NOV. 23 — Elaine Materise, Haley Marketing

Scripps PRSSA was pleased to virtually welcome Elaine Materise to our Chapter during Thanksgiving week of 2020. Elaine is passionate about helping organizations develop and implement digital marketing strategies to reach defined business goals. She attended Central Michigan University and attained her master’s at St. Bonaventure University. A lot of her professional experience has brought her to opportunities within the broadcasting, corporate communications and digital marketing industries. Currently, Elaine helps oversee the social media and content marketing strategy and comprehensive marketing execution of over 50 staffing and recruiting firms, guiding the strategy and delivery of multiple industry award-winning social media campaigns.

Elaine did not major in public relations, yet she noted at how much opportunity we have within the Scripps PRSSA Chapter. With much of our current life revolving around Zoom, Elaine specified that she was remote before the pandemic, saying, “it’s certainly the way the future is going.”


First, Elaine mentioned her time with Baretz+Brunelle, a legal corporate communication law firm dealing with various law firms and startups. She did PR and worked with just three other team members. They had 8-9 accounts; less clients but each with large budgets, which is different from her current job. This position included plenty of media pitching, writing and scanning the industry for hot topics. She had no specific niche. 

  • A typical day would include coming into work and scanning the industry for hot topics. In particular, she and her team scanned news outlets and scoured random websites to see what was happening. Was there something they could pitch? New speaking opportunities? When they found interesting trends or information, they would compile it in a single place for ease of accessibility.
  • Writing the press releases, proposals, writing quotes.
  • It was intimidating coming out of college, but the learning experience was well worth it. 
    • She suggests paying attention to detail – when we write to our clients, grammar and editing are SUPER important! 
    • Attention to news and trends. Clients often think they can’t comment or have a stance, but it’s all about how it is pitched.
  • Communication is the biggest factor, whether it be in person, on the phone, in a zoom call and in email. You need to be able to communicate well. These are her tips:
    • Have confidence with your skillset — go with your gut.
    • Hone in on interpersonal skills so that you can connect with your client. The better you understand them, the better you can do your job.
    • It also matters when you need to build relationships with the media, too. Stay on their good side and reach out often!

Haley Marketing

Second, Elaine spent time covering her current position at Haley Marketing Group. She has been there for there for three years, and it is based in Buffalo, New York. She mainly focuses on social media, content creation and analytics. She worked with her internal team to also focus on conferences or speaking events. 

Now, she has more clients with smaller budgets. She and her team put together emails for email marketing, which many people might think is dated. Elaine says it gets amazing result, and we are tied to our emails whether we like it or not. In any media job, analytics is extremely important, and coming up with strategies based on analytics is a valuable skill.

What she has learned: 

  • Critical thinking is the best skill you can offer a company
    • Use this term in an interview. Employees that are able to think things through and find solutions will see more growth than those that cannot. It also builds your repertoire with clients and managers. 
  • Stay organized
    • You have multiple clients, many things going on with each. 
    • Take many notes, physical and digital!
      Utilize the tools the company gives you
    • The best thing you can do for yourself is being a go-getter. This allows for your growth and professional development. Professional development comes in many levels, and don’t wait for it to come to you: SEEK IT OUT! Utilize your resources. Think about which resources your company offers and opportunities. Not many people utilize them, and utilizing these tools can earn you brownie points.
  • Creativity
  • Content creation
  • Problem solving 
  • Utilize your time to shadow another department. You would be surprised how you can implement that within your day-to-day.
  • Is there a gap in your company’s work flow? Can you fill that gap? 
  • Youtube, podcasts, Facebook groups are the most underrated resources for networking and learning about the industry,
  • Your network is very important – what are your family members doing that could help you land a job? What skills do you have that could help your network?

Preparing for your job search

  • Where do we look for jobs? It may seem obvious, but:
    • Indeed, Glassdoor
    • Look within your network
    • Social media – Facebook groups 
  • Quantify most things on your resume
    • A great tip mentioned by Elaine is to make note of all the “little things” you are currently doing on a project. This will help you when it comes time to quantify achievements within a resume; the use of numbers and statistics helps substantiate those achievements

Watch this webinar: “Ask A Recruiter with WWE: How to Land Your Dream Job by Fairygodboss.” Fairygodboss’s mission is to improve the workplace for women by increasing transparency and offering free resources.

What to do when you have a job – How do I grow my career when I have a job? 

  • Always continue to grow your network. Grab business cards. Go on coffee chats. Think about where you want to go next. All of the same networking rules still apply, even in the professional world. 
  • Think about what you want to do next. Are your skills transferrable? What changes do you want in your next opportunity? 
  • Create strong relationships with bosses and coworkers. These people will be your biggest endorsers! 
  • Keep your LinkedIn accounts and resumes updated. An opportunity can always arise. 

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