How Twitter Helped Reward a Selfless Act

Every once in a while, social media works…

If you haven’t heard about Arik Hanson’s Tweetathon on behalf of Sonny Gill and I, check out the post that started it all, then see what happened on Twitter. Sonny wrote an awesome “Thank You,” too.

blogpotomacThe Tweetathon generated dozens of job leads, consulting leads, freelance leads and new contacts for Sonny and I. It also generated some valuable momentum.

Now I have more good news: Sonny and I, along with Southwest Airlines, are sending Arik to BlogPotomac.

Sonny and I wanted to thank Arik for his selfless Tweetathon campaign. But how? We chatted last week, and then it hit us: Arik has been Tweeting for months about his desire to go to BlogPotomac.

We agreed to pick up the tab for Arik’s registration, but the real hurdle was travel from Minnesota to DC. With a little help from friends Scott Monty, Amber Naslund and Aaron Strout, I was able to connect with Christi, the real-life person behind Southwest Airlines on Twitter.

Southwest Airlines And Southwest came through…big time. This is a company that gets social media, that recognizes the value of rewarding Arik’s generosity is far greater than the cost of a plane ticket, and that can now count me as a raving fan. Thank you, Southwest Airlines!

I wish we could do more to thank everyone who participated in the Tweetathon. At the very least, I owe a huge thank you to Lisa Hoffmann, Mack Collier, Warren Sukernek, and Amy Mengel. There are literally hundreds more to thank, and you all have my eternal gratitude.

Arik Hanson — See you at BlogPotomac in June, buddy!

  • http://twitter.com/patrickboegel Patrick

    Proof of concept, the conversation works.

  • http://blogs.dix-eaton.com/index.php/S=ee185dc908d6b67e1a8fd253257d84c6df304c40/measurementpr-spectives/ Chuck Hemann

    Scott – this is a great post that highlights social media isn't all about the numbers. It's about the relationships!

  • Joe Seale

    Southwest gets Social Media? http://www.churbuck.com/wordpress/?p=1278

  • http://www.directmarketingobservations.com Marc

    Wow, the 2 people that are looking for gigs, hook the guy up, who selflessly hooked them up-no questions asked all the way around. You know, I understand unfortunately that money is central to our lives, but in this sense, it's not of central importance here as Sonny and Scott have shown. In the end, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the lasting values that make life worth living. Awesome, all the way around.

  • http://www.communicationsconversations.blogspot.com Arik Hanson

    Even though Scott and Sonny have told me in no uncertain terms to stop thanking them–I'm going to say it again. THANK YOU!

    You know, over the last year, so many folks have asked me one simple question: Why do you engage in social networks? THIS is why. The relationships I've forged with folks like you, Scott, and Sonny and the hundreds of others across the PR and social media spectrum are invaluable to me. I not only value these folks as friends–they're trusted colleagues. Folks I turn to for advice and counsel. Many of which, as a result of Scott and Sonny's generosity, I'm very much looking forward to meeting in June. I still can't believe it.

    I wish I could take the legion of Tweeps with me who played such a critical role in the Tweetathon. I can't possibly name them all, but in addition to @amymengel @warrenss @lisahoffmann and @mackcollier, @ayoungone @mdbarber and many of my MN PR colleagues including @prchck123 @karyd and @mnheadhunter played a vital role throughout the day. I'll be thinking of you all while I'm on that plane in June.

    Speaking of planes, a HUGE shout out to the folks at Southwest Airlines for the love. I've been a big fan for a while–this just puts the cherry on top. Christi–thank you for helping me out. I'll be in touch soon. And believe me when I say, I'll be telling everyone in the MSP market to fly SWA.

    Looking forward to one rocking party–and learning opportunity–in June? Are YOU going?

  • Mary Deming Barber

    One of the things I've most enjoyed in social media is connecting with folks and forging friendships with people I've never met but have something in common with…caring about others and sharing what matters to us.

    Before I started on Twitter I was one of the skeptics, but like many things in life, I took the risk and joined the conversation. It has paid off immensely and I really believe can change the world we live in. Thanks to all involved in the Tweetathon, including Scott and Sonny but most of all Arik for the idea…to help friends he believed in and needed the help.

    Thanks for letting me participate too.

    Mary Deming Barber (that PR pro in Alaska none of you have met but who's happy to help)

  • http://www.sonnygill.com sonnygill

    We still owe you a drink or something, right? ;)

    This just goes to show that efforts like Arik's and his selfless act towards Scott and I has definitely come full circle, with the help of Southwest Airlines. Connected on a deep level like this and helping people out within the community has certainly affirmed what we do on a daily basis makes sense for a number of reasons.

    Looking forward to June!

  • http://mediaemerging.com Scott Hepburn

    Thanks, Marc. You're one of those guys who “gets it.”

  • http://mediaemerging.com Scott Hepburn

    You're very welcome, Arik. This is the least we could do.

    Thanks, too, for listing some of the other folks who made the Tweetathon a success. There are so many who contributed — every person you listed played a role in shaping Sonny's and my future.

    BlogPotomac, here we come!

  • http://mediaemerging.com Scott Hepburn

    Mary, I get a sense you won't be the gal none of us has met for long! Your contribution to this is still sending leads my way!

    Alaska's business community has a rising star — PR pro Mary Deming Barber is THE REAL DEAL!

  • http://twitter.com/patrickboegel Patrick

    Proof of concept, the conversation works.

  • http://blogs.dix-eaton.com/index.php/S=ee185dc908d6b67e1a8fd253257d84c6df304c40/measurementpr-spectives/ Chuck Hemann

    Scott – this is a great post that highlights social media isn't all about the numbers. It's about the relationships!

