Episode 204: Sinead Norenius-Raniere, Vice President of Product Management at Cision
Watch It Live

What happens when you decide to take your future into your own hands? Sinead Norenius-Raniere, VP of Product Management at Cision, did just that — and she’s all the much better for it. Working with social media influencers to help grow their platforms, Sinead is committed to innovating the landscape of content creation and branding on the internet. At first, her vision wasn’t understood, but she didn’t let that stop her from chasing what she knew to be a success.

Dan Hodgdon
Molly D’AmatoHi Esperanza!
Esperanza RosenbaumHi Molly. How are you?
Molly D’AmatoHow are you doing today?
Molly D’AmatoOh, sorry! I love recording things over Zoom because everyone loves to talk over each other on accident [LAUGHING].
Esperanza RosenbaumLove it!
Molly D’AmatoBut I’m doing well, how are you?
Esperanza RosenbaumI’m doing alright. I’m hanging in there, having a lot of fun.
Molly D’AmatoGotta love it. Happy first day of Spring, when we’re recording this it’s the first day of Spring.
Esperanza RosenbaumYes! Happy first day of Spring! It’s my favorite season, what about you?
Molly D’AmatoIt has come to be my favorite season as well. Cause like I always was a Fall girl cause my birthday’s in the Fall and I just love some crunching leaves and I love the Fall holidays, but now I love the Spring because I’m very much a colors girl and I love bright colors. I just feel like that fits perfectly in the Spring so I’ve kinda come to be a Spring girl.
Esperanza RosenbaumTotally, I’ve always been a Spring girl. I’m a Spring baby so…
Molly D’AmatoYeah I feel like your favorite season always kinda lines up with when your birthday is.
Esperanza RosenbaumTotally. It’s that and I just love when the flowers are coming out on the trees and the leaves come back to life.
Molly D’AmatoYes!
Esperanza RosenbaumI just, I hate dead trees.
Molly D’AmatoMe too.
Esperanza RosenbaumSo seeing them come alive again is just the best part of the year.
Molly D’AmatoYeah I totally agree. But anyway, today we’re talking about Episode 204 with the VP of Product at Cision, Sinead Norenius Raneire. We got to listen to it when we did the live recording on YouTube, which by the way, if you haven’t been following us on there you totally should because we get to do some exclusive content on there that you don’t hear on here, so check that out on our Youtube “Where Brains Meet Beauty Podcast.” But yeah, Sinead was so awesome, she was literally the nicest person.
Esperanza RosenbaumYeah totally, Sinead was a really lovely guest. We were having so much fun just like in the green room before we went live and even after too we went live, she’s just a lovely person to talk to.
Molly D’AmatoYeah she just has such a happy personality and she’s super inspiring. I feel like she’s done a million things in her life and she shows you that you can really try different avenues for your career and if you don’t like it, you can try something else.
Esperanza RosenbaumAbsolutely, yeah I think she made me feel better about the career path that I’ve taken too to get here but I’m really excited to be here. And also she got really personal too with us, so it was really inspiring to hear from her.
Molly D’AmatoYeah, totally. I just think she’s such an awesome person to hear from. She’s so inspiring and so real, it felt like she was really talking to us like a friend so I highly highly recommend you stick around and listen to this episode because it’s a really good one. Yeah so let’s hop in!
Esperanza RosenbaumLet’s hop in!
Jodi KatzHey there everybody. Thank you for tuning in. I'm very excited to introduce our guest of our 204th episode – and here she is. So this is our theme of technology. So we invited Sinead Norenius-Raniere – did I do it right? I hope so.
Sinead Norenius-RaniereClose, but –
Jodi KatzWait, lemme try it again. Sinead Norenus -
Sinead Norenius-RaniereNorenius
Jodi KatzWould you like to introduce yourself?
Sinead Norenius-Raniere[LAUGHING] – I told you this, it’s a mouthful! Can you imagine growing up with this name?
Jodi KatzOkay - Sinead Norenius-Raniere is here! So, welcome to Where Brains Meet Beauty, Sinead.
Sinead Norenius-RaniereThank you so much for having me, Jodi. It's such a pleasure.
Jodi KatzWell, we are here on the topic of technology and you are the VP of Product at Cision. And for everyone who's listening, who's a publicist - like they know Cision very well, right? It's part of their day to day in their job. And I'm so excited to hear about your journey and your career and how technology plays a big role. But before we do that, I wanna go back in time with you to your 11-year-old self. What did you wanna be when you grew up?
Sinead Norenius-RaniereOh, so many things. I was probably that child that thought I could and would do everything. I probably have wanted to be a couple of things anywhere from – at one point I thought I wanted to be a nurse. Like my mom. Until I discovered I can't stand the sight of blood or vomit or anything like that. So that wasn't gonna work out. I then was going to be a policewoman and actually went to the academy for a little bit until I realized that I'm a big, scaredy-cat at night. And when you are a new recruit, you work the graveyard shift, which I decided was probably not a good thing with a gun in my hand, if I'm that scared and terrified. So I figured beauty was safe. And when I wanted to grow up, I wanted to be a really famous makeup artist. So that is how we kind of entered into the beauty space. But it was not without trial and error.
Jodi KatzWas there a makeup artist who you like saw on TV or magazines that really inspired you back then?
Sinead Norenius-RaniereWell, back then Kevyn Aucoin was like, absolutely my favorite. I mean, I still have his books to this day and his transformations were just probably so inspirational. I'd say he was, he was top for me.
Jodi KatzOh, that's so cool. Okay. So did you ever go to become a makeup artist?
