Sandy’s days are spent working as an External Communications Manager for HootSuite, the most widely used social relationship platform (used by 744 of current Fortune 1000 businesses) and leads the company’s global PR program. Sandy’s experience in delivering successful product releases, generating trending content for consumer and lifestyle publications, raising executives thought leadership status, and working with internal communications have helped the company generate thousands of media mentions per year. Sandy has helped secure valuable coverage in tier one outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, AdAge, Fast Company, Fortune, Forbes, Inc., Mashable, Bloomberg Businessweek, CNBC, FOX Business, and more. Sandy has also helped to raise CEO Ryan Holmes’ status as a thought leader, whose social experience is regularly sought after by leading publications.
Sandy’s strategic approach to publicizing events, speaking opportunities, brand case studies, and press kits have helped the company plant itself firmly as the leader in social. Sandy’s honours degree in Communication Studies and Sociology from Waterloo Ontario’s Wilfrid Laurier University, and Ireland’s University of Limerick in New Media have helped her stay on the cutting edge of technology.
Sandy’s not limited to the public relations business though; she started her professional career at a footlong hotdog stand, met her husband 13 years ago over ICQ, has won 1st prize in a pie-baking contest (having never baked a pie before), and is an award-winning photographer. These experiences introduced her to new people, global concepts, and big ideas that helped shape the person she is today. Also a mass mural painter and road cyclist, today Sandy’s just an urban artist, lover of milk chocolate, wife, and mother to a white husky and orange kitty. She can be found in cooking school, mentoring events, or with the HootSuite crew thinking up creative approaches to share the next big story.
Back in the early years of highschool when the guidance counselor asked me “what I wanted to be when I grew up,” I told her I one day I’d be an on-camera lifestyle news anchor. As a 17-year-old kid that’s where my story starts. After graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University with a degree in communication studies and sociology combined with studying new media communications abroad at the University of Limerick, I joined a large software company where I tied together the efforts of a large marketing and sales team working account development. Although a little off target from my news anchor dream, this opportunity quickly propelled me in the right direction, and I fell in love with building relationships. For the next three years, I drove warm leads into hot sales opportunities until my partner Steve and I decided to move to the west coast to seek out our next creative adventure.
After shooting professional portrait, newborn, and maternity photography for a year, I was able to build out a large network of connected women who drove small businesses of their own. I was inspired, so I decided to join one of them.I teamed up with one of these women who ran two independent creative businesses. Over the next year, I used grassroots marketing strategies combined with heavy use of social networking to drive an active fanbase for both of her brands. Social media was the missing piece in her strategy, and she didn’t even realize it. I knew this was the next step in my career since it married both my love for visual arts, grassroots marketing strategies, and relationship building. Combine all three and amazing things happen.
When I came across the job posting for a PR role at HootSuite – I knew I needed to find a way of differentiating myself from all the other resumes in HootSuite’s tall pile of qualified candidates, so Steve (my now husband and designer @Pellvetica) and I worked together to conceptualize a custom layout that would leave an impression on HootSuite’s hiring folks. Upon peeling off a paper closure ribbon with an iconic west coast starfish pressed wax stamp, HootSuite’s hiring team found my tri-folded cover letter and resume, and a coupon for “1 free coffee on me.” After an immediate follow-up call, I was invited out for a coffee with CEO Ryan Holmes, I was sent an offer letter that afternoon. And this is where my adventure begins…