PR professional and style maven Casandra Ramos is bridging the gap between public relations, digital marketing and content strategy. From stints at the UN to spearheading some of L’Oreal’s most successful initiatives, the budding content maven’s varied experiences have resulted in opportunities at world renowned companies – most recently PR Consulting, where she currently sits on a three-person team in their Digital department. There, Casandra spends her days crafting dynamic strategies for some of the most prominent brands in the fashion, lifestyle and beauty spaces. In fact, our meeting with Casandra overlapped with New York Fashion Week (arguably the busiest time of the year!) where we saw some of her efforts translate into successful events, shows and activations firsthand. Needless to say, we were grateful to snag a few minutes of her time over a much-needed coffee break at The Elk where she brought us up to speed on the latest happenings from the week, her thoughts on the industry’s changing landscape and how she’s learned to integrate planning in all elements of her life and work. Read on to meet Casandra and for the best in fashion, coffee and life in New York also follow her on Instagram @casandraramos!
Please introduce yourself!
Hi there! My name is Casandra. I came to New York about 10 years ago for college to major in Communication Studies. After graduating I went to Europe where I had the opportunity to work at the UN (crazy, right?!) but after awhile I decided it was time to settle, and New York City was the lucky place (being the fashion capital and all!). Now, 5 years later, I still live in NYC where I call the lovely Upper East Side neighborhood home, and I’m the digital manager for PR Consulting.
Prior to PR Consulting what were you up to professionally, what role did digital play in your job description and what have been some notable moments throughout your career so far?
Well, for me, digital has been my passion ever since I can remember. I was a super “techy” girl during my younger years, I always had to have the newest Gameboy or gaming system available. I was legit obsessed. One Christmas, my brother didn’t know that Santa Clause didn’t exist, so instead of keeping the Playstation on his gifting side, I put in the middle so it seemed like it was meant for both of us (sorry little bro!). I still remember when I got a computer of my very own – my dad told me that he had a present for me, a new desk specifically, but when I ran inside my room to see, I saw the computer there and I nearly died! It was such a beauty. To this day, it is a guarantee that I have my phone glued to my hand 24/7. One of the hardest lessons I had to learn was actually how to put the phone down, I even slept with it (yes, you heard correct, I slept with it, mostly right on my face). Feeling connected and knowing what’s going on is important to me, so having my phone with me at all times allows me to be connected to the world.
Before PR Consulting, I was at L’Oreal Paris for over 4 years, where I started in Brand Marketing but always had that passion and drive for everything digital and social. I was lucky enough to have a boss and mentors who fed my appetite and gave me opportunities to work on cool initiatives like Makeup Genius (an app that allows you to virtually try makeup on). Finally, after years of trying to work on the Communications team (and a lot of hard work!), I was hired as their first official member of the then brand new in-house Social Media team for L’Oreal Paris. My pride and joy was launching their Snapchat (it was the first thing I did after getting hired). I’m still very proud of this because there was a point where their channel garnered such a high amount of views that it exceeded benchmarks during award season including organically making it to the Snapchat Stories section. This was achieved by having genuine, in the moment content from the Red Carpet and was a big deal because the channel, as a whole, was still very new at the time. I was part of the complete change in content strategy on Instagram, so I consider this to be one of my professional milestones.
For those who don’t know, what is PR Consulting? How would you characterize your day to day?
I have been undeniably lucky to work for companies that cater to my love for fashion and beauty. PR Consulting is an international PR and Digital Communications agency for the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle industries. We work with amazing brands like Calvin Klein, Mansur Gavriel, Aquazzura, COS, Per Se, etc. We are a team of 3; I work under the Head of Digital and I have a Junior Manager reporting to me. I wouldn’t say there is a typical day to day but I mostly work on creating social media strategies, influencer relations and content.
What are a few things you’ve discovered as a result of merging PR and digital content and why do you think all PR professionals should be well-versed in content strategy (and vice versa?)
PR and Digital Content are one in the same now. In this new age, a PR plan has to always have a Digital aspect to it, whether the event production should be photo friendly so that it’s social media worthy, or that the initiative is “pitchable”. It’s crazy! You can’t come into this business without having an understanding of PR AND Digital because these two aren’t separate areas anymore.
“A PR plan has to always have a
Digital aspect to it, whether the event
production should be photo friendly so
that it’s social media worthy, or
that the initiative is pitchable.”
How has being immersed in this particular field inspired your approach to curating/planning for your own Instagram personal brand?
They say “don’t judge a book by its cover” but in the social media world (especially Instagram), you are judged. Brands and agencies aren’t always looking just at one of your posts; they are looking at all of your social pages as your “portfolio”. The content on my social media channels are very genuine but they are also very conscious of its audience. I’m always planning ahead of what I would like to post but I also have in the moment content that I always try to get more than one shot to make sure it looks aesthetically pleasing holistically.
“Brands & agencies aren’t
always looking just at one of your posts;
they are looking at all of your
social pages as your portfolio.”
When it comes to planning, what are your top 3 tips for those who are looking to plan content that otherwise may be considered “humble-bragging” or self promoting?
How has planning in general inspired you to strike a balance between your creative and analytical skill-sets to create content that is compelling and has impact?
Setting goals and tracking analytics allows you to celebrate progress, check strengths and weaknesses, and continue to evolve your creative. You need both to succeed in this field and personally.