Zanade Mann is a whirlwind woman who confidently strides the modern urban and media landscape and blesses her life with almost-constant service to others. She has used the lessons of her own life to form a dynamic and confident persona who seeks to make others as confident and powerful as she is.
Her LinkedIn profile states that her specialties are:
"Social Media, Networking, Writing, Community Service, Negotiation Skills, Promotions, Volunteerism, Youth Career Counseling, Non Profit Management, Event Planning, Brand Strategy"
She has already been involved in several enterprises and activities in various creative guises as initiator, contributor, content creator and more, and she is only in her twenties, folks. This is the American spirit at its finest, and reason for optimism about the next generation of leaders.
We spoke with her recently.
Q: Zanade, you certainly know how to parlay a presence. You have a blog, work as an editor for Mahogany Butterfly, under whose aegis you have interviewed Tamara Tunie, Hill Harper, Wendy Williams and others, you have founded Pink Polk Dot and Online & Off Marketing and Public Relations Agency, and with all this activity you still have an active social life and fulfilling family life. Your LinkedIn profile informs us that you are Deputy Co-Chair of Student Affairs High School Outreach for New York Women in Communications Inc. and Team Leader for New York Cares, and that you have a B.A. in English from CUNY-Hunter College.
You launched Online & Off Marketing and Public Relations Agency even after likely funding for that effort fell through. In fact, in what I have come to know as typical fashion for you, you derived personal growth and benefit from the setback, while others might have thrown in the towel.
Let's start with Pink Polka Dot, the first project of yours that I learned about, of so many things you have been involved with.
A: Pink Polka Dot is a non profit I founded in 2007 for underserved young women in New York City. We go to the roughest areas and promote education, financial literacy and health. I currently run this program in 2 NYC schools.
I love to give back to youth.
Q: Good for you; giving back is not that hard, in my opinion, once you make it a habit.
What can you tell us about Online & Off?
A: Online & Off PR and Marketing uses social media and traditional forms of public relations and marketing to promote, track, analyze and boost our clients who range from physicians, authors, designers to celebrities.
Q: What is a typical day like for you?
A: I grab a latte and hit the computer looking for new and effective ways to build my personal brand as well as build the next big thing in PR and marketing services, which all will know as Designing Worldwide!
Q: In our earlier conversations you had said that you only marketed to women, but you've changed the model; why is that, Zanade?
A: After consulting with my business mentors we now offer our services to both men and women and since that change we have seen a boost in clientele.
Q: When did you create Online & Off and was it a challenging experience?
A: I created the company in early 2009 and it is still a very challenging experience; building a company is more than payroll and pretty websites ---itís about time management, startup funds, team work and drive. In order to successfully run a company you must have those factors.
Q: How many employees do you have?
A: We have a very small team that consists of me and my marketing director Katrice Washington; but we are such a dynamic duo! And we are always open to interns who look to learn the business of social media and PR.
Q: What are you currently working on with Online & Off?
A: A few things are in the works. We are currently working on Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway's campaign; she is a Board Certified OB-GYN and author who looks to educate minority pregnant women.
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: I love to write and sing although the latter I need some help on (grin) and my new passion is photography!
Q: Where do you want to see Online & Off in 5 years?
A: Wow! I have so many dreams and goals for the company! I look forward to franchising the business in an unconventional way; you will see Online & Off offices all throughout the country. There will be major events and conferences empowering entrepreneurs throughout the world by the end of those 5 years trust me!
Q: From what I know of you, and the active nature of your online presence, I don't doubt it in the least. I recently saw a teaser home page for yet another venture of yours, Be Simply Productive, with a proposed launch of May this year. Can you tell us about it, and are you going to work your network for contributors?
A: Be Simply Productive is going to be a great resource page for simple yet effective tasks that include technology, fashion and more. I am connected to so many people in fashion and media so I look forward to great contributions from them.
Q: What do you find most exciting about social media? I'm partial to LinkedIn and Twitter, but you also have Facebookand Myspace mindshare, Zanade. And how do you divide your time and attention among these outlets?
A: I find the personal connection exhilarating! I love how we can now connect to people we have never imagined before. I have interviewed celebrities solely on a twitter connection. Now how amazing is that? I like that there are thousands of free social media tools but honestly I don't use many of them personally because I like to open the browser and read and click and share oppose to updating without even looking around. So I carve out 2 hours or so each day to read, update and share info. Others would be too bothered to do that but then again I am IN LOVE with social media and I like to make love to it constantly! lol
Q: Whoa, get a room you two; (guess it would be a 'chat room'); anyhow, how can we contact you?
A: I am all over the place; you can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn; hey isn’t that where I met you at? (Laughing)
Q: Zanade, what do you want your legacy to be?
A: I want people to understand how determined I was; and what I gave up to be who I’ve become.