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How She Got There: Brittany Hennessy, Director of Digital Marketing & Strategic Partnerships at Lucille Roberts


Name: Brittany Hennessy
Age: 28
Job Title and Description: Director of Digital Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at Lucille Roberts. I manage the social media manager, editor, videographer and graphic designer. I also look for new ways to build our digital footprint, manage our image and partner with other brands.
College/Major: Rutgers University-New Brunswick/Journalism and Mass Media Studies and Philosophy
Website: SocialMediaThoughts.com
Twitter Handle: @2legit2britt

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?

Brittany Hennessy: The projects I am working on at any given time may change, but I have a routine. When I come in, I check all of the tech news sites like Mashable, TechCrunch and Valleywag to see if there is anything I need to know in the world of digital/social media. I also see what is trending on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Buzzfeed and determine if there is a way to tie in our brand. After that I meet with my social media manager and editor to discuss what we're trying to accomplish for the day and see if they'll need any assistance with anything.

Once the team meeting is done you'll find me doing any combination of the following: updating our radio station curated by celebrity DJ Lindsay Luv, adding items to our apparel store and processing transactions, scheduling workout videos for our YouTube channel, approving posters, flyers and other assets from our graphic designer, coordinating with the monthly newsletter designer to make sure we are on schedule and designing contests and other Facebook tabs to increase engagement. When those things are taken care of I spend the rest of my day looking for brands to partner with for blog posts, social media contests and in-club activations.

What is the best part of your job?

BH: There are three great things about my job. The first is my staff. I hand picked all four of them and I love them to death. I would not make it 24 hours without them. The second is the ability to create things (the radio station and apparel store are my babies) and manage a brand image. The third is the work-life balance I have with my job. I don't work early mornings, late nights or weekends, and I don't even have my work email on my phone. Social media is its own beast however. It never stops and I do have the Facebook and Twitter notifications sent to me 24/7. I have a wonderful boss and she is very supportive and understanding of the goals I am trying to accomplish in and out of the office. That is priceless.

What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?

BH: My first entry-level job was at Abrams Artist Agency, and I worked in the On-Camera Department (commercials) as an assistant/agent-in-training. Think of Lloyd from Entourage except without the insane boss. My boss was the head of the department and a V.P. and she was absolutely lovely. The hardest thing about leaving that job was leaving her. I found the job on EntertainmentCareers.net and was hired after 2 interviews. The first was with another agent, the second was with my former boss.

What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?

BH: I don't really have an answer to that question. I had worked in entertainment and hospitality for a long time before I started this job so at some point I found answers to pretty much every question I had. I will say one of the more interesting things is working in-house versus for an agency and working for a regional company versus an international organization. There is much more freedom and room to make a difference on this side.

Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?

BH: I would have to say my husband. Having someone who constantly listens to all of my ideas, work issues and professional development concerns is key. He also keeps me grounded when I'm thinking a little too highly of myself and boosts my self-esteem when I put myself down.

What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?

BH: My mom has pretty much taught me everything I know and she has always taught me to know my worth. It makes work, and life in general, so much easier when you know what you will and will not stand for. My favorite quote is, "don't ask for permission, ask for forgiveness." I wouldn't be as far along in my career as I am if I didn't live by these words.

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

BH: I don't really see bad decisions as "mistakes," but if I had to pick one it was going to law school. I made it two-thirds of the way through my 1L year before I dropped out. It cost me $20,000 but I met my husband there, so I just consider it a matchmaking fee. I went to law school because everyone around me at the time was either in law school or a lawyer. I learned that you should not invest time, energy or money into something you're not passionate about. People who have passion about something can accomplish more than those without it. When you're running on fumes, which is more often than not, something has to keep you going. Passion is that thing.

What do you look for when considering hiring someone?

BH: We work in close quarters at Lucille Roberts so the most important thing is that we can be in a room with a person for eight hours every day. They also have to speak our language. I can teach someone best practices, but I can't teach them how to speak in the voice of our customer. And you have to be a self-starter. I don't believe in micromanaging my staff. I train them well and then I let them go. I'll offer assistance, but I'm not going to tell you every step of every project your should be doing each day.

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

BH: Join organizations. The best thing I have done for myself professionally was join New York Women In Communications, Inc. (NYWICI for short.) Through them I have attended workshops with amazing women in communications, met wonderful people in my field, taught three digital salons and spoken at a student communications career conference. I would also tell a 20-something to have an industry-related blog and spend a lot of time managing their social media profiles. How well you manage your personal brand tells me a lot about how well you'll manage Lucille Roberts'. Above all don't stop. This is a marathon, not a sprint. You can do it.

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