Archive for Peppercomm

In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm NYC intern and future industry star, Carly Sylvester.

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

It all started in a small suburb of New Jersey (not Seaside, the only town people not from New Jersey can name thanks to my bff Snooki) called Rockaway. I was raised in the stereotypical fashion of an Italian from North Jersey – taking part in mob heists and fist pumping competitions, that is. I somehow ended up in Delaware calling myself a Blue Hen, which is possibly the worst mascot of all time, with the exception of UPenn’s Quaker, but I couldn’t be prouder to now call myself an alumni of The University of Delaware. It was there that I learned that my passion for writing, being creative and trying new things, and working with people could all be channeled into a successful career in public relations.

My journey with Peppercomm began (as most of my relationships do) with a dash of social media stalking. The lovely Sam Bruno and my sister are bridesmaid survivors of the same wedding, and through this mutual connection I was able to see the wonderful world of Peppercomm via Sam’s Instagram. Her regularly hash-tagged #ILoveMyJob posts had me question whether this “job” she spoke of had her brainwashed, or if this Peppercomm place was something I should seriously take a look at.

While brainwashing is only 5% of the job description here at Peppercomm, what my research into this wonderful organization told me was that I’d be a fool to not seek out a way to be a part of it. Experience has taught me that PR can be a very cold environment, but from the minute I opened Peppercomm’s website I felt nothing but warmth. I could sense immediately that the people who make up this organization are people who care – they genuinely care about their work, their clients, their client’s audiences, and most importantly each other. I knew finding a place that churns out such thoughtful and insightful work yet still maintains a relaxed and fun culture where people actually matter is a rarity, and before I knew it I was filling out an application, and the rest is history!

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

One of the things I find most intriguing about PR is the relational aspect of it all. From working with a journalist to launching a new product, you have to have a deep and clear understanding of the people you’re working with. My degrees are in communication and sociology, so I am all about getting to the bottom of who people are and establishing a connection with them. I love the idea that in order for our work with a client to be successful, we have to know who their target audience is as people. Who are they? How did they end up here? Why is this brand important to them? Understanding people’s backgrounds is so important for an array of industries, but I love that in PR you get to utilize them as a basis for a continued relationship.

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

This is my first time in an agency setting, so initially I was very taken aback at how many different hats I was expected to wear being on so many different accounts. Now that the initial shock has worn off, I’ve genuinely grown to love being able to jump from one industry to another throughout my days. I can go from financial research to looking at pictures of cheeseburgers (#RestaurantPR) in an instant. It’s been such an incredible experience for me to learn how to balance so many different roles – I feel so much more confident now going into the next steps of my career. What’s even better is that Peppercomm has given me real, hands-on experience to boost my confidence even further. I really feel like a part of the team here, not just an intern doing intern work.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

I’ve fallen especially in love with the consumer/lifestyle side of the industry because of the attention to detail and connection with respective audiences that is required. Now that I’ve been given a taste of agency life, I can’t see myself working in a different setting down the road. For now, I’m continuing to enjoy this amazing opportunity and soaking up all the new experiences Peppercomm has to offer!


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This week, meet your favorite animal lover, knitter and DIYer, Julie Hoang, one of the internship program’s university relations coordinators at Peppercomm. She helps to build better relationships with key universities through career fairs, job postings, networking events and shadowing programs, while her counter-part, David Jolly, handles most of the university opportunities on the west.

JH1Ok, let’s get the basics out of the way. Where are you from and where did you go to school?

JH: I was born and raised in New York and graduated from Syracuse University in upstate New York. I guess you can call me a true New Yorker!

How did you get into PR and Peppercomm?

JH: I didn’t go the traditional route and major in PR, but I did study communications. Growing up, I’ve always loved story-telling and still remember re-writing the ends of Disney’s fairytales.

I continued that passion throughout high school and ended up spear-heading my school paper as the editor-in-chief. Shortly graduating college with my major in communications, I started working at Walek & Associates, a financial services PR firm in NYC. The firm was then acquired by Peppercomm, which brings me here today.JH2

What are the main things you look for when reviewing resumes?

