A day in the life of… director of social & content strategy at Campbell Ewald
Econsultancy: Please describe your job: What do you do?
Lora Stock: I focus on people, data and processes as a foundation for social brand building for a variety of clients, including Valero, Snuggle, CARFAX, OnStar and Travelocity.
E: Whereabouts do you sit within the organization? Who do you report to?
LS: Most social folks are multidisciplined, so identifying a base camp is tricky for many agencies. Luckily for me, Campbell Ewald truly appreciates hybrids and the value they provide. I report directly to our Chief Creative Officer who also heads up the strategy team — another hybrid!
E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
LS: There are the obvious skills like short-form writing, smartphone photography, an empathetic approach to customer care, the ability to translate numbers into insights, and technical aptitude for social and content tools. But there are two wild cards also worth mentioning:
One: An appreciation for both big and little wins. Big wins build brands. Little wins (responding to a tweet, for example) build 1:1 relationships, which are equally important. Knowing when to celebrate these moments builds community manager morale and reinforces a customer-first culture.
And two: The ability to say no. Social moves fast, and having a strategy for not participating is really important. Brands don’t want to get real time wrong — trust me! Because of this, we create social playbooks for each client that receive a sign-off from key marketing and PR stakeholders. This allows us to quickly evaluate opportunities and eliminate any that aren’t a good fit.
E: Tell us about a typical working day…
LS: My workday actually starts the night before when I file emails that have been resolved and flag any that I want to clear the next day. After waking up, I reach for my phone and hit the blogs to get up to speed on industry topics. A few of my favorites include WeRSM, Creative Review, Occam’s Razor and Econsultancy (of course!).
Once in the office, I check the status board, meet with the team for our daily scrum, and evaluate any real-time opportunities or platform news that may have popped up. From there, no two days are alike. I could be brainstorming new campaigns, writing strategies and POV documents, helping to populate a consumer experience journey map for new business, reviewing editorial calendars or analytic reports, and even jumping in on some crisis management.
E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?
LS: I have always loved the science and art that go into advertising. Likewise, the pace at which it moves is exhilarating (especially social). If you want to see me smile, give me an urgent deadline, a fully caffeinated team, a whiteboard and a fresh set of markers. 1,000,000 watts, every time.
Editing hard copies with a red pen has always been my thing. So when the printer jams, I cry one slow tear.
E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
LS: If I had to pick just one…engagement rate. It provides a snapshot of relevance and is a good starting point for brand HVAs.
Having a common language is just as important as knowing what to measure. This is especially true when it comes to goals, objectives, tactics and strategies. When onboarding clients, we reference this Forbes article. Even if the client defines things differently, it starts the conversation so we can align quickly.
E: What are your favorite tools to help you to get the job done?
LS: A ton of brands we work with are using Spredfast. I always joke that they must have the best sales team out there! We also use Crimson Hexagon for social listening and a myriad of photo apps to create content on the fly.
And when sitting down to build an epic deck or editorial calendar, many of us turn to Spotify or Pandora for our workday soundtrack.
E: How did you land in this role, and where might you go from here?
LS: I started at Campbell Ewald a few years ago, left briefly and returned to work on the newly secured Travelocity social business (which is a nice reminder to always exit on good terms and stay in touch).
Who knows where the future will take me? I work in an industry that literally did not exist 10 years ago! That said, I have been thinking about starting up a podcast.
E: Which companies are leading the way with social and content?
LS: The work we create for Travelocity is like nothing else in the travel category. People adore the Travelocity Roaming Gnome. His social media adventures add dimension to his character while showing off bookable destinations (win-win). And he has license to participate in real-time moments that the brand might not, including interactions with William Shatner and Google! Be sure to follow @roaminggnome on Instagram. He offers wit, wisdom and a selfie game that is beyond strong.
Beyond the Campbell Ewald roster…
Target is always first-to-feed with new ad formats, so be sure to keep an eye on its channels for the latest. NASA consistently publishes out-of-this-world (ahem) social content — keeping my childhood dreams of attending Space Camp very much alive, which I dig. And Netflix is using its data in really smart ways, perfectly tailoring posts for binge-watching fans everywhere.
E: Do you have any advice for people who want to do a similar role to yourself?
LS: Social ages in dog years, so staying on top of industry trends is key. But understanding the channels as a user is equally important. It ensures your ideas feel authentic to the space, which can have a big impact on results!
On a personal front, learn to merchandise your success. Social is still somewhat mysterious for people. Knowing how to talk about social to varying levels of interest and understanding is priceless.