Hometown: Crystal Lake, IL
College: University of Missouri
What’s your official position at PowerPost, and how long have you been working here?
My official position is Content Strategist, and it will be a year in July.
How does the content department tie in to the overall success of the company?
The content team works with clients to produce social media and blog content for their respective brands. Keeping clients happy is very key to our success as a company. I also produce content for our company blog which aids in our thought leadership and expertise in the industry.
What first attracted you to PowerPost?
As someone with a journalism degree, and as someone who has worked as a journalist, I was initially attracted by using those skills outside of that arena—which is what our President and CEO, Dan Curran, is trying to do in this company, to use those skills in another way that would be beneficial to brands.
What is something you’ve learned or gotten better at since working at PowerPost?
I’ve gotten a lot better at taking client feedback, which I wasn’t used to before. I’ve learned a lot more about the marketing industry.
What does a typical week look like for you?
A typical week—there sort of isn’t one. *Laughing* It depends on where we’re at in the content schedule. I can give a basic rundown: Every day I do social media management for our clients, such as handling their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Pinterest accounts. On Mondays, I edit blogs and a long-form article—when I’m not writing it—for our company newsletter that goes out weekly. Aside from that, I usually have a few client editorial calendars that I write, in-depth articles for PowerPost’s blog, peer edits for my coworkers, etc.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I think the most rewarding part is just being able to be creative every day.
What’s your favorite part of the company culture and office space?
I like working in an office that doesn’t feel like an office. Does that make sense? Here at the St. Louis office, it’s very open. We have a back patio, there’s chalkboard paint and chalk graffiti all over. We always have Spotify playing with playlists and selections chosen by each other. I also like the ability to go to lunch, go to happy hours and just hang out with my coworkers.
Where do you think the future of content marketing is headed in the next year?
I think AI, Artificial Intelligence, will definitely be important. I think companies and brands that don’t jump on it will probably be left behind. Brands, publishers and agencies will all continue to deal with Facebook and their changing algorithms and policies. It’ll be up to people to reevaluate what they get from Facebook and what other avenues are open to them. I also think, even though it has become sort of a buzzword, authenticity and transparency will be important. People are getting a bit savvier—they know when companies are jumping on a cause or are insincere, and that’ll be especially important to Generation Z.
What is AI, and how does PowerPost utilize this technology to better the customer experience (in regards to content creation)?
AI can mean a variety of things, but usually, it’s defined as machines or computers simulating human cognitive behaviors or tasks. PowerPost uses an AI integration that uses predictive analytics. That way we can see what topics and stories are rising and what is resonating, so people aren’t wasting time guessing what their audience wants—they have a more solid idea of what they want.
Can you give an example of something you see brands do in their content that makes you cringe, and why?
I think the main one is when brands use memes or internet slang, but you can clearly tell it’s divorced from their voice and brand. Someone just told them, “Hey, this is popular,” and they rush to put it on social channels—even if it doesn’t really make sense to them. It bothers me because it doesn’t seem like there’s really any thought behind it or any real consideration for what their brand is. They’re just trying to cash in on what the newest thing is.
What does telling a good story mean to you?
There are a few things. I had a writing professor in college that said, “Details give weight to the story.” So, I think details are important. I think honesty is, too. What I mean by that is, I think a lot of people have an idea of what a story is or how they need to write, so they end up emulating someone or something else. There’s not that honesty there. There isn’t awareness, and I think you get better stories when you have that—it creates better connections.
What was your first screen name?
Oh, man…Oh, god! *Cringing* I think it was “@BonnevilleJim87,” which is like a way, weird, lost inside joke from my high school football team.
Do you still talk to anyone from your Top 8 on Myspace?
I never had a Myspace. So, no.
What current (or dead) social media platform describes you/your personality best?
Oh, man. I think probably Twitter because it’s a mix of serious news updates, but it’s also a lot of one-to-two line stupid jokes.
If your life were a Netflix Original, what would your show title be?
It would be called, “Hey, Suburbia.” It would be about growing up in a cookie-cutter suburban town.
Favorite lunch spot to spark your creative energy?
I definitely like Union Loafers, which is a cafe that does really good simple sandwiches and salads. The other one would be Guerrilla Street Food, which is sort of a new take on Filipino food and has all these different ingredients and combinations of flavors and textures that are way different than anything I grew up eating.
Finish this sentence: My ultimate “get-stuff-done” playlist is called _____________.
It’s one that I have on Spotify called, “Stuck in My Head.” Whenever I find myself going back to a song and putting it on repeat I add it to that playlist. So I just have a bunch of those songs in a row and that helps me focus.
Listen to Burk’s playlist: Stuck in My Head. *Disclaimer: Songs are catchy, and may, or may not get stuck in your head.