The 7 most intriguing people in PR in 2010

People has its list. Now I have mine. In all seriousness, if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know I’m big on lists. And, as we enter another new year, I thought we could have a little fun today and focus on seven people who, in my opinion, have an interesting year ahead of themselves in 2010–for many different reasons:

DavidArmanoDavid Armano. Why is he intriguing? While David had an extremely adventurous and interesting 2009, I tend to think 2010 will be just–if not more–intriguing. Having just joined digital juggernaut, Edelman, David will be a part of one of the most respected, and high-powered, social teams in the country. I expect we may see big things from Mr. Armano in 2010.

AdamSingerAdam Singer. Why is he intriguing? Did you just read his post about Mashable? Tells you all you need to know about the guy. One of the smarter, young PR/digital pros in Minneapolis, Adam has been making quite a name for himself blogging at the Future Buzz and working with Lee Odden over at Top Rank Marketing. In my mind, Adam represents much of what the PR pro of the future will look like. Sharp digital skills, a strategic mindset and a creative problem solver.

spinksDavid Spinks. Why is he intriguing? Graduated from college. Started his first blog. Scored his first full-time job (as community manager at Scribnia). Co-hosts the successful #u30pro chat. This all happened for David in 2009. Boy, I can’t wait to see what he does in his second full-time year in the workforce. David is constantly taking risks, challenging the status quo and considering alternative approaches. The guy’s done more in one year than I did in my first five out of school. Can’t wait to see where 2010 takes him.

AdamKmiecAdam Kmiec. Why is he intriguing? Anyone who openly questions Chris Brogan gets my attention. Only because it so rarely happens and Mr. Brogan is such a beloved–and widely respected–figure online. To me, Adam’s actually much more intriguing for his creative thoughts and curiousity. In fact, he had one of the more interesting prediction-type posts last week. We need more Adam Kmiec’s around.

brandbuilderOlivier Blanchard. Why is he intriguing? Another guy who’s not afraid to challenge conventional thought. Over the last year, he’s sparked all sorts of controversial and thought-provoking conversation on his blog–and others. And now, he’s off creating worldwide summits and think tanks. To be honest, I’ve been intrigued by Olivier since the day I started following him and his blog. Can’t wait to see what’s next for him in the year ahead.

LenKendallLen Kendall. Why is he intriguing? Len’s one of those guys who doesn’t fit into a nice, neat bucket. He’s not really a traditional PR pro (even though he works for GolinHarris, a widely respected integrated communications agency). He’s not really an interactive guy either. He’s a hybrid of sorts. And, much like Adam Singer above, I think Len represents the future. And lately, his blog has started to pull me in more and more (have you seen his post on using Posterous for PR?). Len’s also started (along with Daniel Honigman) a new project dubbed the “3six5 project” where a different person will guest post each day. Kind of a 365 running diary. Intrigued?

ShelShel Holtz. Why is he intriguing? Along with Neville Hobson, Shel Holtz just celebrated the fifth year of For Immediate Release. FIVE YEARS! That’s longer than some of us have been on Gmail (don’t look at me). He also started “Stop Blocking”, a site devoted to convincing organizations to unblock social sites in the workplace (yeoman’s work). And, in a space littered with milennials, Yers and Xers, Shel’s one of a handful of boomers consistently pushing the envelope while applying his 30-plus years of experience in corporate communications. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Shel a couple times in the last year and I’m looking forward to Shel’s ideas and thoughts in 2010.

Who intrigues you in 2010?

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


31 comments on “The 7 most intriguing people in PR in 2010

  1. Len Kendall says:

    Completely blown away. Thank you for the kind words AND for sharing my project.

  2. And I thought PR was a women-dominated field!

  3. Todd Defren says:

    All good folks, for sure.

    But yea, per Janet, where are the women? So many smart, fascinating women out there that assuredly coulda’ cracked into a Top 7 list.

  4. What’s so awesome about this post, Arik, besides the people of course, is that I just learned about several new blogs and resources to check out. Firefox tab count went from 6 to 12 :).

