I'm Shelby Barnes. A communication strategist with more than 20 years of experience helping business leaders create and tell stories with impact. Mile 23 Strategies is my consulting company.

About

I'm a versatile public relations and communication strategist with more than 20 years of experience working with business leaders, technologists and scientists. I founded Mile 23 Strategies, LLC after spending nearly 17 years as publicist for technology visionary, Nathan Myhvrold and 14 years leading the communications and marketing efforts for Intellectual Ventures, the company he cofounded in 2000. Prior to joining Intellectual Ventures, I worked at Waggener Edstrom Communications where I focused on promoting the people and the projects of Microsoft Research and a variety of corporate reputation initiatives.

Over the years I've created and managed communication plans relating to science and technology, invention, intellectual property, digital currency and energy. I've also led projects relating to paleontology, climate change, modernist cuisine and cooking. I'm naturally curious and have been fortunate to enjoy a career that always challenges me to learn and explore.

As for controversy or crisis, I'm not easily intimidated nor do tough communication challenges make me nervous.

That's likely because my approach to work is often inspired by two of my passions: long-distance running and boxing. Both activities provide excellent mental models for endurance as well as framing and tackling communication and business challenges.

Areas of Expertise

  • Storytelling
  • Executive and employee communications
  • Crisis communications and issues management
  • Corporate branding and positioning
  • Media relations
  • Social media strategy and content creation
  • Building, leading and managing an integrated team
  • Executive coaching and mentoring

About Mile 23

"Mile 23 Strategies" refers to an existential point many of us reach during a marathon. At mile 23 in a race, you’re 3.2 miles from the end, yet all you want to do is quit. How we talk to ourselves and the strategies we deploy to keep going those last few miles are the difference between lumbering through a death march and seizing a goal we’ve worked hard to achieve.

(Me at mile 20 of a 50-mile race caught indulging in another favorite activity. Photo credit: Will Barnes)

Not only have I hit that point many times on the race course, but after 20+ years as a communication professional and leader, I’ve hit that point in business too many times to count.

It turns out, however, the same basic strategies that work at mile 23 also work in a business setting, and they influence how I approach challenges.