Social PR : “It’s Not a 9-5 Job, It’s a Lifestyle.” | Test Drive My Job @KristinaLibby

how to be a social media freelance PR consultantKristina Libby, 25
Current City: NYC and Washington, DC
Social Media Consultant, 4+ years
Online Kristina Libby,LLC and KMV Media
On Twitter @kristinalibby; @kmvmedia

Mopwater: Describe your path to Social Media PR: How did you wind up in this
field? KL: I have an MA in Genocide Research from a top 10 International Relations school. I never had a clue that I would be tweeting on behalf of luxury fashion brands a few years after. Needless to say, I didn’t jump into this with both feet. I started out blogging for a nonprofit. I kept looking for a genocide research jobs and I dabbled a little on the side. Soon, my freelance clients increased as my interest in my chosen field decreased. Eventually, I had to face the facts– I wasn’t  going to write policy briefs on post-genocide security threats, I was cut out to be an online marketer.

Mopwater: Describe a pivotal moment in your career. Did you have a mentor or internship that really solidified your interest in this field or helped you hone in on a specific focus area?  KL: I did a lot of work for National Geographic Museum and feeling the excitement and momentum behind their Terra Cotta Warriors campaign really solidified my interest in working in this field. The excitement people felt, the access it gave them and their energy and dedication were contagious.

Mopwater: Describe a typical workday including your work hours. What do you do all day?  KL: I’m online 24 hours a day. I’m tweeting, Facebooking, monitoring, blogging and outreaching from wherever I happen to be. It’s not a 9-5 job; it’s a lifestyle.

Mopwater: Describe your office setting and workplace.  KL: I work from any place that has a laptop and WiFi. Now that I have a fancy WiFi stick this just means I have to find an outlet. The freedom of my job is the most beguiling part.

Mopwater: What are your favorite and least favorite PR and social media tasks and why? Do you love to pitch? Dread writing releases? Adore blogging for your brands? KL: Favorite: Interacting with our growing communities.
Least favorite: The increasing possibility of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Mopwater: Who are some of your clients, and what kind of projects do you take on for these clients? KL: National Geographic Museum, Leggiadro, Bake Me A Wish, Slobproof with Crypton and more. For each of these clients I do different things but for all of them I actively market and represent their brands online. Their voice is my voice.

Mopwater: Describe a recent project where you produced results of which you’re really proud. KL: For Slobproof with Crypton I used backwater social media channels to place the brand in the New York Times. For National Geographic Museum, I grew their facebook fan page from 0 followers to over 7000 in less than a year.

Mopwater: What is your favorite thing about this job and do you think you’ll be in this position in 5 years?  KL: I hope so! I hope to grow what I do and bring in new talent. The job is exciting, dynamic and constantly changing. What isn’t to love?

Mopwater: What aspect of the industry are you most excited about?  KL: The speed at which everything changes.

Mopwater: If you could work on any dream project of your choosing, what would it be? KL:I’d love to work for a brand like ProFlowers or LL Bean who have high online conversion rates for shoppers but barely existent social media. Showing them the benefits of effect social media would be so rewarding.

Mopwater: What if anything would you have done differently in your career up to this point and what advice would you give someone who is trying to break into your field? KL: I probably wouldn’t have gotten a masters in the field I did. I would have waited to get an MBA. For someone who is considering it, I would say give it some time. Do some more work, find something that feels natural and do that. Don’t get an advanced degree because you don’t know what else to do.

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