Testimonials & References

A collection of people I like saying embarrassingly nice things about me (without me even paying them)…
(Last updated 29 April, 2008)

David Weinberger, Ph.D.
Fellow, The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School;
Co-author of the international bestseller The Cluetrain Manifesto

In the twelve years I’ve known Michael O’Connor Clarke as a competitor, collaborator and friend, he’s shown himself to be in the vanguard of thinking about how to market well and ethically in the new world of networked markets. He’s got just the right mix of insight, edge, humor and concern. He’s also a hell of a writer and damn funny. And I’ll be happy to say these things — and more — to your face if you want to give me a call.

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Jeneane Sessum
Writer, Blogger, Professional Communicator
Former Head of e-Business Writing, Ketchum

Michael not only understands the industries, trends, and complex challenges his clients face, but he also has keen insight – and amazing instincts – for identifying the right combination of PR programs and tactics to help his clients meet and beat those challenges.

He is a well-known strategist and author on “all things PR.” He has a unique understanding of the relatively new area of personalized media. An active blogger and online participant for several years, Michael can uniquely combine his traditional PR know-how with new media expertise to create the Total Package.

You’d be silly to let this guy pass your firm by.

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Jack Kapica
Columnist, The Globe and Mail – Canada’s National Daily Newspaper

In my job I deal with publicity people almost exclusively, mostly in fielding their requests to write about their clients.

The approaches are almost all similar — a press release with a personal attachment, followed by a phone call. A good strategy, but it doesn’t stand out.

Only one publicist has managed to get me to write about his client as the result of a personal e-mail. And this happened twice. Both times Michael O’Connor Clarke showed me he understood perfectly what interests me, and he knew how to deliver it to me in a way that made it irresistible to write about.

This kind of relationship can be made only by someone who has extraordinary talent. Mr. O’Connor Clarke has that talent, and I’m sure he will be a great asset to your company.

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Vanda Provato
Former Vice President of Marketing, AOL Canada Inc.

When Michael and I first met in the spring of 2003 to discuss AOL Canada’s PR needs and the possibility of working together, neither of us could have imagined that within a month we would find ourselves well on the path to reintroducing AOL Canada to the media industry. Without the benefit of a full strategic briefing, Michael worked with me over a weekend to draft a plan and press release to launch the latest version of our service.

From that point onward, he was a valuable and integral part of our marketing team. His insights into the Canadian tech industry and media helped us to re-establish credibility and garner attention in very short order. When Michael left his former PR agency, we transitioned the business over to his new place. Michael has been very committed to our business and played a key part in helping AOL Canada to achieve our corporate communication goals.

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Michal Berman

Mozilla Canada

I have worked with Michael in various incarnations for the past 5+ years and what I have consistently found most valuable is his ingenious creativity and his ability to distil the muddled messages to a crisp articulation and sound strategy. He can also always be counted on to be in the know about the latest in internet innovation and trends.

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Ron Mitchell
Executive Vice-President, North American Marketing Communications, Fujitsu Consulting.
Former VP, Integrated Marketing, Compaq Canada

Sound counsel, strategic thinking, and an ability to put it all into action were the things that I counted on from Michael and his team when I was with Compaq Canada and he was with Cohn & Wolfe. His leadership abilities also enabled him to assemble of team of professionals, each of whom were skilled, motivated and inspired to high performance. A great experience and one against which I have measured all subsequent agency relationships.

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Elliot Schreiber, Ph.D.
Former Senior Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications, Nortel (1995-99); Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Bayer Corp (1986-95); Group Public Affairs Manager, Du Pont Company (1980-86)

Michael O’Connor Clarke worked on behalf of itemus when I was Executive Vice President of that firm. I also had the occasion to work with Michael afterward. I have always found him to be the consummate communications professional–very knowledgeable, bright and articulate.

While he has focused most of his career on high-tech, I believe that Michael has the breadth and depth to work in any industry. I would highly recommend him to both a consulting firm or corporation seeking a highly motivated, skilled professional communications professional.

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Carl Frappaolo
Executive Vice President, co-founder of The Delphi Group

Over the course of the last 16 years, I have had the opportunity to work with Michael three times – while he was at LAVA, PC DOCS and Hummingbird. In each instance, I found him to be articulate and a straight shooter. He understands the market and how best to navigate it. But aside from all of this, he is just a pleasant person to deal with. There are no games, no hidden agendas, just honest collaboration.

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John Perenack
Principal, Room 40 Communications

Michael is one of the most qualified and astute communications professionals I’ve had the opportunity to work with. Not only does he provide sound communications counsel, he understands businesses and how they run – something that a great many PR practitioners lack. I’ve yet to run across a communications professional at his level that has the same detailed grasp of the tech space and has his network of media contacts.

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Caryn Mladen
Author, Consultant, Educator, and Lawyer. Staff Writer, Reporter World; Trainer & Consulant, The Benetech Initiative; Author, The Canadian Computer Handbook.

Michael is one of the very few PR executives I’ve met who knows how to talk to the media. As press, I give out varying levels of email addresses and phone lines to PR people, depending on how much I trust them and want to hear their lines. Michael gets my personal contact info.

He knows what will interest me and my readers, and doesn’t pester me with generic, meaningless releases. He knows that press have long memories, and that relationships are key to getting out more than a single story.

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Cheryl Giblon, Ph.D.

Former Vice President of Marketing, Canada/Director of Marketing, Americas Region, Borland Software

I first met Michael about 6 years ago when he pitched his PR firm’s services to me at Borland Software. Fortunately, I hired his team, and thus had an opportunity to work closely with Michael while they increased our corporate image in the IT marketplace. Michael is both professional and strategic in his approach to public relations – his creativity and team management skills were clearly responsible for our PR successes.

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Peter Wolchak
Editor, Backbone Magazine

Michael O’Connor Clarke is professional and personable. We have worked together within our respective roles over many years and he easily stands out from the crowd of public relations executives.

More, Michael is a good guy. And if that is a rare quality in the business world then that is only more reason to value Michael.

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Chris Wood
Senior Consultant, MAVERICK Public Relations

I had the opportunity to work with Michael several years ago when I was a recent graduate and public relations industry newcomer.

Michael’s understanding of team dynamics and complementary personalities turned what could have been an intimidating and difficult experience, into one that was positive and inspiring.

I’ve reported to several managers since and have encountered few with a more sound understanding of building workplace cultures and mentorship. I attribute many of the skills I use today to the lessons I learned under his guidance.

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