    Everyone on this list is extremely deserving. Shel Holtz turned me on to social media. Sprint brought him into speak the week after I was hired there and he lit the fire for me. Some people just have an unbelievable motor and passion for education. The only question I have about Shel is does he ever sleep. And you know how I strongly I support efforts like “Stop Blocking: since we both have that employee comms background.

    Spinks has created a monster…in a good way. #u30pro was moving so fast with so many great thoughts and people last night that the chat was still logging double digit tweets an hour after it was finished. Awesome.

    For those who haven’t checked out Oliver Blanchard’s post and the subsequent conversation on ISMA and social media certification…it is a must-read. All 300 comments. Three hours later, you’ll be glad you did. Plus, anyone who claims the “bullshit squad” on their blog home page gets my attention :).

    Len Kendall always keeps you thinking. Every time I read one of his tweets, I find it intriguing. Almost always click the links in them. And 3six5 sounds like a groundbreaking endeavor. Adding your blog to my reader right now, Len.

    Dave Armano is Dave Armano. Daniela…nuff said. I have told hundreds of people/clients that story. Looking forward to getting to know the two Adams better and check out their respective stuff.

    Arik, you’re pretty good when it comes to these lists. Have you thought about a book…each chapter a different list and discussion of why the people are important?


  5. derickson says:

    Great list, Arik!

    You’ve included some great names and great reasons for following them and a couple I clearly need to check out.


  6. Great list, Arik. To follow up on Janet’s comment, for most of my PR career (I’ve been in it 20 years this year… yikes, makes me feel old!), it has certainly been an industry dominated by women. So although I would like to have seen some women on this list, it is refreshing to see a list of men who are shaking things up in PR.

  7. David Armano says:

    2009 was very adventurous for me! I got more hands on in many ways and found myself in places such as Australia giving half days seminars on a topic that people where just getting their heads wrapped around.

    Happy to be with the Edelman team in 2010.

  8. KaryD says:

    Nice list (little heave on men 🙂 and, I got one more (also a dude) that when it comes to “PR” and “intriguing” I think of immediately – Brian Solis. He continues to examine the role of PR in social media, and does so from a brilliant sociological standpoint.

  9. Adam Singer says:

    Hey Arik – you rock, thanks for inclusion. We still have to get coffee one of these days!

  10. I agree that all these are great PR guys. However, I’m surprised that Gini Dietrich, Beth Harte, Rachel Kay, or Valeria Maltoni, to name a few women communications pros, didn’t make your list. Any one of them, if not all of them, would be great additions. Not that your list needs more men, but I would add John Bell of Ogilvy, too.

  11. arikhanson says:


    Without question a number of women intrigue me in the year ahead. Beth Harte, Valeria Maltoni, Rachel Kay just to name a few. I was really just trying to keep the list short and these were the first seven folks who popped in my head. Obviously, I realized they were all men before posting. But your point is a good one. Certainly there are many women out there doing interesting and fascinating work. Who are they? I have my thoughts (and will post next week), but I’d be interested in yours. Please share here.


  12. Arik,
    I come at PR from an internet marketing/SEO perspective. I’m still learning the PR culture.

    I’m the only woman on my team at work. When I speak to PR groups it’s almost all women. Since writing a book I’ve connected with more women for the first time in my career. People like Anita Campbell, Joan Stewart and Mihaela Lica as well as local bloggers. It’s a refreshing change.

    Ping me when you get the list of intriguing women in PR. I’ll be following & will retweet.


  13. Love the post and admit, I am intrigued by all of your picks. A really cool mixture of experience and fresh perspectives. Who would I add to the list? Sarah Evans…she’s had a great 2009 and I cannot wait to see where she goes in 2010! I also agree with Kary’s suggestion of Brian Solis, and have to add his Putting the Public Back in Public Relations Co-Author, Deirdre Breakenridge who is easily one of the most genuine and generous social media thought leaders I have encountered. Finally, since we are talking intigue, I’ll add my favorite “PR man of mystery” @PRCog.

  14. @collentine says:

    Don’t like you Arik:P

    Had almost made it through catching up on my rss reading when you gave me several new persons to follow… 🙂

  15. KaryD says:

    Hey Arik,

    I gave you grief about it being all men, but then added another one, so, I’m not exactly in the clear.

    Beth Harte — ABSOLUTELY. She’s awesome and has very smart insight into PR as it relates to today’s industry.

