Meet Andi P, Senior Community Manager for Yelp Orlando. Andi is a superstar on the Yelp Community team when it comes growing and nurturing the Yelp Orlando community over the years, but she’s also a woman about town, serving on charity boards as well as co-founding the #OrlandoDoesntSuck campaign. Andi lives the Yelp company values every day, whether it’s mentoring a teammate, educating local business owners, hosting remarkable events for the Elite Squad… all the while leaving a 5-star impression with everyone whom she comes into contact. Read on to see why Andi truly is a babe who hustles.
Why do you love being part of the Yelp team?
It’s all about that mission. Every day I wake up with the excitement of knowing that no two days working as a Yelp Community Manager will be the same–I may be taking a ride on a blimp one morning, meeting with a local brewery owner the next, and hosting a party at an art gallery that evening. But there is one thing that stays the same–every day I wake up knowing that my mission at Yelp is to connect people to great local businesses and get the word out about my city’s gems.
Plus, I work remotely so I seldom have to wear pants.
When people ask what Community Managers at Yelp “do”, what’s your response?
The first thing most people find out about me is that I’m in a super committed relationship with my city. My role as a Yelp CM means I get to hype Orlando, my main squeeze, and the things that make her special, for a living. The things that make Orlando so special include the businesses within its boundaries. As a CM, I get to work with badass Orlandoans who have taken the great, audacious, and bold leap of faith of opening their own business. Being around that hustle and that passion is both inspiring and absolutely intoxicating.
What were you doing before Yelp? How’d you find out about the CM position?
I had been planning events professionally for five years before joining Yelp, but left that to pursue a job related to my urban planning graduate degree. While working as a research manager in a land brokerage firm, I started my side-hustle of cofounding a local blog about why Orlando doesn’t suck. This is where we started the #OrlandoDoesntSuck campaign and where I began getting involved with folks who were actively engaged in making Orlando into the vibrant city it is today. I had stumbled upon the unexpected. I found my jam.
And then it felt like kismet when I saw the job posting for the Yelp Community Manager position because I was, at that very moment, preparing for a community presentation I’d be giving about nurturing community-engagement in an online world.
Um. Yeah. Please hire me.
And they did.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
There are two types of days for Yelp Community Managers, each of these typical scenarios have their unique appeal:
1) Days where you literally do not stop moving: From taking meetings all around town, to answering a few emails from a coffee shop/coworking space with your intern, to attending scene events after hours (all the while jotting down event ideas).
I love meeting with local business owners to talk about what motivates and how I can help get the word out or put on their dream event. This is how a simple event at a grilled cheese restaurant turned into a dynamic party at a popular beer parlour featuring seven stations pairing different gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches with fabulous, complementary beers.
2) Days where you find yourself sitting at your dining room table from 8am until 6pm: Pajama-clad, having overheated your computer with uninterrupted, feverish typing, and scheming.
On the flipside, the second scenario finds me (sans pants) managing the online Yelp Orlando community from my home, answering mountains of emails, creating social media campaigns, and occasionally diving deep into the rabbit hole of any given Wikipedia article. How does one get from the Beauty and the Beast wiki article to the Spanish-American War wiki article? I. Don’t. Know. But. It. Was. Glorious.
What are common misconceptions about Community Managers at Yelp?
Oh man, the only thing better than the job I have is the job everyone else thinks I have. You know the one. The fantasy job where I’m given unlimited budget to eat out at all the best restaurants (versus the reality–there is no “Andi needs to try a hibiscus taco” budget). The part-time job where I just get to party all the time (versus the reality that said parties take months of more-than-full-time planning). And the job where I get to plan whatever unique, over-the-top events I can dream up (well actually… that one’s pretty much accurate).
How often do you get to collaborate with, travel to, and spend time with fellow community managers?
Did I not mention my real favorite part of working for Yelp? The fact that my company hires the most insanely awesome people around the country and I get access to them as my colleagues/besties/confidants/spirit animals.
More specifically, I’m lucky enough to be on a smaller team of CMs, Team South-By-Southeast (known on the street as Team SXSE – pronounced sek-see), which really feels like family and best friends more than colleagues. Our team has been there to hype each other up after big accomplishments, and to lend an ear through moments of personal grief. Since we’re all in the southeast, we get to see one another more than just at our annual Regional Team Weeks (held in Tampa) or our annual CM Week in San Francisco. In fact, at least twice a year I’m heading to a teammate’s Yelp Event to help out and guilt them into showing me their city. Besides that, we stay connected on weekly calls and meme-filled group texts.
What is your favorite thing about living in Orlando?
My favorite thing about Orlando? That’s easy–the people. We’re fiercely protective of our community and the cool people and things that make it remarkable. The world got a glimpse of that when our city came together to comfort, protect, and honor the LGBT+ and Latino community after the Pulse tragedy last year, but this is something that we Orlandoans have known for a long time. We have a critical mass of locals who are engaged and ready to get behind businesses, organizations, and people who are genuinely affecting positive change in their community. And that’s pretty special.
What are you up to when you’re not at work?
Speaking of people coming together in Orlando to support great ideas, I’m proud to head the team who organizes Orlando SOUP (a quarterly community micro-granting dinner), I serve on the board of the coolest “nerd nonprofit” you’ll ever discover– Game Changer Orlando (teaching kids important skills through tabletop games), and I am on a committee that puts on An Orlando Exchange (a bi-monthly community speaker series on important topics in Orlando). And occasionally, I sleep.
If someone were to make a movie of your life, what would the title be and who would play you?
Picnics, Poutine, and Pepcid: A Love Story
I’d be played by Nicole Kidman because we’re practically twins.
Favorite local businesses?
This is like making me pick my favorite nephew. It’s evil. But here we go:
Downtown Credo: This local organization fosters engagement and rejects apathy as its core mission. Yeah, I can get behind that.
The one-two punch of Black Rooster Taqueria and The Guesthouse. The only thing more certain than the glory of Black Rooster’s fish taco is the fact that you will find me sipping a Tom Collins while eating said fish taco every Friday at 5:30pm. Like. Clockwork.
Rifle Paper Co. Have I come across Rifle Paper Co.’s signature floral cards and journals in tiny shops in Paris? Yup. Am I stoked that the owner started her biz in my ‘hood? You bet. Do I think the more Rifle Paper Co. merch I buy the more likely I will end up in a magical Freaky Friday-esque scenario where I wake up as owner Anna Rifle Bond? DUH.
Interested in Yelp Community Management? Check out open positions at yelp.com/careers!