Sarah Dull started her career in communications in the sports industry.
While earning her bachelor's in Sports Media and a masters in Sports Industry Management, Sarah spent about nine years working in some form of athletic PR or communications. She says her strong connection to sports came from growing up in a household full of brothers where sports helped her develop a special bond with her dad and her family.
But in 2013, she left sports communications to join The Hershey Company in Brand PR and Consumer Engagement. “I think they're great career paths to compare because both jobs are fast-moving and high-profile,” SocialMedia.org member Sarah says.
“I felt proud to be a part of Milton Hershey's legacy and grateful to be a part of change in the organization.”
“Although the company is over 100 years old, it's unique in how it changes each year — consumers change, the world changes.”
She says it was that opportunity for change that drew her to the corporate side of The Hershey Company in 2015. She was well-versed in the company and culture and was ready to work on some big projects — like defining their corporate social media voice.
The Hershey Company launched their first corporate social media presence July 2015.
“We realized how important it was to have a voice out there,” Sarah says. “Because we didn't have one, we couldn't be a part of conversations or understand what was going on in social media.”
They were missing opportunities to speak directly to audiences like investors, CPG companies, BtoB customers, and prospective employees. “We weren't giving them the opportunity to see the company from a social perspective,” she says.
Working on the corporate side also opened Sarah's eyes to Hershey's social responsibility efforts. For example, she helped launch a social innovation project to help tell the story of their Nourishing Minds program which supports children across the globe with basic nutritional needs.
This month, Sarah also helped launch a Twitter campaign focused on inclusion and diversity.
Sarah is the only Hershey's employee working in corporate social media.
Five other team members work with brand social channels. They sit in The Hershey Company's social center, called H-Pulse, a command center set up to make their work visible to the entire organization.
But as a part of the corporate communications team, Sarah sits in a completely different building. She works with a director, an editorial strategist, a digital engagement strategist, and their “editor-in-chief” who helps execute communications.
Together the team developed their 2016 priorities focused on things like the transformation of the retail landscape, their changing relationship with the consumer, and talking about what it's like to work at The Hershey Company.
Sarah's 2016 priorities include elevating the brand's thought leadership in social media.
Through employee ambassadorship, she hopes to create a “culture of sharing” to not only help people build their own personal brand, but also elevate the company brand.
“We have a great sense of pride here and people love what we do. Many of us are here in a town with the manufacturing plants surrounding us, and those people are even more excited to share their story. Once we get it right here, we can get started with replicating it across the globe.”
Find Sarah on Twitter and ask about her favorite sports teams to work with. Sarah's been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2016.