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!



















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This week’s #FF is dedicated to all of the people who strive for excellence in the television industry, and specifically our friends on Twitter who were named as Rocky Mountain Emmy nominees this week. Congratulations – you’ve earned it! 
























abbieAs you know I just got back from my summer vacation – otherwise known as the “Midwest Swing.” A total of 10 days in Minneapolis, Chicago and Indianapolis, visiting family and friends.  So this #followfriday is a tribute to the friends that helped make that trip so amazing.

Minneapolis – a special shout-out of Eva Keiser, Arik Hanson and Matt Kucharski  – my Twin Cities connections and all great communications professionals.  Eva and I had a great lunch at The View overlooking Lake Calhoun.  Unfortunately, Arik was unable to join us but he and I will have the chance to meet again I’m sure.  Matt, well, he had a business trip that took him out of town, but since we are in Counselors Academy together, I know I will see him soon.

followfriday 8-28Chicago – so many people, so little time.  Of course my pal Gini Dietrich.  An awesome public relations practitioner, a fiercely competitive cyclist and dog-mom to Jack Bauer.  And she has a pretty terrific guest room which I happily took advantage of.  Gini coordinated a few get-togethers while I was there so I am happy to say I now know IRL Juli Barcelona (who runs a creative communications company), Nancy Myrland and Nat Slavin, (both legal marketing consultants with some pretty smart things to say), Keith Shay (who in addition to being a smart business guy knows a bunch about food and wine) and Mari Luangrath (who runs a company called Foiled Cupcakes, yummy). My friend Stephanie Krol even stopped by, another great communications professional who splits her time between Illinois and Indiana.

Scott Farrell of Golin Harris played tour guide and lunch companion.  We had a great time touring Millenium Park and celebrating Burger Fest.

followfriday 8-28 no 2And then there is Gini’s team at Arment Dietrich Public Relations who were so warm and welcoming.  They even hosted a special edition of Wine:thirty:  Diane Blazek, Christine Heim, Tom Short, Jennifer Thomas, Tanya Flynn, AngelaLoiacono, Courtney Lawrence, Molli Megasko, and Patti Knight

Indianapolis – well, I can’t say enough about Melanie Green (a very smart legal marketer).  She was a client and then a great friend when she was here in Phoenix and I am so happy to say that our friendship has endured even though she lives so far away. While I was in Indy, had the chance to go to Lindsay Weber’s wedding shower.  She’s on Melanie’s marketing team and is just a delight to be around.  She’s getting married in October.

Great trip, great friends and all worth the follow.

This week’s #followfriday is all about something we hope you will all follow on Monday – #journchat live from Phoenix!

HMA’s own Alison Bailin Batz will be joining communications professionals and Arizona media as a panelist at the event, which is meant to improve the relationships between public relations professionals, journalists and bloggers. HMA is also pleased to announce the event will take place at the Virgina C. Piper Conference Center at the Disability Empowerment Center – a client’s fabulous space.

For full details of the event, please click here.

So, be sure you are following all of these great Tweeps by Monday, and we’ll either see you at the event or “see” you online!

And as a side note, our vp/gm Abbie S. Fink will be in Minneapolis on her “Midwest Swing” trip and will be popping in to their live event hosted by Arik Hanson.  While in Minneapolis she will also see Counselors Academy friend Eva Keiser. From there, she’ll head to Chicago to visit with Gini Dietrich and Scott Farrell.  And one of her best pals, Melanie Green, will be driving over from Indy to hang in the big city for a few days as well.

In honor of the Arizona Cardinals opening training camp this week, Logo 1HMATIME is pleased to present a football-themed Follow Friday for you! However, since HMA is rooting for the Arizona Cardinals this professional football season, we thought we would recommend folks based on their college football faves:

 ASU Sun Devils:

  • Brian Camen, a public relations practitioner at a top-ranked business school in Arizona, although he also roots for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights
  • Blue Media, a large format printing and environmental design companyLogo 2
  • Krystal Temple Heaton, a public relations practitioner for the Phoenix Suns
  • Kim Cecere, a mom, wife and public relations practitioner by day and freelance writer/blogger by night
  • Amanda Perkey, a public relations practitioner
  • Jonathan Roy, assignment editor at FOX 10, roots for the Devils but still cheers for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (HMA staffer Alison Bailin’s team of choice – an obsession)
  • Andre Willis, a marketing executive in Phoenix
  • Ken Reinstein, a public relations practitioner, but he also cheers for his alma mater – Toledo (they have a football team?)
  • HMA team members Abbie S. Fink and Beth Wilkinson also cheer for maroon and gold (while HMA “quarterback” Scott Hanson roots for his NAU Lumberjacks)

