For this week’s edition of Five Minutes With… I would like to introduce you to Marc Vasquez, interactive marketing manager at UMB Bank. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the annual KC PRSA PRISM Awards last year and since then, he’s been a great influence on myself and my pr career.
Me: Working as an interactive marketing manager sounds like a lot of fun. Can you briefly explain the responsibilities of your job?
Marc: For the last 10 years, I’ve served on the agency side, specifically in public relations and social media. After coming to UMB Financial Corporation in January 2013, my role changed to a more digital focus, but my public relations roots have guided me every step of the way. I’m chiefly responsible for our overall email and social media communications which surround the now highly publicized term “thought leadership.” On the email side, we have a web-based tool that I oversee which gives our associates the ability to use email in any part of their relationship building process. On the social side, I aid the team in communication with our customers via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In addition, I oversee our Socialite campaign which has been monumental in bridging the gap between what our compliance and legal teams are comfortable with and providing easy to use content that helps our associates stay relevant.
Me: You also know a lot about social media. What do you think is one positive and one negative outcome on the public relations industry due to the introduction of various social media platforms?
Marc: Thank you for the compliment Brooklyn. I’m fortunate to have had opportunities and been around great people throughout my career. I know some feel social media can be intrusive, but I love how much news has changed because of it. Gone are the days of writing up a media release, faxing or emailing it to a media outlet, following up and waiting. We have more opportunities to meet influential people where they are, where they live and especially where they thrive. That’s the positive. One of the biggest negative aspects is that just like public relations, social media is not a “set it and forget it situation.” There are building blocks to every campaign or initiative, but public relations and social media act as the mortar that holds each level together – not on their own. It has to to be a symbiotic relationship.
Me: I know that you are actively involved with the Greater Kansas City PRSA chapter, in fact you’re the president. And I’m sure you’re involved in many other things as well. So how do you find time to juggle between work, your extracurricular activities and your personal life?
Marc: Good questions. The short answer is boundaries, balance and the movie Frozen. Professionally, I spent time on the agency side and found that I was spending less and less time away from the office. Even when I was home, I was constantly thinking about what I could be doing to catch up. In my role now, I have more balance and support, so when I’m not at work, I’m not at work. I’m honored to have finally become president of our PRSA chapter, but I would say that the secret to my success has been the people I have surrounded myself with. Most importantly, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that success it not just up to me. Like Queen Elsa, I had to learn to “let it go.” Whether it’s my team at work or my board who supports our PRSA membership, I have found that I delegate and they make success look easy.
Me: How important would you say joining PRSSA is for college students? And how can becoming a member of PRSA after graduation benefit new pr professionals?
Marc: I joined PRSSA late when I was at Northwest Missouri State University, and I wish I would have become part of the organization sooner. it was there that I learned more about internships, teamwork and especially what I didn’t know about public relations. In PRSSA, I attended events like what was formerly known as PRSSA Day in Kansas City and had the chance to meet with professionals, show my portfolio and find direction. Nearly 10 years ago, at the start of my last job, my manager, Kevin Gabriel (who I still consider my PR sensei), encouraged me to join the Greater Kansas City chapter of PRSA. Because he recommended it, I did it and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Through it, I’ve learned trends that apply to my career path, gained professional and career advice and had the opportunity to serve the members of our chapter with some incredible colleagues. I would encourage anyone interested in truly advancing themselves and those around them to join.
Me: Lastly Marc, I’ve noticed that on your LinkedIn account, you state that you are a superhero sidekick. Do you practice public relations during the day and fight crime at night?
Marc: My 6-year-old son Jakob means more to me than anything. Since I can remember he has been under the impression that he is Batman. Some days he won’t answer to anything else. As such, he has determined that I am Robin, his sidekick – and I couldn’t be more proud. My days are composed of changing the world one PR plan at a time, and when I get home to stately Vasquez Manor, it’s time to take my place by his side. I’ve got the bruises to prove it.