We had the good fortune of connecting with Kevin Wilkerson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kevin, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I came up with the idea for PubClub.com when I was going into bars while traveling and discovered that there is a locals’ routine and the nights they go to certain places. At the time there was no guide to inform other travelers about this very valuable information so I became the first to do it. I began to ask locals, take notes and develop the basics for a content-oriented website focusing on nightlife, lifestyle and travel.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Well let’s start with my brand. I would like people to know that PubClub.com should be their first source of information when it comes to travel, events, festivals, lifestyle and nightlife around the world. After all, the tagline I came up with is “Where The World Goes To Party!”
It has certainly not always been easy and the emergence and growth of seemingly countless social media outlets makes everyone an “influencer.” It’s so difficult now to stand out in the crowd. So I am kind of taking a shotgun approach to things – posting videos about trivia questions, travel and nightlife tips and even co-producing and co-hosting a video podcast called PubClub LIVE! In other words, I am trying lots of different things to see what works best. When I discover that, then it will become my primary focus of attention and I’ll go after it like a pack of bloodhounds on the trail.
I have many of the skills necessary to do this because I began my career as a reporter on daily newspapers. While at the Savannah (Ga) News-Press, I spent several weeks investigating some high schools illegally recruiting players and poaching them from other schools. I was very proud, then, when I won an Associated Press award for Investigative Journalism.
Then I moved from the newsroom to public relations offices working for agencies and later broke out on my own. It is there that I learned all the various skills involved in all aspects of communications, including marketing and media training subjects for TV and print interviews. I also began a career in motorsports PR and quickly learned the value of branding – making sure the logo is prominent whenever being out in public and during all media interviews.
How do I overcome challenges? By working hard and thinking of new, better and different ways to do things. It’s a never-ending process but one thing you can never do is sit back and pat yourself on the back for your past accomplishments. You must keep moving forward and innovating.
I have often been told that I should write a book. Maybe I’ll do that someday.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Here in San Diego, that’s easy. I would take that person to Pacific Beach – a forever young and always fun Southern California beach town – and hang out at places like the Duck Dive, Maverick’s and the outdoor deck of Lahina Beach House overlooking the beach and Pacific Ocean. We would ride bikes along the beach path. Maybe we would ride the classic old rollercoaster in Mission Beach. At night, we would be in the Gaslamp and go to fun places like Trailer Park After Dark, which is a bar that’s like walking into a trailer park.
I would also show off the area – beautiful Balboa Park, La Jolla and the waterfront. I would do this on bikes because I love to ride bikes and am even a tour guide that gives e-bike tours to these areas with Another Side Tours.
If we did indeed have a week, I would also take the train up to Oceanside and ride bikes down the coast to and thru the North County beach towns (Carlsbad, Encinitas, Leucadia, Cardiff-By-The-Sea, Solana Beach and Del Mar), which is gorgeous and an experience which you can’t get anywhere else in the world.
From there we could explore other places such as the craft beer neighborhood of North Park, neighboring South Park and a cantina or two in Old Town. And then there’s always Tijuana, just a half-hour trolley ride from San Diego.
Since I only recently moved here, I would be thrilled to experience a few spots with a good friend that I have not been to myself, chief among them being Imperial Beach.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First of all, I would like to credit my father for sending me off to college so that I could get a degree in Journalism. I was also fortunate enough to inherit some of his excellent writing skills.
I have also been lucky to have traveled extensively in my PR career across the USA and Canada for various clients. It was there that I was exposed to different areas and cultures.
As far as particular influencers, I look back at my neighbors when I was growing up; they were lively Greeks who invited us over to their house for big Greek-style events such as lamb roasts and a grape stomp. Later, I was highly encouraged to travel to the Greek Islands by my hair stylist at the time, Julie Dugan. Almost from the minute of my arrival in Greece – my first trip abroad – I said to myself “look what you’ve been missing all these years!” I give her huge credit for opening up the world to me.
Another “go have fun” person who has inspired me is a co-worker at a PR agency where we were at the time, Laz Denes. Laz remains the coolest dude I’ve ever known. Although Gary Haas, another fun-loving friend, runs a close second!
My biggest professional inspiration is Adam Saal. He hired me for a new position at a major motorsports company, a job that latest seven years. I actually don’t think Adam gave me a single piece of actual advice but just being around him, observing him and doing what he did was enough. I was a sponge soaking up the learning experiences. I learned that the best leaders are the ones who lead by example.
I have always enjoyed the fun part of life, so it’s been easy to me to seek that out during my leisure time on business and personal trips. Heck, I love doing it where I live, too. I also enjoy writing, taking photos and doing videos so that part of PubClub.com comes very natural to me.
I guess I can also credit myself somewhat for having a good sense of adventure and both of my parents for teaching me to be kind and friendly to people. That makes it a lot easier to enjoy life and travel experiences.
Other: TikTok: https://firstname.lastname@example.org
Radio studio images taken by Jack Fleming.