Episode 029 – Heather Martin, Integration Specialist for Heritage Werks

Heather Martin

On this week’s episode, Bobbi-Sue speaks with Heather Martin, Integration Specialist for Heritage Werks. While her title and company don’t sound super “sporty,” her current role gives her access to some really cool sports history. Previously, she worked in the athletics department at Pepperdine University and the Detroit Pistons. The conversation goes from how hard it must have been to choose the most beautiful university in the US for college to how social media can make or break someone’s brand. Heather’s time at Pepperdine started just as the internet became a “thing” and continued until Twitter became commonplace. She talks a lot about the things she did as a student employee that lead to her full-time post-graduate position.

Big thanks to this week’s sponsors: Simple Contacts and Ruby Receptionists! There’s a special offer for Simple Contacts in the episode, go find it.

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Additional Show Notes:
  • Watching sports with her family is how she fell in love with the industry.
  • Heather was a cheerleader in junior high and high school
  • An attempt at volleyball didn’t work out so well for Heather.
  • Heather chose Pepperdine for college. It was suuuuuuuuuch a tough choice.
  • Initially, she was a history major – thinking about political science as a path.
  • For “fun money” while she was in school, she had to get a job. The student employment office had a binder full of jobs and they needed an admin assistant in the athletics department.
  • She shifted over to a public relations major – they didn’t have a marketing major at the time.
  • Heather stayed at the same job the entire time she was studying at Pepperdine.
  • Her hard work paid off when the front office administrator resigned. The AD offered to hire a temp and give Heather the full-time role after graduation.
  • Heather shares some of the things she did as a student employee that put her in a good position.
  • Between her freshman and sophomore year, they held the NCAA’s Div. I Women’s Tennis Championships and Heather took on a large role.
  • Curiosity is a key to success. Sometimes being a “generalist” can be a selling point.
  • Ended up getting her master’s degree while she was working full-time in the athletic’s department.
  • Ask a lot of questions – all the time!
  • Bobbi-Sue talks about how hard commission plans are to put together and how she asks a lot of questions.
  • Heather’s time at Pepperdine spanned from when there was DOS-based email to the Twitterverse.
  • There is a lot of discussion about signature blocks and how hard it was to get everyone doing the same thing.
  • Her first hire was Kevin Brezinski who was a former tennis player and super passionate.
  • She then hired Catherine Williams who was the first “social” hire. She had been with the Falcons as an intern. One of the things that Catherine had been doing was speaking with football players about how to use social to help move their brand forward. This was huge for Heather’s team. In fact, she taught Heather a lot personally. Always surround yourself with smarter people!
  • Quite a bit of discussion about social media and how it can help or hurt your brand.
  • It’s OK to have an opinion but pose it in a professional way. Heather did this recently in a great way and the women discuss that example.
  • How has Heather moved from one job to another even when those jobs don’t seem related? Drill down to the skills that each requires.
  • Don’t get caught up in title or department. Bobbi-Sue uses herself as an example.
  • What on earth is Heritage Werks? It’s an archival business – items including documents are stored at Smithsonian quality. With regards to sports, it could be old footage, pictures, memorabilia. Heritage Werks will provide access to the items digitally so that teams can use it for content. And their items are being held safely.
  • Heather shares a great example of the first woman drafted to an NBA team (it was voided by the league) and then the first attempt at a women’s league.
  • Self-Care: Unplugging and relaxing

Quotable moments:

  • “It lasts forever. Even if you delete it.”
  • “People don’t understand the power of the brand… all the way down to your personal brand.”
  • “There are tools that can help you but they’re the same ones that can hinder you.”
  • “You can’t teach or force maturity.”
  • “What would I be willing to say in front of my mom?”
  • “When you read a job description: what does it take to do what they’re asking?”
  • “It’s looking at the stories that your business or company is telling, from a multitude of angles.”
  • “It’s like searching for treasures every day.”

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