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Julie Phayer didn’t set out to work in social media. In fact, her degree from Chico State is in event management — a degree that, for the most part, is on the completely opposite spectrum from social media.
After taking a few classes and going through a volunteer project, Phayer decided to change her course. That change led her to a marketing minor and a role with the campus bookstore. After graduation, she was without a job for six months, a move that was intentional because she didn’t want just any job, she wanted to work in sports. By chance, a digital marketing assistant role at the Warriors came open and six years later, Phayer had three championship rings and a lifetime of memories.
Now at The Ringer, Phayer takes you through her career up until this point, the move from the Warriors to The Ringer, and the state of social media as we head into 2019.
Edited highlights appear below:
On Getting Her Start in Social Media (11:54)
“I always wanted to be an event planner, but I wanted to be in the sports world still. I pictured myself working March Madness and other big sports events. After doing a few event classes and all of the required volunteering, I realized that it wasn’t for me. At that point, I picked up a minor in marketing and worked at our campus bookstore doing digital marketing there. After graduation it took me six months to find a job, but I was so dead set on finding the job that I wanted doing digital and sports. An opening for a digital marketing assistant at the Warriors opened up and I guess I did pretty well because they made me an offer and I was there for six years.”
On Her Strategy at the Warriors (16:19)
“I was born in the East Bay, so I had been a Warriors fan my entire life. Being able to be the voice of the social and use that as a way to bring the fans closer to the team was my dream job at the time. It was also kind of the foundation for my strategy. The Warriors have always had a passionate fan base and knowing that I had the ability to make fans feel like they were seeing things that no one else was seeing was key. It was really about doing any little thing to make fans feel closer to the team that they’re already so passionate about.”
On Going from a Team to a Publisher (30:56)
“Going from a team to a publisher has been a very huge transition. It’s been one of the best challenges because the approach to everything is just so different. The amount of content being pushed out every day is such a high volume, but it’s also also high quality. The biggest challenge so far for me has been just seeing so many good pieces come out and wanting to give them the attention they deserve. It can be tough having so much good content to push out and finding the best ways to distribute everything in the most creative and engaging ways.”
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On Breaking Through as an Employee (43:40)
“It’s all about creating your own opportunities. If you know exactly what you want to do and who you want to do for but they don’t have openings, just pitch yourself to them. What do you have to lose? If you don’t see the job you want, go out there and create it. You just have to know your value and know how to make others see it.”
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