Inside Jobs: Meet Our Killer Managers


Inner Circle Labs has the best managers in the business. They kick butt at their jobs every day and drive success across the agency. We asked some of them to share their insights on the industry, what made them want to work in PR and what they love most. See what they had to say:

Q. Walk us through a typical day for a manager.
A typical day would be atypical in PR, but that’s why I love it. While the order of how things go down varies, at any given point during the day I can be found doing one of the following: pitching media, prepping an executive before they jump into a briefing with a reporter, leading the charge on PR plans, brainstorming an off-the-wall idea with the team, meetings or calls with clients, drafting press releases or blog posts, speaking with prospective clients and devouring the news. The big questions that I typically think of on a daily basis include: Are we doing everything we can for our clients? Beyond getting coverage, are we getting the right type of coverage? Could there be another way to solve a problem and/or achieve results? And most importantly – what is the team’s “health” like? – Mallory Cloutier

Q. What was your big “a-ha” moment that led you to a career in PR and marketing?
When I was in college a friend told me he thought I’d be a good spokesperson. He didn’t explain why, just said it’d be a perfect role for me. I always had that in the back of mind when applying for internships and jobs and knew I wanted to do something where I could use my voice or words in a powerful way. Fast forward years later and now I’m a spokesperson and press liaison for all kinds of awesome companies. Pretty cool – I owe him! – Meredith Klee

A career in PR was an easy decision for me because I liked the idea of wearing multiple hats. When looking at colleges, I chose SJSU because of their stellar PR program. Being there made me love the idea of a PR career even more. – Melissa Roxas

Q. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
You cannot succeed without confidence. – Julie Zappelli (Jzapp)

Be open to feedback. Most people take feedback personally or let it affect their work, but really feedback is what makes you stronger at your job. My boss always says “the day you stop receiving feedback is the day you should be worried because that’s often when people have given up on helping you.” So embrace it, learn from it and give it to others. – Meredith

Q. What advice would you pass on to others in your position?
Think about the team and push yourself to take more calculated risks. – Mallory
Don’t. Freak. Out. OK, sometimes you have to have your moment but don’t let the pressure of fire drills get you overwhelmed. Step away from it all, take a breather and come back ready to rock it. Things are not the end of the world – you’ll have some ego bumps along the way – but think big picture when it comes to what you’re doing and what you have done and I’m sure you’ll feel proud. – Meredith

Q. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a perspective client?
Trust your PR team – it may seem like anyone can do PR but it isn’t easy and it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of gig. We have the tools, insights and experience to run your PR program so you don’t have to. – Melissa

Know what you want for your business before you bring on a PR team. The two must complement each other. – Jzapp

Q. And just for fun…what’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
To sweat! Running, yoga, hiking, spinning, whatever, I’m in. For those times that I don’t feel like doing that, I can be found eating. – Mallory

I’ve recently gotten addicted to SoulCycle (thanks to Mallory). – Melissa

Brunch! – Meredith

Travel. I’ve got an extensive bucket list of places I want to explore. – Jzapp

Interested in joining our amazing team? We’re actively hiring at various levels so drop us a line!

How ICLabs will remember 2014

Another crazy and exciting year has come to an end. So to honor 2014, the team at ICLabs pulled together some of our most memorable and favorite (or least favorite) things from the year.

  1. Best headline: Arby's to Pharrell: We Want Our Hat Back
  2. Worst headline: Plastic surgeons raise a rumpus over Kim Kardashian’s butt
  3. Best company: Snapchat brought it this year with all kinds of new, unique features that proved they’re here to stay.
  4. Worst company: We never thought we’d say this but with all its bad press and trashing of journalists, Uber really took 10 steps backward this year.
  5. Best story: The San Francisco Giants won the World Series for the third time in five years with Madison Bumgarner as MVP. #DYNASTY
  6. Worst story: Naturally, our worst headline and worst story had to match up. Sorry, Kim K, but you did not break the internet.
  7. Best app: Venmo was hands down one of our favorite and most used apps in 2014.
  8. Best product: Quite a few people in our office treated themselves to the iPhone 6 and it has come with raving reviews – there’s definitely no buyer’s remorse at ICLabs.
  9. Best meme: Things Tim Howard Could Save. Seriously, if you haven’t checked this out, you should.
  10. Best song: Anything by Taylor Swift. Or Queen Bey.
  11. Worst song: Happy by Pharrell. It’s becoming one of the most annoying songs of all time.
  12. Best restaurant: In a city like San Francisco, there are just too many to choose from, but we’re fans of Park Tavern, Bistro Central Parc, Kokkari, Hakkasan, Southpaw BBQ and Bull Valley Roadhouse.
  13. Best new show: True Detective was thrilling, entertaining and perfectly acted. And who wouldn’t want to watch Matthew McConaughey?
  14. Biggest surprise “cult” following: Serial kept us on the edge of our seats and tuning in each week to find out what happens next.


What will you remember most from 2014?

Glimpse: The three things we learned that social discovery is

Last week we held our annual conference, Glimpse: the social discovery conference. The day was filled with some great panel discussions around retail, product design and data, with featured speakers from Pinterest, Facebook, BuzzFeed and Tumblr. It was an invite-only event at The Battery in San Francisco but here we wanted to share some of the important takeaways about social discovery. Here’s what you missed (in addition to seeing Owen Thomas’ dog cozy up to attendees and the stunning view of SF from the Penthouse’s rooftop deck):

Social discovery isn’t a new thing
Social discovery has been around long before it was a buzzword. It’s evolved over time from simple communication and action and has recently taken on new forms. Now we can’t imagine shopping, meeting new friends & entertainment without social discovery. And it will continue to evolve and become a daily habit. We created a video about the evolution of social discovery so check it out.

Social discovery + relevance = a must
Personalization is crucial. Social discovery technologies need to be tailored and relevant to the individual. Will Cathcart, Facebook’s director of product management, told the audience that Facebook takes cues from users, not your friends, to determine relevancy. The core philosophy of your business should be “remember your relationship and responsibility with the user.” Take into account user feedback and try to incorporate it into new reiterations of the product or service. Remember, social discovery should be passive, not active – make it easy on a user to discover new things.

Stay true to who you are
Pinterest started with a very simple premise: pin what you like from the web and organize pins onto boards. As simple as that concept is, it works and it’s one of the top sites today. Even though Pinterest has added new features (Guided Search, Custom Categories), the core has always stayed the same. If you have something that works, stick with it.

For another take on what social discovery is, check out this article on VentureBeat.