Freshbooks at Third Tuesday Toronto

As is often the nature of the Third Tuesday events in Toronto, we find ourselves flexing a little due to schedule demands, public holidays, and the diverse demands of putting together what has grown to become a very successful free monthly event. This is my roundabout way of saying that February's Third Tuesday meeting is not on the actual third monthly instance of the day named for Tyr (i.e. tonight), but on Tuesday February 26th instead.

Our featured guest this month is Michael McDerment, CEO of Freshbooks, co-founder of the Mesh conference, entrepreneur, Internet marketing expert, and blogger.

I've had a number of conversations with Mike over the last year or so about how Public Relations works in a Web 2.0 world and the kind of services companies such as Freshbooks need from their agency partners. Mike has some very clear ideas and strong opinions about what works and what doesn't at the various stages in the evolution of a company. He's learned how and when to use external PR services; how to tune into online conversations that matter to your company; when and how to join them; and why sending someone in Fiji a box of Triscuits can sometimes get you much more attention than sending out a news release.

Mike's company is also a useful one for agency folk and people in the professional services business to know about. Freshbooks provides an on-demand solution for time-based billing and invoicing - two aspects of the job that every PR person I know loves to gripe about. Mike's not coming to Third Tuesday to do a product pitch, but I'm sure his firm's work with agencies of all sizes has given him some great insights into "the tyranny of the billable hour" as Robert Hishon put it.

So – if you're in Toronto next Tuesday night, come and join us at Fionn McCool's to hear Mike speak about the challenges of creating awareness for a relatively young software company, how PR can help, and the role played by Social Media in the whole thing.

P.S. A quick hat tip to CNW Group once again for their sponsorship – the main reason we're able to keep these events free.