THE Ohio State Buckeyes (groan):

  • Kristen Ward, a public relations practitioner at a healthcare Logo 3company
  • Katy Kelewae, a marketing and public relations practitioner in Scottsdale
  • Laura Scholz, an Atlanta-based public relations practitioner, who also roots for the Florida Gators (so the SEC won’t kick her out of the South? No, her dad is an alum!)


  • Javier Soto, KTVK TV 3 personality, roots for the USC Trojans (double groan)
  • Stephanie Sheppard, a public relations practitioner, roots for the LSU Tigers Logo 4
  • Tassi Herrick, a public relations practitioner, roots for the Nebraska Huskers
  • Charlotte Shaff, a public relations practitioner and self-professed Midwest girl at heart, roots for the University of Michigan Wolverines and her alma mater, the Central Michigan Chippewas
  • Adam Kress, reporter with the Phoenix Business Journal and ABC 15, also roots for the Michigan Wolverines
  • Ronny Castro, a commercial banker, roots for the Washington Huskies (here’s hoping they WIN a game in 2009!)
  • Natalie Flanzer, KTVK TV 3 Online personality, roots for the Kansas City Jayhawks
  • John Palmay, Arizona REALTOR, roots for the Penn State Nittany Lions

And my favorite…Phoenix Transit’s Yvette Roeder: “University of California, Santa Cruz, home of the Fighting Banana Slugs (with no known predators).”

abbieMartin Waxman, president of Palette Public Relations in Toronto. Martin has worked in communications and public relations for 25 years.  He and I met through Counselors Academy several years ago.  He provides interesting perspective on our industry and often shares his opinions on twitter and on his blog, my(PR)palette. And he enjoys a wide variety of music, so you’ll see a few blips here and there as well.

Scott Farrell, president of global corporate communications at GolinHarris in Chicago.  Scott and I met just a few months ago after establishing a connection on twitter through our friend Gini Dietrich.  And any friend of Gini’s I know will quickly become a friend of mine. He’s got the big agency knowledge and is happy to share.  You might even find some helpful hints for DIY projects.

Mike Shaldjian of Media Watch AZ. When you look up customer service in the dictionary, you are likely to see a picture of Mike.  He goes above and beyond for his clients.  It is not uncommon for me to receive an email (or DM these days) from Mike late at night or on the weekend telling me that one of my client’s stories aired on the news.  He is smart, funny, one heck of an actor and his dog, Lenny is good friends with my dog, Viva. He’ll share insight into the news businesses, great Phoenix-area restaurants and coffee houses and is guaranteed to make you laugh at least once a day.

Tom Garrity is president of the Garrity Group, a public relations firm in Albuquerque.  I met Tom several years ago, before he had his firm. He was a great resource for me when I was doing business in the market. We became reacquainted in Cabo San Lucas at Counselors Academy. I know, tough duty. Another top-notch public relations practitioner and someone who knows all the great out-of-the-way restaurants in New Mexico.  Follow him for great insight into the business, but also for the hatch chili updates.

Steve Pasierb, chief executive officer of the Partnership for a Drug-Free AmericaHMA Public Relations has been providing pro-bono public relations services to the Partnership for the past five years.  We piloted their first public relations campaign here in Phoenix and have been honored to work with them on a variety of initiatives ever since.  Steve’s passion for keeping our kids safe comes through in everything he does and his twitter stream is no different.  Not only will you learn about what the Partnership is up to but he is an excellent source on what is happening in the non-profit world and how what is happening on Capitol Hill impacts social issues.

And no Boys Club Edition would be complete if I didn’t include Scott Hanson president of HMA Public Relations. Scott and I have known each other for more than 20 years. When I first met him, he was a part-time sportscaster, in addition to running the firm. I was handling public relations for the Fiesta Bowl at the time and found myself pitching stories to him on a regular basis.  It was that early working relationship that cemented a solid business partnership and equally as important a wonderful friendship.  He’s still getting started on twitter but you can expect to hear not only information about the industry but about his other passion – sports.

