He's still riding the crest of the hi-tech wave, fueled by almost
illegal quantities of sugar and caffeine. Say hello to Giovanni
Rodriguez, director of market relations at VMware.
Describe the company you work for VMware is a private software company
based in Silicon Valley. We design virtual-computing software, a
technology that enables businesses to run multiple virtual computers on
a single physical server or PC.
What do you do? I help VMware build good relationships with industry
analysts, reporters, and other people whose opinions matter to our
partners and customers. It's a glamorous life. I spend my days and
nights chained to a phone and computer.
Tell us something interesting about your company The New Economy is
still alive - at VMware. Engineers still roam the halls in the wee
hours. Some never wear shoes.
How did you get into PR? Before I got into PR, I managed a small
professional theater company. Theater PR is an even tougher act than
hi-tech PR, but there are similarities. A good review with the right
critic can have a great impact at the "box office." You learn to
prioritize for those opportunities.
What is your greatest achievement? Getting The Wall Street Journal to
listen to a pitch on Christmas Eve.
What was your best stunt? A few years back, the Stanford Law School
asked me to stage a mock trial as a special event for visiting alumni.
With an all-star "cast" - including Supreme Court Justices Rehnquist and
O'Connor - I decided to turn the event into a professionally produced
performance for the general public. "The Retrial of Lizzie Borden"
attracted an overflow crowd to Stanford and got national TV and print
coverage. The alumni was thrilled.
What was your biggest screw-up? Flying the CEO at my former company to
New York to meet with Time magazine. Had I grilled the reporter a bit
longer, I might have seen that getting coverage was unlikely - at least
in the foreseeable future. Fortunately, my CEO was a patient person.
What's the most daring thing you've ever done? Cold-calling Information
Week ... on a Thursday afternoon.
If you could work on one account, what would it be? Jolt Cola. Twice the
sugar, twice the caffeine. It's a mystery more PR people don't drink
What time do you get up? West Coast PR people suffer the most. If I need
to make calls to the East Coast or Europe, I need to be up by 5am.
Who would you most like to work with? Benjamin Franklin. With his
personal and professional appetites, he would have kept any PR person
If you were an animal, what would you be? A party animal.
Name one thing about your past people would be surprised to learn I
studied religion and philosophy as an undergraduate.
What is the secret of your success? Early to bed, early to rise ... and
caffeinated beverages when all else fails.