Video Interview with Pete Cashmore of Mashable at SxSW 2014

Every year at South by Southwest, we land an interview with The Pete Cashmore of Mashable. And each year he gives us a great interview. This year was no exception. I found his comments around the impact of social and how his company is investing in studying and reporting its impacts to be fascinating.


An Interview with The Newsroom Guest Star Amin El Gamal


Streamed live on Jul 29, 2012

Episode #14 of The Social Sports and Entertainment Show with Chris Yates features special guest Amin El Gamal who is an actor who was the guest star on “The Newsroom” episode 5.

Amin joined us with a friend of his from college, Jill Wurzburg, and his brother, Abrahim El Gamal. Amin really opened up and talked about how attending “clown school” during college made him prepared for anything. His brother was a big help in bringing up how Amin was involved in theater even when he was six when he started a production company out of his garage with stuffed animals as the cast. He even shared information about how his grandmother was a child actress and how she influenced him to become an actor.

During Amin’s time on “The Newsroom” set he was able to meet some of the cast/crew and shared a few of his thoughts about them during the broadcast. He speaks about the large differences between the film industry and the way a theater is ran. Amin even explains what he did to prepare for the show and how the research that he did helped him with influencing the crew on making some subtle changes to the show that made a large difference.

Overall Amin is a very friendly person who enjoys using social media to connect with his fans so be sure to connect with him by clicking on these links:

Personal Website:
Personal Blog:
IMBD Profile:
Twitter Profile:
Facebook Profile:
LinkedIn Profile:

Huddle Productions and the Dallas Business Journal

Great to see the breadth of what Huddle Productions is doing.  From all the interviews at SxSW and the press around covering Pete Cashmore (CNN buys Mashable), it has been a nice ride.  To add a little icing on top of the cake, today’s Dallas Business Journal features a story on Chris Yates!

Super Bowl Ads have Changed

Super Bowl Ads have Changed

adapted from Huddle Productions post by Chris Yates on February 9, 2010

Aside from being a great game, this year’s Super Bowl (Super Bowl XLIV) set a record for number of viewers (see “Super Bowl XLIV draws most viewers in TV history”).  But do TV ratings still matter to marketers?  After all, the market has changed dramatically in the last few years.  For example, statistics show that 90% (or more) of viewers with TIVO or a DVR device, skip over commercials altogether.  That means that TV viewers are no longer pay attention to your commercials.

But how does this affect marketers?   Pepsi, for one, completely changed its approach  (see won’t advertise in upcoming Super Bowl”) and chose not to advertise in this year’s Super Bowl, ending a 23-year run.  Instead, Pepsi decided to focus on social media, perhaps understanding that viewers  no longer pay attention to messaging because they are no longer willing to accept just anything you throw at them.

The distribution channels for TV programming, entertainment, and communication, have also changed dramatically over the last few years.  Viewers used to have NO choice but to listen at the messaging on TV.  Now we TIVO, text, YouTube, IM, Facebook, and Tweet.  The Viewer is now in CONTROL because it’s OUR CHOICE to what we want to listen to. That’s the biggest difference.

If you’re a company trying to reach your customer don’t just throw a message out there and hope that the $3 million you spent on a :30 second spot hits the right receiver.  Instead try something new… part of the conversation as you will stand a better chance to connect with them.

Licensed under a creative commons share-alike. Use freely and link to

Passion in Your Craft

In Crush It!, author Gary Vaynerchuk repeatedly speaks about passion and I thought this would be an interesting topic to discuss in how it relates to this company, Huddle Productions. Passion is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a “strong desire or devotion to some activity.”  I think we are all familiar with this word.

But how do we define it and relate it to our lives or our jobs?  Perhaps some insights into the characters behind Huddle Productions will shed some light.  Take Chris Yates for example.  I have known Chris for 25 years and since the day I met him, you knew he was passionate person.

Chris did not wait to graduate college to begin his career. He started it while in college, gaining valuable experience that would set him apart from the rest of the pack.  It’s a great story and I know I won’t do it justice here, so when you meet Chris, be sure to ask him about it.

In a nutshell, Chris was passionate about sports.  And even though one of his claim’s to fame is intercepting Heisman Award winning quarterback Tye Detmer, Chris recognized that he wasn’t big enough or fast enough to play professional football.  So while in college, he began his 20+ year television career on Public Access TV.  For those of you old enough, you’ll remember that Public Access TV received its notoriety on Saturday Night Live when Mike Myers and Dana Carvey created the characters for Wayne’s World, which was later turned into two, well received movies. Remember this, though – Chris did this 3 years before Wayne’s World came out.  Chris created his first sports TV program in Austin, focused on the Texas Longhorns and Dallas Cowboys, who at the time conducted their training camp in Austin.

