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Alumni Profile: Talia Salem '05
Year Graduated from UCLA:
2005
Current Occupation/Field of Work:

I work in the travel industry marketing the United States as a premier travel destination to international travelers. I manage our global social media marketing and content strategy.
• Manage Brand USA's global and nine country social media presence and strategy
• Manage and implement the social presence of Brand USA's corporate communications
• Develop new content and promotions for digital channels
• Support DiscoverAmerica.com and its management
• Write and edit website content and blogs

Work Experience:

Director of Communications
PlanetWildlife
April 2012 – June 2013 (1 year 3 months)Washington D.C. Metro Area
• Create and implement a communications strategy, which resulted in dozens of press hits and generated 15% of new website visits
• Create and implement new social media plan on 6 platforms, which resulted in a 40% increase in new website visits and improved SEO
• Create and implement the first-official company writing guidelines, which boosted copy consistency and itinerary readability
• Manage company messaging, content development and itinerary writing styles with team in India
• Conduct tourism market analysis and product development research for the CEO to support the company’s strategic growth plan
• Research and create travel partnership pitch for a major U.S. corporation, which resulted in initial talks
Sustainable Tourism Consultant
Talia Salem
January 2012 – June 2013 (1 year 6 months)Washington D.C. Metro Area
Consulting for a variety of tourism development and tourism marketing projects for various clients, such as Sustainable Travel International and Scott Wayne Associates. Past work includes destination consulting, visitor experience work, interpretation, destination research and social media marketing.
Communications Specialist
International Institute of Tourism Studies
September 2012 – January 2013 (5 months)Washington, DC
• Redesign the website to better showcase the institute's offerings
• Creating video for certificate programs, creating written communications, and managing social media presence.
U.S. Travel AssociationResearch Assistant
U.S. Travel Association
October 2011 – October 2012 (1 year 1 month)Washington D.C. Metro Area
• Improved language and approach of research products to better suit the association’s membership and public relations
• Spearheaded the research and publication of Top Travel Rankings, after a 20 year hiatus
• Researched the economic impact of tourism, created surveys, and assisted chief economist
Freelance writer
Living Social
August 2011 – October 2012 (1 year 3 months)All over the US
• Writing the blurbs for the daily deals you know and love
• Writing 20 deals a week all over the U.S.
Director of Operations
Mejdi Tours
December 2011 – July 2012 (8 months)Arlington, Virginia
• Designed, built out and implemented new information and contact management systems for MEJDI’s new National Geo-graphic Expedition, a dual-narrative tour in Israel and Palestine
• Managed operations, messaging and branding; worked with key international clients and suppliers
• Planned, promoted and executed an event on Tourism: A Tool for Peace and Intercultural Understanding with Dr. Taleb Rifai of the United Nations World Tourism Organization at National Geographic with high attendance from key contacts
The Undiscovered Travel CollectionMarketing Consultant
The Undiscovered Travel Collection
September 2011 – December 2011 (4 months)Washington, DC
• Instrumental in brand launch of The Undiscovered Travel Collection, assess competitive positioning of brand
• Create brand standards and operating procedures, manage overall messaging, write and edit communications
Smart MeetingsManaging Editor
Smart Meetings
January 2009 – July 2011 (2 years 7 months)Sausalito, CA
• Managed a team of eight to ensure proper workflow and deadlines were met of a B2B magazine with 43,000+ circulation
• Consistently met deadlines and exceeded expectations, while managing a twice-monthly travel schedule
• Researched, wrote and edited topical articles on travel, meetings, conventions, hospitality and sustainable travel
• Planned and executed the launch of national editorial coverage, a 350% increase in territory
• Initiated and implemented new social media marketing plan, and collaborated on and created marketing copy
• Received an unprecedented two promotions within the first year of employment

Why did you choose Comm Studies as your major?

I wanted a field that was flexible and going to continue to help me grow as a professional. I always had an interest in journalism and marketing, and a communications major gave me building blocks for both. Communications is also0 the foundation of many businesses, and being a good communicator is a major key to professional success.

Favorite UCLA memory and/or professor:

I loved Dr. Groeling's communication technology class and creating videos for the presidential race.

How has Comm Studies empowered you in your professional and personal life?

I feel very adaptable to any situation I am in and feel like I can take on a challenge.

What was the most valuable or applicable lesson you learned from a Comm Studies class?

Good communications is much more difficult than it seems, there is a lot that goes into it.

What advice would you give to a current Comm Studies student?

Use your time in school to set you up for your professional goals. Use all of the resources you have while you have them. Create content and a portfolio of work that will help you get your next job. Make connections and keep them. Don't be afraid to ask for help or favors from peers and professors like introductions and internships. Make sure to intern or work while in school it will make you more employable.

Fun facts, interests, hobbies:

Talia enjoys cooking, snowboarding, biking and photography. She loves to travel and experience a destination like a local, discovering the hidden gems and authentic eats. She is a California native and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. Talia speaks English, French and Arabic and has family on five continents, none of which speak the same language in common, but all manage to communicate.

Significant Achievements:

Talia holds a dual bachelor of arts degree in Mass Communications and French Language and Literature from UCLA, as well as a Masters in Tourism Administration from The George Washington University.