Sinead Norenius-RaniereOh, sure. Sure. In Santa Barbara, I was a makeup artist at a local salon there called Skin Deep for many years and it was actually there that I then decided to get into aesthetics. So I left Santa Barbara, went back home to San Francisco, got my aesthetic license, and then started as a medical esthetician for a plastic and reconstructive surgeon down in Newport Beach, California. So yeah, it was, that was my entry point.
Jodi KatzDo you remember one of your first customers as a makeup artist were you like prepared to make them beautiful, or was that scary also?
Sinead Norenius-RaniereNo, it wasn't scary. I figured if I could put makeup on myself half-decently there was hope, so it did not scare me at all.
Jodi KatzWell. I mean, I'm not great at makeup for myself, so I just became a skincare girl 'cause you know, that's easy. It's hard to mess that up. But I could imagine the first day of somebody coming to me for a special occasion or a special moment and just being a little hopeful that I could get it right for them.
Sinead Norenius-RaniereYeah. I - as I said, I figured, okay, just get this over the line. You're – you can do a good job. Just don't screw this up. But it wasn't so much nerves as much as excitement. Honestly, it ended up being a wedding. So it was a hard one to enter into. But once you cut your teeth on that, I think you gain a little bit of confidence.
Jodi KatzOh, I love that. So you know, this theme we have this quarter is technology and you know, this is such a great fit for you to be a guest because not only your job today, but like you're such an innovator in technology. And it's -- going through your LinkedIn is actually quite fun because it's like a tour through, how the industry has evolved. Right? You've really been on the front lines of so much evolution and tied to technology in our industry. So I know we're gonna have a lot of fun today, but you know, let's start with Cision right, 'cause that's where you are now. And you know, this business started as an innovative technology company, right? Like it changed the way publicists get to do their job and sell their work really quite frankly, to clients. What role is technology playing now in the future of the business?
Sinead Norenius-RaniereYeah, that's a - that’s a great question. And one that we are tackling head-on right now. So for us, and the reason why I'm at Cision, is I was brought over by our Chief Product Officer and Technology Officer to kind of reimagine the tools that at first obviously journalists and the people that we serve, but most importantly needing to be able to take a step back and figure out how we can address the entire content creator ecosystem. Because now it's not just about journalists, journalists will always have a place and it's a critical part of reporting news, et cetera, as we all know, but even their jobs have significantly changed. Right? So you see a decline in print readership and a lot of these publications going out of business, but the journalism's not really been lost. It's just evolving. So now you're seeing journalists that are also freelancers and they are building their own social media presence.
Sinead Norenius-RaniereAnd so Cision has the responsibility to adapt to those changes. And so I was brought in to really rethink what those tools are for content creators as a whole. So including journalists, thought leaders, podcasters, even down to traditional social media influencers, what are the tools that we have to provide as a company in order for them to do their jobs more efficiently? Number one. And then number two, how do we build tools that create a better ecosystem for both sides of the equation? Because, for instance, you touched upon, you know, if you're in PR you know, Cision, and that's the way that we've always gone about our business is servicing PR professionals, but we now need to really pay attention to the content creators in that exact same ecosphere and be able to give them the tools so that they can communicate, collaborate, and then ultimately transact in one ecosystem so that we can provide all the robust data and insights to both sides of, as I said of the ecosystem so that everybody can make more informed and empowered decisions moving forward.
Jodi KatzSo Sinead, you know, you said in the beginning when I asked like your 11-year-old self, 'what do you wanna be when you grow up?' You said, ‘I wanna be a lot of things’ – and you literally have been a lot of things.
Sinead Norenius-RaniereYes
Jodi KatzLike you like actually made that happen. So you know going back in time you were at the front of influencer marketing and influencer marketing innovation and technology, which is so cool. And I feel like I was on that side in the creative way. And you were on that side in the technology way and I know I'm dating us both by saying this.
Sinead Norenius-RaniereI know! I know.
Jodi KatzBut you know, it's so cool to think about like the front lines of influencer marketing. When we started working on our first influencer marketing programs and Clinique was actually our agency's first client way back then for this work, it was a wild – I mean, still the wild west -- but it was like really uncharted territory. Right? And I remember our clients being really nervous about how their media contacts were gonna react to this work. Right? It was very, very tentative and sensitive. So I wanna hear about innovation and technology and that influencer marketing space when you first started in that space as an entrepreneur.
Sinead Norenius-RaniereYeah. You know, it's funny, I was working for a very well-known sunless tanning company. And I saw the industry going where it was as far as the amazing power that the internet could have. And I actually approached this company, even though I was in platform education. I approached this company that I was working for, and I said, 'Hey, let me run your digital strategy. We should be doing so much online'. And exactly that Jodi, it was, 'oh no, we will never sell online'. It was so low brow, right. It was so low-brow. And I just thought, wow, that is such a missed opportunity here. And I actually got frustrated. I came home, talked to my husband and he was like, 'Sinead, let's do it ourselves'. And that's really what started my kind of beginning of being an entrepreneur in the social media space.