#FollowFriday – IRL!

July 10, 2009

abbieMy plan for today’s #FollowFriday is to share with you some folks I actually know In Real Life (IRL).  And not just as a result of Twitter, but because we have had the opportunity to work together over the years, share resources and basically become not only professional colleagues, but real friends. This list isn’t all-inclusive so check back again as I’ll add to it.

Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich in Chicago.  A random dinner at PRSA’s Counselor’s Academy in Naples, Florida two years ago has led to a wonderful friendship.  She is kind, witty and one of those smart public relations professionals you want on your team.  She’ll share insight into our industry as well as give you a glimpse into her adventurous side that includes bicycling and mountain climbing, and her take on fashion, beauty products and what kind of wine she’s excited about.

Steve McKee, president of McKee Wallwork Cleveland, an advertising agency in Albuquerque.  Steve and I met several years ago when he was working here in Phoenix.  We were both very new in our careers and we shared a client or two.  When he moved to New Mexico we stayed in touch.  He’s one of those ad guys who gets public relations and knows how to use it.  He’s also the author of When Growth Stalls, about how business get stuck and what to do about it.  Read the book and follow him.  You won’t be sorry.

Melanie Green, director of client service at Baker and Daniels, a law firm based in Indianapolis. I had the pleasure of working with Melanie when she was here in Phoenix working at a firm. Our client/agency relationship quickly turned to friendship as we spent countless hours traveling around Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada to visit the attorneys in those offices.  We share a love for sushi and all things Rascal Flatts. She has her finger on the pulse of law firm marketing, communications and how to embrace social media for professional services.

Michelle Olson, president of Olson Communications right here in Phoenix. A competitor, yes, but more importantly, a trusted friend.  Michelle is one of those people who’s got your back, no matter what.  We will see each other coming and going at new business presentations, but if HMA Public Relations doesn’t win an account and Olson does, I am happy to know that it will be well-served under Michelle’s guidance. We met years ago at a PRSA luncheon and realizing that we were both from the Twin Cities, we hit it off immediately.  She’s got great real estate and hospitality knowledge and a fondness for Lance Armstrong so don’t be surprised if her tweets are all about cycling.

Susan Hart, owner of Hart Public Relations in Nashville.  Another client turned friend, Susan and I worked together when she was in-house communications director at a private prison system.  Yes, private prisons.  HMA was the on-the-ground team for work in Arizona and New Mexico.  You really get to know someone when you work with them under extreme circumstances and over the years, we’ve had a few.  She shares her insights on the communications industry through her blog and through her tweets. She’s also pretty funny so expect a chuckle or two.

Due to the popularity of our #FollowFriday list of PRGN members a few weeks ago, we’ve decided to, ahem, follow it up with “PRGN – Part Deux.”  Enjoy!

The Fearey Group of Seattle was founded in 1981 and its longevity speaks for itself. Clients value their commitment to insightful, informed public relations counsel and stay year after year. @thefeareygroup

When you form a partnership with Pasadena’s VPE Public Relations, you benefit from a heritage of public relations experience, top talent in the industry and cutting-edge resources that deliver creative communications solutions to your Hispanic marketing needs.  Follow VPE here.

Since 1979 Industrie-Contact of Hamburg, Germany is a full-service agency and has been planning and carrying out sophisticated communication strategies for national and international companies and organizations from various business areas. @ic_ag

Landis Communications, Inc. of San Francisco strategically partners with clients to demonstrate how communication can engineer and support business growth and success.  @LandisComm


NATAS LogoYou probably know this, but HMA Public Relations is all about public relations.  But, thanks to our great relationship with the local and regional media – not to mention HMA president Scott Hanson’s former career as an on-air sportscaster – we are proud to be members of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter’s Board of Directors.

NATAS, who you can follow on Twitter by clicking here, is a professional service organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. Our chapter, which was formed in 1959, represents Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and El Centro, Calif. Among our chief annual responsibilities are the regional Emmy Awards, the prestigious Gold and Silver Society inductions and university outreach/continuing education. Each member of the board has some tie to the television community. Alison Bailin at HMA, for example, is the on-air spokesperson for various clients and also performs pro-bono public relations efforts on the association’s behalf.

