Employee Highlight: Emily Hayden

Read our Q&A with Hirons’ media analyst Emily Hayden.

Emily Hayden

How did you become interested in advertising/PR/media/public affairs/marketing? How did you break into the industry and land your first job?
I became interested in journalism while I was on the yearbook staff in high school and ended up going to college to be a magazine writer. I wanted to be Andie Anderson in “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and work at a glossy magazine writing fun articles. While at Ball State, I found that I really enjoyed advertising classes because they all involved the fun and creative aspects that made my heart happy. I landed my first internship with an ad agency in the media department and fell in love. I completed three internships with that agency and proceeded to work there for eight years before coming to Hirons.

What would you consider the specializations/most important tools of the trade?
Research. The more you learn about your clients and their businesses, the more you can help them grow. You can have the coolest creative development in the world, but you need to have the strategy to back it for it to be truly effective.

What characteristics do you need to be successful in the industry?
You need to be scrappy. The advertising industry moves quickly; you cannot expect people to slow down to explain things to you constantly, so you need to be able to work independently without much hand-holding. Also, you need to be very detail-oriented and an extremely hard worker.

Do you have any interesting hobbies/second jobs/bits of information that make you pop as an individual?
Being a mom occupies the majority of my free time. Sarah, my 5-year-old daughter, is (in my completely unbiased opinion) the coolest kid ever. I love to dance for fitness and go to classes weekly, and I have even been known to get on stage and lead occasionally. With my husband, Ty (also a Hirons employee), we have a 100-year-old house in the heart of Old Town Greenwood that is in a constant state of renovation. I’m so excited to see how the work we are doing at Hirons on behalf of the City of Greenwood has elevated the sense of community in the place I call home.

When and where do you have your best ideas?
I tend to think of my best ideas in the very early morning hours, a habit I developed while working for almost a decade as a Starbucks barista. Although my days of slinging coffee are in the past, I still tend to wake up ridiculously early every day, when the rest of the world is quiet, and have time to think.

What has been the most exciting project/campaign that you’ve worked on at Hirons?
Greenwood. Partly because I live there, but also because I get to experience the positive impact of our work firsthand. I’m able to see and feel the development within my community, and I like that I get to share the story of my hometown.

Why is effective advertising/PR so important for the growth and success of organizations?
Effective advertising helps tell a story. Many organizations are well-built, well-run and do great work, but they have trouble letting people outside of the company know about their business. With just a little help crafting their message and identity, they can see huge growth in their business.

What’s one important tip you would share with anyone looking to go into the agency world?
Be excited about the projects and campaigns you get to work on, no matter what they are. Not every project is going to be public-facing or world-changing, but every project is important and provides opportunities to learn. Even the smallest clients do important work, and we can help them let the world know about it.

What is the most meaningful part of your job?
Every day is exciting. Every day, I get to be surrounded by people who are operating at the top of their game and learn from them. I am challenged to use my newfound knowledge to benefit my clients. I get the chance to work with the rest of the team here at Hirons to make a big impact in our community, and we get to have a lot of fun doing it. The office puppies are pretty great too!