Young Professional Series: Sarah Grieco

Since this blog often focuses on our lives as young professionals, we decided to interview some young professionals from other industries to share their stories and insights. One thing we want to highlight with this series is the role branding, and personal branding, play in a variety of professions. For our first interview, we reached out to our good friend, Sarah.

Name: Sarah Grieco

Profession: Journalist

Current Position: Web Editor at NBC San Diego

What is your favorite part about being a journalist? How did you know it was the right profession for you?

Grieco_0597My favorite part about being a journalist is providing people the evidence they need to make big decisions. I’ve always believed that if people are provided comprehensive information, they will hopefully take more action. When I leave work every day, I feel like I’ve accomplished something – whether it’s letting people know what new restaurant to try or how the mayor’s push to increase the police force will affect their neighborhood’s safety.

I knew journalism was the profession for me when I would rather write articles in the dark, dungeon-like basement of my student newspaper, The Daily Aztec, than go to the beach. Instead of enjoying California’s perfect weather, I spent the majority of my college years underground, cramped over computers while reading, writing and producing articles for the masses at SDSU. And that made me really, really happy. Still does!

As a journalist, how important is your personal brand?

Very. My personal brand played a huge role in obtaining my job at NBC and it will continue to help me as I move up in my career. Thanks to social media, having a “brand” is a more fluid, normal part of my day. People know I’m a journalist, but things like Twitter and Instagram let them know I have a life outside journalism. People want to work with someone who’s interesting and easy to get along with, and I think my brand translates that pretty well.

What do you do outside of work to promote yourself or your company?

Working for one of the best news outlets in the country makes it easy for me to share the successes of NBC – on social media and in person. I like to contribute in classroom discussions and journalism events, such as Society of Professional Journalists or Online News Association. Sometimes I’ll participate in Tweet chats, like the once MuckRack has once a week, to let other journalists know what kind of stories we’ve done recently.

Occasionally I’ll attend bigger San Diego events, like San Diego Magazine parties, that give me a chance to talk with some of the city’s brightest people. I can get ideas from them about what they care about, and also let them know where to go for the fastest, most accurate news in town.

What role does social media play in your career?

Social media is a huge part of my job – and it’s getting bigger. People’s stories can now be shared across the globe with the click of a button on Facebook or a simple retweet. It’s increasingly important to post articles on my work accounts, in addition to my personal account. Not only does it give me the chance to share crucial information on a platform people visit frequently, but also it allows me to see what people are talking about or how that information benefits them.

What do you wish all PR professionals knew before pitching you?

I wish more PR professionals would reach out to me on Twitter. I sometimes get up to 300 emails a day, and it’s easy for me to lose some pitches. If someone tweeted me a link with a short description, then I’d certainly pay more attention than with a lengthy email that might get deleted. Or, if you need to email me a pitch, make it short. Three sentences max. Then I’ll be able to see whether it’s worth my time without wasting theirs.

We’d like to thank Sarah for sharing such great information and we encourage you to read Sarah’s stories at NBC San Diego and learn more about her at Is there somebody particular you’d like to see us interview here? Please let us know!


The Social Bowl

Everyone is talking about the Super Bowl and will be for the next week and a half. Will Jim or John win the “Harbowl”? Who will their parents root for? Jim Harbaugh made the right choice by choosing Kaepernick over Smith and Ray Lewis is emotional…. Well, we don’t have commentary on any of that. We will stick to what we know, and that is social media. Yes, the big question is, who wins the SOCIAL BOWL? The San Francisco 49ers or the Baltimore Ravens?

To keep things simple, we decided to assess only Facebook and Twitter. To help us in our Twitter assessment, we used to create this useful infographic:

create infographics with

The main things that stand out here are the number of followers each team has (Niners win) and the number of mentions each team gets per tweet (Ravens win). One thing that may be a fumble for both of them is following so few people. While there are other ways to monitor conversation on Twitter, they could probably learn something by following relevant sports writers, other teams and their own players. Taking into account the Follower: Following ratio and the mentions per Tweet, a Hail Mary is thrown and the RAVENS WIN THE SOCIALBOWL (at least on Twitter)!

Now on to Facebook where we assessed their pages the old fashioned way.

