I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Taylor, the social media and public relations associate at Jack Rogers. Jennifer focuses on the iconic brand’s social media, marketing, and public relations. She also works on a wide array of projects – such as helping to design and publicize the new mini nail polish set. Jennifer has fantastic advice and I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you!
You have what many people would consider to be a dream job. How did you end up at Jack Rogers? What was your career path?
Thank you! I graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, AL in 2012 with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. During my time there, I was Editor-in-Chief of the campus newspaper, and completed internships at This Old House and Marie Claire magazines in New York City, and at CookingLight.com in Birmingham. When I was in my last semester at Samford, I was one of the first students in a new course called Social Media Practices. That course, combined with my internship at CookingLight.com, confirmed that I wanted to pursue a career in digital and social media content creation and marketing. Two weeks after graduation, I received an internship offer from InStyle.com. I moved to New York City the following week to start my internship, and I became a freelance editorial assistant a few months later. After one year at InStyle.com, I made a big change and went to work for a startup on their editorial content and social media team. I hadn’t been working there very long when a friend contacted me about the Social Media and Public Relations Associate position opening at Jack Rogers. The brand has been one of my favorites since high school, and I knew the position wouldn’t be available for long, nor would it come open again anytime soon. I sent in my cover letter and resume, landed an interview, and the rest is history! I’ve been at Jack Rogers since October 2013.
What is it like to work at Jack Rogers?
People might be surprised to know that Jack Rogers is actually a very small company. That being said, everyone who works here wears many hats. While social media, marketing, and public relations are my main focuses, I’ve had the opportunity to use my position and skills to help our e-commerce and retail businesses grow, as well as work with our merchandising team to develop products that appeal to our customers. If I were working at a larger company, I’m not sure that I would have those same opportunities.
I arrive at the office at 9 AM sharp and make a cup of coffee. Before I do anything else, I look at Google Analytics to see how our social media from the previous day performed, then I schedule our social media messaging for the current day. Next, I respond to any customer inquiries that might have come in through social media during the night. Once those tasks are complete, I move on to responding to emails and tackling my to-do list. I’ll have several internal and external meetings and phone calls during the day. I’m constantly keeping an eye on all of our social media channels so I can respond as quickly as possible to any questions or concerns.
What is your favorite thing about working at Jack Rogers? What has been your favorite moment so far?
I enjoy how much responsibility and input I have since the company is so small. I put into place a strategy to dramatically grow Jack Rogers’ social media audience during the 2014 calendar year based on goals set by our executives. So many of the elements of that strategy have exceed my expectations, and I love seeing so much excitement around the brand. Jack Rogers is on two relatively new social shopping apps,Shopsy and House Account, both of which have been successful for our E-Commerce site and Atlanta Retail store. Be sure to check them out! I love learning new things and figuring out ways social media can have a real, positive impact on business. For several months, Jack Rogers’ E-Commerce manager and I have worked on producing a mini nail polish set with colors that are exact matches to our shoes. After executing the process from start to finish, it was very fulfilling to share the product with our social media audience and receive such a positive response!
You are so excellent at writing the Jack Rogers brand voice. What tips do you have for copy writing, blogging, and social media?
Thank you! When writing for a brand, you need to have a clear understanding of the brand and what it represents. No brand can be all things to all people, so stay true to your brand’s identity. Second, know your audience. Who are they, where are they, what are their interests? Social media analytics are an incredibly valuable tool for insight in that capacity. It’s often said that social media is like a cocktail party in the sense that you don’t want to just blast out messages and be the only person talking, but, at the same time, you don’t want to be silent like a person sitting the corner. It’s all about the conversation, so engage with your followers in a way that is appropriate for your brand to develop a voice that is consistent throughout all of your communications.
You take the most beautiful Instagram pictures! What tips do you have? What is your favorite filter?
Thank you so much! I’ll let you in on a secret though, about 50% of our Instagram photos are user-generated thanks to a technology called Olapic that we launched on JackRogersUSA.com right before the holiday season. However, when I am taking the photos for our Instagram, I use VSCO cam and the InstaSize app if necessary. I’ve learned that my eye is drawn to light, bright images, so my favorite Instagram filter is Valencia.
What advice would you give to someone who is about to graduate from college and enter “the real world?”
Everyone has to start somewhere. The expression, “you have to pay your dues” is absolutely true. If you want to work in social media, you’re probably not going to be running the Instagram account at your first day on the job a month after you graduate. Take every interview you’re offered, and approach each task with a great attitude. If the only thing you do all day is go get coffee, do it in the most efficient and graceful manner possible. If you make a mistake, admit it, learn from it, and move forward. Once you’ve made it clear that you can handle smaller tasks, the larger and more glamorous tasks will come–you just have to earn responsibility in the same way those who came before you did. Soak up as much knowledge from your superiors as you can. Their real world experience and advice is an incredibly valuable asset to you, and if they’ll take the time to share it with you, don’t take that for granted.
What is on your desk right now?
My pink Moleskine notebook, an Iced Coffee from Toby’s Estate Coffee, my iPhone in this case, sticky notes, and a Dallas Shaw illustration of the “Jack Rogers girl.”
What advice do you have for professional style? What is your go to look (I’m guessing it involves a pair of Jacks!)
You would be correct that my professional style involves a pair of Jack Rogers! As you’re interviewing, take note of what people at the office are wearing as professional style can vary across offices and industries. In the spring and summer, my go-to look is a dress with Jack Rogers sandals, wedges, or flats, and in the cooler months it’s usually a pair of J. Crew Minnie pants with a top and Jack Rogers boots or booties.
Where do you turn for inspiration?
New York City is such an inspiring place to live. I’m always inspired by my colleagues and my friends, even those who work in completely different fields from me. When I lived on the Upper East Side, I would re-charge by going to Central Park or the Met, and now that I’m living in the West Village, I love exploring my neighborhood and heading to the Hudson River Park after work for inspiration. I also love perusing Pinterest and staying up to date on what’s going on in the fashion, retail, and digital worlds by reading Women’s Wear Daily and The Wall Street Journal.
What advice do you have for other young professional women?
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It is so easy to compare yourself to others and instantly feel inadequate or like you’re not measuring up, especially in the age of posting every new purchase, apartment, meal, and vacation to social media. When you feel yourself starting to do that, snap out of it. Remember that everyone’s life experience and career is different, and what is fitting for your best friend might not be the same for you. Lately, I’ve seen a quote by Dita Von Teese floating around the blogosphere and Pinterest that says, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” I think it’s such a great reminder that you can’t please everyone all the time, but should strive to do work hard, do your best, and treat others with respect and graciousness.
I hoped you enjoyed learning more about Jennifer and one of my favorite brands, Jack Rogers!
Thank you, Jennifer!