My 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.