Member of the Moment: Shelly Dvorak

by MWMC | July 21, 2017 |


Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m a former PR chick, turned hockey mom (goalie mom x 2!), Gryffindor, and Walt Disney World fan(atic). I spend as much of my free time as possible adventuring with my kiddos or with my nose stuck in a book.

Professionally, my background spans all facets of integrated marketing, from public relations and media training to entertainment relationships and influencer marketing. I’ve been lucky to work with some incredibly talented leaders, colleagues and partners at General Mills and Weber Shandwick, and have enjoyed every step of the way. I’m fortunate to have learned from some of the best while doing work that was fun, challenging and impactful.

You recently started your own company. What does Sphere 421 do and what inspired you to be a “solopreneur”?
After two decades supporting some of the world’s most-loved brands, I stand in awe at the essential nature of positive intent to the success of a marketing communications plan. Whether in public relations, promotion marketing or negotiating entertainment contracts, I’ve consistently found two things to be true: First, the most remarkable results come from campaigns where intent goes beyond the bottom line. Success seems to follow quickly when a true objective is to further a social cause, help the consumer in a meaningful way or bring benefit to a partner. Second, strong relationships make all the difference. Whether working with a corporation, non-profit, celebrity, expert spokesperson or event, the impact is strikingly richer when we invest in building partnerships to last over time.

“It’s no surprise that teams who work with positive intent and invest in healthy relationships function better, create stronger team bonds and walk away at the end of the workday feeling they've achieved something greater than driving sales. But sales, too, seem to soar disproportionately in these circumstances.”

With that as inspiration, I built Sphere 421 (website coming soon!) to help organizations better connect and grow relationships with their key influencers. I help them learn about their key influencers and align with their cross-functional team on influencer strategy. Then, together, we establish an influencer engagement platform designed to deliver profit and strengthen brand reputation by investing in long-term mutual growth, social good, and customer benefit. Instead of buying into an influencer network or “pitching” influencers to promote a brand message, my clients build multi-faceted relationships with their biggest influencers. Fairly quickly, these relationships deliver rich customer insights, deeper brand advocacy, honest product feedback & development ideas, and new opportunities for growth.

What are some of the biggest obstacles and rewards for being on your own?
I thrive on the interaction of building out ideas with a close team, which is sometimes less free-flowing when I’m working from my home office. I’ve learned I need to be deliberate about scheduling plenty of collaboration time with colleagues.

I love working with clients to build a new and bold approach, then equipping them with the tools, knowledge, and support to run it on their own. It’s thrilling to empower a team with new skills and strategy and then step aside to watch them own it and take it in new directions. I’m also energized by learning about new audiences and industries; it gives me access to fresh perspectives that can often be applied more broadly.

Where can fellow MWMC members reach you if they want to do business or network with you?
I’d love to connect with anyone who’s interested in influencer marketing! Just shoot me a note via email: shelly@sphere421.com.

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