This week’s #FollowFriday recommendations are just some of our fellow board members:

NATAS Holiday FunAdam Kress – one of the Valley’s VERY BEST and most active journalists on Twitter – is the multimedia reporter for the Phoenix Business Journal. In addition to his work with the Journal, Adam can be seen reporting on breaking business news on ABC 15 and heard on News-Talk 92.3 KTAR.

Bob Adlhoch is a 13-year veteran of Phoenix Suns broadcasting and has been working in the Valley sports world since 1990. He is also the current national trustee for our NATAS region. Bob has been part of the sports production community in the Valley since 1990.

Jeramie McPeek – who also tweets here and here – is quickly becoming a national “go-to” guy for everything social media-related and just returned from a two-day international Twitter conference in New York City. Aside from his life in the Twitterverse, Jeramie is the vice president of digital for the Phoenix Suns.

Tiffany Jarratt wears many hats for her television station, FOX 10. Currently, Tiffany is the booker/producer/web reporter and even an on-air personality for the five-hour FOX 10 Arizona Morning show. Often Tiffany tweets when looking for great, visual story ideas, so she is a “must-follow” for any public relations practioner.

NATAS Silver CircleClay Stubblefield, who is always dishing out great advice with his tweets, is the production manager for Metro Studios in Phoenix. Beginning as a video production company in 1985, Metro Studios has evolved to become one of the most respected production entities here or anywhere and offers a wide array of advertising and marketing services as well as production and web services.

Doug Mummert is the division chief for the Phoenix Fire Department. Often quoted in both local broadcast and print media, Mummert is a go-to expert on fire and water safety as well as the alternate trustee for our association.

Theresa Maher is the director public and job seeker relations for in Phoenix and can often been seen on local television offering the community insight on possible jobs opportunities as well as career advancement advice.

Andrew Beneze is a videographer and photographer with Next Edge Video in Scottsdale. For more than 20 years, Andrew has traveled around the world, covering some of the most compelling and history making stories of our time. From sitting down with the President of the United States, to documenting life under the ocean in a nuclear submarine, you could say “He’s been there, done that” but he is always up for new challenge.

NATAS Vegas EmmysVik Narayan is the investigative and special projects editor for ABC 15 as well as the 1st Vice President and Awards Committee Chair of NATAS.  Over the past 16 years, Vik has directed, edited, composited, color corrected, and created motion graphics for projects ranging from high-end commercials to low budget long form documentaries. He has been widely recognized for his accomplishments including 13 Emmy Awards and a George Foster Peabody Award in 2008.

Syleste Rodriguez is currently a reporter on 12 News Evening Edition and an anchor on 12 News Weekend Today. She has also been an instrumental part of the Rocky Mountain Emmy Committee and spearheaded the association’s “Vegas theme” in 2008. Oh, and if you don’t see many tweets from here from time to time, cut her a little slack – she is about to have a baby!

Mark Reda is a coordinating producer for FOX Sports Arizona who also worked as the media director at Central Christian Church of the East Valley and as a broadcast producer at the Arizona Diamondbacks.

HMA Public Relations is an independently owned and operated public relations and marketing communications firm here Phoenix.  But, thanks to our membership in the Public Relations Global Network, we are affiliated with some of the best public relations firms in the United States and across the globe.  You can find us on twitter at Scott Hanson or Abbie S. Fink

PRGN members are experienced and recognized authorities within their local markets and specialty fields of practice. Services provided include media relations, marketing communications, community relations, financial relations, public affairs, crisis communications, research, video production and special events. Each agency offers expert services and counsel at local, national and international levels.

This week’s #FollowFriday recommendations are just some of the members of our network.