So I quit my job, I started a blog and, you know, it was very telling of those times too, because my blog was called selftanningqueen.com like, very original. But anyway, it was a way that I felt was incredibly powerful to be able to talk to your end consumers directly. And so I built a blog following, a social media following. And then when we started to produce products, what I actually did was early crowdsourcing. So I know sometimes Glossier gets all the credit of crowdsourcing, but really we were doing it in early 2007 and 2008. And we would send lab samples to people that were following me on my blog, and Facebook, et cetera for feedback. And then when we actually had a brand, we allowed all of our followers to have a say in the name of our products, in the logo.

We invited all that input directly from the consumers. And then when we actually had a full product line to go to market, we had this amazing, almost like this little cult following that was championing the brand from the beginning. And that's when we got the attention of HSN because HSN was all – they were kind of interested in this amazing world of beauty bloggers. And we had such a great following that they actually funny enough, people used to turn their nose up to TV shopping as well. And yet they were one of the first to embrace what I was doing. And I thought isn't that interesting. Another company that also could be considered a little low brow was actually pretty smart in identifying and saying, wow Sinead, this is something interesting. So I was the first guest at HSN to ever bring on a fellow beauty blogger onto a show and to talk about the product. So that's kind of how my journey started was just seeing an opportunity. And I think that's where —it's about looking at the opportunity and going after it, even if people don't see it.
Jodi KatzSo Sinead, when you started that — well, you quit the job and started your blog. Yeah. Did you have this all mapped out in your head or was this something that evolved over time?
Sinead Norenius-RaniereNo, it evolved over time for sure. I was lucky enough — my boyfriend at the time, now my husband, was in online marketing and an entrepreneur as well. And I was very lucky obviously to have met him period, 'cause I think he's fabulous, but incredibly smart when it came to online marketing at the time. He was also working with some incredible business development partners all the big guys that we know about today that do really an amazing job of D2C. My husband was already working with as well. So, when I took the idea of applying that to beauty and wanting to be able to do it myself, I at least also had his brainpower to figure out the mechanics behind that as well.
Jodi KatzSo Sinead, I wanna really shift gears here and talk about skin health, and you told me that we can get personal here. SoI know recently you had a diagnosis of skin cancer and you're really open with your network on LinkedIn about what was happening. Can you take us through that story?
Sinead Norenius-RaniereYeah, I — it was a shock. I was diagnosed with Stage Two malignant melanoma and a pretty aggressive one at that. And yeah, it was absolutely — at the time it was devastating for a couple of reasons, obviously, it's melanoma. But number two, I had just started a new job, literally started a job on Monday and was diagnosed, received the news on Thursday. So four days later. And it was a huge shock to me for a lot of reasons. Number one, I am a huge proponent of skin health and sunscreen. And I have probably worn sunscreens consistently since I was about 17. And obviously, I'm, I was, I am still an aesthetician and preach skincare and skin health, been in the industry, and to get that diagnosis was heartbreaking. But it was also terrifying at the same time because the spot on my cheek, and you can go to my LinkedIn posts or in my Instagram post and have a look at it.

It was a tiny, tiny mark on the left side of my cheek. And I know all the signs, all the, A, B, C Ds of melanoma. And yet I still didn't think it was. I was more concerned about a mole on my back and actually a mole on my toe, but I very gratefully had a pretty smart obviously dermatologist that just couldn't let it go. She kept coming back to me during that appointment saying, I just don't like the look of this. And I was like, 'really, this? That's it?' And she said, 'I'm gonna biopsy it'. So I said, 'Fine'. And biopsied it. And then a week later got the news, but what was most disturbing to me was I almost didn't go to that dermatology meeting. And I think that's one of the things, especially with my post on LinkedIn that went pretty viral, was the fact that we as women, especially because we are working, we're career women, we're mothers, we're juggling so many different things, that we oftentimes put our health last.

And the only reason I went to this dermatology meeting is I was actually having a really crappy day at work and I needed to just take a breather and a step back. And that's why I decided God, I need to get outta here. So I'm not going to cancel that dermatology appointment, because it was just a yearly check-in. I thought, ‘I've just started this new job, maybe what I'll do is I'll reschedule it for three months’. If I had rescheduled it for three months, I cringe at what the outcome could have been because I was diagnosed on a Thursday and I had my first surgery on Monday at 8:30 AM. 'Cause the doctors like, 'I'm sorry, Sinead. This has to go out. We're really worried about how close it is to your lymph nodes'. And that was terrifying to me because I would've put that off if I wasn't having a bad day and just felt like I needed a break.

