I love Fridays…not just because it means the weekend is upon, but also because I get to blog about how much I love my Twitter friends. Following is today’s list of people you should follow and the reasons why I love them.

@JonathanManske I met Jonathan in Denver before I started following him. It was February and he was raising money for cancer research…with the ultimate goal of shaving his head when he reached his fudiciary responsibility. I liked him instantly. He’s smart. He’s witty. And he’s genuinely nice.

@SuzieBilek Suzie used to work for me and she is one of those young ladies you can’t help but like. She is always willing to go the extra mile and she never complains. In her new job, she is optimistic and entertaining. She’s a voracious reader and gets you excited about what she’s reading. She’s one to watch.

@TheRedHeadSaid Charlene and I first connected on Twitter because of our mutual liking of cupcakes and, especially, icing. Now I find her smart, extremely thoughtful, and very witty in her philosophical tweets.

@ObrianW Obrian is a partner in BidMyCleaning, which I think is one of the most brilliant online businesses I’ve seen in a long time. It might be because finding a cleaning lady is really hard to do or because I believe in outsourcing everything you don’t like to do or aren’t good at doing, but it’s a business to keep an eye on.

@AlexParker Alex used to work for me, until he decided he wanted to go to the University of Kansas to get a master’s degree in journalism. Now he’s back in Chicago and writing for the Chi-Town Daily News. I love to chat with him about what PR people are doing, in terms of pitching him. He never understands why he gets pitches via email…probably because we teach here that pitching a reporter without a relationship is a waste of their time and your reputation. Keep that in mind if you ever want him to write something for you. He’s more critical than most.

@CandiceStone Candice also is a partner at BidMyCleaning and she does their PR for them. I first met her when I asked @ObrianW who was doing their PR because I was really impressed with what they were doing. Now she’s become someone I love to chat with, and exchange ideas.

@LorneFisher Even though Lorne is a competitor, he is one of the smartest PR pros I know. I met him in a person a couple of months ago and we have the same philosophy on communication – if you aren’t affecting profitable business growth, you aren’t doing your job. His firm, Fish Consulting, is one to watch!

@JoeGangwish Joe and I go back a loooong way! I was working at Rhea & Kasier and we hosted trade media at an event at Caterpillar. Joe came to Omaha for the event on Sept. 10, 2001. He and I were in the Caterpillar cafeteria watching the World Trade Center crumble the very next day. Since then he’s become a very good friend and it’s fun to see him out in the Twitter world, which he uses to update his listeners from his radio station. He’s doing a great job of connecting and engaging with his audience (and those others of us who follow him, just to make fun of the tractor pulls he attends).

@Bmaldonado I met Barbara a few months ago when she was putting together a TweetUp and asked if I would help. Because I love to meet new people and because it’s nearly impossible for me to say no, I moved ahead with her. But she killed the event. Not only did she pull it all together flawlessly (I just showed up), she had great ideas for Crowdsourcing and really knew how to get people motivated. If you’re in Chicago and you don’t know her, make a point to meet her.

@TomSearcy I met Tom when he spoke to my Vistage group a year ago. He is, by far, one of my favorite speakers. He really helped me think through when it’s appropriate for me to go to new business meetings and when it’s more appropriate to send someone from my team. The work he does with executive teams on business development is the best I’ve ever seen.

@EvolutionShift David is another Vistage speaker, though one I’ve not yet heard. I have, however, read his book and have had the pleasure of talking with him, one-on-one, about the future and what it means for the PR industry. In fact, he’s featured in our next newsletter because he’s a futurist I really believe in.

@1800GOTJUNK I met Travis (or Touchdown, as his colleagues call him) on Twitter a few weeks ago, but he has quickly become one of my daily conversations. He does PR for the Western states for 1800GOTJUNK, but he also is the social media champion for the company. He knows how to connect and engage…and make you feel like you’re the only person he’s chatting with. If you get in good with him, I’ll bet he’ll tell you some of his CEO’s secrets. You want that. His CEO is SMART!

@kimdhbutler I met Kim through @SuzieBilek’s boss and instantly liked her. She has a business called Mountaintops that helps people think about their financial security for the rest of their life. She’s not about which stocks to invest in or which bonds to buy. She helps you envision your future and then map out a plan to get you there. Plus she’s one of the smartest people I know.

@hriefs Howard and I serve on the PRSA Chicago board together and run around in the same circle. One of the things I love about connecting with Howard on Twitter is that he always does an economy analysis, based on the lines at Starbucks. It makes me laugh really hard…and he’s usually right.

@pjdixon77 Patrick works in the office building next door to me and I’ve never met him! It’s a crying shame that we know each other on Twitter, but not in real life. Follow him. Then tell him to come visit me.

@tastidlite BJ Emerson is the brain behind the Tasti D-Lite social media brand. I have ALWAYS been impressed with what he’s been able to do for the brand, including driving new customers and engaging brand loyalty. If there are any social media experts in such a short amount of time, BJ is one. Keep an eye on what he is doing.

@CETeam Computer Explorers is a client so I’m biased, but I love what they’re doing to engage their franchisees on Twitter (and we’re not doing it for them!). @DebCE and @LorriW use this branded handle to communicate news daily. They are light years ahead of what their competition, or other franchisors, are doing. And if you’re not following Deb or Lorri already, you should. They both freaking rule, just in general.

@simasays I met Sima a few years ago and instantly hit it off with her. She is a strong, independent woman who has her own business and wants to take over the world. You know what they say about liked-minded people attracting one another. She has a great blog that is always informative (see it here), but she also is the creator of MarketingJobWire and is a super smart marketer.

@BestRoofer I met Joe on Twitter because he is a Vistage member. But I continue to follow and engage with him because he’s smart and he always has really smart leadership advice to give. If you want to enhance your skills as a leader, listen to what he has to say.

@singtammi I freaking love Tammi! She is one of those people that has so much charm and charisma that you can’t help but be attracted to her and want to spend time with her. After I talk to her on the phone, I am always energized and ready to take on the day. She has a business called The Instinctive Life, which helps people finds their passions so they can monetize them and be happy in life. Plus she calls me by the name my mom calls me…and I love her for it.

Don’t worry if you’re not on today’s list. I have you on my personal list for one of the coming weeks!

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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