20 PR and Social Media Superstars Flying Under The Radar (updated 9/23)

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A few weeks ago I asked the Twitter community to nominate PR and social media pros/students who provide insightful posts, but for some strange reason don’t have as big a following s as they probably deserve.

With that in mind, below is a list of those people who nominated others, as well as their description as to why those identified should earn recognition. Note that almost all of the nominees have less than 1,000 Twitter followers. As always, if someone is not on the list then please leave a comment and let us know who else we should all be paying attention to!

1. Nominator: Alan Danzis @adanzisNominee: Laney Cohen @lanes0220

“My friend Laney Cohen is very active on Twitter engaging in monthly and weekly chats. She works in healthcare PR so its good she understands the importance of social media but recognizes the challenges in getting healthcare involved. She also writes a blog.”

2. Nominator: Lexie Kier @a0k; Nominees: Alan Danzis @adanzis, Mitch Kapler @mitchkapler

“Alan is a seasoned PR pro who seamlessly integrates his passion for gaming, gadgets, and geekery with industry news, humor, and anecdotes on city life. I’m kind of shocked he doesn’t have more followers yet. Or that he isn’t on tv for G4.”

“Mitch is a great conversationalist and a smart strategist but also a creative by nature, who curates wonderful art, music, news, and inspiring tidbits through twitter. He uses his social media sorcery for good with nonprofit Catchafire to match skilled people with worthy causes.”

3. Nominator: William Johnson @johnsonwilliam; Nominee: Elizabeth Cooke @ellebetz

“Perhaps the most interesting 22 year old with a two year old you’ll ever meet (or tweet), Elizabeth Cooke is the ultimate playful-professional, pushing the boundaries of conversation and engagement like it’s her job – partly because it is.  A community architect/manager at social media management company Soshal Group, she combines insight and wit in a way that’s alluringly unmatched.”

4. Nominators: Rachel Esterline @rachelesterline, Kairi Soosaar @kairisoosaarNominee: Mikinzie Stuart @Mikinzie

“Mikinzie’s tweets are filled with great information and personality. Her tweets reflect what she is like in real life. And, I love how she creates random hashtags that describe her thoughts at the moment.” – Rachel Esterline

“Having built her skill set through TPC, Mikinzie is a self-taught PR and social media PRO, whose talent is highly appreciated by many leaders in the profession as well as up-and-comers and students. She shares her insights on the industry in two of her blogs: PRepguide and PRGeekSpeak.” – Kairi Soosaar

5. Nominator: Matt LaCasse @MattLaCasseNominee: Colby Gergen @ColbyWG

“Colby is a senior at the University of Missouri this year. I find his tweets fall into one of three categories: Funny, Insightful, Thought Provoking. All three carry great value for me and I believe will be beneficial to others who aren’t currently following him.”

6. Nominator: Kairi Soosaar @kairisoosaarNominees: Brittany James @bitty_boop, Hana Yi @hanayi

“If Tweeting were a sport at the Olympic Games, Brittany would be representing the U.S.A. She was recently a Top 20 MTV Twitter Jockey finalist, and has her hands busy with working for CJP Communications in NYC. She is someone who gets noticed for her enthusiasm and passion for the industry, which have scored her great connections among the stars of the PR and social media world.”

“Hana has scored some serious PR experiences from the fashion world of Bloomingdales, nonprofit world of the Red Cross and she recently complemented her talent under the hand of the amazing Sarah Evans of Sevans Strategy, who called her a “true go-getter”. She is currently rocking the PR and social media land of the Chicago Tribune. She is a PR gal to watch out for!”

7. Nominators: Harrison Kratz @KratzPR, Ashley Parker @fleuredeflorida, Lauren Gray @WCUPRSSA/@laurenkgrayNominee: Ashley Funderburk @amfunderburk1

“I would like to recommend Ashley Funderburk.  She is my SM director for Kratz PR and is the VP for PRSSA at West Carolina University (WCU). She deserves more followers because she is someone who truly engages with other followers to communicate, learn from, share, and collaborate with. She has become well known among young PR students and professionals because she is so involved and active in social media.  She knows a great deal about this medium and she loves to share and use her talents to her professional advantage.” – Harrison Kratz

“I love Ashley’s blog! She’s a PR student a WCU & another great example of someone doing all the right things to get herself educated and out there- she’s very involved in student PR orgs and internships, but I think what I love about her is that you see who she is as a person through her tweets, and not everybody does this. For some it’s all about connections, RTs, etc…but she’s someone who comes across as a “real” person too.Thanks for doing this!” – Ashley Parker

“Ashley is an upcoming PR student and PRSSA Vice President and Catamount Communications, student-run PR firm, Firm Director who has a huge passion for social media and entertainment PR. She is very big into social media and tweets to engage others with very informational and exciting tweets.” – Lauren Gray

8. Nominator: Matt John @emjaydoesprNominee: Kris Allen @krisallenpr

“Kris (@krisallenpr) is has a really interesting position at the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation. He is helping integrate social media with traditional communications at a grassroots level. Kris has worked in the Gaming, Oil and Gas and Not-For-Profit sectors and is a really helpful guy with a great deal of experience to share.”

9. Nominator: Kris Allen @krisallenpr; Nominee: Matt John @emjaydoespr

“This guy is a recent PR grad like me, but was lucky enough to be headhunted by a national crisis communications agency in Calgary, Alberta. This guy was the social media resource for our entire graduating class. If it weren’t for this guy, I wouldn’t be on Twitter or writing guest blogs for people. Honestly, this guy knows his stuff.”

