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Erin McKeever

Erin McKeever

Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design

Degree: Journalism - Broadcast

Year of graduation: 2008

Top social media trendsetter

It’s easy to see why Erin McKeever made the list of Marketing Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 released in October. Since joining Nestle Purina Petcare Canada in 2014, she has taken the brand to an unprecedented level of strength across virtually every social media channel. The Digital Communications Strategist heads up Hyper Lab, Purina’s in-house digital agency. Among the stand-outs in her list of successes are the Take Your Dog to Work Day program and the ProPlan Star Performer program in which users uploaded photos of their pets and completed a survey to receive a customized short video.

Growing up mainly in Oakville, Erin developed her marketing chops early, watching her mother who spent close to three decades in sales and marketing at Kimberley Clarke. “She was one of my inspirations because she was passionate about her career,” says Erin, herself a mother of nine-month-old twins.

A desire for a hands-on education following a year at York University in a writing program led Erin to Sheridan. She followed her love of production and enrolled in the College’s Journalism - Broadcast program. “Right from the get-go it was a great fit for me. It was so fast-paced, so collaborative, and it offered an internship.”

Digital marketing was still relatively new when she was at Sheridan, recalls Erin, whose freshman year in 2006 coincided with the first year Facebook became available to students. By second year, she was concentrating on the marketing end of media. Honing the skills she gained at Sheridan, Erin built an enviable mix of creative, technical and analytical know-how that was unusual in 2008 and remains so today, according to Erin. “I felt so equipped when I left Sheridan.”

Such knowledge allowed her to feel comfortable in the intersecting space of digital and traditional marketing. “I have been able to build a niche in the digital marketing area but have learned traditional marketing strategies as well.”

After several years of agency work, Erin joined Purina in Mississauga mainly because they were bringing marketing in-house. “Most companies still rely on external agencies. But I’ve had the opportunity to affect communications in all areas and build deep relationships with the brands and our clients,” she explains.

The social marketing landscape has become so crowded today, it is easy to fall into the trap of trying to be everything to everyone, adds Erin. “The result is that you won’t be relevant to anyone. Know your product, your audience and what segment you are willing to sacrifice to reach them. That’s how you win with consumers today – knowing them intimately and knowing how to make them work together to be effective.”

Find out why Marketing Magazine chose Erin McKeever as one of 30 Under 30
Learn more about Sheridan’s Journalism – Broadcast program
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