B.J. Mendelson is a former marketer turned comedian, author, and speaker, touring college campuses across America and visiting small businesses to warn them about the myths of social media marketing. Drawing on years of experience as a successful viral marketer and publicist, and the numerous issues he and others faced trying to reproduce the same results using popular social media marketing tactics and advice — B.J. educates and entertains audiences online and around the world. He previously toured college campuses across America as a speaker on college survival issues and a promoter of the early detection and prevention of breast cancer. B.J. has been a syndicated college surivival columnist with CBS College Sports, and has been quoted and featured in Newsweek, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Psychology Today, SmartMoney magazine, and other national outlets. B.J. also appears regularly in the news as a social media industry critic and speak about the myths of social media marketing, as well as its impact on small businesses, elections, and society at large. He has also contributed pieces for The Wall Street Journal, CNN, MTV, The Huffington Post, Mashable, Forbes, and the Eisner-nominated ComicsAlliance. B.J. is currently an opinion columnist for Socialtimes.com
He formerly served as a new media director for a television show that aired in forty million homes through ABC affiliates across America, where he was often charged with coming up with online endeavors on the fly, to help grow the show’s audience. B.J. also built and operated the first Wounded Warriors Family Support High Five Tour, which features Colonel John Folsom traveling America in a custom Shelby Mustang to thank America for its support of our servicemen and women. The mustang was custom wrapped, creating an opportunity for people across America to sign the car during each of the Colonel’s tour stops. The High Five Tour recently entered its third year of successful operation and continues to emerge bigger and better each year.
B.J. Mendelson’s first book, Social Media is Bullshit, was released in September 2012 by St. Martin’s Press and was featured on CNN, MSNBC, CBC, Yahoo!Finance, The Financial Times, and numerous other outlets.
St. Martin's Press
A provocative look at social media marketing that dispels the myths and tells you all you need to know about using the Web to expand your business If you listen...
“Brandon Mendelson’s unique history with Twitter made him an ideal speaker for MediaBistro’s first AllTwitter Marketing Conference. Often controversial and frequently polarising, B.J.’s session educated attendees on what does and, as often, does not work in social media, and included actionable takeaways on how they can apply these strategies (and avoid the pitfalls) within their own marketing campaigns. Funny and fearless, Brandon’s presentation ignited the show and got the audience – and the event hashtag – buzzing. I look forward to working with him again.”
—Shea Bennett, Editor AllTwitter.com, Planner/Host AllTwitter Marketing Conference
“I want to thank Brandon Mendelson for his reasoned, balanced and very professional approach to social media at the recent Westfair Communications debate on social media. It was clear that Brandon’s message resonated with a majority of the audience; many of them made that very clear after the program. He helped present one of the most successful events we have hosted to date.”
—Dee Delbello, Westfair Communications
“Brandon Mendelson takes a karate chop to social media hype and offers a revealing analysis of what truly drives viral adoption of memes and media. Brandon is engaging, incredibly informative, and knows his stuff. My students and I were impressed with his depth of knowledge and ability to cut through the crap. None of us will look at companies like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter in the same light, complicit, as they are, in claiming that anyone can achieve stardom as long as they have the right idea. What Brandon shows is that there’s usually a lot of money and marketing muscle behind all the viral hits we see. It’s not fair, but it’s the way it is.”
—Adam L. Peneberg, New York University
“I am thankful for the opportunity to have seen Brandon’s presentation at the Associated Collegiate Press convention. I’ve never encountered a speaker like him, with such a casual and inviting demeanor and a genuine desire to help to [us] students. Brandon was an incredibly compelling, honest speaker with useful and tactful advice for navigating through the world of journalism which, like the rest of the world, is rife with idiots.”
—Candice Oliver, Humboldt State University
“It was terrific to have Brandon speak to my Columbia Journalism School Social Media Skills course. His direct, provocative, sometimes counter-intuitive comments—all built on research and expertise—were widely welcomed and commented upon by my students. I look forward to welcome him back several times in the next few years.”
—Professor Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia University
“Brandon added a lot of color to our SXSW 2013 panel, which was a debate about whether marketing is B.S. [He] was a straight shooter, providing a unique voice amongst the other panelists who all represented specific brands and agencies. Brandon knew his material, cited facts, and wasn’t afraid to question the other panelists, which was important for the debate.”
