Interviewed by Lina Chong, Analyst at Hasso Plattner Ventures.
Welcome to Berlin! What brings you to our sexy tech city?
I joined the Fox team to become their Head of European Marketing/PR and Events. Being a fox really means being quick on your feet because our startup has an amazing growth potential – and every day we push it to the next level.
You are now a woman in a role of leadership, but coming from social media, what were some of the criticisms of your job of online communications?
Adopting the right voice can be a challenge for people. Social media is an online personality – I would normally suggest you decide if you are your brand or separate from your brand(s). People have to be aware of which persona they create online, it can be vulnerable, permanent and even damaging to a reputation because you quickly attract admirers or haters or even worse – indifference meaning no one is paying attention. Try to stick with one theme and be an expert in it – or be extremely entertaining, those are your best bets in developing a following. Criticisms in social media is that sometimes people share too much content. Sometimes a bit of mystery never hurts, right?
What are some of the responsibilities a social media maven has?
Depends on who you are and what your goals are. Ultimately, your responsibility is to make sure your communication does not mislead anyone or create life damaging rumors or gossip, because news spreads like wildfire on the internet and can be permanent digital ink. It’s the old television principle where if it’s on the internet it “must be true”, much like how back in the day, if it was on television “it must be real” – but this was before reality tv hit the air and social media became a career. I mean, sometimes my mom would say to me, “So explain this to me Candy, people pay you to like things on Facebook and Tweet? I don’t understand how this relates to your law school education?!”
How did you get into social media or freelancing in general?
Basically I have always enjoyed creative expression and communication. In past times this was done through journals, writing articles finishing that great American novel. It was higher quality writing in former times, now with all this media, you reach a larger target but often I feel the quality in intellectual communication has slipped and so much information becomes fabricated because there is less barriers to publish writing online – it’s a free zone for anyone with a laptop and wifi to have a voice. I became a freelancer because I wanted a change from the corporate culture and to be honest, 80% of my life, I worked for myself as a sole proprietor, mainly in creative fields out of passion, without a heavy focus on profit, which made me more of a social entrepreneur at heart.
Also, since my German speaking ability is only a mere B1, it was competitive to take on roles that were appropriate for my skill level, due to the language barrier, so I created my own working possibilities by freelancing. Also, the visa büro informed me that I could not take jobs I was overqualified for, in the theory that I was stealing work from people who were not qualified to do what I do, so me taking their jobs was pigeon holing their opportunities? Thus, I became a freelancer.
What is your favorite thing (s) about being in Berlin?
Eating all the Asian food I want! Hamburg was beautiful but not so well adept in providing ethnic food options. Berlin just has options and opportunities along with great energy – besides, most of my friends are now here from school, I have always been an adopted local from Hamburg since several startups in this city have worked with me, and last but certainly not least – It’s the Year of the Fox, so I like to say at work “Once a Fox, always a Fox.” My new role is amazing, my CEO, Jan Beckers inspires me everyday by giving me freedom to experiment, while learning from his past experiences as a serial entrepreneur. I work with one of the best startup teams around – we’re international, we’re intelligent, and we’re loads of FUN. Amen to that! PS: We’re also hiring top talents, so if you feel like becoming a fox, contact me!