Camden resident Paula Bracey was featured in The Wall Street Journal to talk about how she implemented walking meetings at her job, South Carolina Department of Health and Environment Control (DHEC) in Columbia.
Bracey lives in Camden, but works at DHEC as a director of project management for health regulation and administration. Bracey was featured in WSJ for a video she did on walking meetings. WSJ journalist Rachel Bachman’s journalistic beat is fitness and exercise. After she covered the 2016 Olympics, she wanted to do research on walking meetings. Walking meetings are becoming popular at companies because they increase physical activity at the job and individuals are more creative during these meetings versus meetings in the office.
“She [Bachman] contacted me because my video on my YouTube channel about walking meetings popped up when she was researching walking meetings,” Bracey said. “Before I said yes, I did my research on her, made sure she was a legitimate person, and we corresponded over a two week period.”
Bracey said WSJ does an extremely thorough job of fact checking and verifying your story.
Bracey’s video on walking meetings had only sixty views, but she believes it was found because not too much information was out there on walking meetings, and also because it was unique.
“When you do videos like everybody else’s you blend in,” Bracey said. “This was not a common video, and that’s how she found me.”
Bracey wants people to know that she did not get discovered overnight by WSJ journalist, Rachel Bachman, Bracey had to put in work. She started a YouTube channel back in July 2015 because her kids wanted one, and they made it their own online photo album. She would film her kids’ sporting events, and she posted every week.
“I think my kids got bored with it,” Bracey said. “You have to post constantly, and you do not make money right away.”
She has over 200 videos, some highlighting her kids’ sporting events, Do-It-Yourself videos, budgeting videos, videos on healthy snacks and walking meetings. She says that when you expose yourself on a social media platform like this, be prepared for constructive criticism, and people being mean just to be mean.
“You need a thick skin,” Bracey said. “I do whatever is on my mind, and move on.”
Bracey says after the WSJ piece, other papers and newsletters contacted her, the WSJ article was constantly shared on Facebook and the youth were interested in how she was “discovered.”
“It did not happen overnight,” Bracey said. “I have been on YouTube for a little over a year, I have a small following, and there are things you should remember when on social media.”
Just be yourself, and do not conform to what is out there.
Have a thick skin.
Keep work life and personal life separate.
As soon as you get used to one social media platform, a new one is out.
Bracey has a bachelor’s degree in Administrative Information Management from the University of South Carolina because she has always been drawn to technology. Her first jobs out of college pertaining to her degree did not fit her.
“I don’t have the personality to sit at a computer all day, and not socialize with people,” Bracey said.
YouTube and her current job allow her to move around and socialize with other people. She enjoys making videos and editing them, and taking photos.
“Kids want instant gratification, but it takes work,” Bracey said. “It is not all glamorous, but when you finally get recognized for your work, it makes all of the hours of filming and editing worthwhile. I never thought I would be in The Wall Street Journal, and you can’t put a price tag on that.”