Brogan, Chris BroganI’ve re-imagined a scene in my favorite James Bond movie, Goldfinger, with Chris Brogan as 007 lying on a table with a laser that is about to cut him in half:





Brogan: I think that’s enough, Goldfinger, you’ve made your point.
Goldfinger: Choose your next wittism wisely, Mr. Brogan, they may be your last.
Brogan: Do you expect me to talk?
Goldfinger: No Mr. Brogan I expect you to engage!

And engage he has! Chris Brogan is the New York Times bestselling author of, Trust Agents, and a featured columnist with Entrepreneur Magazine. His blog,, is in the Top 5 of the Advertising Age Power150 and he speaks professionally to numerous Fortune 100 and 500 companies every year. As if that wasn’t enough, he is also President of New Marketing Labs, a new media marketing agency, and president of Human Business Works, an online education and community company for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs. Chris Brogan would cringe if I called him a social media expert so I’ll just say that his expertise is social media and communications. edSocialMedia is thrilled that Chris took some time from his hectic schedule to answer a few questions:


1. @SchneiderB: What advice would you give to help industrial-age administrators to understand the importance of social media in the information age?

@ChrisBrogan: Jobs and work have changed since the systems were built to educate students. We all know this, but we don’t really know how to adjust our education methods and practices to match. First off, collaboration and the solid communication of ideas are now far more important than raw intelligence. Think about it. You don’t need to know how a computer monitor works. You just need to know how to get it onto your desk and plug it in. However, you DO need to know how to ask people to collaborate, how to convey your ideas in such ways that people can take and execute their parts, and the like. That’s idea #1.

2. @SchneiderB: After reading Trust Agents, I understand your premise as it relates to individuals but can you explain how your advice applies to entities like independent schools?

@ChrisBrogan: Trust Agents was written for the individuals inside large systems. Make your own game is just as important to schools, because that’s what independent schools sell. If you’re teaching different than the public status quo, you’re making your own game. Be one of us applies because it’s showing how indy schools can sidle up to parents who really want the best for their kids, but also want to feel connected to the administration and teaching staff. Every chapter in the book works really well for this premise. Building armies, everything.

3. @SchneiderB: As schools get involved with social media I think there is an apprehension with sharing content that is specific to their independent school. How can schools get over this hurdle?

@ChrisBrogan: Seems like the silliest thing in the world. I visited a charter school recently where they’re raising salmon from eggs, and doing so with a sister school in Ireland over skype. That one little exercise got me excited enough to think about my kid attending that school instead of public. With one little YouTube video showing that experiment off, I’d imagine hundreds more potential applicants. Why wouldn’t you share content that shows off how excellent your school is? It’s much better than an ad.

4. @SchneiderB: What advice would you give to a school just starting out with social media?

@ChrisBrogan: Start by listening. The tools that allow you to listen in on people’s complaints and concerns and then let you slip in to respond directly and address concerns are the real power. Learning how to tweet is nothing compared to learning how to address a concerned parent’s thoughts after hearing them via the social web.

5. @SchneiderB: What do you view as the role of social media in education?

@ChrisBrogan: Social media are tools. They permit communication. They permit media making. Teach kids basic media literacy. Teach them the tools to MAKE media. Teach them discernment. Teach them how to seek more than one source. 81% of people believe every statement they read when they see it in print. You and I own the printers. Are we always accurate?

6. @SchneiderB: Are you using iPhone, Android, or Blackberry?

@ChrisBrogan: Android.


7. @SchneiderB: What is the one App that you can’t live without?

@ChrisBrogan: Search.


I hope you’re eager to find out more about Chris and read his work. I highly recommend that you read his book, Trust Agents, read his blog,, and follow him on Twitter, @chrisbrogan. I would love to hear your reactions to our interview by posting in the comments section below. Additionally, if you are already a fan of Chris please post a link below to your favorite blog post that he has written.


Thanks again Chris for being a true Trust Agent!


(Additional thanks to MMaples for suggesting a question.)

Brendan Schneider

Director of Advancement at Sewickley Academy

Brendan Schneider is the CEO and Founder of SchneiderB Media, a blog dedicated to helping schools use the power of the interest to achieve their enrollment and communication goals. He is also the founder of The MarCom Society, and SEO Coach, his DIY SEO software for schools. He is also the Director of Advancement at Sewickley Academy.