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Working with big names in the Big Apple

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Erin Maxwell stands with direct boss Amy Marino at the Platinum House at Parker Palm Springs during Coachella 2018. Maxwell and her team helped design the entrance of the Platinum House. “The process starts in December 2017, so it is approximately four and a half months of planning. My team works on all aspects of the Platinum House including the partner and activation elements; creation of the physical structure; negotiate contracts with music artists; create and deploy marketing and social media and assist our public relation partners on press outreach,” Maxwell said. “The Platinum House provides American Express Card Members access to an oasis away from the festival grounds to enjoy the Palm Springs weather before heading to Coachella for the evening acts.”

Erin Maxwell stands with direct boss Amy Marino at the Platinum House at Parker Palm Springs during Coachella 2018. Maxwell and her team helped design the entrance of the Platinum House. “The process starts in December 2017, so it is approximately four and a half months of planning. My team works on all aspects of the Platinum House including the partner and activation elements; creation of the physical structure; negotiate contracts with music artists; create and deploy marketing and social media and assist our public relation partners on press outreach,” Maxwell said. “The Platinum House provides American Express Card Members access to an oasis away from the festival grounds to enjoy the Palm Springs weather before heading to Coachella for the evening acts.”

Courtesy of Erin Maxwell

Courtesy of Erin Maxwell

Erin Maxwell stands with direct boss Amy Marino at the Platinum House at Parker Palm Springs during Coachella 2018. Maxwell and her team helped design the entrance of the Platinum House. “The process starts in December 2017, so it is approximately four and a half months of planning. My team works on all aspects of the Platinum House including the partner and activation elements; creation of the physical structure; negotiate contracts with music artists; create and deploy marketing and social media and assist our public relation partners on press outreach,” Maxwell said. “The Platinum House provides American Express Card Members access to an oasis away from the festival grounds to enjoy the Palm Springs weather before heading to Coachella for the evening acts.”

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Working with Coachella, Beyoncé, Museum of Ice Cream, Kendrick Lamar and Drake through her career as the Director of Brand Partnerships and Experience at American Express is part of alumna Erin Maxwell’s daily life in New York City, since graduating in 2002.

“My best friend and mentor in New York City, who I met while working at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, had an open role as a senior manager on his team,” Maxwell said. “He reached out to me about the role, which managed PR, social media communications and marketing communications for the Digital Partnerships and Development team at American Express, and after a standard interview process, I accepted the role.”

Maxwell is able to interact with other widely known companies and partners like Art Basel Miami, Uber, John Mayer, Aspen FOOD & WINE Classic, Hamilton on Broadway and many more.

“We look to provide access and value where our card members are, [which] includes relevant partners and events that our Card Members are engaging with and attending. I think there is always a combination of feeling excited and intimidated about starting a new adventure with such well-respected companies,” Maxwell said. “The size of the companies I have worked for and the variety of disciplines, expertise and the sheer number of people made working for these companies intimidating; however, they also have exciting projects, partnerships and resources that I knew would offer me so many amazing opportunities. Now with a handle on American Express, how it works, who the players are, it is much easier to navigate and enjoy the opportunities and projects.”

Before being promoted to Director of Brand Partnerships and Experience, Maxwell was Director of 360 Communications Strategy in the digital partnerships and development team.

“The 360 Communications role was PR, social media communications and marketing communications for our Digital Partners & Development team that led key digital programs such as American Express’s integration into Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Jawbone and Pay with Points programs with Uber and Airbnb,” Maxwell said.

Be clear and simple first and foremost and always be the calmest person in the room.”

— Erin Maxwell

Six months later, Maxwell took on PR and communications for the Global Advertising and Brand Management team.

“They were looking to expand their partnerships and experiential team to focus on our biggest business bets across the company, and I took the role,” Maxwell said. “My team is tasked with creating one-of-a-kind partnerships and experiences that provide our card members with unprecedented access and value, above and beyond the financial benefits of the card. I work on partnerships and experiences for our Platinum Card, GoldCardHilton Honors Co-Brand Card and our dining partners.”

Since she has been working with American Express, Maxwell has received many awards for her work.

“I have won two Edward P Gilligan Innovation Awards for my work on a Coachella in-app program and the pay with points program with McDonald’s. This award is the highest internal honor at American Express, and I am so proud to have worked on amazing projects with amazing teams,” Maxwell said. “Also, I am very proud of my work on the Platinum Card refresh, which is one of the most successful launches in the company’s history.”

Prior to working with American Express, Maxwell worked in public relations for The Door where she handled strategy and new business.

“The Door was straight public relations at an agency, and I enjoy being at a brand with a broader remit than just PR,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell also worked with Godiva Chocolatier before she became involved with The Door. She was in charge of Godiva incorporated public relations, social media, partnerships and events.

“We worked with exciting partners such as Golden Globes, Oscars and food and wine festivals, as well as partners such as Lauren Bush Lauren and her charity FEED,” Maxwell said. “I also started the company’s first cause marketing program, The Lady Godiva Program that honored women who give back to their communities.”

Maxwell has also been associated with Starwood Hotels and Resorts where she specialized in corporate public relations.

“It included media pitching, writing press releases, briefing executives for media interviews and press events. My favorite part of working at Starwood Hotels & Resorts were the amazing brands I got to work with every day. The Starwood portfolio has such a range of brands from luxury to budget and it was fun to work across these brands and ideate on the next promotion, programming and brand partnership,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell advises people looking to work in the field of communications to be hardworking and kind.

“Be clear and simple first and foremost and always be the calmest person in the room,” Maxwell said.  

Maxwell’s lifelong goal is to always be happy and fulfilled in whatever she does.

“I believe [my goal] will be different at different times in my life,” Maxwell said. “Right now, I love the fast-paced, travel and diversity of my job.”

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7 Comments

7 Responses to “Working with big names in the Big Apple”

  1. Susie Lashly on May 11th, 2018 6:14 pm

    Great job, Sarah. Erin Maxwell seems to be leading a very interesting life. It is nice to know that Parkway has prepared her so well..

  2. Nancy Lynn on May 11th, 2018 6:29 pm

    What an interesting article about a professional field of which I was not familiar.. Nicely done!

  3. Ellen Friedman on May 11th, 2018 7:47 pm

    Really interesting! Thank you.

  4. pam heaton on May 11th, 2018 8:52 pm

    Sarah…..such an interesting article about one of Parkway West’s alums. Your writing style is impressive.
    Keep up the great work….it shows!

  5. Sandy Ford on May 11th, 2018 10:27 pm

    Sarah,
    Thank you for sharing this story. You are an amazing young lady..

  6. Lois Hendrickson on May 12th, 2018 6:26 am

    Your article is interesting. I like Maxwell’s goal of being happy and fulfilled in whatever she does. It sounds like that is what she is doing.

  7. Mark Lashly on May 14th, 2018 8:49 am

    Great article, Sarah. It sounds like Erin has made an interesting and exciting life for herself in the Big Apple.

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