—Matt Rozen, Corporate Social Media, Adobe
“I had the distinct pleasure of having Brandon Mendelson speak with my graduate class at Columbia College Chicago. The presentation, and open discussion, centered around social media and viral advertising. The lecture provided invaluable information for the students and changed their minds about the best way to use social media and video channels. My students have requested he come speak again as soon as time permits. Brandon provides honestly, transparency, and rich case studies to outline his case for the proper use of social media. I am looking forward to future works from Brandon and regard him as a leader within the digital marketing space.”
–Alton J. Duderstadt II, Columbia College Chicago
“Social media is a topic on a lot of small business owners’ minds, and Mendelson’s personal experience and advice sparked what was by far our most exciting author Q&A to date. Those present were shocked to discover how much of the time and energy they have invested in social media has most likely been for naught, and many had questions on what strategies make a real impact. Overall, Mendelson’s intriguing topic was a huge hit with our patrons and his personal touch, an offer of individual correspondence, left the audience feeling they had someone they could honestly turn to with their further concerns and ideas. “
—Kari Meutsch, Phoenix Books
“We were very excited to have Brandon as our guest speaker. His event was very insightful into one of the most popular ‘buzz words’ in modern marketing. Brandon offered a different perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of social media and the impact it has on our lives and on business. Our members were able to learn something new about something we all use every day! Brandon did a fantastic job by engaging the students and providing very thoughtful answers.”
—Boryana Yordanova, St. John’s University Marketing Club
“As an expert on viral marketing, Brandon Mendelson knows how social media works and for whom it works. But more importantly, he knows why it won’t work for you. Brandon’s candid delivery cut through the bullshit to provide us with the truth about where we should really be putting our marketing dollars. . . . This guy’s the real deal!”
—Joseph Avellino, St. John’s University
“While attending the Associated Collegiate Press Convention in San Francisco, I had the opportunity to hear Brandon Mendelson’s ‘People are Idiots’ speech. His speech focused less on being a speech and more on being an interactive learning experience . . . more of a seminar where audience members shared personal student newsroom struggles and then received advice and instruction from Mendelson. I not only enjoyed his speech, but I gained a lot of helpful advice from his answers to audience member questions. Mendelson made clear that learning how to work with the idiots in life is a necessity. He gave clear points for how to properly address issues brought on by the idiots of the work room, how to keep your cool and how to handle the wide range of idiots. Whether dealing with disrespectful think-they-know-it-alls or lazy co-editors, Mendelson’s ‘People are Idiots’ speech provides laughs and more importantly direction for handling the ‘you know who’ of your work environment.”
—Mackenzie Foster, Vanguard University of Southern California
“Brandon Mendelson and I locked horns in a debate over whether or not social media is, indeed, bullshit at Explore Portland in late 2012. The audience was shocked . . . because they learned so much and gained new perspective about the ins and outs of social media. Brandon brought a much needed perspective—that of the non-cheerleader—to an event full of ardent social media believers. While none turned away disbelievers, we all left with a better perspective of how and when social media marketing can be useful for businesses.”
—Jason Falls, SocialMediaExplorer.com and Vice President of Digital Strategy at Cafepress
“In March of 2013, Brandon came ‘home’ to Alfred State College and was able to fit in time to speak to our students. The room was packed and the students were not disappointed. Brandon’s no-nonsense, personable delivery along with his wit and sense of humor created a memorable presentation. He has a presentation style that makes you want to listen and he couples that with real-world experience and evidence for a quality presentation. I can’t wait to read his next book!”
–Professor William Laubert, Alfred State College
“[Brandon Mendelson’s] presentation was notable for his deep understanding of the changing media landscape and the challenges it faces, both in the short and long term. Representatives of Member States, media and civil society who attended the forum found the lively conversation highly relevant and useful.”
—Hasan Ferdous, Department of Public Information, United Nations
"BJ was one of a dozen media professionals – which included editors of major publications and Pulitzer Prize winners – who met in small groups of select college journalists at the ACP Spring College Media Convention in San Francisco in March. BJ was the social media pro who counseled students about both their careers and their current social media practices. This first-ever event proved so popular, it ran way past its scheduled ending time."
—Michael Koretzky, Associated Collegiate Press Media+
"Why get a normal speaker, someone who has a nice PowerPoint presentation and well-rehearsed points that reflect popular social theories when you can get the disrupter, the rebel, the guy who challenges every social strategy he encounters as a sport? BJ delivers insights, humor, and fun (seasoned with some salty talk). You’ll laugh, you’ll learn, you’ll get angry, and you’ll challenge yourself to step away from what’s acceptable and ordinary in the marketing world."
—Suzanne Fanning, Advisory Board Member, Chicago Social Media Week; President, Word of Mouth Marketing Association