10. Nominator: Mariam Shahab @Mshahab; Nominee: Alicia Collins @buona_vita

“Aside from constantly engaging with her current followers, Alicia constantly provides insights to new “tweeps” in Twitter chats all week. She also consistently manages to bring out her personality through 140 characters.”

11. Nominator: Brittany James @bitty_boop; Nominee: Jessica Bayer @JessBayerDC

“During a #PRStudChat that I moderated, Jess was part of the HR panel that provided graduating seniors great information on what HR representatives are looking for in candidates. Jessica also reached out to students in other cities during the spring for internship/freelance opportunities to gain experience.”

12. Nominator: Ashley Parker fleuredeflorida; Nominees: Lauren Lorenzo @LaurenLrnz, Nicole Floetker @nicolefloetker

“Lauren is a new grad who just started her first job as an account coordinator, and she’s exciting to follow because she’s a great example of what post-college, new grad life is like, which I think gives other PR students inspiration. As a PR pro myself, I think it’s important for the next generations to have role models/people they can relate to, and she is one of those.”

“Nicole is still a student, but she’s definitely holding her own out there. She contacted me asking for advice regarding nonprofit PR, and I love that she’s really working social media connections to learn and improve herself for her future PR career. Another great example for other students/pros.”

13. Nominator: Lauren Gray @WCUPRSSA/@laurenkgray; Nominees: Amanda Peralta @aeperalta1, Kion Sanders @kionsanders

“Amanda is a new professional out in the PR real world who has successfully interned at Eric Mower and Associates PR firm and is currently interning at JSW Media Group. She has always been a great resource and mentor for other PR students, including @laurenkgray and @amfunderburk1, and is always willing to help out others.”

“Kion Sanders is a new professional and PRSA member working for Fahlgren Mortine PR firm. He is a great person to follow because he loves fashion, music, and all things entertainment and always has excellent tweets about the latest and upcoming fashion news and all things PR.”

14. Nominator: Ramona Zachariassen @ramonahz; Nominee: Petya Georgieva @pgeorgieva

“She (Petya) deserves more followers because she is passionate about PR and she regards her profession as a lifestyle – she spends most of her time keeping up to date and educating others. She is good at promoting other people, as well as conversing with them, on Twitter. She blogs about communication at www.higher-and-higher.com.”

15. Nominator: @jeff_nordstedt; Nominee: @alexandrakirsch

“She (Alexandra) deserves more followers because she is a wonderful online citizen. She has done a great job of community-building among book readers and reviewers.”


21 comments on “20 PR and Social Media Superstars Flying Under The Radar (updated 9/23)

  1. Andrew –

    I’m not sure how you’re defining under the radar, but the great majority of these folks do the exact opposite of fly under the radar.

    A few of these folks made your future stars list a few months back as well, and one of them – was a prolific self-marketer during MTV’s TJ contest a few months back.

    I’ve spoken to and/or follow most of these folks already, unfortunately the list doesn’t have the the hidden gems as advertised.

    • Almost all of the nominees have less than 1k followers. Also, I did not choose this list. I asked people to nominate others and posted every response I received. It’s impossible to follow everyone that provides PR/SM info, so this list should help a lot of people. That was my hope when putting this together.

      • Hi Andrew,

        This list has some great individuals on it for sure and thanks for putting it together. I was looking for new people to get to know. In fact, @alexandrakirsh is on here and Danny Brown just wrote a whole post about her and her pitching style. Yes, she has under 1k followers and perhaps prior to Danny’s post was flying under the radar.

        However, I’d have to agree with Cog. Some of the people on here are rock stars and I’m not sure having under a certain amount of followers is that influential.

      • Hi Christina,

        Totally understandable. Next time I may decide to filter this a little more or make the ‘rules’ a little more clear, but for this post I decided than anyone who took the time to nominate deserved to be up there and have their recommendations posted.

        Hope you at least found a few new people to network with.



    • No need to take it so literally, Cog. “PR and social media pros/students who provide insightful posts, but for some strange reason don’t have as big a following s as they probably deserve.” I think this list provides exactly that.

      This is great – thanks for compiling Andrew!

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  3. I’ve found that I was already following most of these folks, but did find a few “hidden gems” (@PRcog’s term) and appreciate it! 🙂

    • So hard to identify everyone who deserves a following, with so many new people popping up all the time, which is why I asked others to compile the list.

      If you can find 1 new person to follow on this list then this post was successful!

      Thanks, Tressalynne

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      • Good catch, Sarah. That’s one of the reasons I posted both the nominee AND the nominator. Wanted to provide you all with transparency into this.

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  6. The list was very helpful and I think it is a great positive that one of the past future stars did make it to the MTV TJ contest- where her task was to self-promote herself in regards to possibly getting a job w/ mTV using her knowledge of social media. Why should this be viewed as a negative?

  7. Hi!

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’ve gotten to know a few people on this list in person over the past couple of months and I absolutely think they are hidden gems.

    For the ones I didn’t know before, I’ll definitely be checking them out.

    Much appreciated 🙂

    Best wishes,

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  9. Hana Yi is a much-deserved mention. Hana helped support me during the weeks (and months) following the Haiti earthquake, and I don’t know what I would have done without her. When hundreds of evacuees started coming into O’Hare Airport in those first few critical days of our Red Cross relief effort, Hana was by my side for the press conferences, social media frenzy and remarkable mobilization effort. This one’s special. Keep an eye on her.

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