James McCann (r) with Gary Vaynerchuk

Welcome to Episode 31 of What I Know Now, the Personal Development and Leadership Podcast.

This week’s guest on the show is founder and managing director of ClearStory James McCann. James describes his journey to now as a “meandering road”, having joined the army, getting involved in politics, joining the Websummit team and most recently setting up his own business.

Throughout school, James wanted nothing more than to join the army and back in 2003, he joined the Irish defence forces. James left the army after over three years to get involved in public relations and politics working on local issues in Dun Laoghaire. However, James had an unsuccessful bid to win a seat in the 2014 local elections.

In 2015, he joined the successful technology conference Websummit as PR and Media campaign manager. The event has grown from 400 attendees to over 50,000 people from more than 150 countries in the space of six years, making it “Europe’s largest and most important technology marketplace.”

Last month he launched his new business ClearStory, which is a team of public relations and digital marketing professionals delivering media relations, social media management, branding and digital marketing at affordable rates. ClearStory aims to to lower the cost of professional public relations and digital marketing services for all types of businesses. They have experience working with major international brands including Nasdaq and Reddit,  as well as within the NGO and political sectors.

In James’ really interesting interview: we discuss the following:

  • His “meandering road” journey to now
  • What he learned in the army
  • The success of Web Summit and how to attract people to such an event
  • Setting up his new business ClearStory
  • Advice to small businesses on how to get their name out there
  • What James would say to his 18-year-old self.



To find out more about James’ business ClearStory you can check out the website www.clearstory.ie, while you can also give James a follow on Twitter @JimmyMcCann01 and on LinkedIn at this link.

To share your thoughts:

  • Let me know what you think of James McCann’s podcast by leaving a comment below
  • Please share this interview on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

To celebrate What I Know Now’s 1 Year Anniversary, I will be hosting a live podcast on Thursday 28 September at the Hamilton Building in Trinity College Dublin. It is FREE to attend so sign up now at this link. Hope to see you there.

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