By Noah Smith
Kansas City is getting a lot of attention for our food, music and major league sports teams (go Royals!).
People are paying attention to KC. Now, with notoriety comes positive and negative attention. After last week’s…debacle, the Chiefs got a brief mention from a major brand, White Castle, but it wasn’t a wholly positive one:
Not the optimal mention, but you know what? Kansas City is doing great. There are bound to be some haters–even playful ones.
Even though somewhat negative attention sucks, it’s still attention. Think about it, White Castle, a major brand, was watching the game last week and deemed it worthy enough to mention the Kansas City Chiefs on their feed.
Quick view of White Castle on Twitter:
Sooooo… not a bad brand to be mentioned by. Free PR, positive or negative, by any major brand is still free PR. Gotta take what you can get.
However, the real lesson for your brand is to keep an eye on sports and entertainment news and see if you can tastefully poke some fun and get a little light on you by throwing a little shade. What about you? Do you have some examples of what your brand has done to get on a bandwagon on social media?
Go Chiefs! See ya on Twitter: @N_Smith7 #Chiefskingdom
More and more, we at AGPR find ourselves acting not just in the capacity of a public relations, social media and marketing agency, but also as a general business consultancy. That’s one reason we’re excited and proud to announce a new member of the AGPR team. Mike Hulsey will head up our general business consulting operation and our new satellite office in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Mike and I go way back to the days when he was CFO and I was VP of Marketing for a health management firm–for years we’ve hoped to find a way to work together again and here it is! Read on to learn more about Mike.–Alex Greenwood
Mike Hulsey works as a “swimming coach”. Not in the traditional sense, but one that involves coaching businesses to stop treading water. For 25 years, Mike has worked with hundreds of small businesses in an effort to identify weakness, build strength, and create systems to maintain stability.
With degrees in Public Relations and Political Science, along with post-degree education in accounting and marketing, Mike brings to the table a wealth of knowledge and skill in the art of correcting the myriad maladies of business. He simply lives to help the dysfunctional small business move in a positive direction, setting out a plan to achieve greatness for every client.
Fresh out of The University of Oklahoma, Mike’s career began with promoting public transit ridership, creating successful safety programs and then setting a national standard for public/private agreements for operations of public parking services. Along the way, he analyzed and instituted programs to increase revenues for the parking programs by more than four times the original income in less than two years.
Operating his own accounting firm, Mike set up hundreds of new corporations, including setting up their accounting systems and creating business plans featuring marketing, budgeting, and financing strategies.
For established businesses, Mike works tirelessly to find new markets, tighten money management, improve cash flow, and correct collection failures. He has worked extensively in community development, health care and energy industries.
Mike embraces participation in professional groups as a tool to learn and network. He has past and current memberships in many local Chambers of Commerce, The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the American Association of Professional Landmen, the Kansas Hospital Association and the International Downtown Association.
When Mike is able to stray away from business consulting for a few moments, he enjoys family, friends, making new friends and the sharing of great American wines.
We took a few minutes to talk with Mike about his career, work and what he likes best about what he does.
Alex: Mike, you have a wide variety of professional certifications and experience–is that part of what drew you to management consulting? In other words, did your exposure to business owners and teams lead you to this profession?
Mike: I’ve always been fascinated by the confluence of business, government, and people and how they inter-relate. From as far back as I can remember, I was playing with mini-economic systems, (towns, if you will) in my neighborhood and engaging the neighborhood kids to participate with stores, stock exchanges, local governments and what not. We even printed up play money and contracts for transactions and sales. I suppose I just kept on with that and have been drawn to any type of business operation I could experience.
I’m hopelessly drawn to people who constantly evolve with new ideas. I may shoot most of them down, as my friends will tell you, but if I think it’s good, I’m instantly fascinated to help it come to fruition.
Alex: You seem very comfortable working with the government, whereas many business people find the government annoying at best and terrifying at worst. Could you talk about your past interactions on behalf of clients/employers working with the government?
Mike: My first degree being Political Science, I was directed at the dream of someday becoming the White House Chief of Staff, or at least the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. But after only a month of working on a political campaign, I just got a queasy feeling about politics. I have a huge respect for government and its challenges and feel the U.S. Constitution to be the most important document to ever be conceived by man. Conversely, this drives me to also be suspicious of government and its power.
History tells us that governments methodically seek more and more power. I have worked on behalf of many clients in moving through the immense field of regulations to acquire licenses for new businesses or fight tax issues. I generally find a way to find a common ground for both my client and the administrative agency we are dealing with to come to a win-win solution. I don’t like to burn bridges, just build them.
Alex: What prompted you to leave CPA practice?
Mike: An opportunity popped up at a time when I was facing some tough family issues. Also, I had promised myself in 1982–when the oil industry collapsed–that the next energy boom would include me, and since I was tiring of late nights and weekends at the office to get accounting reports completed, I jumped into the oil business. I have not regretted that move.
Alex: It’s interesting when you look at your experience in the health, energy, municipal and financial sectors. ls there a common thread that runs through every sector?
Mike: Alex, that’s a great question! And one I’ve never really pondered. In each of these sectors I’ve seen it happen: both good news and bad news have the same effect to make the organization better or make it fail. It gets down to how it gets spun.
