Social Sidekick is a media, branding and public relations boutique agency based in the hip little town of Red Bank, New Jersey that just launched in January of this year. In combination with business partner Theresa Pittius, Cassie Galasetti offers a background in entertainment, marketing, advertising, branding and public relations experience to lifestyle, fitness, entertaining and restaurant clients. During Cassie’s PR career, she has secured media coverage for her clients on The TODAY Show, Good Morning America, On-Air with Ryan Seacrest, USA Today, The Martha Stewart Show, FOX and this agency is certainly one to watch.
Name: Cassie Galasetti
Company: Social Sidekick
Education: Monmouth University
Instagram: @cass8224 // @socialsidekick
Twitter: @cassiegalasetti // @socialsidekick2
How did you get started in PR?
After quitting my right-out-of-college job I moved to LA to try and start my dream career in the music industry. I interviewed at some really amazing companies like CAA, but nothing significant panned out, so I turned my stint in LA into something I like to call an “extended vacation.” Once my savings ran out, I moved back to the East Coast and signed up with a temp agency that placed me at a top PR firm in NYC. I was assisting the four partners who owned the company, doing everything from running errands to pushing around their famous “Cupcakes & Cocktails” cart every Wednesday to all the publicists in the office. One Wednesday I walked into our new media director’s office, introduced myself and asked if she wanted a cupcake and cocktail. She looked up from her computer and said, “So, what do really want to be doing?” From that day on I was secretly working with her on landing our clients in the media. Eventually we approached the partners and talked them into creating a position for me as a publicist. Lucky for me, I was brought on as a full-time publicist at the firm!
How did you get the job you have now?
I was doing a bit of freelance PR on the side for some small businesses in town. A woman I really admired (who is now my business partner) was freelancing on the side as well. After becoming friends she approached me about combining our skills and starting a boutique agency of our own. I had never started a company so I was pretty nervous about it, but Theresa has a great reputation and really gave me the confidence to give 100% to this new venture we now call Social Sidekick.
What are your primary responsibilities?
Writing press releases and pitches, coming up with story ideas, creating media lists, meeting with clients and potential new clients, booking and coordinating interviews, posting on social media, (multiple times a day for over a dozen different companies), responding to our clients’ customers when they comment on social, updating our website and clients’ sites, scouring the Internet all day, and all of the aspects that come with running your own business (a.k.a. “adulting”).
What is the mood like in the office?
My partner Theresa and I work remotely. We meet up weekly at a little café in town to regroup and keep each other looped in on projects. We are in constant communication via text and email as well. Theresa recently had to delete our text thread because it was jamming up her phone!
Besides posting and pitching, I would say most of the day is spent laughing at each other’s texts and what we see on social media, and pitching ideas back and forth. If we didn’t laugh so much, I don’t think we would be as successful…or as sane. Our business has grown exponentially in a very short period of time between word of mouth and our reputations, so our excitement in what we will be by this time next year keeps us tremendously motivated.
What is a recent success story that makes you especially proud?
I recently landed our newest interior design client on FOX News. She is a prominent designer from Manhattan to Boca Raton who had zero digital presence. She hired us to facilitate the launch of her social media accounts, website and branding. Within 10 days of the launch I was able to get her quoted in a design story that ran on FOX. It usually doesn’t happen quite like that, so I was especially proud!
If we didn’t laugh so much, I don’t think we would be as successful…or as sane.
What are you really good at?
Getting a small business owner the media coverage a major company would die for.
What’s been your most memorable moment in your career thus far?
I’ve met some really amazing people along the way and learned a lot from them. The most memorable moment right now is the one I’m in: I never thought in a million years that I would have a business, let alone a successful one. I’m kind of just riding the wave and seeing where it takes me!
Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?
Those Samantha Jones moments! Parties, events, meeting celebrities, cocktails, free swag. It’s definitely only a small percentage of the career, but it’s fun in the moment.
Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?
Sitting on the floor. Petting a dog. On the TODAY show. In front of 2.3 million people! For some reason the clip disappeared from the Internet though, so I lucked out.
This might be worse though…
Picture a snowstorm in NYC. Where it’s literally a whiteout, two degrees, snow banks up to your waist, all flights are canceled, cabs aren’t even attempting to drive around. You’re cozy in your office cubicle… until you book a client a last minute segment on a major morning show the next day. The rest of your team is working from home (cause who’s crazy enough to travel in a snowstorm?!). It was up to me to make this cocktail segment happen. So I strapped on my boots, hat and gloves and took the trek to the nearest liquor store to purchase all of the ingredients, including 6 bottles of champagne. Seems simple enough, but now I need to get all of these bottles to my client’s hotel – across town. I’m 5’1” so a regular snow bank is basically a giant mountain to me. My legs got stuck in the snow and I literally couldn’t move. I toppled over and all of the bags of champagne fell into the snow. I wanted to cry right then and there but had to laugh. It was a ridiculous sight to witness I’m sure, let alone be a part of. I finally dug myself and the bottles out of the snow and made it to the hotel. Thankfully the segment went off without a hitch and no one knew about my snowstorm saga (until now!).
PR can be stressful and full of rejection — how do you deal?
You can’t take things personally. I learned that fast. I think about all of the emails reporters get on a daily basis. They can’t possibly respond to every single person. It kind of puts things into perspective. It’s still stressful and can really bum you out, but when you DO get a response, it makes it that much more exciting. It also keeps you creatively motivated.
It was up to me to make this cocktail segment happen. So I strapped on my boots, hat and gloves and took the trek to the nearest liquor store to purchase all of the ingredients, including 6 bottles of champagne.
What are three must-have tools that are essential to your job?
- iPhone and all my apps. I basically do all of my work from my phone. I can’t be without it!
- Hootsuite keeps me on point. When you’re managing a bunch of social accounts it can get a bit crazy. Scheduling them out keeps thing super organized.
- Sometimes HARO gets a bad rap, but I’ve landed a lot of press hits by using their services.
What do you wish more people understood about your job?
Public Relations is hard to define, especially in the digital age, but I wish more people understood the difference between PR, marketing and advertising. Also, this is a big one: not every story is newsworthy! I wish people knew how long it really takes to get a press hit. From crafting the pitch, researching, gathering the assets, targeting the right reporter, the actual pitching itself, then following up if you don’t get a response. Multiply that by how many reporters you pitch on a weekly basis, for all of your clients – it’s a long process!
What’s the biggest challenge facing communicators right now?
There’s so much information out there it’s hard to keep up and weed through it all. What was exciting news this morning is old news by the end of the day. People also don’t have the time to read a lot of information, so you have to get to the point without leaving out key details.
PR trends are always changing — how do you keep up?
Recently my main source of info has been my younger cousin. She knows what’s cool and on trend so I ask her a lot of questions. She taught me Snapchat! I’m on Instagram constantly; I get a lot of inspiration from what others are posting. It’s a great way to learn about writers and reporters, too, mainly the topics they’re interested in. Pictures really do say a thousand words!
What would you tell someone who wants to be you when they grow up?
Intern as much as you can, in all different industries. College is obviously important, but I have found that really being in the trenches is key.
Find a mentor. Listen and learn from them.
Always stay one step ahead. There are going to be numerous tasks that you won’t want to do; just suck it up and do them! It’ll pay off in the end.
Spend your money on traveling. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and what you want out of life.