September 20, 2021

Listen to Ron's Interview with Hilary Topper

The CEO Who Became a Triathlete—at Age 53


Episode description:  

After earning her undergraduate and master’s degrees specializing in marketing, public relations and advertising, Hilary Topper embarked on a corporate career working for major PR agencies in New York City, in addition to two large non-profit organizations as director of public relations and development. Then, some 30 years ago, Hilary went out on her own, founding HJMT Public Relations and building a roster of prominent clients across the country. Along the way she became an expert and widely recognized influencer in social media marketing, writing one of the earliest books on the subject, called Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media, but were afraid to ask. In her late 40s, she decided to give herself a real run for the money—literally. She was never an athlete, but decided to start running, and by age 53, she found that running was not enough. She became a triathlete. In today’s episode, Hilary talks about the daily challenge of organizing and managing the multi-hyphenate life as  entrepreneur-author-podcaster-blogger-adjunct professor-marathoner-triathlete-coach. It has been a successful journey, but often a roller-coaster, as she has been forced to make major adjustments in response to life-altering events, like 9/11, the 2008 economic meltdown, and most recently, of course, the pandemic. Three years ago, Hilary  reorganized her business; she no longer managing a staff of 25 people but continues to run a concierge PR firm. She also produces two blogs and a weekly podcast and has written a second book (a third is on the way), while preparing for the next triathlon and coaching beginner triathletes. No longer as engaged in her former high-adrenaline business world, Hilary points out one unmistakable benefit: She’s much happier now.

Guest description:  

Hilary Topper is CEO of HJMT Public Relations, an award-winning PR, marketing and social media firm, serving clients in a host of industries for more than 35 years. She started her career working for major public relations agencies in New York City, including Ogilvy & Mather PR, Hill, Holliday/PR and Ruder Finn/PR. She also worked at two large New York non-profit organizations as the director of public relations and development. Hilary started HJMT Public Relations Inc. in 1992. In 2006, she became involved in social media marketing and three years later wrote one of the earliest books on the subject, called Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media, but were afraid to ask.  Hilary went on an international tour promoting the book, which sold thousands of copies. Today, Hilary is also Chief Curator at HJMT Media Company, producing two blogs, The New York Lifestyle and A Triathlete’s Diary.

She also has a podcast,, which now has more than 200,000 listeners and is focused on helping small business owners grow both professionally and personally. In 2020, Hilary published her second book, “Branding in a Digital World.” The book is a do-it-yourself guide for business owners, job seekers and entrepreneurs, designed to help people develop their goals, strategies, buyer persona and implementation strategy.

In addition to her media company and PR business, Hilary is an adjunct professor at Hofstra University, where she teaches two classes each semester.  She has published a host of articles in major publications and has received dozens of awards and accolades for her achievements. In her personal life, Hilary is a triathlete and marathoner. She coaches running on the weekends and she has a triathlon team,


Hilary’s latest book, Branding in a Digital World, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the website.

To listen to Hilary’s blogs or podcast, click on the links below:

            Hilary’s New York Lifestyle



            A Triathlete’s Diary  

Hilary Topper on Air

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