Getting to Know: Sarah Gillman

At WHOSAY, creative culture is everything. Our company has defined itself as a creatively-driven business. We aim for resilience, curiosity and bravery to bring the best work to our clients. Most importantly, we really care for and serve the brands we work with. At WHOSAY, great creative work is everyone’s agenda.

One of the WHOSAYers who lives by this mantra is our OG and Director, Activation & Branded Content, Sarah Gillman. She is our newest guest in the series "Getting to Know You," where we get to showcase the outstanding members of our team and their journey within the company they’ve helped build into the world’s largest and most-trusted influence marketer—now a Viacom company.

WHOSAY: What’s the first thing you do as soon as you arrive in the office?
Sarah Gillman: I have a 20-minute internal debate if I’m going to order eggs on Seamless or not. If Meredith Sammons was still here in NYC sitting next to me, I’d lose the battle every day.

WS: What’s a typical day at WHOSAY like?
SG: Some combination of working on proposals or campaigns, working with the sales or media teams, updating process, creating new materials, and more recently getting to know Viacom.

WS: What’s the most challenging part of your job? And what’s the part you enjoy the most?
SG: The most challenging part of my job is trying to make everyone happy (internal teams, clients, talent) and realizing that’s not always possible. You just have to zero in on the best plan with the best outcome for the circumstances. You can only control the things you can control.

The best parts are working with an amazing group of smart strong individuals, overcoming unexpected campaign challenges and working on WHOSAY firsts like the Google Pixel campaign this winter.

WS: What is your role at WHOSAY?
SG: It’s ever-changing—I go where I’m needed! Officially, I help lead the Creative Services Department with Jenna and Kyle. I help grow and evolve the team to meet the increasing volume of RFPs and campaigns, improve the process and creative output, create new products and materials, work with other departments to find efficiencies and keep our team ahead of the curve. The newest part of the role is working with Velocity.

WS: Who’s the nicest icon, trailblazer, influencer or micro-influencer talent you’ve worked with at WHOSAY?
SG: The nicest is Jared Padalecki. I worked with him on McDonald’s 1.0 and Chevy Day It Forward 2 years ago. He’s such an awesome all around guy. Other extremely talented cool people are Jay Pharaoh, Olivia Munn, Sutton Foster, Anders Holm and Vernon Davis. And all the micro-influencers are nice. They're just normal people!

WS: Who is someone at WHOSAY that inspires you and why?
SG: I'm most inspired by the entire activation crew. That is what gets me excited about WHOSAY and our future. It’s seeing how strong and airtight the team is and how they pull off amazing feats daily. I really think they are all brilliant!

WS: What was your job before coming to WHOSAY?
SG: I worked at a PR agency, which wasn't really my thing. I wanted to do social and digital content creation, but that's not a big part of PR. Then I met Ilan Bass and that cheeky British fellow pulled me into the madness at WHOSAY. Thanks, Bass!

WS: What’s your secret life hack and/or productive hack?
SG: I’m not really into hacks but I am a big fan of Excel trackers. I also like GIFs and Emojis 🤔

WS: What don’t most people know about you?
SG: I invented toaster strudel.

WS: What do you want to achieve in the near and/or long-term?
SG: Creating an organic viral campaign is top of my list. Also selling through a really cool Velocity / WHOSAY collaboration.

WS: Share your advice with aspiring young people who want to break into your industry
SG: There are plenty of opportunities if you search them out. Lead with your enthusiasm and try to bring something different to the role. OH and always research the company before an interview 🙂

WS: What’s unique about your company?
SG: They let you bring dogs to work, no one knows how to recycle, and our CEO curses a lot…he also likes to wear wigs.

WS: What are your favorite books or quotes?
SG: There are only a few books I’ll reread - "Great Gatsby," "Pride and Prejudice," "Harry Potter"

WS: What is the best advice you have ever received?
SG: We go into so many situations in life thinking “I hope this person thinks I’m cool, smart, funny” and we forget the other person is usually thinking “I hope this person thinks I’m cool, smart, funny” too. It’s not advice, but once someone pointed it out to me it changed my perspective on a lot of situations.

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.