By @SimonCockingSusan McPherson Passionate connector who believes biz can be a force for good in the world. Refugee Supporter. Angel Investor. Writer. Doer. Philanthropist.

What is your background briefly?

I am a serial connector, cause marketer, angel investor, and corporate responsibility expert. I’m also now an entrepreneur as I founded McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy focusing on the intersection between brands and social good, providing storytelling, partnership creation and visibility to corporations, NGOs and social enterprises including Intel, Girl Rising, Plum Alley, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Blackbaud and JCPenney. This followed many years toiling in corporate America. Currently, live in beautiful Brooklyn Heights with my best friend, Phoebe the pup!

Looking back does it all seem a logical progression to what you do now?

The one trajectory I had through my nine lives was giving back and fundraising for causes. So finally, yes, it does seem like a logical and natural progression. In complete honesty, during my high school years, I was accused for being “fake” because I was supposedly “too nice and too caring!!”

You have a lot of interests how do you balance / manage them all?

Oh my gosh, I have so many, it can be tiring at times 😉 Love traveling near and far, trying new and interesting wines and collecting them, hiking with my pup, gardening on my roof deck, cooking, investing in exciting women-led start-ups and supporting causes that I believe in.

You have a great online presence, how do you explain to newbies why this is so valuable for business (both yours and everyone else’s)?

It’s easy – I first show them that it’s NOT about blasting out noise, but rather engaging with others like at a dinner party or gathering. If you do all the talking, people tune out, but if you are inquisitive, friendly and open, you will immediately “make friends” and have a positive influence. Social platforms are just like real life and we should ask accordingly. Participating in them can have a dramatically positive affect on your professional and personal lives.

What tips would you give to companies starting out now?

1) Don’t be afraid to experiment with social platforms.

2) Find out where your customers/clients are (which are their favorite ones) and then put your focus in those areas.

3) Be generous and complimentary. People love to be mentioned and called out in positive ways!

What does it take to inspire you to invest in a company?

First, a fabulous founder who is a woman treading new grounds. Second, is there social good at play from the start? And in addition to investing is there other ways I can be supporting the company.

Who has inspired you, and / or do you follow on social media / or read their blogs?

Many people in no particular order:

Whitney Johnson, Cindy Gallop, Joanne Wilson, Alysia Reiner, Nilofer Merchant, Sally Kohn, Kimberly Bryant, Liz Plank, Nicholas Thompson, Tiffany Dufu, Emily Nussbaum, Joel Makover and Jo Confino.

Things can be very 24/7 these days, how do you manage to have a good life / work, online / offline balance?

I so love my work that it kind of spills over into my personal life and vice versa so somehow it all seems to work (at least for now!)

Where can people see / listen / read more about you?

My Forbes Blog is a good place to start:

Our website: http://www.mcpstrategies.com

And I serve on the board of USA for UNHCR and am passionate about advocating for refugees on a global basis.


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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