October 30, 2009

abbieAlas, no follow from @donnyosmond

Well, my birthday wish/social media experiment did not net out all the results I was hoping for.  My ultimate goal was to create enough buzz on Twitter that Donny would follow me back as a birthday gift.

Through a variety of different tweets, including photos and videos, many of you helped in the process.  But alas, no follow.  My guess, he really isn’t the one managing his Twitter account.  And that to me is where the issue is with many of these celebrity accounts. 

Those of us working in the social media space are regularly telling our clients that they must be transparent if they choose to use social media.  Engage with your followers, it is a great way to add a personality to the brand.  We all have stories where we received a reply from a brand that we had been tweeting about. I was hoping to add the Donny story to my anecdotes about the power of Twitter.

DSC08468So would it have really hurt Donny to follow me and send a quick happy birthday reply?  Of course not.  I’m not expecting to chat with him on a daily basis but if you are going to be in the space than I have an expectation that you are going to participate in it as well.

And speaking of participating, a special shout-out to those of you who joined in the effort. I appreciate it and am happy to return the favor!



















BethburnettOsmonds II









Sports Junkies Get Fix

October 29, 2009

scottThis is the small window during the year when all four major sports are underway.

A sports fan’s clicker can get burned up quickly going between NBA, NHL, NFL and Major League Baseball World Series games.

Add to that:  the high school football season is in full bloom, the Valley is currently hosting more than 100 teams from around the country who are participating in the Men’s Senior Baseball League World Series and countless soccer and other youth sports leagues underway.

You don’t need a ticket for everything.  If you did, it would certainly be an “E-Ticket.”

BethA few months back, I wrote a blog post about a letter I had received in the mail from the Screen Actors Guild regarding a commercial they were making using a photo of me from back in my high school days as a cheerleader.  Well, after doing some digging, my friend Carla (who is also in this commercial) found it on YouTube.  Good ol’ YouTube – you can find anything on there!  Even T.G.I. Friday’s commercials. 

Enjoy it here; I’m left of Kayla, who’s in the center of the big group of cheerleaders.

The “Anti” Campaign

October 27, 2009

This is itMichael Jackson’s fans are nothing if not loyal – and fighting mad. So loyal (and mad), in fact, they are banding together in a media relations and viral campaign aimed at getting movie-goers NOT to see the film made from Jackson’s final rehearsal footage.

Their anti(promotional) video has gone viral, and it seems folks are starting to catch on. Top celebrity blogger PerezHilton and several others are already talking about it, leading “traditional media outlets” to begin reporting on it as well.

So, will this cleverly-named anti-PR campaign succeed? Is the messaging strong, factual? Do you feel a call to action? Will you see the film?


October 26, 2009

On Friday we participated in the PRSA/PRSSA Shadow Day, in which an ASU PRSSA student had the opportunity to sit in on a day at the office of a PRSA counterpart.  HMA was fortunate to be teamed with two students, Emily and Christine, and Alison’s PRSSA mentee, Britnee, joined us for the latter part of our day.

The girls arrived at 10 a.m. sharp with plenty of questions.  They spent some time chatting with both Abbie and Alison about everything from the interview process to social media. 

PRSA-PRSSA Shadow Day 2009As Scott was out of town, Abbie, Alison and Beth headed to lunch at the Vig with Emily and Christine, and Britnee met us there, where we talked about our experiences at ASU, and the conversation turned back to social media.

Britnee and Emily both found all of the information about Twitter and Facebook as tactics rather than strategies very useful.  “It makes sense that social media is one strategy and not to be used RATHER than, but in conjunction with, the other strategies of a campaign,” Britnee said when we grilled her about what she’d learned that day.  “And as far as ROI, I loved learning about hashtags and applying social media measurement as it grows.”

They also learned about how all marketing communications can work together toward a goal.  For Christine, it was her first taste of life at an agency, and she was ready for more!  “Having yet to intern or experience life in a public relations agency, it was fascinating to see just how much multi-tasking goes into every day,” she said at lunch.  “Going from writing an article to pitching a story to creating online content to staffing a photo shoot – life at an agency seems anything but boring, and something I am ready to try.”

PRSSA Gals w BethWe think these girls are ahead of the curve – they’ve joined PRSSA and are taking full advantage of it, have had several interesting internships and are just about done at ASU.  They’ve also, as Abbie pointed out, begun their due diligence in PR – stuffing envelopes (something they helped with at our office).

