It wasn’t until halfway through college that Lauren Moorman, Vice President at Mainland, decided she wanted to get into the field of public relations. Having been in AP Spanish classes throughout high school, she had initially decided to become an international business major at Illinois State University as a way to turn that passion for Spanish into a career.
During her sophomore year, Moorman received an unlikely source of inspiration to look into another field of work. “I was inspired to get into PR after watching the movie America's Sweetheart,” said Moorman, with a laugh. “I wish this was a joke but it's real. Billy Crystal and Julia Roberts play publicists in the movie (to movie stars John Cusack and Catherine Zeta Jones, respectively) and their jobs looked so fun. I signed up to take an intro to PR class and was hooked. I realized it was the perfect major that utilized my outgoing personality, comfort with public speaking and love of writing.”
From there, Moorman decided to double major in Spanish and Public Relations, staying on after to earn her Master's Degree in Communication with a PR emphasis.
It wasn’t long after graduating that Moorman got her first full-time job in PR. “I started my career at a PR agency in the Chicago suburbs,” said Moorman. “There, I met Nick Powills, now the Founder and CEO of Mainland. We were on the same team -- I was an AE and he was an account manager when I started -- and worked on a lot of accounts together, and even shared an office.”
After leaving that first job , Moorman joined a boutique agency called XA, The Experiential Agency, where she did PR for local bars, restaurants, fashion boutiques and similar businesses.
“I took a job with one of my clients at the time, Martini Park, as Marketing Director for a brief stint before going to CouponCabin to get back into PR,” said Moorman. “There, I hired No Limit Agency, now Mainland, and believe I was the first non-franchise client.”
However, in working with Powills during her first role, little did Moorman know that they would once again end up working together down the road.
“It's funny, at the time, I would have never thought I would end up working for Nick, though in hindsight, our skill sets match perfectly,” said Moorman. “We worked great together, and became good friends pretty much immediately, and stayed friends after I left the agency. He later left as well and I was in the front row for his journey to becoming a business owner.”
Back in 2013, Moorman actually hired Powills and Mainland a second time to support her with holiday pitching. Lauren Turner (then Kaminski), was Moorman’s account manager for the project at the time, and she got to know some of the team members and learn about Powills’ approach to PR. For years, Powills and Moorman had been talking about her joining the company, and in June of 2014, it all came to fruition.
“Nick was still managing so much of the day-to-day work in the agency and needed someone to come in and help take that stuff over so he could focus on growth,” said Moorman. “I was excited to help organize the operations and how we serviced our clients, and he had a team of hardworking people that needed some support.”
Moorman has played a pivotal role in the content and growth of Mainland’s editorial websites including 1851 Franchise and ESTATENVY. 1851 Franchise focuses on overall trends within the franchise industry, and more. ESTATENVY has a focus on the home -- and several more publications are set to launch in the next few months.
“Writing has always been a passion of mine,” said Moorman. “Being able to run our editorial while still flexing my muscles on the public relations side of the business has been very rewarding. I work with an incredible team of writers and account managers and I am very proud of the work we are able to produce across the board for our clients.”
A big part of Moorman’s role, as well as the team at Mainland, centers around educating brands on how to best maximize content, whether that be through tactics such as social media sharing, or paid amplification behind stories in key target markets.
“Our client’s success is our biggest concern,” said Moorman. “It’s a big part of what drives us here at Mainland and I couldn’t be happier with the decision I made to be here. It’s funny how things work out sometimes. In my case, a friendship turned into an opportunity for me to really make a difference in a career that I love.”