49ers Facebook

1,658,796 likes · 796,178 talking about this · 47,654 were here


Ravens Facebook

1,315,644 likes · 518,590 talking about this · 52,156 were here

There was a lot to look at on these pages, but lets start with the obvious numbers: likes (Niners win), talking about this (Niners win), and visitors (Ravens win). Okay, but what about the content and design?

  • Both have updated cover and profile photos to reflect their trip to the Super Bowl and they have similar “about us” sections (Tie).
  • In our opinion, the Niners use the highlighted post feature too often and it breaks up the visual of their timeline. On the other hand, the Ravens haven’t utilized this feature since their win against the Patriots and it really highlights that accomplishment (Ravens win). However, highlighting more posts wouldn’t hurt.
  • The Ravens’ posts were more focused on the Super Bowl, while the Niners had a few posts that didn’t mention the upcoming game. One may think that non-stop Super Bowl for two weeks would get exhausting, but since their audience is their excited fan base, and it is the biggest game of the year, we say pour it on (Ravens win).
  • Overall, the Ravens posted in a more conversational way with more opportunities for fans to interact beyond commenting on articles. They asked fans to post questions for players, enter contests, etc. For the most part, the Niners posted headlines with a link to a story or video on their site and a photo. Because of the tone and types of posts, we felt that the Niners were disseminating information and the Ravens were inviting conversation (Ravens win).

At the end of the day, these teams are tough both online and on the gridiron. They have both faced a lot of adversity, but only one team can be named Social Bowl Champions, and that is the Baltimore Ravens!*

Will the winner of the Social Bowl dictate the winner of the big game? We’ll have to wait until Feb. 3 to find out! Do you have big Super Bowl party plans? Tell us which team you’re routing for!

*That said, these teams both obviously have professional communication staffs that are doing a great job. These are just our casual observations and if you disagree, we would love to battle it out 🙂

The Hiring Scale…

So, numero UNO on a lot of New Year’s resolutions lists is: FIND A NEW JOB! Right? It’s not that we don’t all like the jobs we’re at, but everyone wants “big-girl-jobs.” No, a “big-girl-job” has nothing to do with the teeeeny bit of blubber we added over the holiday season, instead a “big-girl-job” is one that has CAREER potential. Somewhere that we love working at and in return they give us health bennies (I mean as of last week, Nicole and I are BOTH in the 25-club, which means 1 more year – or less – until we’re flying solo with healthcare).

Anyway, after that long segue, right around Jan. 1st, I saw a Tweet touting the “Hiring Scale” by WANTEDAnalytics. As it was a slow night Internet-stalking people, I decided to give it a go. The tool immediately calls itself “the fastest way to fill or find a job.” Yes, I am sure there is some puffery afloat, but obviously I’m now expecting results and I will be CMO somewhere quite soon. If you’re expecting some rigorous application process, never fear, you’re only a measly seven steps away from the perfect career.

Hiring Scale

Step 1: Fill in your Keyword (MARKETING for me) and your ideal location (SAN DIEGO)

Step 2: The Hiring Scale will tell you if you should expect your job search to be harder or easier than the national average (suck it, I’m on the easy-street to CMO – told ya!)Hiring Scale 2

Step 3: Find out your competition and opportunities

Step 4: Review your options (basically all those jobs you’ve seen out there already)Hiring Scale 3

Step 5: See your proposed salary expectations vs. the National average (so, I shouldn’t be expecting anything less than $63,000 – HA)

Step 6: See all the companies that have just hired somebody for the position you’re looking for. Awesome, Qualcomm just hired someone – why are you rubbing it in my face?Hiring Scale 4

Step 7: Go to all those places you were already looking for jobs an apply to something

Yup. This is what happens when you’re desperate to get ahead and LOVE online surveys….you get nada…nada damn thing. I’ll end this post with a hearty, GOOD LUCK to all you job searchers out there and please share any job seeking pitfalls that you have run into!

Travel Tips Guest Blog on

Recently, we were asked to do a guest blog on Little Miss MBA as she took off on a little vacay. As Courtney is a fellow recently-graducated, young-professional (and friend), we jumped at the chance! Below is a little taste of some of our “Young Professional Travel Tips.” For the rest check out Little Miss MBA.

