About Rusty

Rusty Shelton first spoke at Harvard on the changing world of PR and marketing at the age of 23. He is a bestselling author, dynamic keynote speaker and successful entrepreneur. He is the co-author (alongside Adam Witty) of Authority Marketing: How to Leverage 7 Pillars of Thought Leadership to Make Competition Irrelevant (ForbesBooks, 2018), which features a foreword from Steve Forbes, and co-author (alongside Barbara Cave Henricks) of Mastering the New Media Landscape: Embrace the Micromedia Mindset (Berrett-Koehler, 2016), which debuted at #2 on the Austin American-Statesman bestseller list.

An Active
Keynote Speaker,

Rusty speaks to tens of thousands of people every year about how to build thought leadership, navigate the changing media landscape and make a bigger impact with Authority Marketing. He has been on faculty at more than 20 Harvard Medical School CME courses over the past 15 years and has spoken for YPO, EO, SXSW Interactive, Oregon State University and numerous Fortune 1000 companies.

An EO Member with two exits under his belt prior to the age of 35, he is the Founder & Chairman of Zilker Media, Senior Marketing Strategist at Advantage Media Group and a partner in Catch Engine, Custom512 and Think Engine.

Rusty’s commentary on the changing world of PR and marketing has been featured in Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Wharton and many other top media outlets.

An avid Texas Longhorns fan, he sits on the University of Texas Texas Exes PR Committee and is a proud member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) in Austin, where he sits on the board.

He lives just west of Austin in Spicewood with his wife, Paige and three children (Luke, Brady & Sadie) and their very rowdy black lab, Charlie. Rusty loves to play golf, fish, coach his sons’ sports teams and is the QB for Lake Travis’ top “old man” flag football team.

See what audiences are saying about Rusty

Bold and transformational.”

Steve Forbes
Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Media

Rusty’s insight into thought leadership and Authority Marketing was such a great addition to our symposium. His energy kept attendees captivated and his tips provided practical takeaways for marketing practitioners. Attendees have immediately put his ideas into practice and been rewarded with demonstrable results. He would be a tremendous value add to any speaking lineup!”

Laura Shields
Associate Director, Oregon State University

Rusty is an engaging and terrific speaker! I invite him back year after year, because course attendees rave about his talks. His ideas and tips have been instrumental in our course attendees getting major media, including Oprah, Good Morning America and The Early Show.”

Julie Silver, MD
Physician, Researcher & Director of Multiple Harvard Medical School CME Courses


Rusty loves having the opportunity to be a part of a number of organizations and collaborate alongside so many talented people. These are his current ventures.

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