Bird, on what it means to be an influencer in today’s digital marketing space:

The key to influencer relations is you… To earn the right to be a peer, start with the perception that you are one. And don’t just talk to talk, have something to add. That’s why it has to be routine; it has to be 30 minutes a day, an hour a day that you give yourself to work on those relationships… if you do it right, it is in the best interest of both.

Looking for more guidance on influencer marketing? Download our toolkit, The Complete Guide to Influencer Marketing: Strategies, Templates & Tools, which walks you through a simple 10-step process and provides three customizable templates. 

Listen to Todd’s full interview with Joe Chernov here:

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Author: Pamela Muldoon

Pamela Muldoon is the Podcast Network Director for the CMI Podcast Network. In her role with CMI, she assists the podcast hosts with the development, production, distribution and promotion of their shows. Pamela is a veteran podcaster who can be heard on the CMI Podcast Network with her latest show "Content Marketing NEXT". To date, she has interviewed over 200 business and marketing professionals as part of her podcast formats. She is also a professional VoiceOver talent specializing in commercial, narration, eLearning, and promo projects. Learn more at or Follow her on Twitter @pamelamuldoon.

Other posts by Pamela Muldoon

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  • Joe Chernov

    What a surprise this was to read and listen to. Thanks so much for sharing it Pam and CMI friends. And thanks for such a good conversation, Todd.

  • Pamela Muldoon

    Joe, I love this interview. Todd is bringing a very unique approach to the interview format and he has this uncanny ability to pull out some great gems from his guests. You have a great story, Joe. Thank you for sharing!

  • rogercparker

    Joe, Todd, Pamela: That closing quote, “The key to influencer relations…” is spectacular in its conciseness and insights. It should appear on sticky notes attached to every computer monitor!

    • Pamela Muldoon

      Roger, I agree! Joe provided some wonderful nuggets in this interview and his thoughts on influencer relations were spot on! We appreciate you tuning in and so glad you found value! Thank you!

  • ashish

    Great share.. Added a lot of value.. looking forward to further great stuff.


    • Pamela Muldoon

      Great to hear, thank you Ashish! Todd is a natural interviewer and Joe was a great guest. Excellent all around! Thank you for listening!

  • deepak phalswal

    Nice Articles…Very related to the content marketing stuff..

    Deepak Phalswal