The Publicist Who Isn’t Afraid of a Little Controversy… In Fact, He Welcomes It!

River, you did a phenomenal job promoting me and my debut novel, Crossing Oceans, to the local community. I was so impressed with you that I said, “You really should open your own PR Firm.” At the time, you already had a job you loved promoting events for the Roanoke City Libraries. Well, fast-forward a few years now you indeed are the president of your own PR firm, Silver Seas! Tell us the latest on that venture. (For the sake of, ehem, journalistic integrity, I should note here, that I’m also working as a publicist with Silver Seas, so yes, this is shameless self-promotion. See, we’re good at this!)

For as far back as I can recall, being a promoter has been hardwired inside of me. I cannot help going all out to show, tell, expose, friends, acquaintances, anyone really, about the things I encounter that thrill me!

If they thrill me, I think there’s a good chance they’ll thrill a good amount of other people too and I have no hesitation in at least giving the sharing a shot!

I love learning new skills, especially skills that don’t necessarily come naturally to me. Recent examples include mixed martial arts fighting (receiving 2 broken ribs and a broken foot bone in the process); starting a rock band (with a single soon to be released by the famed Red Star Records); taking part in a 6 month experiment on living life without using a car; and living for 30 days without spending any cash – begging, bartering or stealing as the 3 alternative options permitted!

Now, I’m embarking on a new adventure.  Our company: Silver Seas PR, is focused on cultural creatives nationally, but for the first day I wanted to do something with our local community, in downtown Roanoke, VA.

So, I placed myself downtown with a simple placard with large letters stenciled on it, “unchaining creatives”, and then chained myself to my bicycle near a busy intersection. The Roanoke community has had a tough time recently with culturally institutions struggling and I wanted to offer the message of hope that Silver Seas provides – here is a company that is here to help make the work of creatives more broadly known and appreciated, understood and supported.

I was warmed by how many passing folks waved, smiled warmly and even stopped to over words of support and encouragement. One fellow even parked his car, chatted and then 2 times visited a local media outlet to explain to them how the work of Silver Seas needed to be featured in the evening news!

I am considering repeating today’s activity on an occasional basis. It is an enjoyable and positive way to provide some stimulating and thought provoking mise-en-scene for this small city’s downtown community. And it’ll help to keep us grounded and “close to the streets’!

Tell us a little about your previous position working as a promoter for the Libraries and why you ultimately left.

My area of expertise was cultural development and promotion

The past 5 years have been a thrilling experience transforming how the public interacts with a traditional brick and mortar entity by reinventing identity, brand, activity, value and relevance.

 We have created, developed and marketed accessible, engaging, substantial and popular cultural and “quality of life” happenings that have received public and professional acclaim.

We have utilized social media, traditional media and grassroots methodologies to achieve cultural promotion and have expanded the influence of Roanoke Public Libraries by creating multi-industry and cross-industry project driven collaborations.

In the words of Thoreau, “It seemed to me that I had several more lives to live.” And so, I moved on.

Now River can be found not only stopping traffic and chaining himself to various stationary items around town, but also on the Silver Seas Website. The company is now open for business and we’ve already earned a good deal of word of mouth from happy clients. If you’re looking to drum up some great publicity for your next book, email River.