JH: While previous PR and media experience tops the list, it is certainly not limited to that. Cover letters are essential and we would rather choose a candidate who can clearly express their experience and how it relates to Peppercomm and the industry. The way the cover letter is written also provides us with a glimpse into how the candidate will interview.

What makes a great intern?

JH3JH: We don’t expect our interns to jump in on the first day knowing the ins and outs of PR, but it’s important for them to have a willingness to learn. For the interns that stand out, you can tell they have a passion to work at Peppercomm and to grow with it. Chris and David are great examples, as they started out as interns at Peppercomm, re-branded the internship program (on their own will) and are now full-time employees.

What is your favorite thing about Peppercomm?

JH: For me, it would be the ability to work across a variety of industries. Starting out in financial PR, it was hard to pull away from only financial work. Since joining Peppercomm, however, I’ve been able to work across many different industries including B2B, professional services, education, financial and consumer. Peppercomm also gave me the ability to work on internal accounts, such as Intern Committee.


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“Young man, are you listening to me?
I said, young man, what do you want to be?
I said, young man, you can make real your dreams.
But you got to know this one thing!”

If you’ve ever been to a Peppercomm event, seen their social media posts, or even been to the office, the culture that Peppercomm prides itself on is obvious. Yesterday we had our joint New York and San Francisco (via Skype) Halloween gathering, which included a costume contest among other things.

The interns felt we needed to go in and blow everyone’s socks off during the costume contest, and we did just that. We won the gold medal! Well actually there wasn’t a medal. It was just the gratification that we came out on top.

The PeppSquad as the Village People.

The PeppSquad as the Village People.

As you might be able to tell from the photo, we were the Village People.

“Collectively, we agreed to be The Village People, because we got a nice laugh at the music video,” said Leandra Abreu. When we were talking about exactly what we wanted to do for the costume contest, we knew we wanted to do a group costume. Although we’re all on different accounts, we sit next to each other all day long. We’re there for each other when others need help, an afternoon pick-me-up or just a laugh because something funny happened.

“We are free to engage in fun and play at Peppercomm. This kind of culture means costume contests, witch hunts, candy (everyday) and most importantly, represents the value of employees here. As our friends the Village People would say, “many ways to have a good time… It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A (and Peppercomm),” added Kristiana Monterosso.

“At Peppercomm, I feel like we’re encouraged to be ourselves. I appreciate that in a company,” said Sidney Encarnacion.

“It honestly makes you look forward to coming to work,” replied Ashwin Mallya.

The culture that Peppercomm has was something we knew we needed to get in on. If you ask us, we think we did just that.

For Carly Sylvester, “It means getting to wear an awesome headlamp to work and do the YMCA in a judgment free zone.”


*This post was written by the PeppSquad.
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In this week’s Meet the Intern Committee post, we are introducing Peppercomm’s biggest fan of college football (Go Clemson Tigers!), Broadway, Disney and all things Shonda Rhimes, Chris Piedmont (@cpiedmo), the onboarding coordinator of the internship program at Peppercomm. Along with our San Francisco Coordinator, David Jolly, whom you’ll meet in the coming weeks, Chris was one of the brains behind the internship’s PeppSquad branding that their intern class spearheaded.

Each Friday, we will post a Q&A with different members of the Intern Committee. We will answer questions that we frequently hear from intern candidates and would love to hear any other questions you have for us in the comments section.

chris2  Ok, let’s get the basics out of the way. Where are you from and where did you go to school?

CP: I was born in Charleston, South Carolina (hi, y’all!) and graduated from the best college in the #1 tourist destination in the world, the College of Charleston. I’m a Charleston guy through and through – my bowties can attest.

  How did you get into PR and Peppercomm?

CP: I’m one of the rare birds who found their career via…an online personality test. Shocking, I know. I was originally        studying to go into education while a freshman at Clemson University, but decided I didn’t want a degree I could only use    to teach. After taking a career survey, I got matched with PR and realized I was already doing many of the core elements  of social media and event planning. After taking a few intro courses, I knew I’d found the career for me and have been  enjoying it since.

