When it comes to people who wear multiple hats, Cassie McAloon can certainly be deemed fashionable. Prior to joining Mainland three years ago, McAloon started her career in TV news while attending Marquette University. Her first role was working as an Associate Producer for ABC Milwaukee, eventually taking a job with Weigel Broadcasting in Chicago post graduation.
While the newsroom was exciting, McAloon decided that she ultimately wanted something with more structure on a daily basis. “I decided that I really wanted to find a position that offered me the ability to work regular hours again,” said McAloon. “When you’re in the newsroom, you are working late nights, early mornings and your day is completely dependent on the news cycle.”
Working for a startup within Weigel, McAloon gained experience with social media. When looking for new roles, she found an opportunity at Mainland to merge her passion for content with her interest in social media by working as a writer.
“When I first started at Mainland, I was only one of two writers responsible for all content,” said McAloon. “I really enjoyed the challenge, and as I became more and more in-tune with the vision, I decided I wanted to try my hand in digital account management as well, working closely with those we represent. That was a role that didn’t exist previously. You’ll find that at Mainland, if there’s somewhere specific you want to go, you can ask for it and they’ll work with you to make it happen.”
Since first joining the company, McAloon has written countless articles tied to the franchise industry, helping to lead the charge on digital content for current digital publications 1851 Franchise and ESTATENVY. Additionally, she has been a pivotal part of what the company refers to as ‘connecting the silos,’ or bridging the gap between social and digital content, as well as public relations and traditional media.
“As a writer, we started the ‘connecting the silos’ process,” said McAloon. “Writers started sitting in on more content calls to gather quotes from the industry experts we spoke with. As I started speaking up and getting more questions for interviews, tasks such as editorial calendars shifted to writers.”
Beyond writing, McAloon has also found herself going from behind the camera as a producer to being in front of it. Mainland’s former weekly video series ‘The 8’ was something McAloon was not originally expecting to become a part of.
“When I first started, Nick [Powills, CEO of Mainland] filmed ‘The Weekly Sizzle,’” said McAloon. “It was Nick on camera, literally holding up a piece of paper. Later on, that switched to The 8. Originally, I had no intention of being on camera. But then one day, Nick said, ‘You’re filming today.’ Little did I know, it would stick and has continued for two years, ultimately evolving to its latest form, our podcast, ‘Live to Tell.’”
Having the ability to get in front of the camera has also provided McAloon additional exposure to leaders within the franchising space.
“As we made changes to the weekly series, people started to recognize me at franchise conventions,” said McAloon. “While continuing to evolve our content, we wanted to branch out beyond the franchising space to give it a broader appeal and create our own podcast. As a media company, all of us are exploring new areas, allowing us to learn more and serve as experts for our clients. ‘Live to Tell’ and ‘Life Drives Success’ are all about how personal stories impact business. Nick’s always said that brands don't sell brands, people do, and the more I dive into the stories behind businesses, I keep finding it to be true.”
As innovative content continues to become more and more prevalent in today’s age, McAloon is excited for what still lies ahead.
“It’s really great to see Mainland officially out there so that we can introduce it to everyone,” said McAloon. “I can’t wait to see what we’re able to do with it. I know we will continue to build new platforms—we’re just about to get 1851 to a place where it's operating the best it ever has and where we have the ability to track its performance and its impact.”
When asked what she enjoys most about Mainland, McAloon’s response was simple: “The people.”
“Whenever I tell people about this place, I like to say its a company where the ping pong table actually gets used—it isn’t just something to put on Instagram,” McAloon said. “At Mainland, we genuinely like each other and like working together, and the culture has evolved to the point where it brings out the best in everyone and our results are that much stronger.”
While it might not have been a planned journey, McAloon is certainly proud of the path she has created for herself here at Mainland.
“It’s invigorating to be someone who came in not knowing a lot about PR and digital, getting to see both evolve and to actively contribute to their development,” said McAloon. “I never once wanted to be on camera throughout my entire career in news. But then I took a job at a PR company, ended up on camera anyway, and honestly, I’m not mad about it. It seems like it was just meant to be.”