The Influencers

Natan Edelsburg

11. Natan

Natan Edelsburg, 28, is the Executive Vice President of both Muck Rack and the Shorty Awards—both are all about finding the right people amid the non stop buzz of information on the Internet. Muck Rack helps journalists and sources connect, and the Shorty Awards identifies and honors the best on social media. Edelsburg grew up in Manhattan, and attended New York University where he studied Media and Communications. Muck Rack and the Shorty Awards both operate under Sawhorse Media. The Shorty Awards started in 2008 as something small, which involved simply tweeting in votes. It went viral overnight, and now Shorty Awards recognize social media success far beyond just Twitter. It has expanded to honor the best on YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, and Facebook. Bringing together both Edelsburg’s passions, Shorty Awards uses Muck Rack to find journalists to promote the show. Together, Muck Rack and the Shorty Awards shows that social media has a truly big impact.

Social media is all about the present and the moment—people are always refreshing their feeds where posts, tweets and statuses usually disappear. Awards, on the other hand, seem to recognize something solid and documented. Do you see a contradiction within The Shorty Awards because of this?

The Shorty Awards honors tons of stuff that is not as documented as you think. For example, Snapchat is one of our biggest categories. The idea is that the Shorty Awards honor someone real. It shows that when you do something great there is always proof. When you make an impact, it is there. Even if it is started on social media. It may start there, but then leads elsewhere. That’s how we even view ourselves. We get people off the Internet to really meet. We have been able to define and shape what social media means. That’s really been an important part of my understanding of how media is always changing.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from working so much with social media? 

To quote The Social Network, the Internet is written in ink. While it is important in this industry to be fun and silly, it is also important to remember that everything you do can have an impact. My work has taught me to think before you do, and not to just post a post. At Muck Rack we have created an environment for journalists to organize all their social media posts. It is not just a portfolio of all their writing, but also includes everywhere they were published on social media. We took everything that they were doing, and made it searchable for communication professionals.

Connecting within social media seems to be a similarity between Muck Rack and the Shorty Awards. What influence do you think Muck Rack and The Shorty Awards have on the public?

The Shorty Awards trend every year, and are broadcasted on YouTube. They are important in the entertainment industry because different social media platforms make big impacts each year. For example, one of my favorite Shorty Award categories is “Best Snapchatter.” And Muck Rack’s influence stems from changing the way professionals do business. We make the relationship between journalists and PR professionals more simple. My favorite part about Muck Rack is its ability to automatically track coverage. The big service we provide is the ability to instantly track when a journalist writes something, and shares something on social media.

Who is one of your favorite winners of a Shorty Award? Why? 

There are so many to choose from, but Muck Rack sponsors the journalism section. Katie Couric, the Global Anchor for Yahoo News, won this past year during the eighth annual Shorty Awards. She has a very distinguished career, and she’s someone you wouldn’t expect. Her win shows that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been an active social media user, or how old you are—it’s all universal. Read more about her Shorty Award here:

Text by Eden Marcus
Photograph by Tim Co