When Courtney asked us to guest blog for Little Miss MBA, we were very happy to do it, but our next thought was—what the heck should we write about? After bouncing around some ideas and talking about how jealous we are

that she is going to Hawaii, the answer became painfully obvious—we can write about travel! Both of us have done our fair share of travel for both business and pleasure including a month-long study abroad trip we took together in 2009 to Western Europe. Here are some of the tips and tricks we learned:

  • Bring a roll of duct tape. Okay, this sounds silly, but duct tape can really come in handy. It works as a lint roller, a quick fix for a ripped hem, and if you do a little too much shopping and burst a zipper on your luggage… viola!


Need more tips? Come and read ’em!

And since you visited us here first we’ll give you an extra tip!Spanish McDonalds

  • Don’t eat at McDonalds….even if it is the ONLY thing opened on a Sunday in Barcelona. This is what you’ll end up with. Dare we say that it’s even worse than the ones we get here in the States?!

Get to know

We all know about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Foursquare, Google+, Myspace, Instagram… you get the point. But, have you heard of It might not interest everyone, but if you do research, you are in grad school, or you have a client that does research, it may be worth getting to know this lesser-known social media site. As you may have guessed, is “a platform for academics to share research papers.”

Screen shot 2013-01-10 at 1.48.26 PMAs a grad student, I have used the site to follow what other researchers are doing and to connect with fellow academics. I’m not very active on it, so I’m sure I’m not getting all the value I can. I can also see how non-academics may simply be interested in following the research in certain areas long before it is published.

Like many platforms, you can follow people and they will be notified that you are a follower, but they don’t necessarily have to follow you back. In addition to posting your own research, you can post blogs, teaching documents, conference presentations and ask questions within a certain research topic.

As always, we want to hear what you have to say. Have you used Do you find it useful?

Tech Tools for Healthy Living

In our last post, Blake mentioned a few fitness apps we use to help keep ourselves on track. In fact, the whole idea of using technology to help achieve fitness goals has been quite the hot topic recently, so we thought we would share some more info on the apps or other tools we’ve used or read about.

MapMyTracks Outfront

  • Map My Tracks OutFront or MapMyRun-These apps are fairly similar and we use them on our iPhones simply as a GPS to map new walking or running routes. They keep track of distance, calories and pace which we can only assume are fairly accurate, but for us, the general numbers are good enough. You can also connect them to Facebook and Twitter if that will help hold you accountable. Personally, I think those people are annoying.

Nike Training Club

  • Nike Training Club-Holy crap, this app will kick your ass. It has a lot of great workouts that range from 15 to 45 minutes all sorted by category. On those mornings where I would give anything to skip my run, sometimes a 15 or 30 minute workout in my pjs is the perfect compromise and almost always leaves me sore. The best part is—most of the workouts don’t require any equipment at all.


  • My Fitness Pal-Blake and a lot of our friends use this one to track their diets and exercise. It’s basically a food journal that tracks calories and other nutrition information. The people I know who use it say it helps them think about their eating habits. The best part is that the app only makes the POSITIVE public. No showing the world you went over your calorie goal, but they do get to see that you kicked booty in the kick boxing class. I, however, don’t think I am mentally stable enough to see every calorie I eat.
  • PandoraPandora or Songza-I personally don’t listen to music when I work out, mainly because I run on the street and it isdangerousand I would rather listen to the ocean anyway. However, if you are one of those people that like music to help get you going, or live in a cold weather climate, a music app is must-have. Nobody wants to pay and download every song they listen to so online listening apps are essential. I’m a big Pandora fan and even pay to not have ads. Songza is also pretty cool in that the app gives you music stations based on an activity or mood you select – a great way to discover that 80’s hair bands can boost your cardio output!


  • Fooducate-Neither of us have tried this one, but after seeing it on TV (possibly on Today? Can’t remember) and reading about it, I am intrigued. The app allows you to scan the barcode on a food product and it will then pull up the nutrition information and offer healthier alternatives.

These are just a tiny sampling of the tools out there to help you meet your fitness goals and maybe make the journey more enjoyable. Are there any others you would like to recommend? Also, for you San Diego readers—if you ever want to go for a run or hike, hit us up 🙂