The road to finding that first job in children’s media can be long and winding. Below, Nancy Kaplan discusses the path she took to land her current role as Social Media Coordinator for Grand Communications and why organizations like CMA play an important part in the journey.
Can you tell us a little about your professional background and what drew you to children’s media?
I’ve always been a huge fan of children’s television shows. I studied communication in college and minored in educational studies. Due to my past work experiences, including countless internships, it led me in the direction of the children’s media industry. I was very fortunate to experience a various range of areas of work including marketing, public relations, television production, and educational outreach. After a summer internship at Sesame Workshop in the television production department of “The Electric Company,” I had the desire to pursue children’s media. I’ve also had the opportunity to intern at public broadcasting stations. At Thirteen/WNET my favorite part was working at the children’s events. I loved seeing the glowing faces of children when they saw a “Dinosaur Train” related game. Currently at my job, I see the positive reactions of parents and children in a different way, through social media.
As someone relatively new to the industry, can you share any tips on how to get that first job in children’s media?
My two most helpful tips are definitely to network and go on informational interviews. I really can’t stress networking enough. Joining Children’s Media Association was the best career move for me. At an event last fall, I met Corey Nascenzi, the Events Director of CMA. After introductions, I mentioned a recent WNET internship posting online, which I had applied to that day. She was able to help me secure an interview at WNET in the children’s outreach department. It just shows, you never know what happens and who you will meet at a CMA event. I was also fortunate to meet so many great people in the industry who helped me acquire freelance work, in addition to interviews. I am a believer of sticking with something I am very passionate about. No matter how long the wait is, don’t give up.
You are currently the Social Media Coordinator for Grand Communications. Can you tell us about the company and your role there?
Grand Communications is a full-service communications firm and we provide public relations to clients in entertainment-related fields and beyond, such as children’s television, licensing, toys and consumer products, consumer electronics, and film.
As my role as the Social Media Coordinator, I help maintain meaningful and engaging fan and follower interaction for popular preschool entertainment properties, including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! In addition to social media, I also assist my team with outreach, collecting and managing press coverage, and writing pitches and press releases. Though I am fairly new at Grand Communications, it’s a great feeling to be part of the team.
What emerging trend in children’s media are you most excited about now?
Definitely apps. Besides watching shows on television, online or on tablets, apps provide children with an additional way of having fun through interactive learning. I am also a fan of timer features on websites for children. With this feature, children will have a certain time limit and help ease transition to the next activity, such as when it’s time for dinner. For example, the Tickety Toc website allows parents to set the timer for their children. I hope to see this feature on more sites and games for children in the future.
Complete this sentence: My media guilty pleasure is…
Watching reruns of Friends. No matter how many times I’ve seen each episode, they never get old.