Monday, February 05, 2007

The Krum Kult [sic] of Personality

Last Thursday I mentioned we had a great day with Meet.The.Bloggers, and it started in the middle of the afternoon down at the Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) where we talked to two other bloggers, Fred Krum (View from 1228' at and Kristie Van Auken (It's a Trip at We met Kristie in September at the Akron Marketing Association presentation we gave on business blogging, and she said we just had to meet Fred, because he was a genius, and an early adapter, and could therefore understand implicitly what we were trying to do with MTB. She was right.

The podcast of the interview will be posted soon, but I wanted to alert you to it, and how Fred began years ago to combat the rap that CAK was a place to find "small planes, high fares, going nowheres." We sat in a newly revamped terminal that just felt good, and found out about the values available from carriers such as AirTran and Frontier, and the great fares to great places like New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Myers. Fred focuses his staff on providing a "great experience" replicating best practices, and partnering with the best that there is. He is clever and raised by Jesuits and uses phrases such as "a charisma bypass" alongside sayings such as "the only thing that brings freedom is discipline." He points to the fact that CAK may be a market-maker for low-priced fares in this region, and that it has "made commuting possible" between this area and Florida, and perhaps even NYC. One CAK early innovation is something sensible they call "the cell phone lot." Gloria uses the phrase/slogan "a better way to be best," and we go on to the fact that CAK is an extension of the Akron/Canton Chamber of Commerce and does some heavy local advertising promotion, unlike Hopkins where we get all the national ad things we see everywhere else we go. The CAK brand is also its philosophy ("A Better Way To Go"), and they acknowledge that the first rule of leadership is "You gotta get excited." There's no doubt that free wifi is one of the first things to implement in a place that wants to attract and serve the public, and the session wraps with reiteration of the first rule of life: "You gotta know what you want and then go after it."

This session is a short course in leadership, service, public relations, and promotions, all integrated and timely and on time, too.

Our next stop that evening was at Midtown Brews, hosted by Jeff Fridman and Webtego, to talk to Hunter Morrison. And speaking of brews, CAK has Great Lakes Brewing Company as a showcased, featured business partner & vendor.


  1. And thank you, Kristie. Some subjects elicit eloquence naturally, as does Fred. He makes it all so easy, and in that he is consistent in what he thinks, says, and does. We're looking forward to working with all of you again soon.