Mom Interviews

Elana Centor

Marketing commucations consultant, writer and blogger

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Elana Centor is a marketing commucations consultant, writer and blogger. (To read her great blog about business culture, check out Funny Business.) She lives in Minneapolis, MN and has two kids who are 18 and 23 years old. In her interview, Elana shares some great perspectives on juggling work and raising kids that she learned from her 20+ year career.

Can you tell us a little bit about your job – or several jobs, as the case might be. What does it entail, how long have you been doing it, what it involves on a daily basis?

I have been out of on my own for 10 years now.

My work today falls into three silos:

Marketing communications consulting in both the corporate and nonprofit arenas: A larger and larger part of my work is educating and consulting with clients about social media and how to integrate it into their marketing mix.

Online facilitation: In addition to helping clients understand how to use online communication tools, since 2002, I have been part of a virtual facilitation team for a Fortune 100 company. I facilitate a leadership course that uses WebEx, phone, and a virtual workspace. I also facilitate marketing workshops for a nonprofit organization.

My own work: Since 2004 I have been writing FunnyBusiness – a blog about business culture. A reader once described it as a "thinking woman's Dilbert." It's really about office trendspotting, the absurdities of office politics and then a dash of whatever piques my imagination. I am also a contributing editor on business for BlogHer; in this role I highlight what women bloggers are saying about various business issues.

What is your professional background? Can you talk a bit about the career path that brought you to where you are today?

My first professional job was as a part-time writer for the newspaper in Boston's Logan Airport. The pay was $20 a day. I was fired after two days. It was traumatic.

Prior to that, I graduated from the University of Missouri's School of Journalism with an emphasis on broadcasting. One of my professors told the four or five women in his class that we better learn shorthand because we would never get a job in broadcasting since a woman's voice did not carry authority. The year was 1972.

I did get a job in broadcasting. I started at WWBT-TV in Richmond, Virginia and I was there five years. After two years I decided that I really didn't like TV news because the happiest time of day for me was actually writing my story instead of standing in front of the camera.

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