With her technological savvy, industry know-how and envelope-pushing public relations techniques, Janine Just embodies the boundless energy and style that New York City is all about. After a decade of living in NYC, seven years of professional PR experience and an education in fashion at a top university, Janine carries with her both a stylish repertoire and an impressive network of collaborators and connections, from high-profile media contacts and sponsors to local bloggers. Within this circle, Janine cultivates a community of ideas, creation and passion.
Janine most recently worked as a managing partner of NYC-based consulting firm The Blaq Group, a boutique agency that she co-founded by capitalizing upon her fondness for the entrepreneurial spirit of the city. Propelling her polished PR and marketing strengths into the growing digital realm, Janine’s experience at The Blaq Group encouraged her to develop a philosophy both simple and essential: stay relevant and set the team apart from its competitors, by harnessing the potential of social media and digital promotion. After 3 years at The Blaq Group and numerous successful campaigns, Janine gracefully bid farewell to the firm in January 2012, to pursue an independent career in the industry.
At her start, Janine cut her teeth in the field of hospitality at East Coast Saloons, the parent company for a network of bars and restaurants across the country, where she soon rose to the rank of regional director of marketing. While there, her scope of work ranged from booking events for major corporations and high-profile celebrities, to coordinating sponsorship efforts with Red Bull, Heinz, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Heineken in cities such as Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C, Nashville, Philadelphia and of course New York.
Among Janine’s many accomplished campaigns remains her favorite – the Foursquare Battle for the Mayorship of Delicatessen, which showcased her unique creative ambition. As a result of this initiative, which garnered frequent check-ins of large groups of patrons between two leading competitors/collaborators (Baratunde Thurston and Jennifer Magnolfi), a buzz generated well past local neighborhoods. Popular publications like Metromix and Mashable picked up the story, and soon, thanks to Janine’s trifecta of digital PR, social media and events management, Tristan Walker, Foursquare Director of Business Development, flew into town exclusively to grace the Inaugural Bash celebrating Ms. Magnolfi’s victory. And later, as a testament to the contagious nature of social media buzz, Mr. Thurston was named “Mayor of the Year” for Delicatessen at the 2011 Shorty Awards.
Another highlight of Janine’s mastery of digital media is her help with the first-ever Blogger’s Night Out (BNO), in conjunction with The Blaq Group. As a social media take on the wildly popular Fashion Night Out, these events utilized sponsors, chic venues and popular media connections to create a viral frenzy among the burgeoning online blogging community. The first BNO event, held in September 2011, amassed over 500 stylish attendees curated from some of the most influential fashion blogs in the country. With her formal education in fashion, Janine felt a special connection with the fashion blogger community, and was moved and honored to serve them as they gain more and more distinction among some of the most renowned writers of today’s print media.
It is this very phenomenon – that of the ever-evolving universe of competition and greater demands for differentiation – that encourages Janine to work even more ambitiously and sharpen her edge and sate her passion. In an industry that expands exponentially every day through the simple concept of sharing, Janine isn’t shy to rise to the challenge.