I was fortunate to be a very small part Chris professional start:  helping him film various events and interview various sports starts.  It must have been quite a sight to see a college kid using very antiquated equipment stand toe-to-toe with the big boys in the national media and professional sports.  At the time, Chris did the majority of the filming, interviewing, editing, and production.  And the reward for all this hard work?  A 2:00 A.M. time slot on Saturdays that each and everyone one of us stayed up to watch.

Chris parlayed this experience into a career that saw him start as low as one of the lowest markets in the nation Laredo (market 198) to working all the way up to one of the best Dallas (market 5). Along the way his creativity landed him 3 EMMY’s and numerous Katy, and Associate Press awards including the Sportscaster of the Year Award.

In 2007, Chris saw the proliferation of social networks and new distribution channels and joined forces with others who shared his passion to form Huddle Productions – a social media company specializing in video. In the short history of Huddle Productions, Chris has re-channeled that passion and energy into his company.  In doing so, he has even earned another EMMY!

Chris’ passion stood out throughout his media career and it continues now with his own company, Huddle Productions.

GOOGLE Yourself !

Adapted from Huddle Productions article:

GOOGLE Yourself

Original article by Chris Yates on September 11, 2009; Keith’s version … November 10, 2009

Several months ago, my friend Chris asked, “Have you ever Googled yourself?”  Most of us, would not readily admit it to this as it might make you seem very conceited.  And, in this day of the “brandividual,” I think it plays an important role.

Having earned my MBA many years ago, my identify has been closely associated with my employers or clients.  This list includes Nortel Networks, The Princeton Review, Sabre Holdings (formerly The Sabre Group), Nokia,, Hilton Hotels, FedEx, Chevron, Infosys, and LexisNexis.  If you Googled any one of those companies, you wouldn’t find me (unless you’re on Linked-In, then you might find me), but you will find a lot about them.

So, back to my questions:  What happens when you Google yourself?  Are you on the first page of search results?   If so, what are you doing to get there?  If you’re nowhere on the site do you think that matters?

Personally, I think we have to move past thinking that Googling yourself is tied to being vain.  You should not think of it as bragging or vanity because it’s really about measuring what you are doing to market yourself and determining what is working.  I know it has helped me and Chris tremendously understand how to be more effective online.

Two years ago, Chris Googled himself and had only one mention on the first page of Google results (and this was after 20 years in broadcast journalism).  For me, it was zero.  Turns out there are quite a few people named “Keith Knox” in the world and many of them seem to be leading very interesting lives:  race car driver, professional soccer player, professional boxer, professional table tennis player, scientist, musician, etc.

Chris and I then shifted our focus to marketing his company and brand online.  The results have been interesting for both of us.  Now when you Google Chris or myself the majority of mentions on the first page of Google are for us (and not the other Chris’ or Keith’s from two years ago)!

Please don’t feel odd about Googling yourself.  You should feel worse if your name is all over the front page and it’s NOT YOU.  Personally, I believe in a few years that business cards will become obsolete.  Everyone instead will say, “Just Google me!”

Videos increased Sales 500%

YouTube Videos increased Sales 500%

by Chris Yates on September 10, 2009

Some Business owners think YouTube Videos are for silly stunts of dogs riding skateboards, people dancing funny or individuals blending an iPhone. What use is all that? Well one of the three mentioned helped a company improve sales 500%

Blendtec makes the most powerful blenders in the world. So how exciting can that be? Everyone has seen carrots, tomatoes, celery being blended but an iPhone? Or what about blending a video camera? Or blending diamonds? What does this have to do with business? EVERYTHING!

Blendtec saw an opportunity to use YouTube and Social Media by thinking creatively. They wanted to market their blenders and their power but did it with humor. Their YouTube videos have been watched over 100 Million times.

What would that cost on Network TV? Millions. What did it cost on YouTube? Nothing. Sales of Blendtec since the videos were created have increased 500%.

So the lesson here is not about silly videos on YouTube but how to capitalize on them. I’m not saying you need to go stick your computer in a blender to get business. Just think outside the box and create some excitement for your business because if blendtec can make their business exciting so can you and if you can’t then just blend an iPhone instead.

Licensed under a creative commons share-alike. Use freely and link to