Look for big things from these girls!

DSCF1678Are you a member of or do you support a great children’s organization?

 Then Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona wants to hear from you! The organization is now accepting grant applications from non-profit organizations across the state. Proposals must illustrate how your organization’s needs directly relate to the mission of Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona. To obtain the application and criteria, please click here. To be considered, organizations must submit 10 copies of the application, along with any accompanying materials, by 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30, 2009.

Grant recipients will be announced at the 10th Annual Subway Kids & Sports Golf Tournament on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009. Recipients will also be posted to the website in December.

HMA Everywhere this Week!

October 19, 2009

HMA on Space Mtn.It was been quite the week for team HMA. First, we celebrated National Bosses Day this past Monday with a scavenger hunt for the ages. Next, we celebrated Abbie’s birthday Tuesday with a day trip to the happiest place on Earth – Disneyland!

After that was a week filled with media training and social media presentations to a client, S.M.A.C.N.A., and the Andrea Beth Abbie and Rose 002ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Non-Profit Innovation, followed by one of our staffers falling ill (Beth), one being stuck in Yuma (Scott) and two meeting up with fellow Valley Libras for one heck of a party at the Vig (Abbie & Alison).

3TV Brittney Shipp and Abbie 2But, the real star of the week was the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale’s 6th Annual Uncorked & Unplugged event on Sunday, a casual yet sophisticated night under the stars with great food, great wine and great friends. We spent several morning hours with the great folks at 3TV doing a live remote as the event was set up, and then several evening hours with folks from the local media, marketing and business worlds as the event kicked off.

SBGC_Uncorked08_212All in all, Uncorked & Unplugged was a hit – featuring more than 20 local restaurants, 30 wineries, a martini bar hosted by Blue Martini and a margarita bar hosted by San Felipe’s Cantina. While indulging with both food and beverage, guests also danced the night away with several Scott at Uncorkedpopular local acts including retro ’80s cover band Rock Lobster, DJ William Reed, The Love Me Nots and featured performers from Casino Arizona’s Showstoppers Live!

And, when the evening came to a close, guests Uncorked Unplugged 006were able to take advantage of free cab rides home, courtesy of Hensley & Company and Scottsdale Insurance Company, ensuring all party-goers a safe trip home.

And now it’s time to conquer this week! Make it a great one!

Would You Watch This Show?

October 14, 2009

scottHere’s another example of “we’ll watch anything” on TV.

BET is going to air a reality show next year in which image-rehabbing, former dog-fighting and first-round draft-pick, bankrupt quarterback Michael Vick will star.

An AP report states: Vick said he began filming the show with his own crew when he was sent to prison, long before BET got involved. He said he wanted the cameras to see “the ugly results of my decisions” so that other people won’t make the same mistakes.

He is quoted as saying, “I’m very remorseful about what happened and what I did. I just don’t want other people to go down that path. I’m trying to make it right and repair past damages. That’s all I want to show.”

That’s a solid effort toward gaining some credibility and rebuilding a reputation – which will still take some time.

Carve Your Own RoadCarving out advice from Carve Your Own Road

The tagline of this book, “Do what you love and live the life you envision,” first had me worried it was a book on Scientology. But, when the first sentence of the book talked about one of the author’s aversion to camping over luxuriating in five-star hotels, I knew I found a good book club selection for the month.

This book is a study in how people all across the United States carve out their own roads and find a way to live their dreams, and it also offers advice on how reader’s can apply these various principles to their work and their own lives.

It starts with a simply statement of most people’s view of The American Dream today – to go to college, have a family, own a home and be able to have and buy what one wants. The problem with our view of The American Dream – where’s the happy? It’s not even listed as an afterthought!

Pumpkins 1Sadly, it’s only when we start to suffer from the effects of working toward The American Dream – 16-hour days, divorce, anxiety attacks, Diet Cokes for lunch, etc…. – that we really begin to take a good, hard look at our dreams and realize something is missing.

“Carving your own road is about creating a path that is uniquely yours…” wrote the author.

BUT – this does not mean we all have to quit our jobs and move to log cabins to find ourselves!