  • Joe Seale

    Southwest gets Social Media? http://www.churbuck.com/wordpress/?p=1278

  • http://www.directmarketingobservations.com Marc

    Wow, the 2 people that are looking for gigs, hook the guy up, who selflessly hooked them up-no questions asked all the way around. You know, I understand unfortunately that money is central to our lives, but in this sense, it's not of central importance here as Sonny and Scott have shown. In the end, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the lasting values that make life worth living. Awesome, all the way around.

  • Mary Deming Barber

    That's good to hear. Happy to help and I really do hope to meet in person one day soon. Are you involved in PRSA at all?

  • http://www.communicationsconversations.blogspot.com Arik Hanson

    Even though Scott and Sonny have told me in no uncertain terms to stop thanking them–I'm going to say it again. THANK YOU!

    You know, over the last year, so many folks have asked me one simple question: Why do you engage in social networks? THIS is why. The relationships I've forged with folks like you, Scott, and Sonny and the hundreds of others across the PR and social media spectrum are invaluable to me. I not only value these folks as friends–they're trusted colleagues. Folks I turn to for advice and counsel. Many of which, as a result of Scott and Sonny's generosity, I'm very much looking forward to meeting in June. I still can't believe it.

    I wish I could take the legion of Tweeps with me who played such a critical role in the Tweetathon. I can't possibly name them all, but in addition to @amymengel @warrenss @lisahoffmann and @mackcollier, @ayoungone @mdbarber and many of my MN PR colleagues including @prchck123 @karyd and @mnheadhunter played a vital role throughout the day. I'll be thinking of you all while I'm on that plane in June.

    Speaking of planes, a HUGE shout out to the folks at Southwest Airlines for the love. I've been a big fan for a while–this just puts the cherry on top. Christi–thank you for helping me out. I'll be in touch soon. And believe me when I say, I'll be telling everyone in the MSP market to fly SWA.

    Looking forward to one rocking party–and learning opportunity–in June? Are YOU going?

  • Mary Deming Barber

    One of the things I've most enjoyed in social media is connecting with folks and forging friendships with people I've never met but have something in common with…caring about others and sharing what matters to us.

    Before I started on Twitter I was one of the skeptics, but like many things in life, I took the risk and joined the conversation. It has paid off immensely and I really believe can change the world we live in. Thanks to all involved in the Tweetathon, including Scott and Sonny but most of all Arik for the idea…to help friends he believed in and needed the help.

    Thanks for letting me participate too.

    Mary Deming Barber (that PR pro in Alaska none of you have met but who's happy to help)

  • http://www.sonnygill.com Sonny Gill

    We still owe you a drink or something, right? ;)

    This just goes to show that efforts like Arik's and his selfless act towards Scott and I has definitely come full circle, with the help of Southwest Airlines. Connecting on a deep level like this and helping people out within the community has certainly affirmed what we do on a daily basis makes sense for a number of reasons.

    Looking forward to June!

  • http://www.skalaspeak.blogspot.com Kasey Skala

    This is a great story. Big props to Southwest Airlines for helping out. Although I don't fly much, SWA will surely be the first airline I look at when I do.

    It's amazing that power of Twitter. For all those who don't see the value in Twitter, this is proof that it has the ability to create and foster relationships. Arik was one of the first people to show a genuine interest in helping out any way he could when I first joined Twitter. Even though I've known him for a short amount of time, he's one of the people that I have faith in and one who truly is trying to improve the public relations industry. A smart and honest guy that goes out of his way to help others and does it with a smile.

    Sonny & Scott, this says a lot about you two as well. So a big thanks go out to both of you as well. It's refreshing to hear a good story like this in our current times. So again, thank you.

  • http://mediaemerging.com Scott Hepburn

    Thanks, Marc. You're one of those guys who “gets it.”

  • http://mediaemerging.com Scott Hepburn

    You're very welcome, Arik. This is the least we could do.

    Thanks, too, for listing some of the other folks who made the Tweetathon a success. There are so many who contributed — every person you listed played a role in shaping Sonny's and my future.

    BlogPotomac, here we come!

  • http://mediaemerging.com Scott Hepburn

    Mary, I get a sense you won't be the gal none of us has met for long! Your contribution to this is still sending leads my way!

    Alaska's business community has a rising star — PR pro Mary Deming Barber is THE REAL DEAL!

  • Mary Deming Barber

    That's good to hear. Happy to help and I really do hope to meet in person one day soon. Are you involved in PRSA at all?

  • http://www.skalaspeak.blogspot.com Kasey Skala

    This is a great story. Big props to Southwest Airlines for helping out. Although I don't fly much, SWA will surely be the first airline I look at when I do.

    It's amazing that power of Twitter. For all those who don't see the value in Twitter, this is proof that it has the ability to create and foster relationships. Arik was one of the first people to show a genuine interest in helping out any way he could when I first joined Twitter. Even though I've known him for a short amount of time, he's one of the people that I have faith in and one who truly is trying to improve the public relations industry. A smart and honest guy that goes out of his way to help others and does it with a smile.

    Sonny & Scott, this says a lot about you two as well. So a big thanks go out to both of you as well. It's refreshing to hear a good story like this in our current times. So again, thank you.

  • http://factor77.tv Jared O'Toole

    Great stuff. Love hearing stories like this. Very few companies really get it. But simply acts like this generate such huge positive feedback its amazing.

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Great stuff. Love hearing stories like this. Very few companies really get it. But simply acts like this generate such huge positive feedback its amazing.

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Great stuff. Love hearing stories like this. Very few companies really get it. But simply acts like this generate such huge positive feedback its amazing.

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