Next up in our staff profile series: our content marketing manager Blair Feehan.
Blair, why don’t you start with “Who are you?”
My name is Blair Feehan, and I’m the content marketing manager here at Rival IQ. And I’m also a big theatre person on the side—that’s my alter-ego.
We’ll come back to your alter-ego in a moment. What does it mean, you’re the content marketing manager?
Our team is in charge of all the words that go out of Rival IQ that don’t have to do with the product. I help write our blogs, e-mails, reports, and our social media. I try to make sure that we have a consistent voice throughout our content, and that things feel informative and analytical to help our customers become even more data-driven than they already are.
Love it. Other than the “words,” what else do you do?
I think some people might say that one of my important jobs here is I’m the fruit lady (editor’s note: Seth P. recently promoted me to CFO–that’s Chief Fruit Officer!). Every Tuesday I toddle down to Pike Place Market to grab fruit for the office, which is one of my very favorite parts of my job. It’s so fun to be at the market to see and taste what’s fresh.
Let’s go back to what you mentioned earlier: your alter-ego in the theatre world. Can you talk about what it is that you do when you’re not at Rival IQ?
I’ve been a theatre person for ages. I’ve acted, designed lights, been a sound designer, stage managed, and done just about everything in between. What I settled on really loving was theatre administration. It’s not very sexy, but it’s totally fun to help the plays happen really, really, really far behind the scenes. I’ve worked in marketing and fundraising at Seattle Repertory Theatre and On the Boards, and I’ve been on the board of Annex Theatre, a small fringe theatre up on Capitol Hill, for many years. A couple of years ago, I helped start 18th & Union, a small fringe theatre up in the Central District. You can find me volunteering my time at a couple of those places when I’m not here at Rival IQ.
There’s something else you also do when you’re not at Rival IQ, right? Is it true you’re a little bit of a book fiend?
Guilty! I love to read all different kinds of books: nonfiction and fiction, novels, sci-fi, astronomy, and everything in between. Last year, I started a project that I’ll definitely continue where I categorized my books and visualized the data within, like author gender, page numbers, genre, and more. I had the best time figuring out my ratio of fiction to nonfiction, and Kindle to audio to paper books: it was a good indication that I really wanted to work at Rival IQ, which is such a data-driven place! I love getting lost in stories, but I also had a total blast figuring out the stats of what I read last year.
What was an interesting stat from last year’s book data?
95% of the books I read last year were Kindle books! As the granddaughter of a librarian, I had a huge bias against reading on a Kindle for a long time. You can’t smell them, you don’t know how long they are, you don’t know where you are in your chapter. But a couple of years ago, I made the switch over to Kindle, and I went from reading a few dozen books a year to more than 100. Being able to check books out from the library without ever having to go to the library made such a big difference, and the joy of getting to hold this really light device in your hands really changed reading for me. So, figuring out last year how few “real” books versus Kindle books I read was a total shock to me.
Have you thrown out the real books and fully switched to Kindle?
There are several books on my nightstand, but I never reach for them. I feel like I’m betraying my grandmother. But using the magnification and backlight on my Kindle to read in the dark with no glasses wins every time.
How you use data in your day-to-day?
One of the answers definitely has to do with work. I get to use this amazing product called Rival IQ to measure our social impact. It’s so handy (#sponcon). And because I run our social media (follow us!) it’s really fun to get to take a look at that to see how we’re doing, what’s working well, and what isn’t. I lost a bunch of content recently on a website I run outside of work, and in trying to restore it I learned recently that Rival IQ backs up a lot of your website history. I had no idea that our product did that!
But the overwhelming “How does Blair use data outside of work?” answer is the book spreadsheet. And boy, have I learned a lot about integrating data with Google Data Studio and data visualizations. I think the 2018 book spreadsheet is going to blow the 2017 book spreadsheet out of the water.
You mentioned using Rival IQ — what is your favorite Rival IQ feature?
As part of my Rival IQ interview, I was tasked with writing a blog post about holiday recipes. The piece was all about how food magazines like Bon Appetit talk about cake versus pie, turkey versus ham, etc. during the food-heavy holidays. Without any prior knowledge of the product, I was able to figure out all of that information just using our Social Posts search feature. I could search for any term, like “apple pie,” to figure out which food magazines were using it, which weren’t, how often it showed up in hashtags, or a million other things. It was so easy to search for that stuff and get results that I could use immediately.
What about Rival IQ enticed you to join?
It was 100% the people. I imagine that folks who’ve read all of these staff profiles are totally sick of everybody responding like that, but it’s true.
On my audition day, it was so fun to get to be at Rival IQ for eight hours and really get to know the team. Everyone was so kind in submitting family recipes for the article I was working on and showing me the ropes in an unfamiliar office setting. I enjoyed going out to lunch with the team, and seeing how people work. And if working on these staff profiles has been any indicator, the people that I get to work with are even cooler than their first impression.
Speaking of lunch with your coworkers: When it’s your turn to order Wednesday lunch, what are you most likely to order?
I love things with rice in them. Last time I ordered Hawaiian food, and it was the best (in my totally unbiased opinion). I also love ordering Chinese. We haven’t braved sushi during my tenure—maybe one day.
So I learned something new right before this interview—tell me about drumming.
I’m a drummer! For a short, blissful period, I played in a cover band with buddies from college, where we would play whatever songs we could find that called for a guitar, a keyboard, and drums. It was a total blast, and I hope to play in another band one day again soon.
How do you use social media outside of work?
I was a Facebook and Twitter lurker for a long time. When I got hired on here, a girlfriend of mine said, “You’re going to be on Instagram in three months.” And sure enough, since I started at Rival IQ, I’ve jumped into Instagram with two feet.
Getting to hang out on Instagram Insights and learn all these amazing things that we can measure, like taps forward and exit rates in Stories, engagement, video views, and so much more, has been fun too.
Last question: what do you want your legacy at Rival IQ to be?
I hope my legacy will be not a particular product, style, report, or social strategy, but instead: Fruit o’Clock. Every day around 4:00, I like to cut up some of the aforementioned office fruit, and sometimes I would share it with my deskmates. Before long, other people got in on the idea of eating fruit at 4:00. Now, whomever has a free moment and a hankering for a snack gathers around for some tasty treats from the market. It’s such a nice time of day to connect with our coworkers away from computers, and hear what their kids are up to, or what they did over the weekend, or what their cats are doing. So, I hope Fruit o’Clock carries on, even if Rival IQ outlives me. Or whatever the less morbid version of that ending is.
Any other questions I’ve missed?
You did great.
Thank you. Coming from a master.
Yeah, exactly. Whoo, that was a long one. Nice going. That wasn’t against the wall at all.
Against the wall?
You know, I was expecting the firing squad.