The Lightning Media Partners team is expanding faster than we ever imagined, and we’re excited to introduce the newest member of our team, Helen Eckhard!
As our marketing assistant, Helen will help LMP expand the reach of our internal marketing efforts. Hailing from Saint Charles, Missouri, Helen also expands our national reach and is currently our westernmost employee.
Helen studied at Stanford University and Grinnell College, leading her professional career through marketing agencies, pet hospitals, and universities. Helen has also been awarded the Maria Okey Prize for Best Essay in American History and several scholarships, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in library science.
As an expert in SEO, CMS, copywriting, and social media management, Helen is a marketing factotum whom we’re thrilled to have in the #LMPTribe. To get to know Helen better, we asked her a few questions about her background, life in Missouri, and the impossible task of choosing between Taylor Swift’s “folklore” and “evermore.”
What drew you to marketing and publishing?
I was a theatre kid, so I’ve always loved playing to an audience. The world of marketing and publishing is so great because the audience becomes the focal point of the whole creative process. That psychological element of trying to understand your consumer brings some really unique challenges to content creation, so you’re always growing beyond your comfort zone.
Previously, you worked at both a college and pet hospital. Who’s harder to deal with: college students or animals?
Definitely college students. They are louder, messier, and much less likely to be appeased by a spoonful of peanut butter and a belly rub.
What’s the most valuable work experience you’ve had that impacted who you are professionally?
I once had to coach a student through a challenging event that hit very close to home for me. Even though I had received training on how to handle that kind of situation, putting those regimented steps into practice suddenly felt insincere and robotic. I had always been taught that a person’s work life and personal life were separate spheres that shouldn’t be mixed, but embracing vulnerability in that moment and tapping into my own experiences enabled me to support my student far better than if I had simply gone by the book.
What’s a piece of advice you wish you had when you graduated college?
That it’s totally okay if you still have no idea what you want to be when you grow up.
You’re from Saint Charles, Missouri. Where would you take someone who’s never been there before?
Frontier Park. You can see where Lewis and Clark set off on their expedition up the Missouri River, then grab a bite at one of the many great restaurants along historic Main Street.
- Folklore or evermore? Trick question. Red.
- Rock, paper, or scissors? Rock.
- What meme best describes your life? Dark Kermit, because I also have an evil Russian doppelgänger who is constantly trying to thwart my plans.
- What animal do gummy candies taste best as? Snakes.
- Best gift you’ve ever received: I was gifted my own yarn swift a few years back. It sounds mundane, but being able to wind a ball of yarn in three minutes instead of thirty is a total game changer for knitters.
- Hall and Oates or Nelly Furtado: Which “Maneater” is better? Hall and Oates.
- What was your favorite Nick Toon growing up? Jimmy Neutron. I had the biggest crush on him as a kid.
- Skee ball or whack-a-mole? As an animal lover, I have to go with skee ball.
- Which national park would you like to visit? Yellowstone. I’ve already been, but I want to go back and live among the bison.
- Your ideal first impression in five words: Willing to buy me food.