Alex: Who or what is your ideal client?
Mike: The simple answer is: the one that finds me their ideal advisor. But I must say that I seek a client that really does need some help in a certain aspect, or even better–has just become lost and feels as if they are drowning–but at the same time is still passionate enough to want to make the business “rock”.
Alex: Walk us through what you do for your clients.
Mike: I abhor long meetings, so I will sit down with a client and conduct very quick interviews, initially away from the business, and then at the business, to get a feel for the issues they want to correct or improve upon. Then I’ll run through a checklist developed over many, many years of experience by several very smart folks and from there, begin working up the methods that will make their business thrive.
AG: What’s your favorite aspect of your work?
Mike: Getting the stress off the owner or manager and seeing the client smile.
AG: You have a degree in public relations. Will you be offering PR advice as part of your consulting services?
Mike: Let’s face it–business is all about public relations. I look at the business from the outside. And from the outside, I mean at two very different levels: first from the customer viewpoint, and then from the universe’s standpoint. I think this way, it allows an analysis to see a long terms. But the real beauty here, is that with AGPR, a team approach will be involved in developing the public relations piece to the puzzle.
Alex: What should clients expect when working with you?
Alex: How did you come to work with AGPR?
Mike: An inevitable evolution. You (Alex) and I have been longtime friends and I think we knew that at some point, both of us would have to work together again, but this time, on our own terms to afford us the opportunity to unite in making the world a better place.
Alex: Amen, Mike. Welcome aboard! If you’d like to work with Mike to stop treading water and start swimming, feel free to email him here or call 405.535.6038. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHulsey1. He’s on LinkedIn, also, here.
Spicy stuff happening with our friends at Old World Spices and Seasonings, home of the BBQ Spot and more!
Check out this great article in the Kansas City Business Journal to read all about it.
By Noah Smith
Facebook confuses me. It mystifies me.
As a social media consultant I can assist you in a great number of things but there are things in the social platform realm that I will never be able to grasp. I get them but they just seem odd to me, like “why would you add this feature?’.
This time we are talking about the status update option that says “Only Me.” Yes, if you have seen it or not, you can make a status update just for yourself…on Facebook…that no one else can see.
Only me: Sometimes you might want certain posts visible only to you. Posts with the Only Me audience will appear on your Timeline and in News Feed but won’t be visible to anyone else. If you tag someone in an Only Me post, they will be able to see the post.
Especially since Facebook is a SOCIAL networking service and its primary use is to communicate with many people.
Now I guess I can understand blocking some people from seeing your status but it seems a bit too cliquey to me.
With that in mind, it’s confusing to me as to why you would post a status update which other people should see and respond to, that no one can see, except you. If it’s your own personal update, just think it or say it out loud, for crying out loud.
Now I did speak to a friend who uses this feature and she uses it regularly. Her primary use was to get photos from her computer to her phone or vice versa. She changes the status so only she can see it, posts the photo and then saves it and uses it for Instagram or whatever she needed it for.
She also uses it to share photos with only one or two people by tagging them in it.
I must grudgingly admit, then, there is a solid use for it.
See: despite the hype, social media consultants and community managers don’t have all the answers. We wish we did but we don’t. If we did, we would be working for Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Have fun using this new feature and as always, happy Liking, Pinning and Tweeting.
Find @N_Smith7 on Twitter.
By Noah Smith
No matter if you are a Fortune 100 company or a Mom and Pop store, you need to monitor your competition. As you get your yearly social media plan ready, always be mindful of what the other team is doing (if anything).
Monitoring the competition used to be seen by some as negative, but on the topic of social media, not so much. It has become the norm–from keeping up with what your competition is doing to seeing what your potential date is interested in (hence the term “creeping“).
It has become perfectly acceptable to see what your competitors are up to, and in so doing, you might find some very interesting things. You might uncover that they never post–a win for you–or that they are very active and are on the right path.
But regardless of what you discover about their posting habits, there are relevant and potentially things you can learn:
Are they even posting to their social accounts? If so, how often, and what’s their audience doing? Are their audience members engaging or just simply clicking like?
If they aren’t posting, when did they stop? And since they are not, that’s the green light to go ahead and push your social media efforts forward. It’s a great opportunity when your competition isn’t pursuing their own market through social and you should get yours going into high gear to claim that territory. If a brand isn’t on social media, they are losing out. An ever-growing chunk of potential clients won’t look at them because of their lack of presence.
What are they posting? Is it working? These are the questions that you will uncover as you view their social profiles. Also, are they doing something you did or didn’t think of? Are they using social media as a customer service avenue or just to reach and interact with their customers or just doing the basic promoting of their products and services?
It helps to know what other brands are using social for and if it is working. Not everyone uses social media for the same thing. But content is a big one. You can tell what might be working with their crowd and what might not be, and if you share clients, then all the better.
These are just a few of the things you may learn from creeping your competition. But until you check, you never know what you will learn.
By the way, AGPR offers detailed social media monitoring services. Contact me today if you’d like a demo or more info.
Good luck and happy creeping.
Find me on Twitter at @N_Smith7 …until next time, happy tweeting, liking and pinning.