Erica was interviewed by one of our fall 2013 interns, Taylor Eben. Taylor is a student at Chestnut Hill College. She”s an active member of the student government association and is an avid fan of the Real Housewives.
If Erica Palan had a Real Housewives tagline, it would be: “Suck less. Be more awesome.”Since joining ChatterBlast as an account manager in August, she puts her awesomeness and creative talent to good use by blogging, posting and tweeting (and responding to angry people who get parking tickets, of course) for the Philadelphia Parking Authority, AARP PA, Crossroads Hospice and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Her clients are all very busy, so her services are much appreciated. “I like feeling useful, and it’s very easy to feel useful in this kind of position,” Erica says.
Hailing from Northeast Philly, the Temple U journalism grad recently made the move from Fairmount to Fishtown. The relocation didn’t come easily, though. “I was not psyched to move there, but Fishtown is the best,” she says. “I feel like it’s kind of the best of both worlds.” Her neighborhood has a small-town feel with a good mix of young and old, and everyone looks out for each other. “On the weekends I don’t ever feel like I need to come into Center City because there’s so much to do in my neighborhood.”
A journalist at heart, Erica came to ChatterBlast after working as the digital managing editor of Philadelphia magazine. Before that, she was the arts and culture editor at Philadelphia Weekly and she has taught journalism classes at Temple University. Erica loves incorporating her media background into her work at CBM. With social media, “everybody has the ability to be an authority and everybody has the ability to share information,” she explains. “When I tweet out that [the PPA] just released a press release about scooters, I’m sharing information with people, and that’s one hundred percent what I did when I was a journalist. A lot of the same things apply.”
According to Erica a lot of Philly reporters have Twitters worth following. Take the Inquirer Education Reporter Kristen Graham (@newskag) as an example. “I think she is just such a rock star on Twitter. She does a great job of using it to share news, but she’ll also tweet about the Phillies and her new baby who is very cute.” Jim Gardner (pictued above), who Erica describes as her “personal hero,” is great on Twitter, too.
When she isn’t hanging out with her boyfriend Matt and their two cats, Oink and Rosalita, you can probably find Erica at Oscar’s on 15th and Sansom (at best online casino least on Friday nights). A self-described “creature of habit,” her guilty pleasures include reality TV. “Right now I’m very invested in Teen Mom 3.”
Erica spends a lot of time on social networks, but she doesn’t have a single favorite. “I like Facebook for keeping up with my family. I converse more with friends on Twitter and I use [Twitter] way more for social intelligence. Twitter is also probably my primary news source at this point. The one I enjoy using the most is definitely Instagram.”
Her favorite part of working at ChatterBlast is the yin and yang partnership between Creative Director Matt and CEO Evan. “Matt brings all of his creative juice and he’s really bold in this thinking, and so is Evan, but Evan is great at running a business. They complement each other really well.”
As an account manager, Erica loves being able to teach her clients about social media and offer them a service. “The most rewarding part of my job is when I get to help my clients who either don’t know about social media or don’t have time to care about social media because they all have so much to do,” she says. “All of my clients are super-busy people, so it’s really rewarding to me when I can offer a service to them and feel useful.”