Archive for Intern Tasks


The Intern Spotlight: Kayla Vieten

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Today we are going to get to know Peppercomm intern Kayla Vieten!

KaylaTell us about yourself—where did you/do you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm?

I grew up in New Hampshire near to beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee. I have my boating license and back home I spend ALL of my free time swimming, boating, tubing and jet-skiing. Although I can water-ski, I am quite horrendous at it, so that’s a work in progress I suppose.

I am currently a Junior at Ithaca College, studying Integrated Marketing Communications with a minor in sports studies. I am spending this semester as a “study abroad” in NYC. I put in the quotations because Interning at Peppercomm is my focus this semester and I am taking barley enough credits to be considered a student. That being said I take an art in NYC class on Saturdays where we visit different museums and art installations. I will return to Ithaca for my senior year in the fall.

I found Peppercomm when looking for internships online. Upon further research, I found many references speaking highly of Peppercomm and the humorous atmosphere it provides. As important is it is to love what you do, I believe the people you work with make all the difference in how much you enjoy your job. To see that Peppercomm focuses on company culture and an engaging workplace environment was so enticing to me. After being here for over a month now, I am happy to report Peppercomm and exceeded those expectations

When you’re not hard at work at Peppercomm, what do you like to do?

I am currently living in Brooklyn were there are an abundance of restaurants, bars and concerts. I’m not going to lie, the accessibility of delicious food has become a problem. My roommate and I has started doing adventure Friday food nights. We would try different restaurants you can only find in NYC and we have since had to replace them with Friday gym nights. As for NYC I like to walk around the city exploring and avoid being pooped on by pigeons.

What area of the industry do you find the most appealing and why?

I am most interested in Social media, marketing research and creative. Social media is intriguing because it is constantly changing, as trends developed and disintegrate. As for marketing research, I have been lucky enough to work on tasks that involve following consumer habits and media trends. Lastly I like anything involving creative, between campaign brainstorms to Photoshop, I’ll always take an opportunity to be original and creative.

Any surprises or revelations about your role, the industry or Peppercomm?

I am pleasantly surprised by the encouraging and collaborative environment here at Peppercomm. Coming directly from a college, where group projects are rarely composed of motivated and efficient team members. Transitioning  to Peppercomm has been delightful, the teams here consist of those who have a passion and dedication for the work they are producing as well as a desire to help those around them. I believe this supportive environment has directly improved my quality of work.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

PR is an adaptive industry and a profession that can keep me challenged. As I am beginning my career I can’t imagine what direction I would take within the many facets of PR. At some point I’d like to incorporate my sports studies minor and maybe help with sporting event media coverage and preparation.

Intern Lightning Round Questions: 

  • Netflix or Hulu?  Hulu. Most shows on Netflix that I like, I’ve already seen.
  • Text or Call? Text.
  • Coffee or Tea? Tea.
  • Dogs or Cats? Dogs! My sister is allergic to cats so I haven’t met many cats.
  • NYC or San Francisco? NYC, I have never been to San Francisco but it looks beautiful.
  • Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars. I own a shirt of Chewbacca holding a skateboard. I got peer-pressured into buying it for twin day in high school.
  • Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? Smooth.
  • Mac or PC? MAC!
  • Sweetened or Unsweetened Tea? Sweetened, bring on the sugar.
  • Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network? Nickelodeon, although Scooby-Doo was an all-time favorite back in the day.
  • Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla, but chocolate is always a good option.
  • Seltzer or Water? Water.
  • Cake or Pie? Cake, specifically cupcakes.
  • Tacos or Pizza? Pizza, always pizza.
  • Hogwarts House? HufflePuff, I’ve never watched the movies or read the books, I have no idea if that is even accurate. My friend made me take online house sorting test in exchange for Ben and Jerrys. I think I got the better end of the deal.

The Intern Spotlight: Corey Law

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Today we are going to get to know, Peppercomm intern Corey Law!

10400095_583973445584_585099_n (002)Tell us about yourself—where did you/do you go to school, where are you from and what brought you to Peppercomm? 

I am originally from Columbia, SC. I graduated in May from College of Charleston in beautiful, historic Charleston (it’s like going to school in a postcard). The College has an incredible program for communication majors/minors called the Department of Communication Advisory Council – and Ted Birkhahn and Steve Cody just happen to be members. The Council holds events each semester where members speak about industry trends, making the leap from college to career, and other important topics. I attended Ted’s speech (a TED Talk, if you will) about the importance of humor, honesty and empathy in organizational culture. When I visited Peppercomm on the annual Department of Communication spring break trip, I could see the evidence of everything Ted spoke of. I knew I had to pursue an opportunity to come and work here.

When you’re not hard at work at Peppercomm, what do you like to do?

