May 12, 2021 - By Erica Zenn

HawkeStar Spotlight May: Sarah Ratliff, Digital Strategist

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Hawke Media recognizes and awards employees that embody our culture, values, and mission at their core. 

Today we’re excited to sit down with our Digital Strategist and rockstar of a marketer, Sarah Ratliff after her May 2021 HawkeStar victory.

Q: Congrats on your victory! Tell all your fans out there, what being named Hawke Star means to you?

A: Very humbling and very flattering, definitely wasn’t expecting because I’m so new. But I feel like I just work hard and do what I need to do but it does feel good to be recognized. That said, I have an incredible team around me so it is honestly easy to do great work with such an amazing team.

Q: Take us through your background a little bit? What was life like before Hawke? What do you like to do in your spare time? And how did you get to be so great?

A: I grew up in Texas, so my whole family is here. My background is Marketing, I did both undergrad and a Master’s in Marketing, and I’ve worked in mostly the digital strategy space. It’s been wild to watch the digital space change so much and grow. I really enjoy agency life, the speed of things, working with different clients, constantly being challenged. I’m definitely someone who really likes a challenge and loves to be challenged. I think I’m great because I drink a ton of coffee haha, my dad always says you might not always be the smartest person in the room but you can always be the hardest working. I try and carry that with me. 

Pre-COVID, I did a ton of traveling so I am really looking forward to getting that going again. I spend a ton of time with my family, my parents live within an hour away so I spend a lot of time with them doing outdoor stuff, hanging out at the lake, etc. 

Q: Now that you’ve won HawkeStar, what is next for you? What else would you like to accomplish?

A; Just a nap. A decent nap, a real nap time every single day haha. I don’t have any Elon Musk ‘go to the moon’ goals, but I’d love to just continue doing what I’m doing. Digging into what makes consumers tick, and helping these brands really grow and expand. I’m really interested in the customer journey right now, so I’m aiming to make things incredibly efficient and smooth for the brands we’re working with. 

Q: What advice would you give to someone new to the company that wants to take home the award next? Who do they have to bribe? What do they have to do?

A: They probably need to bribe Steven in some way, I’m not sure if he takes cash or credit or bitcoin, but. I know everyone is so different, but I think if anything, starting at an agency, being flexible and patient while being able to roll with the punches is huge. Having thick skin is really helpful, things are always moving and changing so just keeping your head down and getting great work done is the key. It isn’t about shiny bells and whistles, it’s about being able to execute and deliver on your promises while being a team player. 

Q: In your experience, what goes into making successful relationships?

A: Being empathetic. Having the ability to say ‘I understand’ and actually understand, which can be hard. Working with clients, things can be a really big deal to them that isn’t a big deal for you, it’s important to step back and see their point of view and see their bigger picture. People are funny creatures, we all say things we don’t mean all of the time, and I think having the maturity to get where someone is and be able to either shake it off and communicate right through it. Bribing people too, is huge haha.

Q: What is something about you that might surprise people?

A: In real life, I’m probably the shortest girl you’ve ever met. I’m like 4’11, and especially virtually people have been shocked to hear that. 

Also, my sister and I grew up showing horses and were World Champions. I did that from when I was 11 to when I was 18. Basically, I was Shania Twain on a horse.