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Focus on the Value You Create, Not on Yourself with Mark Naples

Mark Naples is the founder of WIT Strategy and has led strategic efforts on behalf of more than 450 companies, complete company re-positioning campaigns, and dozens of corporate and product launches. He joins the show today to talk about keeping your ego checked, why “bro culture” holds back brands, the importance of setting ground rules and keeping your principles honed, and building trust and true rapport with the media. Kevin also shares the wonderful yet horrible experiences he had while running for office!


[9:44] Mark and Kevin talk about a few intense interactions with nameless figureheads about wanting to be on the cover of a magazine, when the focus should first be adding value and establishing trust with the media.

[11:41] Sir John Durham had what Mark calls an “intellectual curiosity that was insatiable, and an emotional connection and empathy that was insatiable.”

[14:40] Mark discusses working independently and getting to choose who he works with, and who he chooses not to work with.

[16:12] Kevin ran for office? He discusses both horrible and wonderful, and wonderfully horrible experiences. Why did Facebook shut down his account during the most crucial week?

[19:41] Does Mark just walk away from the conversation where someone can’t put their ego down, or does he keep a positive perspective?

[21:21] What are some symptoms of “bro culture,” and how does it hold companies and brands back?

[28:36] Your job is to help the reporter get smart about what it is you are offering, and help them understand it better. That is how you’re going to really succeed.

[35:32] How important is it when you’re getting information to be able to pair that up with somebody? How much information do you share with that reporter about the type of interaction that they’re likely to have?

[41:37] Mark mentions two great young journalists, Michael Learmonth and Emily Steele, who are now these hyper-respected people, and which one of them he’s afraid of.

[48:25] What are some of the best practices in building trust with reporters?

[49:01] Where is it going? Is it going to get any better?


  • “To be authoritative, you have to have the respect of your peers and you have to be positioned well in the media.” — Mark
  • “I tell them that you really need to focus on the value you create, not on yourself.” — Mark
  • “Help the reporter get smart and help them understand better what problem you’re solving. That’s how you’re going to really succeed.” — Mark

Mentioned in This Episode:

Sir John Durham

Tribute links to John Durham – Kevin will add

Mark Naples

WIT Strategy

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