New York has some of the greatest museums in the world – so you’ll probably find me wandering around one of them. My personal favorite is The Met. If I’m not at a museum, you might be able to catch me at a random hole-in-the-wall bookstore of some kind. If you still can’t find me, then I’m probably just wandering around the city in circles because I have a terrible sense of direction.

What area of the industry do you find the most appealing and why?

The unknown. Our industry is in flux and things are changing at a rapid pace. It’s complicated. It’s challenging. It’s disruptive. But I think more than anything, it’s exciting.

Any surprises or revelations about your role, the industry or Peppercomm?

I didn’t realize how many metaphorical hats communication professionals have to wear for their clients. You’re a scholar, a communicator, a researcher, a therapist, a friend, a writer and a data scientist all in one day. You have to constantly stretch your professional and interpersonal muscles because our industry will only be asked to do more in an increasingly complicated communication landscape.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

As far as I possibly can. PR is changing rapidly and I don’t know what the industry will look like in five, 15 or 25 years’ time. What I do know is that I want to keep challenging myself and learning from my coworkers. I want to feel like my talents create value for my teams and I want to wake up in the morning excited to go to work. I want to pursue opportunities that satisfy those needs. The industry will change, but my desires (probably) won’t.

Intern Lightning Round Questions:  

  • Netflix or Hulu? Netflix. Reasons? 1. The Christmas Prince. 2. Animaniacs. 3. Orange Is the New Black. 4. The Christmas Prince.
  • Text or Call? You’re more than welcome to do both. I can’t tell you how to live your life. I’m 90% sure I’ll ignore your call and text you back, but you’re free to do whatever you want to do.
  • Coffee or Tea? Coffee, but only if it doesn’t TASTE like coffee.
  • Dogs or Cats? If you search the internet for “dog saves life,” you will find thousands of videos of heroic pooches jumping into raging rivers to save the lives of people they’ve never even sniffed before. I once saw a cat bat a menorah off a mantle and almost set a house on fire. Case closed. Woof.
  • NYC or San Francisco? Tony Bennett sang a song called “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” He then proceeded to never move there and lives in New York City to this day. I’ll just leave it at that.
  • Star Wars or Star Trek? 100% Star Wars. Star Trek is like cinematic NyQuil to me. Zzzzzz.
  • Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? Smooth. I feel like crunchy peanut butter is some sort of agonizing torture for the intact peanuts. Making these nuts be suspended in a liquefied paste made entirely out of their friends and family? No thank you – I’ll take the humane jar, please.
  • Mac or PC? I was a devoted PC user throughout college. And then Windows crashed in the middle of a 12-page paper on the history of insane asylums. No autosave. No recovery. It was as if I had watched Bill Gates kick a puppy. I now have a Macbook and I am thoroughly satisfied.
  • Sweetened or Unsweetened Tea? I lived in South Carolina for practically my whole life. I didn’t even know unsweetened tea was a thing until I came to New York.
  • Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network? Cartoon Network. Johnny Bravo. Cow and Chicken. Courage the Cowardly Dog. And not to mention all the Adult Swim content. I was thoroughly entertained and permanently scarred.
  • Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla ice cream. Chocolate milk.
  • Seltzer or Water? Peppercomm has converted me to the seltzer dark side.
  • Cake or Pie? Some questions are just too offensive to answer. I’m going to protest this type of binary thinking by continuing to eat both.
  • Tacos or Pizza?
  • Hogwarts House? I’m 80% sure that the sorting hat would say that I’m a Hufflepuff. I’m also 20% sure that the sorting hat would say “You don’t even go here” because I got on the wrong train at King’s Cross Station.
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Before we begin this article, I have to reveal something about myself. I suffered major hearing loss when I was 17, while playing in a water polo tournament. Immediately, I had to be rushed to Emergency Care where they determined that my ear drum had been destroyed in one ear, leaving it essentially useless.I was then classified as Hard of Hearing.
During orientation that fall at Syracuse University, I tried to settle into the routine of a college student, but I also had to begin to learn how to live my everyday life with extreme hearing loss. I had to adjust my body’s balance, which I still struggle with, and ear pain became part of my routine. I sat in the front of lectures, took ASL courses, learned the joy of subtitles, managed frustration and anxiety stemming from my hearing loss and worked on how to read lips.
But far and away, the hardest lesson I had to learn coming to terms with my hearing loss (and I’m still learning) is how to ask for help.
I’ve always been a very independent person, wanting to make things happen by my own hard work and no one else’s. Maybe it comes from being a twin, or coming from a family where independence is expected young. Regardless, pairing my need for independence with my shyness made me more likely to retreat and work on my own during elementary school. Asking for any kind of help has never been a strong forte of mine. Even before I became Hard of Hearing.
Once I graduated from Syracuse, most of my professional life has been built on making sure I can hear and understand the directions being given to me. One of the more important tasks included with working with a disability is making sure I encourage other members of the office to speak clearly in order to navigate my workday around my disability. Sometimes, it’s easy to work with no hearing, and other times it makes me want to punch a wall. But that feeling of frustration is not exclusively tied down to hearing loss. It’s easy to get irritated by not being able to do or understand at the same rate as everyone else, especially in a competitive workplace. Below is some things I learned at various times working with this disability, especially for those with disabilities in the workplace.