When I was a sophomore in college after transferring to the College of Charleston because of its stellar Communication  Department and esteemed Communications Advisory Council, I heard our founder and Co-CEO, Steve Cody, speak at a    Student Forum about “Building the Brand of You.” Steve is a member of the Advisory Council and spoke about the unique  and comedic culture at Peppercomm that empowers employees to push boundaries and nurture their entrepreneurial  spirits. From that talk, I was hooked and was lucky enough to work as an intern and then be hired full time after graduation.

What are the main things you look for when reviewing resumes?

CP: Previous experience in PR and communication is always a big plus. I also look at how active an applicant is at his/her college. If you’re participating in organizations like the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) or have communication leadership roles in Greek life or other on-campus organizations, I’m very likely to want to learn more. Creativity and humor in an application also go a long way. If you’re able to make me laugh, you’re well on your way.

What makes a great intern?chris1

CP: Interns who succeed here come each day and give the internship their all. They don’t just take the work they’re assigned, but look for additional opportunities to go further and be bigger assets to their teams. They also embrace an entrepreneurial spirit by seizing opportunities to make the agency a better place to work.

What is the best account that you’ve worked on?

CP: This is tough as there really are so many options, but one of the best accounts I’ve worked on is Steelcase, Peppercomm’s longest standing client. We’ve gotten to do some pretty cool (and successful) product launches since I started on the account as an intern. It’s fascinating learning about the impact of space on how you work and a company’s culture.

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In today’s post, meet current Peppercomm NYC intern and future industry star, Michael Pellessier.

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

Hello PRiscope readers! My name is Michael Pellessier, but in the office Co-Founder and CEO, Steve Cody, has given me the name “Drew Guy”. I’m a west coaster from Washington (state that is), that now lives in New Jersey and works in NYC. I’m a lover of traveling as I’ve traveled to; all 50 states, London, Brussels and Japan, and am always looking for another adventure to take.

As a recent graduate from Drew University with a major in Business Studies and a minor in Photography, I immersed myself into all that Drew had to offer. Throughout my four years at Drew I was involved with the university program board, orientation committee, student government and was the office manager for the office of student activities. If I wasn’t planning an event, or studying (yeah I found time for that as well), you could more than likely find me in our schools darkroom where I would be developing, exposing and creating film prints for my photography classes.

During my senior spring semester at Drew I participated in the first semester of our media and communications semester in New York City, where we traveled into NYC twice a week for class. As part of the course we spent the afternoons visiting agencies citywide. The first agency that we visited was Peppercomm, and from there it was the agency that I wanted to intern and potentially work at. The office atmosphere, intelligent employees, and small agency size was something that attracted me to Peppercomm, and yes, Co-Founder and CEO Ed Moed being an alumni of Drew was another reason. I enjoy that you’re given the ability to grow within the agency, and are given the lessons you need to learn while also being tasked with challenging projects for the accounts you’re on.

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

I enjoy that I’m able to work across seven different accounts and learn from the challenges and opportunities that arise in each of the accounts. During my internship here at Peppercomm, the knowledge that I’ve gained through pitching to the media, creating social media posts, interacting with clients, and creating briefing books are all beneficial and appealing to me as I know the skills I’ve got here are going to help me down the road.

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

What surprised me the most was that on the day I started I was given so much responsibility for the accounts I was on. It really made me feel like I wasn’t an intern, but was a trusted member on my accounts. Being able to complete the tasks, but also learning that I was able to ask for help when needed, helped me learn even more about it takes to work in the PR world.

Where do you see yourself going in the industry?

Gosh that’s a hard question. The skills that I’ve gained during my internship have helped me understand the PR world even more. The industry is filled with so many different areas that I feel are all interesting and would eventually like to dip my toes in to get some experience in them, but I feel that because of my background with running events at Drew, getting involved with culture events would be an area that highly interests me. What’s to say that also spending time on the digital teams, creating content and visuals would be intriguing to me as well?

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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