Palm Coast - Ask Michael Schottey if he remembers his first-ever interview in an NFL locker room and he can tell you everything-the small details, expressions and how the story turned out.
The year was 2007. Schottey was in the locker room with a high-profile NFL quarterback. While other reporters asked about this player's star-studded dating life, Schottey remembers asking about the player's efforts that day along with a recent free sports clinic held in the player's hometown. More importantly, Schottey still vividly remembers the appreciation the player showed to a young kid who respected his choice to focus on the person and not a tabloid headline.
The experience taught Schottey a valuable lesson that has defined his career: people are what matter. That's the key principle he brings to the Communications Officer role with the City of Palm Coast.
Schottey has lived here for almost a decade and already considered himself a huge advocate for the area. He has worked with multiple local organizations that partner with the City in areas such as education, youth sports and entrepreneurship. Through those connections as well as his time as a local small business owner, Schottey feels the heartbeat of the community and has experienced many of the highs and lows right along with his neighbors.
"A lot of people in my position would look at programs or processes in order to succeed, but no matter what role I am in, I'm always going to base it around the people that I can serve," Schottey said. "I think the untold story of the City of Palm Coast is just how awesome the people here are. If we can really tell that story in a way that engages people, we're going to be successful."
Reporting to City Manager Matthew Morton, Schottey manages a small team of communications professionals at City Hall. Being a storyteller is chief among Schottey's responsibilities. His job is to oversee all of the City's communications and to help build better relationships with the community. This can happen through direct communication with residents, written content, videography, photography, graphic design, social media strategy, advertising and managing the City's relationship with the press.
Since starting on July 29, he has already led the communications team through Hurricane Dorian with the timely release of critical information, engaging social media posts and working with leadership to effectively communicate with local and national media. This also included a first for his career-sleeping on a cot at the Emergency Operations Center.
In addition to emergencies, Schottey has also developed the City's first-ever Strategic Communications Plan, brought a fresh perspective to the Be Local Buy Local campaign and increased public adoption of the City's citizen engagement platform, Palm Coast Connect, by 83 percent-all in his first month on the job.
"When I first met Mike, I saw a fearlessness that I knew was going to serve him well in this position," said City Manager Matt Morton. "We had a lot of qualified applicants who would have done a fine job in a typical communications role, but Mike wanted to take the job to a totally different place and we got really excited about his vision and its potential."
Schottey comes to the City following a short stint running his own digital consulting business here in Palm Coast. Before that, he worked for local business percolator, Office Divvy, as a Management Associate and was involved with a number of public relations and business activities such as content creation, social media management and business development.
He also spent time as the Director of Digital Content for TravelPulse, an online travel publication. His responsibilities there included managing website operations and fostering better partner development with multi-national travel brands as well as news organizations like MSN, Fox News, Tribune Publishing and The Weather Channel.
Schottey was also an award-winning sportswriter and spent nearly a decade covering the National Football League for organizations such as Bleacher Report, FanDuel, Forbes and Sporting News.
He was responsible for multiple columns a week while covering games and events all over the country. Some of his other duties over the years have included live event video production, podcasting, radio hosting, television and radio spots and mentoring other journalists as well as former NFL players involved in writing programs.
That love for football made it an easy choice for him to have his two sons participate in Mad Dogs Flag Football of Palm Coast where he coaches and serves as the group's Vice President. He is also married to his college sweetheart, Stacey, who is a local kindergarten teacher in Palm Coast. Schottey earned his Bachelor of Arts from Martin Luther College. He was born and raised in Michigan. In his spare time, he and his family enjoy exploring the natural beauty of Florida, volunteering at their church and being involved in local family-friendly events.