So I always wonder now and I am very vocal about it, I am very passionate about it with my current team, that we go and take care of ourselves first-hand. And I want people to talk about what they're doing. So now I'm not ashamed to say, 'Sorry guys, I've got a mammogram'. Like let's say that word because even though I have males on my team, you've got — they've got sisters, they've got mothers, they've got wives. Let's normalize that conversation and the ability to take care of ourselves. So I say, 'Sorry guys, I've got a dental appointment.' 'I've got a mammogram.' And it's been awesome to see my team start to do the same things. And I think that is what is most important as well.
Jodi KatzWell, Sinead I have my mammogram on Friday,
Sinead Norenius-RaniereGood!
Jodi Katzso I'm saying it to you in the microphone.
Sinead Norenius-RaniereI am so proud of you. Don't put it off. So I agree. And that's the same for men too, right? They've they've got their checkups, colonoscopies, all those things, but I — if we don't have our health, we don't have anything. And that is where I have become extremely passionate about it. But, especially when mine could have been caught a year earlier. And that's the bummer, 'cause it could have been a very easy procedure, but instead, you know, I now have a scar - it's covered right now, obviously with makeup - that runs all the way down my face. It's about this size. And it was, I had to have reconstructive surgery on top of it. It's a lot. And so prevention is really just so key on all levels, not just melanoma.
Jodi KatzGo for your annual skin check at your dermatologist. That's, I mean, I feel like people talk about mammograms more than they talk about skin checks, quite frankly. So we, we do keep talking about that. I'm grateful that you shared that story. You know, we only have a few minutes left in this particular part of the interview and I wanna talk about something that's I guess maybe a natural segue. This idea of our careers being seductive. So this is a word I use a lot. I know it's a strange word for a business conversation, but I feel like in my career and in growing my business when I get a taste of like my dreams coming true, it's a seduction. It's like, oh my God, I want more. Right? Oh, I'll send more emails. I'll spend more time at my seat or I'll work through X, Y, Z. And I don't think that seduction needs to be a bad thing. I think it means also like, wow, I really have a lot of fun in my work. Right? I don't know if I could be seduced by if it's not fun, but you know, it's a topic that's on my mind a lot. And I'm just curious about you know, how seduction in your career shows up for you and you seek to find you know, balance in your life through it.
Sinead Norenius-RaniereThat's a great question. Wow. It's hard because I do — I'm a builder. So, I think for me, that's the seduction. I love building products, whether that's a skincare product or in my past life, it was an influencer marketing and technology platform. Now, as you know, I'm heavily in software technology, which is crazy to me. But I'm building, I'm constantly building. And for me, that is probably my seduction. And I agree with you. I don't really think that's a bad thing. But in order for me to be satisfied with my job, I do have to be creating and building. And I think that's also what's propelled me forward and actually allowed me to take more risks. So for instance, the job that I have right now is so far out of my comfort zone, Jodi, you have no idea. And yet it has been extremely humbling, extremely rewarding, extremely tiresome as well but it's the seduction of building that keeps me going and allows me to innovate because I also see things that could be done better. And I'm all about better and easier too. So, I'm not gonna lie.

If I — I'm not saying I would cut corners, but if there's easier ways to do that, something, I will figure that out for sure.
Jodi KatzYeah. We call that working smarter, not harder, right?
Sinead Norenius-RaniereYeah, yeah.
Jodi KatzWhy struggle? Okay. Before we close out the interview, I wanna talk about this gift that you're going to give one of our lucky winners on Instagram. This is a subscription for six months to BuzzSumo. So what is BuzzSumo?
