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July 14, 2013

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

Part of what has made Jennifer Percy superb as an outside hitter for three years for Georgia Tech volleyball is her ability to hit but not hit the net.

Getting hits ON the net is a different story, but something at which she also is quite adept.

“I’m very into social media,” said the senior from Mobile, Ala., who, as a junior ranked fourth on the team in kills per set (1.75) and fifth in kills (110), despite playing in only 63 sets. “I’ve got my Pinterest page, my Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, everything.”

Percy found a summer internship that has allowed her to take advantage of her Internet hitting skills, at Black Tie Creative, a marketing firm in Duluth. Her job is to build up the number of hits clients’ websites receive.

“It’s kind of a start-up digital marketing company,” she said of Black Tie, for whom she’s been working approximately 10 hours a week, something she will continue to do until the end of July, early August. “Basically we just kind of dress up different clients’ web presence. What I personally do is I start in the clients’ social media pages. So I make them new Twitter and Facebook accounts. It’s pretty cool to do that as my job when that’s something I do every single day.”

While the company may be called Black Tie, the atmosphere tends to be less so, a setting that fits her to a ‘T.’ A typical day will see her attend a morning meeting to get everyone on the same page as far as the status of their clients, as well as brainstorming meetings to exchange ideas. The meetings are anything but buttoned down and stiff.

“It’s pretty laid-back. It’s casual,” she said. “Some days we’re sitting in bean-bag chairs, some days we’re going to the coffee shop down the street. So it’s a really fun environment to work in.”

Percy enjoys the interaction with the clients, who include Minuteman Press, US Auto Sales and Five Star Stone, as much as with her co-workers. She’s also enjoying the opportunity to apply her creativity while helping companies get their name out there.

“You need to be open-minded and creative and you definitely have to be organized in order to not just take care of your social media stuff but other people’s as well,” she said. “You also have to do some research and find out what the company is about, what their culture is, and what they want in their clients and the targets that they want to reach. Then going out and finding these people for them and getting them to interact with their Twitter accounts, interact with their Facebook accounts.”

Her athletic background also comes into play, as her ability to see the number of hits her clients’ sites get allows her to keep score and drives her, stoking her competitive fires on a daily basis.

“It takes someone who’s, in a way, competitive,” she said. “That works really well for me because it feels like, with every client, ‘How can I get some more followers?’ ‘How can I get some more ‘Likes’?’ It’s a challenge but it’s really fun.”

It’s also given her an opportunity to explore an avenue to take following her graduation in the spring, although that’s a subject she’s putting off for now.

“I haven’t really thought past the volleyball season but I definitely like what I’m doing,” she said. “It’s overly broad, a broad range of areas I can work with. I don’t just have to do social media. I can do S.E.O., which is search engine optimization and different things within marketing that I would really enjoy.”

Once Percy returns to school to finish her degree in industrial design, as well as conclude her volleyball career, she’ll continue to keep her social media skills sharp, only now it will be in the name of occupational training as opposed to just down-time occupation.

Of course, that includes not providing anything that might be considered bulletin-board — or is that message-board? — material.

“[Head Coach Tonya Johnson] definitely trusts us,” she said, with a laugh. “It’s just the basics, keep it clean. Most of us have a private account but some of us do have public accounts so don’t say anything that you wouldn’t want your mom to read or your coach or the rest of America. Just keep it clean.”


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