Cassandra Bailey is the president and CEO of Slice Communications, a communications agency based in Philadelphia. Slice’s business philosophy is grounded in three principles: 1. PR and social media should work together, 2. Different is better than better, and 3. People like to work with the people they like. These beliefs are at the core of Slice’s service strategy, which integrates PR and social media to help brands cultivate two-way conversations with their audiences. The company has worked with clients such as Axalta Coating Systems, Bookbinder Specialties, Juno Search Partners, and BLT Architects. In addition to her role at Slice, Cassandra is also Chair of Tree House Books, a North Central Philadelphia nonprofit dedicated to building a community of readers and writers.
Cassandra Bailey spoke with citybizlist publisher Edwin Warfield and Jeff Mack of NGKF for this interview.
EDWIN WARFIELD: Tell us about the company and how it started.
CASSANDRA BAILEY: Slice Communications is a marketing communications agency. We do two things, public relations and social media, and both of those are focused on developing two-way communications between companies and their target audiences.
Slice was founded by myself and a partner. We started it at a time that was economically very challenging, out of our homes, but we had a sense that we were doing something that was a little different than what some other communications agencies were doing. We were able to start growing the company pretty quickly, starting in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Q. Did you intend to become an entrepreneur?
A. I am certainly an accidental entrepreneur. I never intended to own a business. I never intended to be in marketing communications. My degree is actually in International Politics, Economics, and Philosophy, so no formal business or marketing training, but I regularly have an opportunity to mentor students, and the one thing that I tell them all the time is whenever a door opens, just walk through it. Chances are, whatever is on the other side is pretty good. And that’s how I got to be the CEO of Slice and I am so glad that that’s my job now.
Q. What is the company’s growth strategy?
A. There are a number of different ways that we are growing the company. The first is that we continue to grow it organically. We work with new clients, we have a fantastic business development group that really is just killing it, together with their sales coach and our sales trainer, and they are doing a great job organically. But there are three additional ways that we are planning on growing the business and scaling the business in the upcoming year.
One of the things that I was fortunate to do was the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in 2014. What that helped me do was learn a methodology for creating a growth plan for each and every way that I want to grow the business. With these three new opportunities I am in the process of developing growth plans for each one—that include metrics, research, and analysis—as well as well as looking at the risks and opportunities for each growth plan.
So, stay tuned—I’m sure we’re going to be doing announcements about the three big growth opportunities that we are pursuing right now. But it’s a combination of these new ideas as well as our existing organic business.