Gina Deen, PR and Social Media

I'm Gina and I'm and Social Influence Planner

Describe your job

I consider myself one of the lucky ones. My role as a Social Influence Planner is exciting, varied and constantly evolving.

It allows me to work with everyone across the agency; from employee to corporate to consumer PR to collaborating with creatives to mapping out digital with our tech specialists. My day-to-day is all about connecting, helping and problem solving – across all clients and disciplines in the social and influencer space. No two days are the same, but a lot of what I do involves coming up with strategic solutions, conducting audience analysis, developing campaign strategies and match-making influencers with brands.

My job also requires me to have my “finger on the pulse” 24/7. I’m used as a go-to for all things social by the wider agency, so it’s imperative that I keep up to date with the latest trends, influencer collabs and platform updates in order for our campaigns to make sense, run smoothly and get real results.

In the background I’m also usually doing a fair share of chatting to influencers and/or their agents about campaigns, negotiating with them on deliverables and getting contracts drawn up and signed too.

What are the most important skills you need to do your job?

  • Lots of experience with (and a real passion for) social media and influencers, understanding its/their potential and its/their limitations

  • Able to come up with creative ideas, born out of insight

  • Good communicator and have the ability to translate jargon

  • People person – and that means socialising and getting pissed down the pub as much as it does being able to schmoose and placate clients

  • Have to be good at (and enjoy) doing extensive research and problem solving

  • Clue is in the title – but the ability to forward think, plan and organise is key

  • Unmatched attention to detail – I need to spot the problems or pain points that otherwise go unnoticed

  • Confidence – I work with people from all across the business so you need to be able to have (sometimes challenging) conversations with just about anyone, and stand your ground when necessary too

  • Ability to react quickly within a fast-paced environment – where a lot of the work I do goes into pitches and new business, the asks are usually big and in a small time-frame so you’ve got to be able to keep up (and keep your cool)

  • Ability to work within a team as well as with clients – a lot of the time I’m left to my own devices, but I

  • A love for learning and trying new things

I left school and...

I had no idea what I wanted to do. I always loved English, so at the time it made sense for me to do a degree in it.

The course was great, but it was when I started my placement that I really found my groove in social and influencer comms. I made my way up through the standard PR exec route before landing my dream role in social and influencer planning - the role that I’m in now.

I’m most proud of...

CTRL Your Future for The Institute of Coding

Our task was to reach a larger, more diverse group of learners, get them inspired by digital careers and encourage them to sign up to one of the IoC’s digital skills courses.

We selected digital pioneers at the coalface of change to act as our voices and call the next generation to get involved via inspiring content, virtual experiences and IRL events:

  • Non-binary collective Digi-GXL hosted three interactive workshops –where IoC representatives were available to discuss various digital courses and the ways to pave a career in technology via a panel talk.

  • Collaboration with 9 industry experts to produce the 404 Not Found series that delved into three key issues within the digital industry (AI inequality, sustainable fashion and gaming accessibility) and raised important considerations on how they should be addressed.

  • Launched the IoCoding Club with pioneering coder, Rifke Sadleir, which consisted of three virtual tutorials where our audience were encouraged to develop their digital skills during quarantine.

  • A second, multi-layered strategy of 11 collaborators that adhered to our CTRL Your Future ethos of diversity and inclusivity in digital and ran in tandem including:

  • A one-off film featuring Black Girl Gamers, London Gaymers and Frankie Ward that focused on different barriers in the gaming world

  • Enlisting The Digital Fairy and Tina Touli to create branding and assets for owned social channels

  • Collaborating with the likes of Tomi Adebayo and Lottie L’Amour to produce blog content showcasing their career paths into digital.

Here's my favourite piece of work from the campaign:

Before I started my career, I wish I knew…

Two things.

  1. That you don’t need a degree to get to where you want to be. It wasn’t the case back when I went to uni, but so many more agencies are starting to put schemes in place that will allow anyone to apply which is absolutely awesome and way overdue.

  2. That life really is all about faking it until you make it. If I’d have known this earlier, I reckon my career would have kick-started a lot quicker.

A mistake I made which you can avoid repeating is...

It’s a mistake I’ve made countless times and will probably continue to do so forever; and that’s doubting myself and my abilities.

Self-belief is absolutely fundamental to getting to where you want to be. I’ve trained myself to start picturing someone I fancy naked whenever niggles of doubt start to creep in, and it works (about 98% of the time).

So, what’s next?

When I left my last agency, I also left behind a one-of-a-kind manager who was totally pivotal in my career. She was incredible at her job, and I hope to a) work with her again and b) follow in her footsteps to become a Social and Influence Lead at a killer agency – or set up and run a specialist agency of my own.

Here's my:

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