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Meet Juan Alanis of Big Oak Tree Media in Inner Loop

Today we’d like to introduce you to Juan Alanis.

Juan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I began my career as a print journalist straight after college and worked in English- and Spanish-language newspapers in the United States and Latin America. In Houston. I freelanced for the Houston Chronicle and also worked for the Spanish-language startup newspaper Rumbo. After my time as a reporter I began working in public relations, first at the Houston Airport System where I was a spokesperson for Houston’s three main airports and produced a monthly television show. After that I became the first spokesman for The Salvation Army Greater Houston Area Command and built a public relations department from the ground up, and served as the national liaison for the Greater Houston region during times of natural disaster.

At the same time, in 2010, I founded my online blog Juan of Words, which would eventually become the leading U.S. Hispanic lifestyle blog on Mexican living in the United States. Soon after I began speaking at national conferences about being an online content creator, and also organized the first-ever national digital conference for Latinos in Tech and Social Media. Through my work in the digital field, I was recruited as lead public relations and social media strategist for the largest Hispanic-owned advertising firm in the nation, Lopez Negrete Communications. My final job before founding my own firm in 2016, was as VP of Corporate Communications for FleishmanHillard, where I led US Hispanic corporate communication efforts for AT&T. In 2016, I co-founded Big Oak Tree Media, a full-service integrated marketing and communications firm based in Houston, Texas. in 2018, my blog received the national Tecla Award for Best Content Creator. This year, I also inaugurated the Juan of Words – Podcast.

Has it been a smooth road?
Social media and the digital age have made it possible for me to forge my own path in a way that I don’t think would have been possible just a few years earlier. Rather than going the traditional route in my career, the fact that I have been able to engineer opportunities for myself and those around me has been a true game-changer. My whole upbringing, I grew up around adults who were problem-solving and figuring out how to make impossible situations not only liveable, but enviable. My parents, uncles, aunts, and our entire community, were surviving by making the most of difficult situations – many of them immigrants to this country. Those experiences, being able to witness their fortitude, has empowered me to be a problem-solver myself. In hindsight, some of the experiences have been challenging, for sure. In the moment, however, my vision was mostly focused on the path ahead and what I needed to do next to move in the direction life was pulling me.

Please tell us about the company.
Big Oak Tree Media is a full-service, integrated marketing and communications firm with a passion for multicultural communications and creative storytelling. We are excellent at positioning our clients for the most opportune publicity and public relations opportunities and we have great relationships with media across the state of Texas. What I like to tell people, is that we are the reporters for our clients and we identify the best stories and strategies to get them the most positive exposure – be it during a time of crisis or not. We are also marketers, social media experts, learning and development professionals, and above all else, we are advocates for our clients.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Houston is a city with character. It is a city that is hard to explain in words unless you have experienced it in person. We work with the tourism department here in Houston and bring digital influencers to the city for the first time often. My favorite moment is always when they turn to me and tell me, “wow, I had no idea Houston had so much to offer!” Whether you’ve been here your whole life or are just getting here, I think that reaction is always a constant for our city! I don’t dislike anything about my city.

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Image Credit:
Photos courtesy of Big Oak Tree Media

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