In her own words: Social-strategy manager Allegra Demerjian

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your company and what you do.

Allegra Demerjian: Abbi Agency is a public relations and digital media firm. We work on getting placements for our clients on the PR side, and on my side we work on their Web sites, blogs, social media and connecting online. As digital manager, I oversee all of our social media and social media strategies. We also get into SEO/SEM, working with the back-end of Web sites, keywords and Google Adwords.

NNBW: How did you get into this profession?

Demerjian: As a recent graduate of the university, I interned here and wasn’t really sure what side of public relations/advertising I wanted to go into, and I just fell in love with social media. I am fascinated by the fact that it changes all the time. I am never bored. It’s something I just happened into and really clicked with.

NNBW: You mentioned that changes happen very quickly in this space — how do you keep abreast of digital communications strategies when they are constantly shifting?

Demerjian: We try to plan out three months at a time for our clients to give ourselves some kind of structure. But we also are flexible — if a new technology came out tomorrow and we wanted to put it into play for one of our clients we could drop everything and figure out how to make that work. We are very nimble and always researching to see the next best thing that’s coming out, the next technology and what all the big brands are doing in the digital space make sure we are competitive.

NNBW: What aspect or tool in digital media do you find to be most effective? What medium gives you the most traction?

Demerjian: It really depends on what type of business or client we are working with. With digital, it’s very dependent on what the audience looks like. If we are looking to target 18- to 25-year-olds, we would look at different social media outlets to target than we would women aged 40 to 55. For the older crowd, we use to Facebook a lot — that’s the social medium they frequently are on and understand and interact with. Reaching out to younger crowds, there’s a lot of power behind Instagram; it’s so visually driven.

NNBW: What resources do you use to come up with new strategies in the digital space?

Demerjian: It’s a combination of a few things. We do a lot of research to make sure we are on top of the big brands and how we can apply that to the brands we are working on. We also look at what the audience is doing and their online habits. Earlier this year quizzes became huge on Facebook — “Find out what kind of dessert you are” — and we decided to create a few for our clients. One got over 2,500 shares on Facebook, and that viral content all linked back to the Web site. We also have regular meetings to look at what is popular in social and how we can do to strategize on our end to do things that aren’t being done elsewhere.

NNBW: What do you like most about your works?

Demerjian: I enjoy the fact that with social and digital media we can talk directly with our clients. A lot of times in PR, you are pitching someone and they take your brand and write it however they see fit. We are able to connect directly with followers and speak on behalf of that brand, and it’s great to see the audience feedback. I really like the fact that I can directly connect with people.

NNBW: What was your very first job?

Demerjian: I worked as a summer intern at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. I spent the whole summer scanning documents.

NNBW: If you could do anything, what would be your dream job?

Demerjian: Star in a Broadway show. I love singing, and it’s something I was really involved with in high school.

NNBW: How do you like to spend your time away from work?

Demerjian: I try to work out when I can. I really enjoy cooking and shopping in local spots — my friends and I love to go thrift shopping. I’ve been trying to get outside more, so I’ve been going hiking or getting up to Tahoe as often as I can. I just try to disconnect and relax.

NNBW: What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?

Demerjian: It shifted a lot. I wanted to be the Tooth Fairy for a really long time, and for a while I wanted to be President of the United States. In high school I stopped wondering what I wanted to be because I couldn’t figure it out, so I came into college not knowing and just found something I really enjoyed.

NNBW: What’s something you can do that no one else can?

Demerjian: I can pop my toes, and it really freaks out my friends and roommates.

NNBW: What’s the last sporting event you attended?

Demerjian: A UNR football game.

NNBW: What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?

Demerjian: A marriage of having fun activities and relaxation. Going to a resort where you can spend half the time hanging out and half doing fun things so you have those memories and pictures.

NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like most about working/living here?

Demerjian: I was lucky enough graduating recently to work my way into a career here. I love Reno for so many reasons. I love the seasons and the weather here. I have really fallen in love with everything Reno is doing and how it’s changing. I love the people here and it’s a really good place to start my career.


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