Josh Schneck, CEO and creative director of Minneapolis’ Snow
Communications, is unique among PR pros in that he dated Sharon Stone
during her pre-diva days. While we’re not going to lie and say we’re not
jealous, we’d like to remind John that she did end up marrying a
How do you make a difference for your clients? Hemingway used to say
that to be a good writer, you need a built-in bullsh*t detector. The
same is true for PR pros - you’ve got to be that B.S. detector.
Tell us something interesting about your agency. Our first big dose of
publicity came because a local business editor found out I had dated
Sharon Stone a few times while I was a screenwriter in Hollywood in the
early 1980s. My dates with Sharon were fun but hardly big-time romance,
and she wasn’t well known at the time. Nonetheless, the publicity didn’t
hurt business at all.
What has been your proudest moment? Helping several clients retire early
has been a great source of satisfaction.
How did you get into PR? I wrote about technology and other subjects for
newspapers, magazines and radio, including The New York Times. Clients
started calling me because I could communicate about technology.
How did you get where you are today? I got turned down by all the big
agencies. I had no choice but to do it on my own.
What would you do if you didn’t do what you do? Venture capitalist or
What would you like to change about the PR industry? Let’s send our
people home by six and make sure they have a life outside of work. We
want others to respect us, so let’s pay people well, keep the work week
at 40 hours and encourage them to be world citizens who know not just
about PR, but also about history, ethics, spirituality, etc.
What will be the next big thing to hit PR and why? Honesty. We’ve got to
move away from the ’spin’ mentality and become a trusted, valuable
source of information.
What is your worst habit? Reading trade journals in bed at midnight.
What is your idea of perfect bliss? Sitting on the couch with my
children snuggled up next to me.
What would you do on a desert island? Look for good seafood.
Bill Clinton: hero or fool? We elected a political leader. In that
context, he’s done a pretty good job of delivering on what he
What will you do when you retire? Travel, sail, climb a few rocks.
What is your best ability? To question everything.
What is your philosophy? I think it was Henry Kaiser who said that
problems are only opportunities in work clothes.