Happy New Year!

I hope you had a fantastic holiday break and now you are back with more energy than ever to start an amazing New Year.

We have 361 opportunities ahead of us. Let’s make the most of them! 🎉

I’m very excited to start the first edition of NutsPR Spotlight in 2018 with a roundup of the wonderful guests I had the pleasure to interview last year.

They are experts and some of the brightest minds in public relations, marketing, social media, and content marketing.

If you do one thing for your personal development this year, follow them on social media, connect with them and learn from them.

Ladies and gents, without further ado, I give you:

NutsPR Spotlight 2017 RoundUp

Mark Schaefer

I “met” Mark through one of his books, Social Media Explained. I was hooked from the first page, and I knew I had to know more about the author. I started reading his blog, Grow, and interacting with him on social media. Because I liked Social Media Explained so much, I kept reading book after book, one better than the other. The rest, as they say, is history.

Ann Handley

If you’re in marketing or PR and haven’t heard of Ann, you must be living under a rock. 😉 When I first “met” Ann several years ago (thank you social media!), I was amazed by her passion and relentlessness. I read everything she would write, follow her on Twitter, and pretty much everywhere else. And then something happened: Her book “Everybody Writes” came out. That’s Ann’s second book, but for me it was what I needed at the time to get rid of my fear of writing. If you haven’t read it, you need to! It will change the way you think about writing.

Laura Petrolino

Also known as Ninja or #PetroPower, Laura and I met where else than on Spin Sucks, years before I joined the team. I’ve always admired her dedication for body building and her resilience to keep going. But what I like most about Laura are her diplomacy skills. She can tell you in a gazillion polite ways she doesn’t agree with you and what it needs to be done. And, of course, you end up agreeing with her. 🙂 Today’s politicians could learn a thing or two from her.

Andy Crestodina

Andy is one of the smartest people I have ever had the honor and pleasure to meet (through social media for now). Andy is the Co-founder and Strategic Director of Orbit Media Studios, a web design company in Chicago. He’s also a speaker, author and host of the Content Matters podcast. If you’re not following Andy, you’re missing out big time. You will learn new concepts and have your mind blown away constantly.

Jason Mollica

I admire Jason for his dedication to the PR industry and for teaching the next generations of PR pros. Ever since we connected, I was drawn by his passion for PR, but most of all for teaching PR. I participated a few times in #PRStudChat, a Twitter chat hosted by Deirdre Breakenridge and Valerie Simon, and he was always present, always ready to help students. And that’s a very small part of what Jason does for future generations.

Peg Fitzpatrick

Peg is the perfect example of someone who turned her passion for social media into a business. How cool is to do what you love every single day? She transmits happiness through everything she does, whether it’s a live video such as Thanks a latte Q&Awriting a book to help people learn social media faster (by the way if you haven’t read her book, do that now, you’ll love it), or simply connecting on social media. I love her Twitter bio, “Rockin’ a positive attitude.”

Aaron Lee

When I first connected with Aaron on Twitter, what most got my attention was the fact that even though he had hundreds of thousand of followers at the time, he took the time to answer every single tweet and social media post. He was actively engaging with his community. Might sound like common sense to you, but years ago social media was used mainly as a promotional channel by brands and individuals alike. There were just a few really interested in building relationships and caring for their community. Aaron is one of them.

Ken Jacobs

Passionate about public relations, after decades in the field, Ken decided a few years ago to switch gears and move into leadership coaching. So, if you’re in need of coaching he can help.

Deirdre Breakenridge

Deirdre is not only a fantastic PR professional, leader and influencer in the industry, but also a wonderful friend. Passionate about public relations and paying it forward to the next generations of PR pros, Deirdre launched last year the must-have guide for any PR professional. If you don’t have it, make sure you get it now. What I love about Deirdre is that, no matter how much she knows, she is constantly learning.

Ai Zhang

If I were to think of one word that defines Ai, that would be relentless. Passionate about teaching and all things social media, Ai reinvented herself. She launched in social media to show her students how to use it, how to grow a community and become known. She is the proof that if you really want something, you get to work and get it.

Erika Heald

Passionate about writing from an early age, Erika is another example of transforming your passion into a career. Set to become a magazine journalist, she changed gears and launched in content marketing.

Take a few minutes to read the stories of these amazing people and connect with them on social media.