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Meet Our Staff >> Christopher Simmons Bio
Founder and Chief Editor
Member, Public Relations Society of America
Christopher Laird Simmons is an award-winning art director, author, photographer, and guerrilla marketer. He is the founder and president of Neotrope® and its spin-off companies including Send2Press® and DotComMojo which deliver design, marketing, promotion, and Web hosting solutions. With a highly diverse background in the creative advertising and marketing fields, he has gained a unique skill-set which he applies to his many endeavors. Through Neotrope he offers his own wide range of talents and those of fellow creatives as a "virtual agency." Neotrope was founded in 1983 as S.U. Graphics, and became Mindset in 1987, before being renamed finally to Neotrope in 2000.
» Podcast Interview with Chris, from Nov. 2005 on "Publishing Basics Radio"
(launches MP3 audio file)
» Listen to Online Radio Interview with Chris, from Aug. 2000
(MP3 file, 5MB)
His design, photography, marketing, and journalism skills are fully self-taught, with the exception of attending CompuGraphic typesetting school in 1984.
Christopher began his career adventures at age 16. As an entrepreneurial graphic artist and photographer he quickly acquired a wide range of local clients for whom he created promotional material. During the same youthful period he launched and operated a successful mail-order business selling movie memorabilia to film fans around the world. While still in his teens he also started two long-running small-press fiction magazines and one-off publications. He learned the value of "guerrilla marketing" early on by composing a press release and sending it to Playboy, who subsequently profiled one of his publications in their magazine (a quarter-page in full color).
At age 20 he joined PVA, a small ad agency and printing company in Long Beach, California. as a design project manager. Within six months he was promoted to General Manager and Principal Creative, developing a talented team of sales people, graphic artists, photographers, and copy writers. During the five years he managed the company (1982-1987), it experienced a twenty-fold increase in billings.
In 1983 he founded his own company, S.U. Graphics, as a moonlighting venture and logical progression from his freelance work prior to joining PVA. SUG delivered photography, print brokering, and catalog layout design to local businesses which needed services outside the focus of PVA's offerings. In 1987 he left PVA to run SUG full-time, renaming the company Mindset and expanding its services to include those offered by PVA (which closed 6 months later without Mr. Simmons at the "helm"), including in-house 2-color printing and plain-paper PostScript typesetting.
For five full years, from 1987 to 1992, Mr. Simmons was highly successful in the competitive advertising and design marketplace of Southern California, winning numerous contracts for Mindset which had a very high client retention rate.
During a transitional phase in his life, he scaled back Mindset to a part-time consulting business and joined the corporate world in 1992.
While at Creative Computers as an Account Manager he became one of the top two sales closers within three months. He sold multimedia solutions to the entertainment industry (Amiga and Apple systems and hardware). He then was promoted to the corporate side, becoming the Advertising and Marketing Manager, responsible for co-op ad sales, magazine ad placements, and vendor relations. One of his notable achievements in his two years at the company was coordinating the launch of MacMall, the first mail order catalog ever authorized by Apple to sell Macs by mail. As the person responsible for getting print advertising and catalogs out the door, he substantially helped Creative Computers grow from an $18 million a year company to a $200 million company.
In early 1994 he joined NovaQuest InfoSystems, one of the top 100 VARs (value added resellers) in the U.S., as Director of Marketing. In that position, he helped launch a new catalog company called DirectWare, while overseeing
a large staff of marketing, production, and product management personnel. Responsible for all advertising sales and co-op funding, he managed a team of six outbound ad sales personnel, while personally closing $250,000 in ad contracts in 60 days. He also designed and oversaw the launch of one of the first Internet-based business-to-consumer stores using a secure server and database-driven catalog system connected to SGA software. In 1996 he single-handedly created a massive Web site for the parent corporation, providing all elements of the site from graphic design and HTML coding, to copy writing the company history and background of six divisions.
During this period he also designed several experimental Web sites including the award winning Long Beach California Online, the Beach Communities Arts Resource (BCAR), and the Cosmic Cafe online art gallery. In mid-1996, tiring of the corporate grind, he chose to return to running Mindset full-time.
Christopher has most recently been a contributing editor on the staff of Digital Imaging magazine and CrossMedia where he frequently contributed articles on digital photography, content management, Web technologies, and other topics. He has also written feature articles for such other magazines as Micro Publishing News, Polyphony (now known as Electronic Musician), Print on Demand Business, Computer Player, Nu*Real, Spazz, and Search Engine Intelligence.
As a media relations professional he has represented companies like ePublicEye, ArtistScope Inc., KoloSoft Inc., Creative Computers, and DirectWare. He has composed a vast number of press releases for all kinds of companies over the past 20 years and has frequently succeeded in placing client stories, interviews and product reviews in numerous national print and online publications.
He has also served on the panel of judges for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Excellence in Tech Journalism Awards (both 2002 and 2003 awards). The Awards for Excellence in Technology Journalism are presented each year by the PRSA's Technology Section and are intended to recognize journalists in business/general and technical/trade journalism who have published articles that are valuable to their readers, show clarity in the communication and are significant in disclosing, explaining, interpreting and reporting innovation and recognizing news-worthiness.
As a digital artist he has been commissioned to illustrate over three dozen national magazine covers, including the 1997 Science and Technology Course Catalog for the California State University Long Beach (CSULB). His artwork has been featured in numerous major art installations including the 1997 Bytes of Art project in San Francisco.
As a Web designer, he has developed over 400 Web sites since 1995 including projects for No Fear, Oprah Winfrey's Civitas, and the Findwhat.com search engine.
He is considered a pioneer and "guru" in the SEO (search engine optimizer / optimization) business, having started building search-engine friendly Web content before Google existed. His proprietary SEO+PR technology and DotComMojo enhanced submission and deep-linking solutions have helped place over 100,000 key phrases in the top ten for both his own sites and those of his clients.
As a graphic artist and creative director he has created and managed the production of almost every kind of advertising material from brochures and catalogs, to media kits, direct mail, on-hold promos, and radio commercials. Christopher has won two Harvey Communication Measurement Awards (for most-responsive magazine advertisements), two "best of show" photography awards, and a First Place award from Apple Computer in their 1993 ARPL Design Contest.
He has performed in several alternative music bands during the 1980s including Pets Gone Wild, and composed theme music for two cable TV series including the award-winning VidKidCo. His original electronica music has been played on radio stations and favorably reviewed in music publications around the world.
He is a current member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). He is a former member of the Graphic Artists Guild (GAG), and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). He is listed in several different editions of Marquis' Who's Who. He is frequently interviewed by publications like Entrepreneur, PC World and Home Business on art, business, and technology topics, as well as TrendWatch regarding PDF technologies. He has been invited to speak at Seybold, and the annual meeting of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, among others.
He is divorced and currently resides in Redondo Beach, California. His favorite color is blue, prefers brunettes to blondes, he likes cats and dogs equally, his favorite participant sport is bicycling, and he wants to be a race car driver or astronaut when he grows up.
Christopher Simmons: Beserker
Instrumental electronica with an 80s flavor with some jazz styling, and world beat percussion. Bonus track, "Densitelemetry," was used as the theme music for the cable-tv series "Viewpoints on Video," in 1987. This instrumental CD has the flavor of Jan Hammer, Tangerine Dream, and Howard Jones, with vintage analog synths and a wide range of percussive textures.
CD Available Online at:
> Tower Records
9am to 5pm PST/PDT
Monday - Friday
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