5 Minutes With Peter Shankman

For McCool Travel’s 84th travel profile, I am pleased to present Peter Shankman. Peter is a creative, public relations star, who frequently share his views on popular topics on major television news shows and publications. He has written four books about creative customer service and publicity in today’s world and often speaks at conferences and trade shows (like SxSW and TBEX).

Peter’s bio:

Peter Shankman blames ADHD for most of his success. He is best known for founding Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and as the founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc.—a boutique social media, marketing, and customer service strategy firm located in New York City with clients including American Express, Sprint, The US Department of Defense, Walt Disney World, and many more. In his little spare time he is a NASA Advisory Board member, adjunct professor of marketing at New York University, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Dell, angel investor with multiple start-ups, sub-4 marathon runner, Ironman, and B-licensed skydiver. A tweet of his was voted one of the top 10 Tweets of 2011 by ABC News and Twitter. He currently lives in New York City with his two-year-old daughter, an overweight psychotic cat, and his beautiful wife. Peter recently authored the best-selling book Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans.

Peter Shankman
Peter Shankman

Peter Shankman


New York, NY. Born and raised NYC kid.

Always in my luggage…

travel adaptor, Breathe Rite strips, Immodium, ScotteVest Travel Jacket

3 favorite home-away-from-home places…

  1. Bangkok
  2. Chicago
  3. Los Angeles

A favorite travel memory is…

Announcing that I sold my company at an event in DC. Had to immediately fly to Boston for another event. I told the driver who was taking me to the airport to stop at a McDonalds, and I bought us both lunch to celebrate. 🙂

Peter Shankman
Peter Shankman

3 favorite travel brands…

  1. ScotteVest
  2. Ogio
  3. Thule

3 money-saving travel tactics I use are…

  1. Mass transit whenever possible. (Hate cabs.)
  2. When cabs are required, and there’s a huge cab line, I go to the front and offer to split with anyone going to my hotel. Saves me an hour at least, every time.
  3. If I have to take a cab FROM the hotel back to the airport, I’ll wait ten minutes out front. Someone else will always be going there as well. Easy split.

3 ways that I have fun while traveling are…

  1. I like to get in line behind the asshole. Makes me seem like a superhero to whomever is working the desk and usually gets me an upgrade.
  2. I’m a licensed skydiver, so I’ll bring my rig with me a lot when I travel and jump in new locations. Also, freaks out the person on the plane next to me when they see me putting a parachute in the overhead.
  3. You’d be amazed how many cool people you can meet in bowling alleys on a random Tuesday night.

8 word (or less) travel mantra…

Smile. We’ll get there eventually.

Peter Shankman
Peter Shankman

Favorite non-travel website …

Facebook. (I’m pathetic. I know.)

Most memorable souvenir …

Ticket from the inaugural United Airlines 787 flight.

Favorite cheap eat …

Bangkok street food

Recent discovery …

Giving a bag of candy to the lead flight attendant before you board guarantees a great flight.

I am fortunate to have met …

Sat next to Tom Selleck on a flight from NYC to LA. Couldn’t have been nicer.

I would like to meet …

I have a burning desire to share a 25-year-old Scotch with Bill Clinton.

Peter Shankman
Peter Shankman
Peter Shankman: zombie loyalists
Peter Shankman: zombie loyalists

Thank you very much, Peter. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your travel inspiration and tips.
Follow Peter Shankman on FacebookTwitterYouTube, Google+his blog, and ShankMinds.

McCool Travel presents tips from travel experts in our 5 Minutes interview series—featuring travel industry giants, super frequent travelers, and adventurous persons.

Previous 5 Minutes interview: Renee Blodgett.


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5 thoughts on “5 Minutes With Peter Shankman”

  1. Peter, I have been following your career for quite some time now…you inspire a single mother, 19 yr. veteran PR/Media professional (me) I learn so much from you. Keep doing what you do, one day I hope to cross paths with you…I wish you the very best, and continued success….

  2. So, your favorite hobby is falling from the sky? Me, I prefer Sailing – I’d rather Splash then Splat….:)
    I know, lets get a 3rd opinion!…..
    What do your wife, daughter n fat cat prefer?
    Splash or Splat…..vote now!…..:)

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