Q&A: Shawn

What’s your role at 5 & Rise, and how do you contribute to the team’s success?
I am the Digital Success Manager and I play a role in the work we do for almost every client. From brand videos to podcast thumbnails to blogs to analytics and insights – whatever the clients need.

What inspired you to pursue a career in marketing/advertising?
When I was a freshman in college, I was in the Sport Management Club where we organized where we organized campus and community events focused on health, wellness, and athletics. Through that I was able to get involved with broadcasting local high school athletics on radio and video streams. That started the path to social media management, public relations, graphic design, etc.

How do you stay updated with the latest industry trends?
Professional development conferences offer an overwhelming amount of information. Social Media Marketing World, DigiMarCon, and INBOUND are great resources for the latest marketing trends. There are also some free emails like Marketing Brew and The Hustle that send regular updates with real examples of campaign tactics and marketing news.

What tools or apps are essential to your daily work?
Excel and the Adobe Creative Suite. Excel formulas have saved me a ton of time when analyzing social media, ad, and website performance. Whether it’s a podcast, motion graphic, brochure or any other client need, Adobe probably has a tool to make it happen.

What’s one industry trend you’re excited about right now?
Users are shifting to social media for their research. Instead of “Googling” a topic, users are scouring through their Facebook or Twitter feeds for their desired information. This creates significant opportunity for brands through keywords, captions, alt text, and links. It’s basically social media SEO.

What’s been the biggest change in the industry since you started your career?
Video. Vine was barely a thing 10 years ago. Everything was about flashy, pre-made graphics with 3D text, flames, and every color of the rainbow. You need all of those things to go viral. Now, all it takes is a cell phone.

If you could solve one major industry challenge, what would it be?
Social listening is becoming more and more complex with the addition of popular platforms, AI tools as a resource, and the abundance of social issues/debate that occurs on social platforms. Social listening manually is basically a full-time job and the cost associated with the resources that do it for you is not always an option for small and mid-sized marketing departments.

What’s your favorite way to start the morning before diving into work?
Some people need coffee in the morning, but I need orange juice. I am also a crazy person that puts ice in their orange juice.

If you had an extra hour of free time every day, how would you use it?
Some days I’d spend the extra hour outside on a walk, at the park, or on the golf course. A lot of days, it would be catching up on sleep. The extra hour would also make it easier to get a few chores done like mowing the lawn, laundry, or grocery shopping.

What’s one destination you’ve always wanted to visit, and why?
As a sports fan, I’ll never forget my first trip to Wrigley Field to see Ted Lilly pitch against Barry Bonds the year Bonds broke (*) the home run record. I’ll also never forget the vacation to NYC where I happened to stop by Madison Square Garden to watch Steph Curry break the career three-point record. The next item on my sports bucket list is the Masters at Augusta National.

What’s your go-to comfort food?
Does ice cream count as comfort food? What about Peanut Butter Snickers? No? Well, in that case, I’ll have to go with a baked potato. It can be a hearty side or a meal by itself when you add some vegetables with cheese, or some meet like chicken or bacon.

If you could have dinner with anyone, living or deceased, who would it be?
In a world of immediate information at our fingertips, I’d have to pick someone no longer living to hear their version of history. I know it’s cheating, but it’s too hard to choose just one of the world’s most historical figures. In no particular order – George Washington, Walt Disney, Andrew Carnegie, Nelson Mandela and Albert Einstein would be on the short list.

Do you have any pets? Can you share a funny or endearing story about them?
We have an eight-year-old Maltese/poodle mix named Molly. We also have an 18-month at home who loves her puppy! Molly is very fast and can easily jump on all of the furnature in our home. But, most nights, she stays on the floor and allows her sister to slowly chase her around the house instead of jumping up to safety or hiding.

If you had to choose only three apps to have on your phone, which ones would they be?
We have an app for daycare so we can see how much fun our daughter has learning and playing every day. If you ever see me with air pods in, I am either in a meeting or listening to Pat Hughes on the Chicago Cubs broadcast in the MLB At-Bat app. If I only get one social media platform, it would easily be YouTube.

Describe your perfect day off. What does it look like from morning to night?
The perfect breakfast to start the day with a toddler has to include chocolate chip pancakes. Follow that up with a walk around the neighborhood so the little one and Molly can get their energy out before an afternoon nap. After a quick snooze and some lunch, we will make a trip to the park to enjoy the “weeeeeee” (slide) or maybe the Children’s Museum or Zoo. Wherever we stop for dinner on the way home doesn’t really matter as much as desert which will of course be cookies. If not, I know a toddler that will point at our pantry and repeat the word “cookie” until she gets one.

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