It’s that time of the week again: #GirlBossMonday!
For this week’s #GirlBossMonday we’re headed to New Jersey, USA with Cassie Galasetti, co-founder of the boutique Social Sidekick, Media, Branding and PR Agency.
With over 15 years of experience in the entertainment and media fields in New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles, Cassie brought that knowledge and experience back to her home of New Jersey to launch her own agency with business partner, Theresa Pittius.
In less than a year, Cassie has secured clients in The New York Times, TODAY Show, ABC News and Fox News among many others.
Cassie is a graduate of Monmouth University and a member of New York Women in Communications, Alliance for Women in Media, Public Relations Society of America and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.
The reason I conduct these interviews is to inspire you, my readers, and fellow PR students to be successful in your careers and business leaders of the future. I have asked the important questions to gain an insight of how these #GirlBosses made it to where they are today, and how we can emulate their successes.
Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.
OC: Hi Cassie! An easy question to start us off (I hope) – What is your full job title?
CG: I am the Co-Founder of Social Sidekick Media, Branding and Public Relations.
Can you give me a background of your career and education? How did this lead you to be in your PR position today?
I have a bit of a different background and timeline than most publicists, but I don’t think I would have gotten where I am today without this particular path.
After quitting my first full-time job out of college I moved to Los Angeles to try and start my dream career (at the time) in the music industry. I was lucky enough to live with a friend so I was able to have a place to stay while interviewing for numerous jobs.
Nothing really significant panned out for me, so after my savings ran out, I moved back to the East Coast and contacted a few temp and recruiting agencies. They were the ones who actually found and placed me at one of the top PR firms in New York City, where I was the Executive Accountant to the partners who owned the company.
I knew what Public Relations was and its importance but I didn’t really know the ins and outs of the industry. Slowly I learned from colleagues and the partners themselves, then a new Media Director was hired and she took me under her wings.
After being at that PR firm for four years I decided to move back to New Jersey and worked for a professional theatre’s marketing department while also handling their press. Towards my last year there, I started freelancing a bit on the side until I met my now business partner and decided to go full time together with our own agency.
How and why did you start your business?
It sounds strange, but it kind of just happened! It wasn’t a long term plan for me. I’ve always thought that working for yourself would be the absolute dream, but I didn’t think it was an attainable goal.
As I slowly started freelancing on the side, I thought that maybe one day, down the road, it could be a full time career. Thankfully my business partner is extremely supportive and gave me that one last push I needed to take this business on full time.
What do you find most rewarding and challenging about your role in PR?
For me, I find the most reward in helping small businesses grow and succeed. I’ve been with an event decorating business from the start to launching them on TV. It’s so amazing to look back at the whole progression of it.
One of the most challenging aspects is that with the explosion of digital and social media, everyone thinks they are a pro. It still takes knowledge and experience of the industry to successfully get your messaging out there. PR professionals are constantly adapting to the changing media landscape.
What do you wish more people understood about PR?
In general, I think the majority of people out there don’t know what PR is. (I know I didn’t before I worked in New York City!) And it’s even harder to define now with social media. I also think people have a certain vision of what they think a publicist life is. While some characteristics might be true, for the most part, we are glued to our laptops and phones 24/7, not partying with celebrities all night long!
If you were to hire someone for a PR role, what skills and qualities would your ideal candidate have?
If I were to hire someone I would be looking for a person with a lot of determination. That sounds cliché but you really need to be a dedicated worker to be in the PR industry. I’d want that person to be a dreamer (but a dreamer that gets things done!), really creative, fun and down to earth (since we would be spending a lot of time together!) Also, reliable – that’s sadly hard to come by these days!
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the PR industry today?
The clutter of news and messaging out there is a big challenge. There are so many outlets that it’s not enough to land a newspaper story. You have to be everywhere in order to grab someone’s attention.
I mentioned earlier that you have to constantly adapt to the changing media landscape. That can also be a challenge! What’s popular one week is often not popular the next.
What advice would you give to a student like myself that wants to emulate your success and make it in the PR industry?
I would say learn as much as you can through an internship. Be able to successfully pull off every aspect of your job, in case you don’t have a team to rely on in the future.
While you’re at your internship, try to start a side hustle or even volunteer. Is there a business you frequent? Are you friendly with the staff? Ask if you can provide them with your PR skills. That way you can build up your portfolio before it is even time to graduate.
That will lead you to finding your niche. There are so many different types of PR out there and by working with a bunch of businesses, you’ll figure out what it is that you’re actually passionate about.
Get a mentor. A lot of times you don’t have to search for a mentor. You’ll find that as you begin to work, you’ll gravitate towards someone that your respect, admire and trust. That person will become your go-to for everything.
And I always say… travel as much as you can! I’ve been lucky enough to take some really amazing vacations and I think I learned a lot about myself and what I want out of life during those special trips.
Thank you Cassie ♥
You can visit Social Sidekick’s website at www.socialsidekickmedia.com
Follow Social Sidekick on Twitter : @SocialSidekick2
Follow Cassie on Twitter : @CassieGalasetti
Follow Social Sidekick on Instagram : @SocialSidekick
Like Social Sidekick on Facebook : Social Sidekick Media