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YPN5Q: Digital media relations guru Arik Hanson

This week we hear from Arik Hanson, a digital PR consultant, blogger and principal at ACH Communications in Minneapolis.


YPN5Q is a weekly Q&A series spotlighting the state’s top young business and civic leaders and creative minds — professionals propelling change through entrepreneurship, the arts, public service, social media, and community involvement.

This week, we hear from Arik Hanson, a digital PR consultant, blogger and the principal of the Minneapolis-based digital communications firm ACH Communications, whose client list includes brands such as Select Comfort, Mall of America, UCare and Feed My Starving Children.

In 2010, Hanson founded HAPPO (Help a PR Pro Out) — a movement leveraging social media relationships to help job-seekers in the PR industry connect with employers — and co-founded the Minnesota Blogger Conference with colleague Melissa Berggren.

Additionally, Hanson has co-founded the B2B Voices blog, co-organized the Social Media Business Summit track at BlogWorld two years in a row, and been a frequent public speaker on social networking and marketing issues.

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Hanson’s blog, Communications Conversations, has received numerous industry accolades, including being named “Required Reading” by PRWeek and one of the “25 Essential PR Blogs” by PRWeb. Everything PR named Hanson one of the top 50 PR professionals to follow on Twitter.

Hanson is also a regular contributor to the PR Breakfast Club,, Social Media Examiner, PRevolution, PR Daily and MinnPost’s Blog Cabin.

Arik Hanson
Courtesy of Arik HansonArik Hanson

Name: Arik Hanson
Age: 39
Residence: Minneapolis
Current job title: Principal
Current employer: ACH Communications, Inc.

1. How would other people describe you — using only adjectives?
I would hope by using words like: friendly, kind, thoughtful and smart.

2. What do like most about your job?
There are so many things I love about my current role. I love the flexibility of managing my day based on my clients’ needs — and my family’s needs.

I also love the challenge of running a business on my own — you have to figure out so many things on your own from day-to-day, and I find that really fun.

Finally, I love the creative freedom of my job. As a digital marketing consultant, I often get paid to come up with ideas. I’ve always enjoyed the brainstorming process, so that is right up my alley.

3. What do you know now that you wish you knew 10 years ago?
That to succeed in life — and in business — you need to take risks. Big risks. And you can’t be afraid to fall flat on your face.

I’ve done plenty of falling in my 15-plus years, but I’ve also seen big rewards and payoffs. I wouldn’t have gotten those rewards if I hadn’t jumped off a cliff every now and then.

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4. Which living person do you most admire?
Probably my wife. She’s a wonderful mother and wife. And, she puts up with a lot being married to me!

5. Where are your favorite after-work hangout spots in the Twin Cities?
Well, I have two little kids, so I don’t do much hanging out after work these days, but I do have a few favorite hangouts.

Bryant-Lake Bowl is my absolute favorite spot to hang, grab a beer or grab breakfast. I also love Busters on 28th (for the beer list). And I really like the vibe (and food) at Blue Door in St. Paul.

To nominate a young professional for “YPN5Q,” email with the nominee’s full name, employer or contact info, and one or two brief sentences supporting your nomination.