It’s easy to “like” alumna Jane Schachtel’s mantra – marketing new technologies with new technology. Since graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Journalism in 1988, Schachtel has lead marketing teams for companies like Microsoft, Intuit and, most recently, Facebook.
From the heart of Silicon Valley, Schachtel is the director of Facebook’s Global Marketing Solutions, where she creates and manages partnerships with global agencies and brands to help them be as successful as possible on the social media platform.
You’ve worked for some well-known, innovative companies. Did you ever imagine this would be your path when you were a student at WVU?
When I was at WVU, the internet was barely up and running. So, it wasn’t as if I said “I’m going to be part of that.” It was more about wanting to do marketing for products that change and evolve but also have a lot of value in people’s lives. That’s what I thrive on. To be able to work for a company like Facebook whose mission is to connect people around the world and help them form communities – it’s so powerful. I feel privileged and honored to work for a place with a mission like that.
Your professional career progressed alongside the World Wide Web. What was it like implementing this new medium into your marketing plans?
Since the start of my career, I’ve gotten the most energy from marketing new technologies with new technology, from ecommerce and online banking to search and, most recently, Facebook. The internet, mobile, AI, VR, and whatever else is coming – continuously disrupts business models and marketing models which creates a ton of new and fun programs to work on.
How do you stay current on the latest trends in technology in media?
Living in Silicon Valley means you’re surrounded by tech people, companies, podcasts and blogs. There are a couple go-to sources I have. One is Ben Thompson’s daily newsletter, Stratechery and for media, it’s AdAge or The Drum. I get my best ideas and inspiration on long trail runs.
Can you think of a specific big win or special moment during your career at Facebook?
One of the most genuinely inspiring moments for me is when Mark (Zuckerberg) shared his manifesto and changed our mission to be about community in March 2017. We, as a company, realized that we did a really good job of connecting people with people, and we were seeing communities naturally arise from those connections. To evolve our mission to be about that – where people can find purpose in their connections – to me, that’s a really beautiful and meaningful evolution that reflects what makes people, people. They’re connecting to each other and now we’re helping by building tools to connect them to things they care about.
Do you have any special memories about your time at WVU?
WVU was where I really discovered myself and my strengths because the University offered so many opportunities. The College of Media, specifically, allowed me to take on the first-ever magazine editorial internship for WVU’s college radio station, U92. The College gives their students the freedom to find the things they are really passionate about and do great, constructive work in that area. That is a special thing and I’m really appreciative that I was given that freedom. Do you use social media in your personal life? Social media has had a hugely positive impact on my life, from being able to connect to friends from all parts of my life to staying in touch with families to being able to connect to and donate to the causes I care about. For example, a few weeks ago NatGeo started a Facebook Group called Women of Impact and the stories that are being told and shared in that group are really powerful. I regularly use Facebook and Instagram Stories.