Industrie-Contact in Hamburg, Germany has, for the past 26 years, been involved with the practice of public relations and marketing on both the national and international levels, giving it a background of experience that very few agencies can say they have. Uwe Schmidt

Landis Communications, Inc. of San Francisco has consistently been named “one of the Bay Area’s top PR firms” by the San Francisco Business Times and PR Week. LCI is a mid-sized, award-winning communications agency that creates, coordinates and implements a variety of communications activities, all aimed at supporting each company’s identified primary business goals. The team twitters include:  David Landis, Amanda James Lee Kravetz Kelly Taylor and Heather Platisha

The Castle Group in Boston is headquarters to innovative, driven and committed public relations and events management professionals that deliver value and results to a diverse client roster. The agency comprises full-service public relations and events divisions that can work in tandem or separately. A women-owned business that has grown each year since its founding in 1996, the agency prides itself on proactive problem solving and looking between the lines.  Wendy Spivak

Buchanan Public Relations is a full-service public relations and marketing communications firm in Philadelphia that provides a broad range of strategic public relations and marketing services to help grow clients’ businesses by building and nurturing their brands. Anne Buchanan

Currie Communications Pty Ltd (Currie) is an Australian-owned, medium-sized consultancy which assists clients to build high-value relationships with corporate, media and government audiences. The consultancy specializes in providing strategic and tactical support for issues-based and marketing communications campaigns which are closely aligned to an organization’s key goals. Mark Patterson

Since 1988, VPE Public Relations has grown to become the country’s largest Hispanic-owned public relations agency on the basis of its commitment to quality service, integrity, and grasp of the marketplace. Its specialty is serving the dynamic US Hispanic consumer market – an economic giant that surpasses Canada in population and spending power. Patricia Perez or VPEPR

Xenophon Strategies, Inc. is a strategic public affairs firm headquartered in Washington, D.C.  Within the core practice areas of public affairs, public relations, crisis communications and government affairs, Xenophon Strategies provides a wide range of services for a diverse portfolio of national and international clients including government, trade associations, foundations, public entities, Fortune 500 corporations and small businesses. David Fuscus

Established in 2001 Coast Communications of Stockholm, Sweden, is a full-service communications consulting firm specializing in PR, Public Affairs and Investor Relations. CC offers both consultation and production services. The Nordic network includes a solid network of affiliated PR-firms in the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland and Norway. KG Rickhamre

Adam Friedman Associates (AFA) is an independent corporate and investor relations firm specializing in representing clients that seek broader exposure to investors. AFA’s approach is based on a strategic analysis of Wall Street perceptions, stock valuation and peer group research. The firm serves a client base that seeks an aggressive approach to IR and demands measurable results. Adam Friedman

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, HWB Communications is a strategic communications and public relations company. Our national and local clients represent a range of sectors. Evelyn John Holtzhausen

SCR Relaciones Publicas Founded in 1986, SCR is an elite PR company in Barcelona, Spain, whose mission is to add value to the businesses of its clients through the creation and management of their communications and PR strategies that meet their specific necessities and objectives. or Verena Duchoud

Now in its 26th year, The Fearey Group is a full-service public relations, issues management and public affairs firm in Seattle that is distinguished by its deep, time-tested understanding of how businesses work and what they need to succeed. By basing the strategic planning process on the long-term objectives of the client’s business plan, the firm effectively and efficiently meshes messaging with business activities to build the bottom line. Natalie Price

L.C. Williams & Associates is a full-service public relations and research counseling firm headquartered in Chicago. It is a mid-size, independent agency employing 30 public relations and research professionals. The firm focuses on how effective communications can meet its clients’ goals and objectives. Kim Blazek Dahlborn

Pacifico Integrated Marketing Communications is a full-service marketing communications agency. The San Jose-headquartered firm creates brand value for its clients by delivering differentiated messages and images through appropriately targeted media. Pacifico is focused on technology-based business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients serving national and international markets.  Mary Curtis

GroundFloor Media, an award-winning public relations agency, is one of the fastest-growing companies in Colorado. Recently recognized by The Holmes Report as the Best Boutique Agency to Work For and one of three finalists named to the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year award, GroundFloor Media is no stranger to accolades and boasts a roster of notable clients from a variety of industries.  Ground Floor Media Laura Love Ramonna Tooley

DVL is a full-service communications agency in Nashville, Tenn., that gets results. We identify what will get your company where you want it to be and then we make it happen creatively. John Van Mol

JMC Marketing Communications and PR is an international public relations and marketing communications firm that provides strategic communications solutions. Headquartered in Kingston, N.Y., JMC works in the “real world,” where businesses are crunched by competing demands, too many distractions, and tight resources. JMC uses public relations and publicity, advertising, promotions, trade shows and special events, as well as publications and market research to help its clients create market awareness and reach their objectives.  John Mallen