Greenough Alumni Profile – Gretchen Bender

Gretchen Bender

It’s easy to forget that social media is still in its infancy: Facebook opened its network to the public a little less than eight years ago, and Twitter only became a mainstream business communications tool within the last half decade. The rapid rise of these entirely new forms of communication forced PR firms to quickly expand their skillsets and transform the way they advised clients. In 2006, Greenough found itself at the center of this new media maelstrom; fortunately, we had Gretchen Bender to help guide us through it.

Gretchen joined Greenough in 2005 after earning a BS in Marketing at Colorado State University. She started out as an account coordinator at the company’s San Francisco office, where she quickly impressed the leadership with her ambition and love of learning. In 2006 – just as social media began to go mainstream – she moved to Boston to work at the central office. Before long, clients were asking Greenough for social media strategies, and Gretchen jumped at the opportunity to drive their development.

Over the next four years, Gretchen took the preliminary plans she created in 2007 and developed them into a full suite of services for Greenough clients. In the process, she rose from an entry-level AC to be Greenough’s Director of Social Media. The programs and ideas she started remain a key part of Greenough’s social media work to this day.

Today, Gretchen is the Senior Social Media Manager at 23andMe, a well-known personal genomics company in California, where she’s responsible for the company’s entire social media presence. Just like she did at Greenough, she’s working to ensure that 23andMe remains one step ahead of changes in the social media landscape. Her latest challenge is connecting the worlds of social media and content marketing; now that Facebook has drastically reduced the circulation of posts that don’t generate interaction, Gretchen has doubled down on her content efforts to ensure that her company’s posts are valuable and useful to their audience. Fortunately, Gretchen has the creativity necessary to produce this engaging content, and has generated some great results for the company.

We’re always proud to see Greenough alumni excel after their time with the company, and Gretchen has certainly done so. To check out some of Gretchen’s work, visit the 23andMe Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages.