Did NSA Leaders Forget to Google “Platform” Before Stomping on Michael Hyatt’s Brand? – Resolved!

Platform-theater-300x272I’m thrilled to report that the National Speakers Association has abandoned the name Platform, which leaves the wonderful Michael Hyatt able to continue his fabulous work to build their platforms. See Shep’s video annoucement.

Here’s the old post:

At its annual conference in San Diego this week, the National Speakers Association — which has been advancing the speaking profession since 1973 —  announced that it was changing its name to “Platform.”


Wait a minute!

As I sat in the audience at this year’s NSA conference — which was really fabulous, by the way — this name change completely confused me.

More accurately, I felt very sorry for Michael Hyatt, the wildly acclaimed blogger, speaker and New York Times bestselling author of the fabulous book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. which, incidentally, is a must read for any speaker or author.

I sympathized with Michael — former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers — because for years, he has contributed his brilliance, mined his creativity and allocated his hard-earned resources to invigorate and popularize the word, “Platform.”

For those of you not in the know about platforms, having one is imperative these days if you have a book, product, or talk. Learn about it from Michael Hyatt. (I also recommend that you read Seth Godin’s brilliant book, Tribes.)

As you may have guessed by now, I am a BIG fan of Michael Hyatt, which is why I’m posting off topic today.

Not only do I follow Michael’s blog and posts on his Facebook page, but I also often consult and implement his ideas from Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. I’ve even traveled across country to attend one of Michael’s conferences, and I plan to fly to another one later this year.

Now you can understand why I”m so appalled and dismayed by the National Speakers Association’s name change to “Platform.”

How can the NSA do this to Michael Hyatt, who is, in effect, The Platform Man?

  • To begin with, Michael has a big platform of very engaged, loyal followers like me. Those of us in his tribe avidly read his thoughts on Facebook; follow him on Twitter;, check out his emails; and travel to attend events where he’s keynoting.
  • And consider this: Michael’s platform — at least on Facebook (41,770) and Twitter (224,000) — is far bigger than that of the National Speakers Association, which has only 16,824 fans in its private Facebook group and only 11,600 followers on Twitter.
  • Meanwhile, Michael Hyatt also runs his fabulous Platform University, of which I’m a member.
  • Furthermore, he hosts the acclaimed Platform Conference.
  • Michael also offers services to help speakers, authors and people like you and me build our platforms. By the way, stay tuned for my new, classier look, which soon will be unveiled on my website and blog, thanks to Michael’s Get Noticed theme.

PlatformNSASo why the heck is the reputable National Speakers Association — which prides itself on authenticity, originality and even ingenuity — stomping on the toes of Michael Hyatt, who, as a sought-after speaker, is essentially one of their own?

Frankly, I’m disappointed and surprised by this questionable move by the National Speakers Association.

Platform-Infographic-5701Indeed, this ill-advised name change puts me in an extremely awkward position.

I’m not yet a full-fledged member of NSA, but I’m a member of the amazing NSA Academy so I can develop skills to become a better speaker, which, in turn, will help me build my platform.

Plus, I greatly respect the many talented, remarkable NSA speakers, some of whom are bestselling authors with remarkable platforms of their own.

Furthermore, I’ve been eagerly looking forward to getting my NSA speaker certification.

Meanwhile, I certainly appreciate the NSA conventions, which, as I witnessed this week and in previous years, are classy, professional events.

But none of this changes the fact that NSA taking the name “Platform” is NOT a classy move.

More to the point, this name-change is completely lacking in integrity, a trait that many NSA members seek to possess. (See Kathleen Ann Thompson’s clever blog post about this.)

Not only that, but the NSA name change violates the organization’s own code of ethics, as Stu McLaren observes.

In short, my loyalty lies with Michael Hyatt, who expressed his astonishment in a Facebook post.

By the way, I even urge you to see the helpful infographic (to your left) that Michael created to help people like us build our platforms.

Frankly, I’m barffled. Didn’t the NSA name- rebranding committee — whose members were praised in the video below — do their homework or due diligence, as platform builder and blogger Daniel Decker asks?

Didn’t at least one member of this illustrious name-change committee do a Google search on the word “Platform” before stomping on Michael Hyatt’s brand and look?

Dian’t at least one committee member hear of Michael Hyatt?

It’s super easy to discover, as Mike Kim so eloquently blogs,.that Michael Hyatt “owns” the word, “Platform.”

