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Work It Wednesday - Raphaela Mandel

This Work It Wednesday is pretty special, because it features one of our first EVER community managers, Raphaela Mandel. And you know what? We'll let you in on a little secret. She was actually the brains behind Work It Wednesday! We LOVE celebrating our current and former employees wins so we think you should take a listen, too ;).

  1. First off, tell us a little about you. Who IS Raphaela Mandel?

Well, that's a pretty deep question! I guess the best way to describe me is simple yet complicated. I like the simple things in life. I like to spend time at home, I'm very much a home-body. I'm a very proud dog mom and my pup, Xuxa (pronounced Shu-Sha) is one of my best friends. She truly brightens my day. I can be very headstrong and like to have my opinion heard. It's something I typically take pride in because I was always taught, by family and mentors, to speak my mind with grace and respect.

I absolutely love football and hockey and you can typically find me browsing the Sportsnet app every morning. My teams are both based in Pittsburgh - for a very personal reason connected to my late uncle who taught me to always bleed black and yellow (Sorry, Toronto and my boyfriend!) I enjoy reading books - typically fiction or memoirs. I like to take moments of self-reflection and am truly trying to make time for personal wellness because I think having a sound mind and soul is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

2. How did you realize your passion for public relations and social media?

It's a weird story, actually. When I was in my young teens, I would look at billboards and fancy events and would wonder who was behind all of the publicity. Obviously, I didn't know what "publicity" was, but I do now! I usually just called it "the exciting news" - oh, how naive I once was. I educated myself throughout university (despite being law school-bound) and switched programs into second year by, with vigor, tossing out my english textbook and leaving the class. Can you tell I was being dramatic?

I realized there was so much more to learn so I sat down with a professor of mine and picked his brain for hours. I learned I wanted to be a part of Humber College's prestigious post-graduate certificate class and from there, I made it my mission to get there and I accomplished my goal.

I find something truly invigorating about this profession and what it does. I'm constantly being challenged to think of creative ways to reach the media and the public. It's also empowering to see what a company's influence is on the general public. It's great to actually tell a story and say something meaningful.

With social media, I've always loved it. Although, now, I'm taking a bit of a break - again, personal wellness - I still find it amazing how everyone has an influence and can share their voice online. It's a beautiful and powerful thing.

3. A little birdie told us you used to #workit at Work It Social! How has your experience here helped you grow your career?

Ah, yes! I did! My experience working with Work It Social helped me understand it's important to know every aspect of your audience. No matter if your client is an energy company or a fashion label. Your audience matters and anyone who says differently, is stupid.

4. When it comes to managing social for different brands, what do you find are the biggest challenges?

I don't do it anymore however, when I did, it was tough. You have to wear multiple hats and be quick on your toes. Again, you have to think of your audience and what you can provide them and what they provide you.

5. What advice do you have for others looking to build a career in public relations?

Jeez, I have so much. I'm actually starting a new site called: Here's The Story - launch date is TBD. And I'll share a bunch of my tips there. BUT, if I had to choose one big piece of advice it would be: don't hold back, take a leap of faith, and take no shit (excusez mon français).

6. Social media is constantly evolving. How do you stay up to date and on trends?

You bet it is. One day people are talking about slime and the next it's about glitter eyebrows (WTF!) To be honest, I simply read the news. It sounds archaic but long live newspapers! I read Globe and Mail every day. I grew up with it. I peruse social media and simply see similarities. I don't think too much about it and simply recognize it and make sure to bring it up when relevant to my clients and campaigns.

7. Let's spread the love! Who are you favourite people/brands to follow on social these days?

Ouuuu there are so many I love. I'd definitely say:

Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star - speaks for themselves. I don't care how old you are, you need to know what's happening around you.

Literally any dog account - not kidding. I love: Mervin The Chihuahua, Doug The Pug, The Dogist, The Puppy Town, Tuna, and Marnie The Dog.

Obviously my core: Sportsnet, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL. Mainly because of my boyfriend I follow The Raptors....and they're pretty damn awesome.

8.How do you #workit everyday?

I try to start every day with a fresh mind and heart. I try not to take things too seriously and be the best version of myself. I'm only human, but I try to #workit every day. Maybe not when it's a Saturday my sweats.....watching Harry Potter. BUT YOU GET ME.

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