Sinead Norenius-RaniereYep. So BuzzSumo, just so everybody knows, is a part of the Cision family. We own a number of brands like Falcon IO, Brand Watch. We've got a number of different companies under our umbrella. But I thought this would actually be a great entry point into Cision 'cause sometimes people don't need the robustness, you know, of what Cision is. And BuzzSumo is an incredible tool to not only be able to help inform content creation so it can detect trends with online content in social. It's also an amazing tool to be able to monitor any kind of activity. So if you are a brand owner like a beauty owner or a independent esthetician who's building her brand whatever it is, it's just a really, really cool self-serve tool that I think your users would find really helpful. So we are giving away a six-month subscription, which I think is worth around $600. $600 and something dollars. So --
Jodi KatzOh, that's so exciting. Okay. So there's gonna be details about BuzzSumo and how to enter on our Instagram @WhereBrainsMeetBeautyPodcast. So we will get that up, maybe not tomorrow, but the next day. So check back and we will you know, make that available to you, and share the rules of that giveaway with you. So thank you so much for your generosity. I want you to know Sinead, we are a Cision agency. We subscribe to Cision and also Falcon IO, and my team loves Falcon.
Sinead Norenius-RaniereI love that. Oh great!
Jodi KatzWe've been using it for a while.
Sinead Norenius-RaniereOh, that's awesome. Well, we have a ton of improvements and innovations coming out, so I will connect with you when I'm hopefully in New York so that I can give you a little sneak peek.
Jodi KatzAwesome. Okay, my team will definitely wanna be there. Okay, so now we move onto our last and final part of this show which are fan questions, so we collect questions from fans on social and we’ll put them in front of you. Okay this first question is so good. What’s one thing you would tell your 20 year old self?
Sinead Norenius-RaniereOh, wow. Take that risk. Take that risk. Do it. And don’t listen to advice that does not mean anything to you. That would be, meaning, be careful who you ask advice from and I would just say take that risk but also watch where you get your advice from, right? Like you don’t want to ask someone about taking a risk with a job or starting a company, you don’t want to ask somebody that’s been in their role for 30 years, right? Wrong person to ask cause they’re not risk-takers. So I would say that.
Jodi KatzI love that advice. It actually makes me think of another piece of advice I got so long ago, god I wish I knew the way it’s said. But basically when you need support, go to the people who can actually provide support as opposed to going to — I think they said like don’t go to the dry well when you need water. I think that goes into taking advice. Like there’s different people in your life for different things, not everybody can give you that support and kindness and generosity. Some people, they’re just not capable and that’s okay! But you have to really think about where you’re going to when you really need like that boost or that hug or whatever it is.
Sinead Norenius-RaniereAgreed, agreed. Totally. That was a good question, woo.
Jodi KatzThis is a good one too! Okay what is your go-to self-care ritual?
Sinead Norenius-RaniereIt’s changed over the years but right now I would actually say meditation. For me, self-care has gone beyond beauty. For me, it’s mental and that is my new frontier, I’ve gotta get my mental state more harmonious. So I have been incorporating more and more meditation over the years. So that for me is a very very important part of my self-care.
Jodi KatzAre you able to share what that routine looks like?
Sinead Norenius-RaniereYeah! It’s like, it depends on my mood, to be honest. So like I meditate at night going to sleep but like, for instance, this morning I felt like I just needed a boost so I did a morning meditation early. I think it’s important to try to get some sunlight, and I say that when I said I wear sunscreen all the time but there is something to be said about actually seeing sunlight, being outside. So this morning, I was actually outside and did a morning meditation. And it’s always guided, so I probably have about 30 different meditation apps, but it depends on the mood. And then there’s times where I have to like psych myself up before a client call or something like that, and then I’ll just shift. So it’s really mood based to be honest.
Jodi KatzThat’s so interesting, you know I never really — I have a sunscreen wardrobe with different sunscreen for different purposes for different moments but I never thought about a meditation wardrobe, and that’s what you’re talking about, right? A different type of meditation for different types of needs. I love that, that’s really quite helpful to me today.

