Meet IVY Member Allyssa Kaiser, a self-proclaimed “woman with grit” and advertising executive at social, digital, and technology company, MRY. Connect with her on IVY to hear her top insights into social media marketing, advertising, and how to launch your own personal brand.

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What are your three top social media tips to IVY Members, especially when it comes to building your own brand? 

I get this question a lot from friends and colleagues, and it always makes me laugh. It’s incredible that as professionals who work in the field of selling consumers on brands, we often struggle to market ourselves.

Three simple yet overlooked concepts come to mind when talking about building my own brand.

1) Invest in authenticity.

Authenticity is law in social media. Brands and individuals cannot be afraid to be personable, to have a point-of-view. Each social media channel has its role, however I often find that people are stifled by their own self-censorship.

Twitter is my most authentic channel of communication. It’s where I post about my passions (advertising, sports, travel), and it’s where I’m truest to myself. I made a decision many years ago to invest my time in this platform due to its public nature. What I think is beautiful about this platform over others is its ability to connect people around the world with similar interests.

2) Have a plan.

Consistency is key to establishing a qualified network. It’s important to know what you stand for and select content that supports those values or passion points. Be proactive in content selection and creation.

3) Engage with great minds that think alike.

The goal of brand building, at the end of the day, is to meet like-minded folk. Social media is not a soapbox, a one-way street. It’s a dialogue.

How can social media marketing change the world? What projects are you personally most proud of? 

Social media has made the world “glocal.” Through today’s most popular platforms, you can reach someone on the other side of the world or in your local neighborhood. The growing idea of “community,” bringing people together who have similar values or goals, is the foundation of every social media platform. LinkedIn brings professionals across industries together and is successfully overhauling the traditional practices of networking and talent recruitment.

One thing I’m passionate about is sports, and the sports world has been transformed over the past decade by social media and technology. In-stadium experiences are becoming more seamless, from mobile ticketing and apps to beacon alerts and experiential activations. Snapchat and Twitter make it easier for fans to connect and share their team allegiance.

The projects I’ve been most proud of in recent years have been the ones the ones that have helped connect fans to “the game”and I’ve been fortunate to work with a variety of brands and their sponsorships for events like the FIFA World Cup, the MLB World Series, and the Super Bowl.

How has content consumption changed in the last 5 years, and where do you think it will be in 10-15 years?

Content is becoming more contextualized. With the introduction of the Apple Watch, wearables, and innovations in tech every year, we see content becoming more relevant. Starbucks can reach you when you’re passing one of its locations and target you with a coupon for coffee. Brands used to rely on print, TV, direct mail, and OOH to achieve the same goal. What this means for consumers, like you and I, is a better, higher quality overall experience with brands.

In what ways has journalism been affected by social media? What changes can we expect, and are they positive/negative? 

There’s far less fact-checking. Something can go viral in hours, and it’s harder to ensure quality reporting. On the flip side, journalism is now a low barrier effort. Anyone can flex his or her journalistic muscles.

Us New Yorkers do it every day. Ever experienced a subway delay and tweeted out a picture of the crowd waiting on the platform? You’re a journalist.

Social media also gives a voice to the disenfranchised. With this accessibility to Twitter and other social networks, we’ve also seen a reduced chance of bias. Recent national discourse on topics like the legalization of marijuana, Ferguson, and minimum wage have prompted powerful discussion online amongst everyday people, as well as news figures. Journalism is no longer limited to the major news stations.

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How can a community like IVY help support you?

What makes the IVY community special is its diversity across the verticals. Having an audience of experts across different fields allows me to connect with the people I need to. I’ve engaged the community to support me in my personal career endeavors, fundraising goals for my favorite organizations, and for networking.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

There is no substitute for hard work.” -Thomas Edison

In this industry, I have learned that a lot of young people are unwilling to put in the effort. We (Millennials) live in a world of instant gratification. We post pictures on Instgram and tweets with the expectation of ‘likes’ and responses within seconds.

Unfortunately, the rewards model our minds operate on is not always aligned with our careers.

The best advice I’ve received over the years has been to have perseverance.

Perhaps beat only by a handful of career paths, advertising is one of the most demanding careers a 20-something can have. Success in the industry is often defined by who’s sacrificed the most sleep, who’s the latest to work a 90-hour week, who’s cancelled the most important social event to get the job done. We define our success by sacrifice.

It can be intimidating. But for those who put in the work, it can be incredibly rewarding.

What is your most audacious life goal?

A few years ago, I watched a TED Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth called “The Key to Success? Grit.” In the video, found here, she talks about the concept of “grit,” defined as passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. It’s stamina. It’s the motivation to work hard and long.

Even at a young age, I have known myself to be a “gritty” person. In fact, much of my success in the advertising industry and in my life overall, I attribute to having the determination to achieve.

My most audacious life goal is to be a woman with grit. To be a woman with grit means you are someone with passion, integrity, and unrelenting courage.

Whether it’s establishing myself as a thought leader in industry trades or putting pen to paper on my plans to start my own agencya goal of mine since my undergraduate years at Syracusemy focus is on continuing to live a life of “grit.”

Allyssa Kaiser is an IVY Member (NYC). Connect and collaborate with her here! To learn more about IVY, please visit