All posts by Arik Hanson

5 Reasons To Work At Applebee’s Before Starting A PR Career

viagra cheap/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Applebees-300×224.png” alt=”why you should work at applebee’s before starting a pr career” width=”300″ height=”224″ />One of the things my wife and I love about living in the city is that we have our regular restaurant hangouts (that AREN’T named Applebees ;). Our favorite? A hole-in-the-wall bowling alley that serves outstanding food and has a pretty strong beer list to boot (Bryant Lake Bowl, for you Minneapolitans). We are frequent visitors for brunch on the weekends–and I’ve been known to host business meetings there frequently during the week.

But besides the food and “ambiance” the place offers, one of the biggest reasons we love it is because of one waitress. I mean, we are actually bummed when we go there and she’s NOT working. She has our coffee before we even sit down. She knows our kids’ orders. She’s fast. She’s prompt. In short: She’s GREAT at her job.

And it’s a hard job. Being a waitress, that is. Ask anyone who’s worked in the service industry. It’s damn hard work. And that’s why I think everyone in the PR business should go work as a waiter/waitress before entering our industry. Continue reading

Clients as Facebook Friends – Yea or Nea

Veronica Wei Sopher brought up a great ethical and business question on Facebook the other day. Simply: Do you accept Facebook requests from clients?

Interesting question, right?

As I contemplated that question, I started thinking about my personal stance on that issue. By nature of being a solo consultant, I tend to view this issue a bit differently than I would if I were working for a large agency. After all, the client is really buying “me”–not ACH Communications (or any other brand name). So, when a client buys you–it usually means 1) They feel you know your stuff, and 2) They believe you’re easy to work with and like you (and not always in that order). So, for me, the “friend” issue is pretty darn important. And, I actually put a lot of time and effort into breaking down the barriers with my clients. Continue reading

Four Event Planning Lessons I Learned From BlogWorld

Photo courtesy Chris Heuer, Social Media Club

This year, I had the wonderful opportunity to co-organize the Social Media Business Summit track (the largest track at BlogWorld) with my friend and colleague, Chuck Hemann.

We started planning the track in July by identifying sessions we thought would resonate with folks and started finding speakers who could speak to those topics (with the help of a great “editorial board”).

Three months later, we were on the ground in Vegas executing on our “vision” for the event. From everything I heard at BlogWorld, it was a success.

But, along the way, I picked up a few best practices and learned a few valuable lessons when it comes to planning an event the size and stature of BlogWorld. To be clear, Chuck and I weren’t responsible for all the logistics and details that go into this kind of event—really just the sessions, speakers and details around that. Continue reading

Why Customers Don’t Care About Your Corporate Values

Over the last weekend, I visited our great state’s State Fair. By many accounts, it’s the best state fair in the country (take THAT Iowa!).

While our family had a blast eating greasy, fried food, hitting the Giant Slide and sitting on virtually every tractor on “Machinery Hill” (my son LOVES tractors), I spent a bit of time observing how companies are positioning themselves and activating their brands at the fair. Each year, one vendor seems to draw my attention–this year it was the good folks at Culligan (last year, I talked about John Deere’s opportunities).

Now, this post is not intended to be one of those “throw-the-company-under-the-bus” posts, but instead a larger analysis of a much bigger issue: The irrelevance of company values to external audiences.

Culligan does a lot of things right at the State Fair. First and foremost, they give away a lot of free water. But as I browsed their booth, one thing immediately stood out for me: They posted their corporate values right in the booth. Continue reading

4 ways to beat the social media clock

One concern I continue to hear from folks across the board: How do I manage my social media time and resources?

“I’m already strapped for time. How do I fit this in?”

“How do I manage my accounts over the evening hours and on the weekends?”

“My senior management staff doesn’t have time for this stuff. But, they want us to be involved.”

Time management is a potential huge barrier for organizations looking to dive into social media and digital PR. In fact, with so many companies now adopting the tools, I tend to think it might be one of the top concerns right now. Continue reading

3 PR lessons from the recent Ning announcement

Loudcloud Chairman Marc Andreessen Keynote at Oracle Open WorldIn case you missed it, Ning recently announced it will be phasing out its free service to users–one of the core tenets of the platform since it launched years ago. There have a been a few interesting posts about the decision, including a great rant by Shel Holtz.

But, let’s set the actual decision aside for a moment. I’d like to take a closer look at how Ning communicated this key decision. In many ways, they could have improved their approach. But, instead of being critical, I thought we’d look at three PR lessons we can all learn from this experience: Continue reading

Time for the Digital Conference Scene to Evolve

Businesswoman Preparing for PresentationRecently I had the opportunity to attend a local event sponsored by LaBreche and Twin Cities Business named: Reputations. The keynote? None other than Chris Brogan. The event also featured a solid panel of communicators and leaders from local agencies and organizations like Best Buy and Select Comfort (disclaimer: client).

Leading up to the event, I was both excited and skeptical. Excited to hear how a major brand like Best Buy manages its reputation online. Skeptical because I have heard the same song and dance a few too many times now.

Unfortunately, like a number of other folks at the event, I left a little disappointed. Continue reading