Okay, we have time for one more question, this is a good one. What’s a key tip for keeping yourself organized in such an important position like the one you have?
Sinead Norenius-RaniereI mean I utilize a lot of different tools. So there’s tools that keep us organized just from an internal and corporate standpoint, right? And then personally, I leverage things like OneNote. I categorize all my my thoughts, my to-do lists, whatever it is, I utilize OneNote a lot. We also, my husband and I and our family, we utilize Asana because we’ve got a lot of moving parts, we have real estate investments and things like that that we just have to keep track of. So we utilize Asana. And then I live and die by my calendar. My calendar, if it’s not on my calendar, it doesn’t happen. So I will schedule things, like silly things, prepping for whatever. But if it’s not on my calendar, it doesn’t happen. So I’d say those three things are the key for me trying to stay organized. And then all the usual stuff as I’m sure everybody else does, I mean to my left of me, you guys can’t see it, I have a full filing system and I utilize Dropbox. My entire life is on Dropbox so files, all of that. But I do stay pretty organized, that is one thing I am pretty proud of.
Jodi KatzI love this. Well thank you for sharing these tips with us and that concludes our 204th episode so thank you for being #204!
Sinead Norenius-RaniereAre you kidding? I am so proud of you. It has been so amazing to see your progression over the years. It’s just been amazing Jodi. So congratulations.
Jodi KatzSo, Sinead, I'm so grateful for your wisdom and for sharing your stories with us.
Sinead Norenius-RaniereThank you so much for having me Jodi, I really appreciate it and thanks to everybody out there and I look forward to giving whoever is the amazing winner our Buzzsumo subscription!
Jodi KatzAnd for our listeners, I hope you enjoyed this interview. Please subscribe to our series on your favorite podcast app, and for updates about the show, follow us on Instagram @WhereBrainsMeetBeautyPodcast.

Want to sponsor the pod?

Available On:

Apple Podcasts