  • Be Honest: There’s never a good time to tell people about hearing loss or other disabilities. I know there’s a lot of questions about when you actually disclose it at your job or school. Do you start off your introduction with it? Do you wait for the third conversation? Should you put it in your application? Should everyone know? I know a lot of these fears can dominate the application/training portion. My best advice is to be honest with your coworkers about what it is you need for optimal communication, and with that information you can work forward, setting a precedent for others in the office.
  • Know your rights: As a person with a disability, you have the right to receive accommodations in order to help you work as efficiently as possible. You also have the right to disclose your disability at your comfort level during the hiring process. A lot of workers with disabilities don’t realize the different kinds of rights the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 gives them, and most employers know even less. Read up on them and ensure that your business is held accountable to providing all employees with disabilities the proper actions and accommodation. If not only for you, but for someone else with a disability who may join the company later in the game. Accomodations and how a company treats disabilities matter.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask someone to repeat themselves: Make sure you understand what is being asked, be unafraid to ask for clarification for a project. It’s important that you are comfortable with the work and not afraid of missing parts of the instructions or having to guess.
    I had a friend in high school who introduced herself to me and I did not clearly hear her name, so I did my best guess work and called her Mary for the next four years.
    Her name was Claire. She never bothered to correct me and we both went with it. For four years.
    I don’t think I can stress this enough:
    Never be afraid to ask someone to repeat, lest you mistakenly call someone Mary for four years.
  • Develop other ways of communication: It’s widely understood at my job that my expertise does not lie with the phone, and often I prefer doing emails or Skype conversations over phone because of my disability. It makes work so less frustrating when you can hear what’s going on. When I was a barista at Starbucks, my fellow partners and I came up with a system of hand signals for things we needed to say without having to shout. Even knowing the way to respond with ‘yes’ ‘no’ ‘what’ or ‘please repeat’ can help establish a system of communication.

And Peppercomm is such an amazing place to be; they’re so willing to work with me, whether it be communicating over email rather than phone, repeating themselves without judgement of what I couldn’t catch, or always facing me when speaking. They key of knowing that you have a good fit is the company’s ability to listen to what you need, and accommodate without belittling your needs.

This is what most workers with disabilities long for, to be considered an employee just like our coworkers without being considered a burden for those disabilities. It gives you a different way to view work, and how you view yourself as successful. My own hearing loss has given me a better sense of patience and gratitude for what I have accomplished, and a greater determination for what I want to achieve.


By: Hannah Tibbetts




Who doesn’t want to be a triple threat? As a high-school musical wannabe who danced, sang and performed and a retired varsity soccer player who ran, passed and scored; becoming a triple threat has always been at the forefront of my mind.

Today, my quest to become a triple threat continues as a PR intern at Peppercomm. At Peppercomm, my fellow interns and I work on accounts across three industries–consumer, financial and B2B.

Prior to joining the PeppSqaud, my PR experience was limited to the fashion industry. During past summers I studied at FIT, participated in fashion PR courses and completed the summer long Vogue Intensive Program at Conde Nast College of Fashion. Although PR had always been at the core of my fashion resume, I was initially nervous to enter the financial and B2B industries at Peppercomm.

In hindsight I had nothing to fear.

After a few weeks at Peppercomm, I realized the same three basic principles held true across all accounts. The ABCs of PR (as I call them) have guided me to become a PR triple threat.


  • Discover and learn your client’s target market. Whether it is a large demographic for a consumer account or a few specific stakeholders for a B2B account, figure out who your client needs to communicate to.
  • Research theiraudience. Look into this audience’s interests, opinions, lifestyle, occupation and age. The more information, the better.
  • Draw upon someone you know or a company you are familiar with that fits within the target market, as a reference.


  • Figure out who your client is and who they want to be. This includes the client’s personality, values, beliefs, interests.
  • Reference your client’s mission statement, website, products or services. In addition, social media is a popular and effective way to cultivate a brand image for your client.
  • Compliment and highlight your client’s leadership. Inspiring leaders span across all industries, from consumer to B2B to financial. Have these leaders comment on current events or leadership techniques.


  • Content is key across all sectors of PR. PR professionals share and create various types of content from press releases to pitches to thought leadership.
  • Newsworthy content is required in order to successfully write a press release or pitch a story.
  • Different clients share different types of content. Consumer clients share new products and special events, while B2B clients share trades, acquisitions and partnerships.