Go ahead. Do a Google search now for the words, “Platform and Michael Hyatt.”

As of today, you’ll get a whopping 157,000 hits!

Isn’t t the NSA name change, in fact, brand theft, as Andy Traub suggests?

As you can tell, a number of us in Michael’s tribe are up in arms.

Sure, the concept of a platform has been dicussed for years in publishing and speaking circles and books that predate Michael’s have addressed this subject — but of all people today, Michael Hyatt is the go-to guru about the value of building your platform.

In fact, Hay House, publisher of my most recent book, Beyond Sugar Shock, even recommends that ALL of its authors or wanna-be authors read Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.Likewise, my next publisher, Balboa Press, which has a partnership with Hay House, greatly respects Michael.

Of course, despite my background as an objective journalist, I make no claims to this being a measured post such as those by Ryan Avery or Stu McLaren.

What it comes down to is this: How can a speakers’ organization, which touts the value of crediblity and not stealing others’ material, in effect, create a name and logo that are uncannily similiar to one used for years by Michael Hyatt — whether they did so knowingly or not?

Now, I urge you: Put yourself in Michael Hyatt’s place. How would you feel if one day some organization took the name you’ve been spending years to brand?

I’d certainly be concerned if an organization with similiar goals to mine changed its name to Sugar Shock or Beyond Sugar Shock.

Therefore, as a Michael Hyatt fan, I urge the leadership of the National Speakers Association to:

  • Issue a formal apology to Michael Hyatt.
  • Totally abandon the name “Platform” as its new name.
  • Do due diligence and extensive research to ensure that it won’t again pick a brand that is already taken by another person or organization.
  • Make this entire name-change process more public and enlist feedback from ALL members of NSA and the Academy.

Please weigh in with your ideas. I’d love to hear what you think, but first, watch the video below where the name change (theft?) to Platform is announced at the recent National Speakers Association conference.

Join the conversation. So do you think the NSA name change is right or not? Speak up now. Also please share your comments with NSA leadership.


Sugar was once my go-to "drug." Now, I'm an ex-sugar-addicted journalist. ALL 44 of my baffling ailments vanished after I reluctantly kicked the sweet stuff and quickie carbs in 1998. Now, I’m author of the expose, Sugar Shock (Berkley Books, 2006) and Beyond Sugar Shock (Hay House, 2012), which gives you a simple, proven plan to kick sweets. My next book, Crush Your Crazy Cravings™ -- which I'm now completing -- will give you easy, tested tools to squash your cravings for sugar, salt and fatty foods. I’m also a motivational speaker, certified life coach, certified health coach, media guest, and Gab with the Gurus host. I'm also organizer for the upcoming Sugar World Summit. Let’s connect on social media!

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6 thoughts on “Did NSA Leaders Forget to Google “Platform” Before Stomping on Michael Hyatt’s Brand? – Resolved!

  1. What a bunch of sickening alibis. The name change is a terrible idea. Wait till Michael Hyatt brings suit for trademark infringement and theft of intellectual property. :(

  2. What do you think about the backpedaling that the NSA is doing? Is it too little and too late? The language that it was “just an announcement” is an admission of a very expensive mistake. At this point, I don’t even think the 2015 convention should be called Platform.

  3. I watched the video at right at 8:03 you can see the set up coming. I just don’t know how it is possible that no one, or several, on that leadership group, could be unaware of Michael Hyatt’s work and branding of the word “Platform”. Also, even if you take Michael Hyatt’s work out of this equation, why choose a name for which you cannot get the domain name? IBM owns Platform.com. Another non-profit owns Platform.org. Personally, I never choose a brand name for which I cannot get the web site. Seems like very poor leadership on many different levels here.

  4. John,
    Frankly, I just don’t know what to think. It sounds like they’re still going forward with the rebranding, doesn’t it?
    I’m just so baffled and disappointed.
    I’ve been so, so, so looking forward to get all my ducks lined up and racking up enough talks to become a full-fledged NSA member instead of just an Academy member.
    Now I jut don’t know any more.
    What do you think of the backpedaling?

  5. Ricardo,
    Thanks for sharing.
    I couldn’t agree more! How can you not have heard of Michael Hyatt?
    And yes, I totally agree — ALWAYS grab that .com domain!!
    In fact, I always get a domain name before moving forward with everything.
    For my next book, I’ve reserved so many darn domain names just to be safe.
    And I won’t even announce the name of my book until this is locked down.