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Meet The Team: Chelsie Ross and Jenny LePore

11 min read
November 27, 2019

When did you join our team at The Martin Group?

Chelsie: July 22, 2019

Jenny: August 5, 2019…we’re both TMG newbies.

What was your path to what you’re doing now?

Chelsie: After graduating from Nazareth College in 2015, I moved down to New York City where I took a Sales Assistant position at Crown Media Family Networks, a broadcast media company that produces Hallmark Channel and its subsidiary channels. I was in that role for just over a year before I moved into the Trade Marketing Coordinator role within the company. I loved working in the entertainment industry, learning how to market for two different types of sales teams across the nation as well as branding and promotional marketing tactics. I was in that position for a year and a half before I made the switch to the agency world, wanting to round out my experiences and learning opportunities. I took a position with a startup agency in Brooklyn where I was just the 15th person to be hired and had the opportunity to work with large tech companies, such as Google, Salesforce, and Crowdstrike. My time there made me hungry to take on more responsibilities in an account management role which led me to where I am today. 

Jenny: I went to Cornell for Communications and interned at a few different places throughout my four years, including at a radio station and a law firm working underneath a press secretary. My first job out of college was at our family business doing every sort of marketing and PR activity you can think of. Then, I joined an agency and my life completely changed. I realized how much I LOVED the fast-paced agency life and having PR clients from all different industries. I’ve since spent more than a decade working within the agency scene here in Rochester, even owning my own PR and Content Marketing company for a short while. Our TMG Rochester office is growing rapidly and I’m truly excited to help fuel the growth of our PR services here locally.

Who or what inspired you to work in advertising/communications?

Chelsie: Mark Weber. I went to Nazareth really wanting to get into graphics, but I can’t draw to save my life and that was a lot of the program, so Professor Weber had me take Principles of Marketing 101 and opened my eyes to be on the account/project management side and how I can still work with creative people, even if I am not one of them.

Jenny: I took nearly every communication class that my college offered from technical writing to campaign planning. I considered the idea of journalism for a hot second (like all PR Pros do). Then, I spent one summer interning with an environmental law firm in the heart of Washington, D.C. where I received my first “real” experience writing articles, pitching reporters, and attending different events. Generally, just being busy with ongoing campaign activities gave me the “PR Bug.”

What single most important piece of advice would you give to students and young designers trying to establish themselves in the industry?

Chelsie: I always stress the importance of making connections and not being afraid to lean on those connections during school time or even once in the career field that they’re seeking. You never know who you will meet at internships, networking events, or even gatherings of any kind and who may be able to help you reach your goals. So always make new connections and also be available to connect with others and help them, too. 

Jenny: Focus more on getting experience and less on finding that “perfect” job right out of college. Short-term gigs, internships, or volunteer work can all give you the right skills to be successful in your agency career. In my first job, I was building websites and producing videos, and in my last job, I was overseeing digital media and content automation programs. I now have a better understanding of the inner workings of integrated campaigns and that fuels my approach to the PR discipline.

You’re standing outside a 7-Eleven when the aliens land. They can only survive on Earth for two minutes and you only have two dollars. What snack do you buy to teach them about humanity and provide sustenance for their long journey home?

Chelsie: Reese’s Cups – duh

Jenny: Iced coffee. I’m pretty sure that’s all you need to survive, right?

What music is playing in heavy rotation right now?

Chelsie: A mix of classic rock, rap, jam bands, and electronic dance music (that’s how Spotify explains it). So, a lot of Fleetwood Mac, Post Malone, Dave Matthews Band, Galantis, Maggie Rogers, Mumford & Sons, Lizzo (obvi), other random DJs and artists. Basically, my Spotify is all over the place… much like my brain. 

Jenny: Hans Zimmer movie soundtracks. They help make writing blogs about yourself much more entertaining.

What’s the best career advice you’ve received?

Chelsie: Business is business – as “cold-hearted” as that may be, it’s the truth. You have to remember that you work for a business and that you yourself are a business, so you have to take chances and make decisions best for you at the end of the day.

Jenny: Be your own advocate and don’t be afraid to merch’ yourself! When it comes to PR, clients may not always realize how much effort it took to land that cover story. Use the coverage as an opportunity to discuss the touch points you made and the relationships you created just to make it happen.

Who’s the closest sitcom character to your real life?

Chelsie: Nick Miller with a pinch of Schmidt.

Jenny: Lesley Knope with a pinch of Ron Swanson.

We all have pet peeves, but what’s something that makes you smile for a seemingly unknown reason?

Chelsie: Nothing… well, dogs. 

Jenny: When people buy me iced coffee just because (hint hint).

What’s your favorite hobby?

Chelsie: Does playing kickball count?

Jenny: Hiking! I’m on the Crescent Trail Hiking Association Board and try to hit the trails as often as possible.

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure TV show?

Chelsie: It’s not a show, but How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Jim Carrey version. I watch all the time. I think I identify with the Grinch a lot. Oh, and Great British Bake-off; their accents alone make it worth watching.

Jenny: Toss up between New Girl and Mad Men…naturally.

What’s the last thing that made you laugh?

Chelsie: Jenny Lepore laughing at me while I attempt to answer these questions.

Jenny: Chelsie saying she identifies with the Grinch.

Biggest pet peeve?

Chelsie: People that have to talk over others to feel validation and open mouth gum chewers.

Jenny: People who judge my coffee habit.

What would you say are the three most-used apps on your phone?

Chelsie: Spotify, Snapchat, Instagram

Jenny: Dunkin Donuts. Instacart. Facebook. Says a lot about me, huh?

If you had three things you could pack on a trip for a few days, what would those three things be?

Chelsie: Well, where am I taking this trip? Will it be cold weather or warm weather to prepare for? How am I getting there? And honestly, who is paying for this trip because my budget is to save for two weddings I am in and attending in 2020, so I can’t be spending all willy nilly on a trip right now… 

Jenny: Initially, I thought eyeliner, phone, and credit card. Then I remembered my last trip included all three of my children and the real answer should be snacks, snacks, and more snacks. It’s amazing how much toddlers eat in a short car trip, let alone a few days.

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