todd nelson, founder & chief communications officer

todd nelson, founder & chief communications officer

Hi, I'm Todd Nelson. A little about me...

I was a 10-year-old in idyllic Seward, Nebraska and decided to mow lawns in the summer to earn money. Dad asked whose mower I was going to use (I'd assumed the one in our garage). He said if I was going to be an entrepreneur I had to do it right.

The president of our local bank heard my plan and agreed to give me a startup loan. I walked out with a signed loan agreement, a checking account and a check for $250. I was in business!

Sears had the mower I wanted. Dad trained me to care for my asset, change the oil and sharpen the blade. He gave me an accounting journal and taught me how to track income and expenses. I talked with friends and neighbors about grass care and was always happy to ask for the business. I worked hard to earn new and repeat customers and build a reputation for solid work with excellent service. This sales and customer relations experience has served me well throughout my career.

"Todd and Todd. T&T. Together we're dynamite!"

Fast forward to the late '90s. I was working in sales and business development at a membership organization that represents more than 2,200 businesses and their 300,000 employees in greater Kansas City. While serving on the board of directors of the second home of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, I met Todd Ransom, manager of media relations at one of the world’s largest tax services providers.

We became great friends and always joked, "Todd and Todd. T&T. Together we're dynamite!"

In 1999, I moved to Los Angeles to earn a master's degree at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Todd moved to L.A. a year later for a new gig as senior public information officer. In 2004, I got the entrepreneurial itch. Todd and I decided to turn our comic T&T routine into a business — TNT Public Relations or, as we say, TNTpr.

We were a dynamite duo promoting authors and actors as well as nonprofits and political organizations needing to raise money and garner media attention for key issues including advocacy for gay rights and mental health of underserved communities.

Todd ransom, co-founder and friend

Todd ransom, co-founder and friend

Examples of our work:

  • Managing television and print media for the 2004 Democratic National Convention and Election Night events in Los Angeles sponsored by Human Rights Campaign.
  • Consulting with city officials on corporate sponsorship of the annual West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval drawing 500,000 participants.
  • Placing Joe Baldassare and Bill Bartek (aka Team Guido) from “The Amazing Race” as travel experts in an online community of gay and lesbian singles with more than 600,000 registered members.
  • Organizing and promoting the launch party for “The Actor’s Guide to Murder” by screenwriter, producer and author Rick Copp.
  • Media coverage of actress and singer Amanda Gari's one-woman show in tribute to her grandfather and show biz legend, Eddie Cantor.

Sadly, Todd lost his battle with melanoma skin cancer in 2009. I turned off the lights at our agency and pursued new opportunities, eventually becoming senior vice president of strategic initiatives and chief marketing officer at companies where my communications, marketing and brand strategy expertise added measurable value.

Now in Oakland, California, in 2015 I hung out my shingle once again. Primary industries in which I work are cannabis and medical marijuana, technology, food and beverage, travel and tourism, and LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning) communities.

I love what I do. And I'm honored to partner with creative, mission-driven people at diverse startups, agencies, nonprofits, and established companies. At TNTpr, our success comes from helping others to succeed.

Have you ever wondered how to best tell your story? Let's talk. And if you're ever in need of expert lawn care, I'm your man.