On the Move: Executive Producer and CEO of AKA Media Inc.

Aka Media, top pr firms chicago

By: Danielle Wink

In true Motion PR form we are making big changes around the office to stay in motion.  Some of these changes include moving locations, introducing new talent to our team, and updating our website. If you haven’t seen our new web digs take a look.

The video on our website is courtesy of AKA Media Inc., a team of talented and creative professionals that helped us share our story.  We had a great opportunity to sit down and chat with Andrew Krause, Executive Producer and CEO of AKA, on eureka moments, big changes he’s seen in the industry and of course his prognosis on when the Cubs will win the World Series.

Congratulations on your 17 years of success! How did you first conceive the idea of AKA, and what brought you to that eureka moment?  

My wife was pregnant when I made the leap and started AKA. I was 27, and I was scared.

MPR: What was the organization like at the outset?

Early on I reached out to Tim Parker, my college roommate. With a baby at my place, we held our two-person staff meetings over his coffee table in a garden apartment on Chicago’s Northside.

MPR: When you look back on your first five or ten years, what are some of your proudest moments?

In 2003, we had beat the odds by surviving our first five years and moved into our office space at 142 East Ontario. That was another scary moment. Over the years, our employees have been married, purchased homes and had babies – 10 of them so far! We are proud of our employees and the work they do every day, but those real-life milestones are the proudest moments IRL (in real life).

MPR: What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in your industry?

Mark Zuckerberg was 14 when we started AKA. We started the same year as Google, just think about how the world has changed since Facebook and Google – that ought to keep you busy! There’s not enough space here to cover what has changed. It’s easier to say was hasn’t changed. Companies and brands want organic, authentic, natural exposure for their products and ideas; exposure that can’t be bought. That’s one thing we do very well and it hasn’t changed.

MPR: What one trait do you see as the key to your longevity?

Elasticity. We are stubborn when it comes to our core principles, but we maintain flexibility with our clients and our services. We constantly evaluate our best practices and learn from our mistakes.

MPR: How do you go about creating different campaigns for different types of events?

We like to create campaigns based on the clients’ success metrics. If they want to be on TV, we create a campaign for TV. If they want to share an emotional sentiment with influencers online, we create an emotional online video for sharing. If clients want to check “all of the above,” we do that too.

MPR: What advice would you give a company looking for staying power? 

Develop your core principles and share them with your team. Lean on those principles when faced with tough decisions. If your decisions support your principles, you can sleep at night and move on to the next challenge.

MPR: When you’re not at AKA, what are you doing?

I love to unplug by working on projects with my hands. I recently spent a staycation at home where I crafted built-in furniture from scratch.

MPR: What do you see in the future at AKA?

The demand for quality online video content greatly exceeds what content makers are supplying. We’ll spend a few years trying to bridge that gap.

MPR: Since prognostication has been a theme here, when will the Cubs finally win the World Series?

According to Back to the Future II, 2015 is the year!