When women support each other, incredible things happen!
Welcome to our second Badass Babes feature. Born in the Big Easy, but unable to claim a local high school as her alma mater, Morgan Ford embraces her pseudo-hometown in her role as the Yelp New Orleans Community Manager. On any given day, she’s knee-deep in community marketing initiatives that span social networking, marketing, educating, and entertaining for Yelp.com, an online search and review site and mobile app with millions of active users worldwide. When she’s not enjoying her job, you can find her in a cuddle puddle with her two wiener dogs or crashing a crawfish boil.
Where did you go to high school? And how did you find yourself back in NOLA?
I went to high school in Twin Falls, Idaho, at Twin Falls Senior High School. I had moved to Twin Falls when I was going into 8th grade, and I lived the majority of my year up there but would spend the brutally hot summers and holidays in New Orleans. For college I went to Florida State for a year, and then finished out my Journalism degree at Louisiana State University. I wanted to come back to the city to make a difference and because that feeling of it being my true home never really went away.
What’s your favorite part about working for Yelp?
The reason I wanted go into Journalism was the unique personal stories I could help people tell through writing. My favorite part about working for Yelp is the opportunity to meet amazing businesses owners, hear their story, and find a way to convey that to our local Yelp community.
Tell us more about the Yelp Elite program.
YES! – aka The Yelp Elite Squad, is a yearly recognition of folks that are active in the Yelp community whether they’re sharing their drool-inducing pics and experiences about the latest restaurants online or joining me and fellow members of the community at a behind the scenes look at a local brewery. Yelp Elites are privvy to a private Yelp Elite calendar with exclusive events and ticket giveaways, and are recognized on the site by a shiny badge by their name! If someone is interested in joining the squad or looking to get more info, they can check out yelp.com/elite.
When you’re not working or hosting an event for Yelp, what’s your go-to spot around town?
New Orleans is chock-full of great spots and so it really depends on my mood, the season, or what my stomach is grumbling for…My favorite restaurants right now are Bearcat and Marjie’s Grill for noshing and Cane & Table, Effervescence, and Pal’s Lounge for drinking. The summer brought The Drifter Hotel into my world, and I’m ready for warmer temps and I’m mildly obsessed with Glitter Box N.O. at the moment for shopping.
What’s the best crawfish dish you’ve tasted in New Orleans?
Even if you were my sworn enemy, if you brought me a crawfish beignet from Katie’s Restaurant we could bury that hatchet. Delicious. But to be honest, I love boiled crawfish, and will hit up a crawfish boil any chance I can get. #sucktheheads
What’s the best cocktail you’ve had in NOLA?
Oh my gosh, the pressure is on. I think there are some amazing bartenders that have made me some incredible cocktails but I feel a perfect cocktail is more about the moment you’re in at that time and how perfectly suited that drink is to the situation whether cheering a glass of champagne for a new job or catching up over drinks with an old friend.
The best cocktail (as of recent) was at Pal’s Lounge after an incredibly arduous day. I was getting married in a few weeks, and was over some of the logistical nightmares so wanted to escape everything for a moment. I also have a thing for Bloody Marys, and while it was nearly 9pm, I asked their lovely longtime bartender Charlie if he would be willing to make me one. Without batting an eye, he asked if I wanted it spicy and went into mixologist mode. Folks at the bar watched in wonder as he created my concoction, and as he passed it to me across the bar a song came on the radio coincidentally referencing the issues I had had that day. The Bloody was perfectly spiced, and really made everything better.
One thing you can’t live without?
Chocolate, humor, and my family. I also nearly always have a really good pen on me.
Are there any exciting Yelp events our readers should have on their radar?
We have our 7th annual Krewe du Vieuxing party coming up at Royal and Elysian Fields; a primo spot to watch the parade roll by! It’s always a great kickoff to Carnival and our Yelp-y year!
Anybody with a Yelp account can RSVP here, and we’ll have all sorts of schwag, giveaways, food (hello, Manchu chicken wings by the hundreds), and some really great sponsors including Saint Arnold Brewing Company and PMBrokerage & Consulting featuring El Buho Mezcal, 18.21 Bitters, Crescent Vodka and Old New Orleans Rum!
Do you have any advice for young marketing professionals in New Orleans trying to find a sweet gig like yours?
Be true to yourself in your cover letter or email to prospective job inquiries. Nothing is more boring than, “My name is XX, and I’m applying for the position of XX.” Tell a story, sell yourself, and if they don’t like it than it probably wouldn’t have been a good fit anyway.
In a city like New Orleans where there is usually less than 2 degrees of separation it is so incredibly important to network but don’t go into it with your business cards peeking out of your pocket and a sweaty handshake. I’d rather someone walk up to me and say, “My name is X, and I like watermelons and puppies” than follow-up with what they do for a living (unless their occupation is cultivating watermelons and cuddling puppies). It’s intriguing and it hooks me to learn more about why you felt the need to tell me that. We’re a city that thrives on connections so make them, build them, and fingers crossed, opportunity will present itself.
Know anyone who should be featured as a ‘Badass Babe’? Please let us know