Alysha Duff is the Media Relations Specialist at Mediavine, a full-service ad management provider helping content creators build sustainable businesses.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’ve worn a variety of hats throughout my career including public relations, marketing, social media management, event planning, graphic design, blogging and even teaching English as a second language for a year.
My passion, however, lies in public relations, which is what I earned my degree in. In my current role as the Media Relations Specialist at Mediavine, I manage the company’s PR efforts from conceptualizing publicity strategies to executing campaigns.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Every day looks a little different, that’s the beauty of working remotely. I am grateful for the flexibility of determining what my most productive workflow will look like based on how I’m feeling that day.
Some days I wake up early, sharp-minded and get both a work out and some journaling in before I begin work. Other days I’m checking emails from my bed until I’m caffeinated enough to get up. I rotate between working from home, coffee shops and my designated co-working space in downtown Charleston.
All of the above variables aside, my daily workflow begins with perusing my email inbox each morning for hot industry topics to craft conversation-starters and social posts. At lunch time, I try to step away from my computer entirely for an hour.
My afternoons are reserved for working on big projects such as award submissions, press releases, media outreach and thought leadership pieces. I make sure to clean out my inbox before I sign off for the day so that when I begin again in the morning, it’s a fresh start.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Mediavine is a 100% remote company and has been since its inception 16+ years ago. Everyone at the company is remote and spread across 31 states.
The remote ability is one of the main reasons I sought out this job opportunity. I live a very nomadic lifestyle, so seeking a full-time, salaried job that provides full benefits and allows me to work from anywhere is key for me.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance to me means showing up for yourself personally just as much as you do professionally, and that means leveling the playing field between the two. With remote work, it’s easier than ever for lines to be blurred between work life and personal life.
I’ve set very defined boundaries between my work hours and non-work hours so that I can truly unplug in the evenings and on weekends. Taking time off is also very important to me, and I think for everyone.
Being able to reset personally from time to time is important for productivity and mental wellness. I try to go off the grid entirely for a vacation at least twice a year, and I also utilize Mediavine’s allotted Mental Health Days as needed.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I’m not great with routines or redundancy. Moving and changing things up keeps me energized and motivated; it’s why I’m nomadic.
I did recognize that moving into a new apartment—creating some stability—and working from there everyday was not beneficial to my mental health, so I joined a co-working space. Working alongside fellow digital nomads and thriving off of their energy has definitely changed my life for the better.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Fast Company Compass is my favorite daily newsletter. With information on current events, innovative concepts, tips for work productivity, expert advice on company culture and trendy products, I feel like it covers all the bases for individuals both professionally and personally.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Really just my laptop to keep me connected.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Whitney Wolfe Herd, the founder and CEO of Bumble. I really admire her people-first philosophy. What stands out to me about Whitney is that she takes empowering her employees to prioritize themselves one step further by enforcing it.
An example of this is giving a universal two weeks paid time off for the entire company per year, in addition to unlimited PTO (which has a minimum use). She also implemented six months of paid leave for birth, adoption or surrogacy of a child. I’d love to hear her perspective on how these policies directly affect the retention rate, productivity and wellness of her employees.
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