    Other who come to mind are Amber Nasulnd and Katie Paine for their work in monitoring and measurement.

  16. Any list that has these three gentleman @adamkmiec @armano @thebrandbuilder I can really get behind. These three are going to revolutionize this next 10 years! That is why they are all on my #dreampanel list on twitter!

    Image if these 3 guys were on a panel at your conference. Real action, real discussion, real civil discourse would take place!

    They teach each other, they teach their audiences and actually learn from them all the time.

    Thanks for the research and list @arikhanson!

  17. Ari Herzog says:

    I blinked when I saw David Spinks’ inclusion. How’s he in PR? You admit he does community management. I think of him as more of a tech guy.

    Which begs the question… how do you differentiate PR from its sister industries? Or do you?

  18. arikhanson says:

    Keith: Thanks for stopping by. Sounds like quite the dream panel. Who else is on that bad boy?

    Ari: Was kinda waiting for someone to bring that up. See, I don’t see the lines as clearly as some others might. I think David is definitely working in the “PR” field–whatever that means anymore. As a community manager, I would think one of his jobs is to influence perceptions, build consensus and inform and educate. Sounds like PR to me, doesn’t it? Also, re: his technical abilities, I tend to think we’re going to see more of that out of PR pros before too long. In fact, I think for some jobs it will become a requirement (heck, it already is in some ways). Thanks for the comment, as always, Ari.


  19. Mary Barber says:

    Glad to see several friends have already given you grief about the male dominance in your list my friend. Earlier this week several of us were joking about creating a tweet calendar of PR peeps not on other lists. We may have to continue exploring that idea!

    Seriously, good list here and lots of new places for me to explore as well as some known faves. The sharing and learning is one of the best things about social media.

  20. Jackie Mitchell says:

    I second Sarah Evans comment.

  21. arikhanson says:

    Mary: Thanks for stopping by. That was why I included some of the folks I did. Sometimes, we get too focused on the A-listers and neglect the good work/interesting thoughts of the “mushy middle.”

    Jackie: Wait, did Sarah leave a comment? If she did, I haven’t seen it. Could you/Sarah share?

  22. Oh, hello! Thanks, Arik!

  23. David Spinks says:

    Alright, let’s try this again. Comment must have not gone through last time.

    Arik, I don’t need to tell you how highly I regard you. i’ve told you many times before. A year ago, I wouldn’t have imagined I could be included on your blog in a post like this, amongst such industry leaders. (I still don’t think I belong on this list!) I’ve looked up to most of the others on that list for a long time, as well as many of the people mentioned in the comments. Really, thank you.

    It’s been a crazy 6 months for me. I don’t know what the future will bring but if I can accomplish what many on this list have accomplished in my lifetime, I’d certainly consider it to be a lifetime well spent.

    Ari: Who knows? I don’t even know what I am. I graduated in a very weird time in the middle of silos being broken down and industries meshing together. I graduated with a business administration degree, which provides no focus whatsoever. So am I PR? Am I a marketer? Am I a tech guy? Who knows… Whatever you want to call me is fine, it won’t change what I’m doing.


  24. Rosanna Fiske says:

    How are you defining intriguing exactly? Would help us understand the list a little more.

  25. You know what I love about this list? So many people from Chicago!

    I agree with the addition of Len. Many don’t think of him as PR pro and that’s exactly how it should be! Our industry is changing and people like him and Armano represent the shift. I hope to see more people like the two of them on lists like this in the future.

    And thanks, Steve, for the mention of Valeria, Beth, Rachel, and me.

  26. So glad to see Len get the deserved mention here. You couldn’t have picked a nicer guy, and the 3six5 project is just more evidence of his innovative brilliance. I’m personally honored to be involved in the project and can’t wait to see how it plays out throughout the year. Book project in the making?

    Also, gender diversity issues aside, I have to agree with earlier votes for Gini Dietrich. Woman or superhero, take your pick. I don’t understand how Gini can do all the inspiring things she does throughout the course of a day, let alone a year. Her work at the helm of Arment Dietrich is something to behold. After watching in awe the trail she blazed last year, I can’t even begin to imagine the heights that she and her firm will reach this year.