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Al Krueger makes the most of the social network

Online business, personal lines blend

March 16, 2011

You don't have to be a geek to plug into the social network. It's kind of like softball, said Al Krueger, who built his public relations company by helping businesses brand themselves and connect with customers through online networks like Twitter, Facebook and Yelp.

"There are people who are involved in the bar leagues who just want to drink beer, hang out and have fun," Krueger said. "Then, there are people who show up with the brand new bat and best gloves. And they're all, 'Win, win, win! We've got to hit more home runs!'

"You can geek out," Krueger concluded. "It's the same thing with social networking."

Krueger, a 34-year-old living in the Mount Mary neighborhood, said he wouldn't necessarily put himself under the geek umbrella. But he appreciates that social media helps people develop relationships they might not otherwise have forged.

"The (online relationships) become personal relationships or business relationships that really influence what you're doing," Krueger said.

After starting his career in public relations in Chicago, Krueger began Comet Branding in 2007. The one-man marketing firm used social media to help businesses create an identity online.

Partner Sara Meaney later joined the firm, which recently merged with Hanson Dodge Creative in Milwaukee.

For Krueger, the possibilities for businesses to reach out online are almost endless.

"People are engaging online with brands and other people in ways they haven't in the past," he said.

By finding where people hang out online, he said, businesses can interact directly with customers.

But the online world is more than just a business opportunity.

"Through Twitter and through the blogs we are writing, we are able to tell the story of what we are doing," Krueger said.

"In social media, you can reach out. You can be somewhat of an introvert or be more of an extrovert. … You don't have to worry about the awkwardness of walking up to someone. That's something that I really enjoy about it."

To recommend a person be featured in Someone You Should Know, send an e-mail to someone@cninow.com or call (262) 446-6643.

Just the Facts

NAME: Al Krueger

AGE: 34

KNOWN FOR: social networking

ONLINE: cometbranding.com

PEARL OF WISDOM: "You have to believe in yourself before anyone else will. And when you believe in yourself, amazing things can happen."

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