Name: Greg Pokriki 

Role/years with AAF Buffalo: Communications Chair- 2 years

Occupation: Content and Digital Marketing Associate at Invest Buffalo Niagara

Twitter handle: @GregPokriki

Instagram handle: @GregPokriki

Where do you work, and what does your role entail?
Invest Buffalo Niagara — Content and Digital Marketing Associate. I write for our blog. I host our podcast. I update our website. I run our social media channels. I craft our email newsletters. I do some public relations. If it’s content, it’s probably me.

What drove you to get into the advertising/marketing biz?

I’ve always been a very sentimental person. My favorite gift to get is the cheap, thoughtful one.  And so I think I see value in everyday or common things. More importantly, I love making other people confront that sentiment that they might not have even known was there. I see romance in a street meat vendor. So storytelling led me to this field.
More practically, in high school all my English teachers asked me if I wanted to pursue writing. In college I stood out as a writer. Getting that kind of attention at such a young age is influential. You have no frame of reference on how to become a writer, so to hear professionals complimenting you kind of puts it within reach. We all feel somewhat fraudulent in our field (at least I hope it’s not just me), but getting reassurances from people you respect and idolize is what got me started and what keeps me going.

What do you find challenging in our industry?

Any conversation that starts with, “Hey, I read your article.” It’s either uncomfortable flattery or awkward criticism.

What advice do you have for emerging talent in your field?

I suppose I am an emerging talent(?) in my field, so I should probably be taking more advice than I’m giving. My mantra, based off advice I’ve been given or read: Do more. The only way to get better is by putting out a large body of work. The only way to become a better writer is to write and read more. Other quick hits I love:

  • Proceed as if success is inevitable
  • The harder I work, the luckier I get

Tell us about organizations/charities you’re passionate about.

I like helping kids. I tutored at inner-city schools throughout college. I was able to help a lot of refugee children who both wanted to learn and wanted a friend. That was rewarding. Almost every child is creative, but it gets taught out of us. I’m passionate about keeping that spark alive.

What are three things you use at work every day?

Post-it notes. Stress ball. Microsoft Word.

When you’re not working, how do you spend your free time (hobbies, side projects, etc.)?

I watch a lot of baseball.

What’s your favorite app or social media outlet? Why?

Twitter makes me laugh and keeps me informed. I’d like to use it less, though.

What’s the last thing you read?

Yes We (Still) Can- Politics in the Age of Obama, Trump, and Twitter

Duff’s or Anchor Bar?

Duff’s for the taste. Anchor Bar for the ambiance.

Why did you join AAF Buffalo?

I wanted to foster a creative community in Buffalo.

What role(s) do you play on the AAF Buffalo board?

I chair the communications committee.

What do you enjoy most about AAF Buffalo?

Feeling a part of a creative community. I’m always impressed by both the brain power and willingness to share that brain power.

How has AAF Buffalo impacted you professionally?

I’ve made so many connections and met so many talented people. It’s incredible when you’re at an event and sit back to think about how much talent is in the room. I love being a small part of that.

What differentiates AAF Buffalo from other groups?

It is both socially and professionally valuable. Many groups I’ve had experience with are only one.

What’s one pro tip you can share with our membership that will make their lives better or easier?

Write down everything. My notes app is home to so many terrible and often incoherent, 3 a.m. ideas. Every so often, there’s a decent one, too.