Ten Questions with Mark Hazlin

March 1 2018

Mark HazlinName:
Mark Hazlin

Senior Vice President

PRGN Agency:
Xenophon Strategies, Inc. (Washington, DC, USA)
Xenophon Strategies is a full-service strategic communications firm based in Washington, DC, specializing in PR, public affairs, and crisis response.

Years at the Agency:

1. You were a journalist in your prior life. What made you jump to the dark side:
The “dark side” is a matter of perspective. It takes guts to be critical in print. But, sometimes journalists shine the only light we see. At the same time, PR is all about highlighting the good. So, I’ve jumped back and forth between the two worlds and enjoyed them both.

2. Best Career Advice you received:
Be the most well-read person you know.

3. Biggest PR Win:
When you change the narrative on a story, that’s a remarkable feeling. Our agency represented the wrongly accused Duke lacrosse players. A CBS “60 Minutes,” story changed public perception overnight. More recently, an employee on his off hours managed to shred the reputation of his employer with a single Tweet on his personal account. We got the call at 3 in the morning. But, by the next day we managed to turn it around 180 degrees.

4. Best Advice on Pitching Media in a Digital Age:
Know who you are pitching and what they cover. Find them on Twitter. Make sure they are covering the topic you want them to write about. Pitch them via email and phone. Keep it short.

5. Most exciting changes taking place in our industry:
The most exciting change is the use of data to set goals and measure results. I’m also excited to see how journalism might use Blockchain through de-centralized organizations like Civil.

6. Three things you look for when selecting a job candidate:
I look for people who are smart, personable and proactive. More tangibly, they have to demonstrate they can speak, write and think intelligently. I also give an edge to those who can express an idea visually, with graphic and web design or video.

7. Family:
Married to Gretchen for 16 years and have two children, Charlie, 12 and Matthew, 9.

8. Top “Must Visit” spot in your city:
Lincoln Memorial at night.

9. Favorite Food:

10. Something about yourself that most people don’t know:
I’ve lived in seven states (New Jersey twice).
I enjoy playing soccer.

Social Media Handles:
Twitter: @mhaz
LinkedIn: markhazlin
Pinterest: markhazlin