Use these ABCs to master all of your accounts from finance to consumer to B2B. By applying the universal ABC’s of PR to various accounts you’ll become a triple threat in no time!


by Molly Prybylski


PeppTalks: CEO Edition

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Today’s post is contributed by NYC intern Katelyn Pecorelli.

Steve CodyFor this edition of Pepp Talks we sat down with the Co-Founder and CEO of Peppercomm, Steve Cody. At the age of 39 after leaving a global agency Steve found the time to co-create Peppercomm. Today, you will learn all about his life and what drove him to start this energy filled company.

KP: Where did you grow up, where did you go to school?
SC: Right across the bridge, I grew up in Fort Lee, NJ. I went to a nearby public school, Ridgefield Park High School and then Northeastern University.

KP: What was your first concert?
SC: Oh I know what it was! I saw Billy Joel in 1972 at a place called Paul’s Mall and it was just before he released Piano Man. There were only about 50 or 60 people there and he was the second or third person on the bill-it was way before he made it big.

KP: Which TV show is your guilty pleasure?
SC: Right now it is Vinyl, on Showtime. I also watch Billions on HBO. To be honest, the presidential debates, as far as guilty pleasures go, are better than the first year of the Jersey Shore.

KP: What’s an activity you like to do in your spare time? Besides mountain climbing and stand-up comedy and how do you find time for them?
SC: I read, all nonfiction. I am not a fiction person at all. I am always reading. I am able to mountain climb, schedule personal training sessions and perform stand-up comedy because of Dandy. She makes sure I set aside time to pursue my passions. As far as reading, the only upside of commuting on NJ transit is that I have an hour plus to pour into whatever book or podcast I choose.

KP: Which living person do you most admire?
SC: I have always thought Winston Churchill was the most amazing figure in history. Living…that is tough. My dad, Pop pop, because he raised three of us, put three of us through college and at 90 plus he is still feistier than ever. I take him out every Sunday for dinner.

KP: What would be your last meal on Earth?
SC: Last meal on Earth would be crabmeat cocktail and Dover sole with some nice Sancerre, which is French Savignon Blanc.

KP: If you could do PR for one celebrity/ client who would it be?
SC: Harvard Business School, I have worked with some great business schools but I would love to have a crack at a number one or number two.

KP: What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?
SC: Dairy Queen, making ice cream cones and banana splits and I learned a very valuable lesson; I never wanted a job that had anything to do with dealing with the public. It was 3 months in hell, but it taught me a great lesson.

KP: What was your most memorable job?
SC: One of my first co-op jobs with Northeastern, where I worked for a radio station in Greenwich, CT. Two weeks into the job and this murder case was front and center–Martha Moxley and Ethel Skakel-Kennedy’s nephew was the prime suspect. So the first two weeks of my job, I would walk down to the police station and meet the police chief, Chief Barron, and he would tell me the crimes that had happened. Then the Martha Moxley murder happened and she was 16 and was savagely killed, so it became National news due to the Kennedy connection. One of the coolest moments was the morning after. Everyone was there for the press conference and Chief Barron opened the floor for questions. He said he wanted to start with Steve Cody at WGCH radio, which was unbelievable. I was dumbfounded and asked a generic question. The case is still unsolved.

KP: Do you have a piece of advice you live by?
SC: Try to help others. Any age, anyone, just help others in any way. I mentor a lot of students and the most rewarding part is working with them and staying in touch to see where they end up.

KP: What is your definition of success?
SC: Success is doing something that you enjoy every single day that challenges you, that stretches you, that makes you feel like you are in some way, shape or form giving back. That is success. Nothing to do with money, prestige or power, it just turns you on to doing whatever that is. That is professional success. Personal success is being at peace with yourself and having a good group of people that you care about and who care about you.

KP: How did you and Ed meet?
SC: I was at an agency and I got a call from a head hunter who thought Ed would be a good account supervisor. He felt we would click. Ed came in for the interview and I liked him. The company then won a big client, so I made the call and we hired Ed. Ed resigned from where he was, then the client that just hired us, fired us. So, I had to plead with my CEO to still hire him.

KP: What made you create Peppercomm?
SC: Two things; up until then I had just been working with big agencies and with big agencies the more you move up the less contact you have with the client. So, your job becomes administrative and operations–all the stuff I hate. The other thing was, I was at the perfect age. I was 39 and I said it was now or never, I don’t want to be 65 one day and say what if I tried. Those two things, in combination were why I started Peppercomm.

KP: How do you two work so well together for Peppercomm?
SC: We don’t! Only joking, after two and a half years of working together, we knew a lot about each other and who would be able to handle what parts of the company. It is still that way to this day, we are polar opposites in every way. He is the Hillary to my Trump.



Intern Video

To find out more about life as a Peppercom intern, check out this YouTube video produced by former Peppercomm interns who share their experiences. Click Here