About Mark

Having a name like mine online is a humbling experience. I can laugh about it today, but when my website analytics revealed that most visitors were looking not for me, but rather for some famous Mark Wrights, let’s just say I was annoyed at first.

Eventually, though, I realized that being one dot in a vast but increasingly crowded dot-com universe of Mark Wrights might actually be a great opportunity. More on that in a moment.

My Background
First, a bit more about me: I'm a Maryland, USA-based writer, communication strategist, and former association exec. Originally from California, where I worked in the transportation demand management (TDM) field, I moved to Washington, D.C., in 1985 and lucked into an internship with then-Senator Al Gore.

After returning to the private sector for a few years, again in TDM, I joined the nascent staff of the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) — which led to about a dozen years of working for a variety of professional societies and industry groups under the roof of an association management firm. (For a couple of interesting years, I also held a minor volunteer role in the early Clinton White House.)

Having moonlighted as a freelance writer throughout that period, I finally formed my own communication services firm in 2000. Over the next 15 years, I worked with a diverse array of clients — as well as twice coming back into association management as executive director of ACT. (There’s a line in there somewhere from The Godfather, but we’ll let that go.)

Most Recently
For the last few years, I’ve focused on two primary roles: strategist and writer/editor for Rockville, Maryland-based public relations and marketing firm On The Marc Media; and contributing writer, copy editor and proofreader for the Self Storage Association — along with projects for additional clients, including the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, North Bethesda Transportation Center, Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, and others.

More Mark Wrights
Okay, enough about me. How about all those other Marks? No one really knows how many Mark Wrights and Marc Wrights and Marcus Wrights roam the planet.

How did so many guys end up with this name? The whole thing seems to have started in ancient Rome and spread to England, according to Wikipedia. The Romans came up with “Marcus,” which became one of the most common given names, eventually leading to Marc and Mark. Wright originated in England, where the surname ranks as the 16th most common.

Our parents probably had no idea they were bestowing a name shared by zillions, or that something called the internet would come along and confuse the heck out of anybody looking for one of us.

Except, that is, for people searching online for this particularly well-known Mark Wright over in the UK. In addition to having great genes, he apparently earned his fame fair and square as an athlete and entertainer, so, hey, I should quit whining about his killer impact on my SEO and just be honored we share the same name.

Of course, there are more: this company-CEO Mark Wright in Ukraine; an AT&T vice-president Mark Wright in Texas; this attorney Mark Wright in New Hampshire; and a TV-news Mark Wright in Seattle, Washington, to whom I naively gave (yes, gave — doh!) the MarkWright.com URL I owned years ago (c’mon, Mark, put up a doggone website already). The list of MWs goes on and on.

A Challenge to All Mark Wrights
So, I mentioned at the top of this page that the plethora of Mark Wrights — plus Marc Wrights and Marcus Wrights — presents an opportunity. Here’s what I propose: that as many of us as possible pick one day a year when we collectively focus our combined attention and resources on solving a problem or contributing to a worthy cause.

Maybe one year we team up with Matt Damon to make fresh water a reality for a whole lot more people. Or we all lead a plastic trash cleanup in our own communities. Whatever. You get the idea.

Okay? If you happen to be a fellow Mark/Marc/Marcus Wright, email me (mark {at} wrightscontent {dot} com) so we can team up to make a difference. Cheers…and thanks!

— One More Mark Wright