In fact, there are several ways to create your own terms within the corporate structure of your life.  The first is to determine what you consider “freedom” within the confines of your life. Some recommendations: 

  • Not being at work, but BEING your work
  • Not living for retirement but living every day doing something you love
  • Creating a reality that is your own, not dictated by other people telling you what is real
  • A connection to your work anywhere, not simply in the confines of 9 to 5

The book also talks about finding your “Shiny Thing” – something you are so excited about that you feel compelled to take action on it. The problem? Many of us bury our shiny thing so deep inside of us, we forget about it.

For many of us communication professionals, the answer is easier than we think. Why did we choose this profession? More than likely, the answer is you like to write, you like to talk or a combination of both! So, think about it…deep down, your shiny thing is probably a variation of writing a book or screenplay, or being on the stage. RUN WITH THAT!

How does HMA run with it? Two immediate examples come to mind:

  • Scott Hanson, a former broadcaster and sports fanatic, is the president of our company by day, but seems able to keep his “things” shiny by volunteering as a host on PBS and reffing high school sports and playing a couple on his own. He lives his passion for writing with us, lives his passion for public speaking with PBS and lives his passion for sports on the field with guys half his age.
  • Abbie S. Fink, who has been fighting for people’s rights since arranging a protest to get her school to put on a dance, fights the good fight in her work life by taking on clients such as the Arizona Bridge to Independent Living, where she fights for the rights of people with disabilities; and in her home life by volunteering with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, where she fights for the rights of children and teens.

Scott’s example shows that you don’t have to find all of your passion from 9 to 5, but throughout the day and in as many ways as you see fit! And Abbie shows that if you inject your passion into your work, it is never really work at all!

Pumpkins 2But not everyone is as lucky, or passionate about their work and home lives, as Scott and Abbie. Some of us, myself included, need what the book calls a “hard stop” to see the light. Some examples include the work-a-holic mother who developed breast cancer and finally found a way to slow down, and the Wall Street Banker who got caught in a financial nightmare and was forced out of what he thought was his career for the next 50 years.

My favorite? The trailblazing public relations professional who amassed a highly successful New York City firm, only to give it all up to work from home in a virtual office to be closer to his friends and family. Unfortunately, it took his wife developing MS to help him see the light.

His advice? Use technology to your advantage. Computer technology, social networking and even smartphones don’t HAVE to keep you chained to the office. In fact, they can actually help rid you of the chain altogether! Embrace technology and everything it can do for your company, and your life, the book recommends.

So, how can you carve your own road in your work and personal life? It requires a change from the inside out. The book carves out seven components to this process:

  1. Clarity – let go of preconceived notions of who you are and what you think others want of you. Search your soul.
  2. Setting Big Goals – when your goals are big and exciting, they propel you forward.
  3. Immersion – reach toward your goals on a daily basis and in a systematic way.
  4. Take Inspired Action – after taking time to immerse yourself in your goals each day, create an action plan to move closer to the goal.
  5. Reflection – at the end of your day, instead of focusing on all the things you may not have gotten done, focus on your “wins.” What did you do today to move closer to that big, exciting goal?
  6. Evolution – as you build momentum, you should receive feedback. Learn from it and ask for more.
  7. Letting Go – this is the hardest part. You have to find a way to let go of others expectations of you, or expectations you built up in your head in order to achieve what really makes you happy.

For me, the book was filled with great anecdotes on how other people found their own passions. Some of them, sadly, had to deal with tragedy or crisis to do it. However, by the book’s end, I was still searching for specific ways to help me find my passions above and beyond what I already do. It helped me to realize I need to continue to search for my passion – something hard to do in your late 20s when you are still trying to establish your career, new marriage and everyone else’s successes – and move on it when I find it.

Boston Pops

October 9, 2009

scottI get the chance to help Channel 8 again this Sunday night at seven o’clock. 

I’ll be hosting Eight’s October membership drive.

The program will be “Chris Botti:  Live in Boston.”  I had the opportunity to preview it.

From the opening moments, the trumpeter and his special guests keep the audience riveted.  A once-in-a-lifetime lineup of some of today’s most popular artists, including Sting, Lucia Micarelli, Steven Tyler, John Mayer, Katherine McPhee, Sy Smith, Josh Groban and Yo-Yo-Ma. All give masterful performances at Symphony Hall in Boston with Keith Lockhart conducting the Boston Pops.

Hope to see you on Sunday night – or better yet, I hope you see me on Sunday night.