Getting to Know You: WHOSAY OG Alex Marin Is Proud to Help Disrupt Advertising as We Know It
Resilience, curiosity, bravery, service, care, and teamwork are just some of the characteristics that define every member of our WHOSAY team.
Founded in 2010, WHOSAY is built from the best of entertainment, technology, and advertising. The people that power WHOSAY are an incredible blend of advertising, technology and media professionals that foster a wonderful spirit of creativity, innovation, and commitment. Today you will get to know another one of our team’s members; Alex Marin, Social Editor.
WHOSAY: What’s the first thing you do as soon as you arrive in the office?
Alex Marin: More like, as soon as I wake up! I check on WHOSAY’s social accounts to make sure we promptly like, favor and/or answer any interactions with our followers. I also like to triple-check that there aren’t any embarrassing typos or other inaccuracies in our content—though our community is pretty good at catching these on the fly.
WS: What is your role at WHOSAY?
AM: [WHOSAY CEO] Steve Ellis hired me in the fall of 2013 to increase the social footprint of what was then a celebrity marketplace designed to empower talent to tell their own story via social media. When Ellis figured out the next logical step, influencer marketing, I was in charge of re-envisioning our content under the leadership of our new CMO Paul Kontonis. Think of us as the comms/PR part of the marketing team. I also like to think of myself as a copywriter, probably not as fun as the ones who come up with our amazing campaigns on the creative side, but one that nonetheless is proud to help write the story of this company that has come to disrupt advertising as we know it.
WS: What’s the most challenging part of your job? And what’s the part you enjoy the most?
AM: The most challenging part about managing our social and brand content is being the brand’s gatekeeper, which means lots of folks think that it’s an easy job —and they’re usually vocal about it. It’s something that sort of bothered me in my days as a junior social media guy but, as I’ve matured in this industry, I’ve learned how to take constructive feedback while also sticking to my guns when I need to. Needless to say, this has become my favorite part of the role.
WS: Who is someone at WHOSAY that inspires you and why?
AM: I have to say [Steve] Ellis. Honestly, during our growing pains years there were moments when it wasn’t totally clear where the whole thing was going. But once Steve figured it out and laid out his vision, everything clicked. I give him credit for being one of the early proponents of changing the interruptive nature of mobile advertising and helping move the industry towards a more experience-based phase that goes beyond the smartphone and into interacting with brands and talent in real life.
WS: What was your job before coming to WHOSAY?
AM: From 2011 to 2013, I was the News Editor for millennial news site Mic (previously, PolicyMic). I helped them reach their first million uniques (which eventually became 10 million and so on) in the golden era of organic SEO. I then proceeded to do the same on their social channels by using listicles, curiosity gap and emotional appeal to keep engaging our audience right before the advent of sponsored posts. It was a digital gold rush of sorts. Those were the times!
WS: What’s your secret life hack and/or productive hack?
AM: Aside from keeping multiple digital lists, calendars and documents to streamline my content managing, I still like to write everything down using a pen and a piece of paper. Manually writing to do lists, and then marking the items off as they’re successfully completed, has a way of providing a sense of calm and closure when things get hectic.
WS: What don’t most people know about you?
AM: I’m a trained dancer (ballet, modern and hip-hop). It all started as a 12-year-old when I wanted to transition from the swimming to the diving team and the coach told me to grab the ballet barre to gain some flexibility. I never went back to the swimming pool. Eventually, I gave up dance, too. The life of an artist is too painful (literally and figuratively).
I'm also addicted to traveling. You can follow my adventures on Instagram. Here are some of my favorite posts/places:
WS: What do you want to achieve in the near and/or long-term?
AM: I’m a geek a heart. So, I’d love to reconnect with academia and maybe be part of a badass research team to help solve the big picture challenges of this fascinating industry. I’m interested in how technology changes human behavior and what are some of the long-term consequences of these shifts. Eventually, I’d also like to consult pro bono for underprivileged communities to help them galvanize the power of social media in order to achieve their goals.
WS: Share your advice with aspiring young people who want to break into your industry
AM: Get comfortable with getting out of your comfort zone. Change is the only constant in this business.
WS: What’s unique about your company?
AM: We truly believe in human creativity as a force for problem-solving and innovation. No amount of AI will ever defeat the human mind in this regard.
WS: What are your favorite books?
AM: My favorite books ever are "Cien Años de Soledad" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain.
WS: What is the best advice you have ever received?
AM: Hit the ground running.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU is a series of interviews with the WHOSAY team.
Previously, in Getting to Know You: Katina Kontarakis, West Coast Account Director, Mike Swart, Head of Shopping Marketing, Lisa Bryant, Marketing Manager, Sam Jones, Master Storyteller, Kay Blair, Digital Media Buyer, Joel Ponce, Account Director, Caitlin Curry, Account Manager, Josh Venkataraman, Campaign Activation Coordinator, Jenna Sereni, VP Marketing & Creative Services, Anthony 'Hootz' Taylor, Sr. Manager, Creative Services and Nate Anderson, Creative Lead.