Integrating Innovation and Authenticity: Scott Bartnick’s Journey to Co-founding Otter PR

Small Business Canada

In an enlightening interview with CanadianSME Small Business Magazine, Scott Bartnick, co-founder of OtterPR and an acclaimed figure in the eCommerce and media landscape, shares his entrepreneurial journey and the pivotal role his diverse experiences and personal challenges have played in shaping OtterPR’s innovative approach to public relations. With a background in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Florida and a successful track record as an eCommerce entrepreneur and bestselling author, Scott delves into how leveraging technology, particularly AI, has streamlined operations and enhanced efficiency across his ventures. He also discusses the impact of his journey with dyslexia on crafting compelling brand narratives that resonate with authenticity and resilience. From operational excellence to the strategic implementation of AI in hiring and customer service, Scott’s insights offer a glimpse into the future of public relations and eCommerce, underscored by a commitment to innovation and human-centric technology.

Scott Bartnick is the co-founder of OtterPR. He is an internationally renowned eCommerce and media expert who has been recognized worldwide for his business acumen. Bartnick owns several successful eCommerce companies and has been recognized for his innovative lifestyle. Bartnick is the bestselling author of the Seven-Day Startup and has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, IBTimes, Yahoo, and more for his success in business.

Bartnick has extensive and diverse experience with eCommerce consulting, operational excellence, public relations, sales, and marketing. He holds a degree from the University of Florida in industrial and systems engineering. In his free time, he’s traveled to over 35 countries with hopes of visiting every continent. He’s passionate about fitness and health and loves to snowboard.


Could you share more about your journey leading up to the co-founding of Otter PR and how your experiences in eCommerce and media have influenced the company’s innovative approach to public relations and building thought leaders?

Absolutely, and thank you for having me. My journey began with an engineering degree, leading to roles in operations management within a Fortune 500 company. This diverse exposure, spanning from physical plant operations to HR, instilled a deep understanding of how different departments synergize, which proved invaluable. Transitioning into e-commerce, I realized the importance of finding a product-market fit, which eventually led me towards marketing automation. This pivot was crucial, as it not only granted me the freedom I sought but also laid the groundwork for our foray into public relations. By integrating marketing successes with PR expertise, we were able to streamline operations and leverage automation to enhance our service offerings, ensuring a consistent and efficient client experience.


With your expertise in operational excellence and your background in industrial and systems engineering, how do you integrate AI to streamline operations and enhance efficiency within your eCommerce businesses and Otter PR?

Our approach to integrating AI is all about enhancing human capabilities rather than replacing them. We employ AI to generate ideas and draft content, which our editors then refine to ensure alignment with our voice and style guide. This blend of AI and human insight is critical, especially in areas like customer service, where AI assists in drafting responses based on a comprehensive knowledge base, and our team personalizes these responses. AI’s role extends into our operational processes as well, streamlining workflows and improving efficiency through automation and templates, which are vital for maintaining our high standard of service.

Image Courtesy: OtterPR

Considering the diverse talent required to run successful eCommerce ventures and a top PR firm, how has AI technology been implemented in your recruitment process to identify and hire the best talent efficiently?

AI has significantly streamlined our recruitment process. Through applicant tracking systems, we’re able to use AI to score and flag candidates, efficiently sifting through thousands of applicants to identify those who might be the best fit. This process, which includes assessments and questionnaires, doesn’t eliminate human judgment but enhances it, allowing us to quickly identify and focus on top talent. This method ensures we maintain a high standard in our hiring process, aligning with our operational excellence.


In view f your personal journey with dyslexia, how do you incorporate your experiences into shaping compelling brand narratives and missions that resonate with audiences, reflecting the values of authenticity and resilience?

My journey with dyslexia has deeply influenced my approach to communication, emphasizing authenticity and resilience. I leverage various tools to ensure that my ideas are clearly articulated and resonate with our audiences. This includes using speech-to-text for initial drafts and refining them with AI to maintain my unique voice while ensuring clarity and impact. This process not only compensates for the challenges posed by dyslexia but also enriches our brand narratives with a layer of genuine personal experience that audiences find relatable and inspiring.


Reflecting on your own experiences, how do you see AI and emerging technologies playing a role in assisting individuals with dyslexia, particularly in professional settings and personal development?

AI and emerging technologies hold tremendous potential for individuals with dyslexia, transforming challenges into strengths. Tools like speech-to-text, AI-driven content refinement, and tone analysis not only facilitate communication but also empower us to express ideas more effectively. In my experience, these technologies have enabled me to communicate with unparalleled clarity and authenticity, turning perceived weaknesses into unique advantages. Beyond personal use, these tools have the potential to broadly support professional development and personal growth, offering customized solutions that cater to diverse needs.

 It’s been my pleasure. Thank you for the opportunity to share how technology and personal experiences can intersect to create innovative solutions in business and beyond.

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