Mike Germano: 40 Under 40 2013

CEO and Cofounder, Carrot Creative

As founder of one of the first full-service social media agencies, Mike Germano has made a broad and lasting impact, especially on the PR industry. He started Carrot Creative in a basement with just $800. The now 55-person agency is a multimillion-dollar company attracting world-class clients including Target, Disney, Red Bull, Home Depot, and Jaguar.

A true pioneer, Germano loves to challenge the status quo. Carrot was the first agency to reveal a new car through social media – launching the Ford Explorer on Facebook – and has propelled many big names into the social space, including Crayola and Major League Baseball. Other firsts include creating The Lotto App with Buddy Media (Facebook’s first gambling app) and publishing the first retail store fan page for JC Penney.

Carrot has also played a key role in launching PR agencies into social and helping them find their feet. Germano was crucial in setting up strategic partner Weber Shandwick’s social offering, working with the firm to create, design, and manage social campaigns for Pepsi, Whisk, and Oscar Mayer. Carrot also created websites for Porter Novelli and GolinHarris.

Among many high-profile roles, Germano has served as social media adviser to the NFL, visiting each team to counsel players on their social media conduct and helping teams and players make the most of their brands through social.

Having based his agency in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn, NY, Germano went on to create Digital DUMBO, bringing together digital employees throughout the city. It is now a global event series for digital media and tech leaders that has seen Germano travel the world – including a visit to the Middle East prior to the Arab Spring – to help propel digital communities and build infrastructure in tech.

"Mike’s energy in the industry is electric and contagious," says Gabrielle Schaefer, communications manager at Carrot. "With a vision and know-how for social, he is the person the client dreams of having at the other end of the line, day and night."

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