A Q&A with Holly Pavlika
We would like to pull out all the bells and whistles for Holly Pavlika, a writer, an advocate and an inspiration to all who cross her path. Holly began MomMentum Nation a decade ago, but without a moment’s hesitation, joined forces with The Sisters’ Hood to amplify our voice and attain our goal in reaching a global market. To have Holly in our corner from the onset has been a gift, as we build a home far and wide for #thesistershood. So let’s meet Holly.
An Offical Welcome: you have had a hugely successful career working with incredible organizations – share with our sisters where you have been.
I wanted to be a journalist, but I got caught doodling in a psychology class and he suggested I take an art class. I did and was hooked and had to change my major. The head of the art department walked around life drawing class and told stories about New York City. I had to go.
After I graduated I got an apprenticeship thinking I’d come for three months of experience, but I never left and have been here for 40 years. I started out as an art director and worked my way up to end up having my name on the door of three places. I’ve been at big and tiny companies along the way. And ended up as the SVP, Marketing, and Content for an influencer marketing company called Collective Bias where I went full circle back to being a writer. I’m so amazed to recently been given a bigger role at Inmar, the company that acquired us a while ago. I should be thinking about retirement, but I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for that.
We know our sisters would love to hear of your travels in social good – the causes, and your commitment to them.
You began MOMentum to work with brands and writers, tell us more, and then share what called you to build an empowering space for women?
I was working at a company called Big Fuel. They had invited a consultant in to help us with the business. He informed the partners they had something very unusual and pointed at me. I didn’t know at the time that only three percent of the creative directors in the U.S are women. Yet 85 percent of marketing dollars are targeting us because we make or influence just about every decision from health care to cars. They told me to start a blog and gave me 30 days to get it up and running. That’s when I came up with MOMentum, which started as a site for brands to teach them how to market to moms and how we were leveraging social media. In the course of schooling brands, I ended up becoming an advocated for moms who were influencers.
One day, I saw an article about how much money is spent on Mother’s Day gifts…flowers, chocolates, etc. when really the things moms cherish are the homemade gifts our kids make us. I was horrified that billions of dollars are spent on things that aren’t the things moms get fired up about. So, I talked to bloggers who all said they would support me if I decided to do something. I finally said, “what the heck, let’s go for it.” I picked 10 influential moms and we had a closed Facebook page where we threw out ideas. We ended up supporting Christy Turlington, who was about to start Every Mother Counts. She had started following me on Twitter a few months before. We did a call to blog on a single day getting moms across the U.S to talk about their pregnancy stories, held a Twitter party that received over 21 million impressions. I got emails and heard such heartfelt messages. And hundreds of local news markets picked up our story. And we didn’t spend one dime on marketing.
That was the beginning of falling in love with feeling the power of social and being able to share your voice.
You are all shades of awesome with Collective Bias, tell us about what you do there, and the recent changes.
Collective Bias found me through my blog. It helps me walk the walk since all Collective Bias does is work with influencers. I’ve been the head of Marketing and Content there for the past five years and it’s been a crazy, good ride watching all the changes.
We were acquired in December of 2016 by Inmar. In the beginning of January, I was given an expanded role for Inmar as the head of Corporate and Consumer Marketing. Inmar’s diverse business is a perfect fit for Collective Bias.
How do you feel working with brands changed in this last decade?
I’ve been through all the marketing disciplines at one point or another during my career. The biggest change is how people now have a voice. It’s what I like so much about influencer marketing. Without an engaged audience, there is no brand, in my opinion. It’s nice to see brands inviting their customers into the conversation.
What advice would you give #thesistershood when it comes to self-promotion, and sharing their stories online to be a virtual shoulder?
1. Keep it real.
2. Be passionate.
3. Help each other. Women have it tough between juggling families, career, home, etc. The world needs to be a kinder, gentler place and if we stick together and help each other, we can make it a better place for everyone.
Being part of change has been a huge part of your voice, we would love to hear a few favorite moments.
My favorite was a trip to Tanzania through the UN Shot@Life organization. While traveling with them I found myself by the side of a road speaking to two moms through an interpreter. They asked why I had traveled so far to sit and talk with them.
I explained that today moms are in a unique place where social media and technology are allowing us to share our voice in ways that were never before available.
And if we can get together with other moms, we can affect change. They told me they were going to go back to their village and gather the moms to see what they could do. It hit me very emotionally. It was dark. I was in the middle of Africa. And here I was making connections with two moms.
You are valued in the advocacy community, what advice would you give someone choosing a cause and finding their voice?
Hmmm. My cause found me. And Every Mother Counts led me to others like Global Poverty, the UN Shot@Life and GirlRising. Maybe trust serendipity? Let it find you? Seriously, just make sure it’s something near and dear to you that makes you want to get on your soapbox.
So … it just can’t be all work and no play, so dating today – share the good, the bad and the ugly.
Dating is tough. We need social and apps to find dates these days. But men need to grow up. Technology is a valuable thing but hiding behind it and not being man enough to tell someone you are dating it’s over is just wrong. And what’s up with the boomerang text a year or two later? Do they think we are desperate? I’m taking a hiatus from dating.
If you had to sing karoake, and that song had to symbolize what you want in life – what would that song be?
I think I’d choose “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar.” Cliché? LOL!
And then because everyone in #thesistershood has to share this – what is your favorite quote? And why.
My mom used to say, “But for the grace of God, that could be you.” It always stuck with me and reminds me that I have been incredibly lucky.