When she was a kid, Emily Roberts dreamed of a career in music—as a rapper, to be specific. Growing up in Tempe, Arizona, Emily and her sister busted out the karaoke machine on the regular, which is how she discovered her knack for busting a rhyme. “I’m really good at karaoking Will Smith songs,” she said.
But even though her immaculate “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” sing-along skills weren’t quite enough to land her a record deal, she’s pretty happy about the way things panned out. After all, as WebPT’s internal communications specialist, Emily gets the chance to flex her creative muscle every single day. In addition to crafting internal posts, videos, and messages about everything from health and wellness to WebPT tips and tricks, she handles the majority of WebPT’s social media activity as well as some public relations efforts. “I love the freedom of it—the creative freedom,” she said.
And that’s exactly the kind of job role she had her sights set on back when, as a sophomore at Arizona State University, she needed to buckle down and choose a major. Karaoke jokes aside, Emily always had a strong interest in music. In college, she worked at a record store, and in talking with her colleagues, she determined that public relations might be just the ticket to a career in the music industry.
However, eager to snag a job in her field after graduation, Emily decided to accept a marketing and public relations position at a local physical therapy clinic. “Basically, I was out there trying to get new patients and referrals from doctors,” she said. “I also did social media for them and some public relations. I ended up getting them a couple of TV spots on the local news.”
She went on to hone her PR prowess at a commercial real estate firm, and she also picked up a freelance blogging gig with The Millionaire Matchmaker television series. Eventually, though, she grew tired of the real estate business and longed to get back into an industry she was more passionate about—and that’s when she came across the listing for her current role at WebPT. Her unique combination of experience in both the communications and physical therapy fields made her a perfect fit for the job, and since coming aboard last spring, she’s sharpened her skills even more.
As someone who lives and breathes social media marketing every day, Emily knows the true value of social media for businesses—including PT private practices—lies in its ability to foster community. “At the end of the day, the point of social media isn’t just to sell, sell, sell,” she said. “You have to find a way to use it to: one, interact with your patients and your audience, and two, in a roundabout way, gain new patients and followers, and possibly even some referrals. But I’ve seen so many [clinics] post things that basically amount to ads—and nothing else.”
Although social media is, by nature, a round-the-clock job, Emily still manages to make time for her interests outside of work. Among them: volunteering at a local domestic violence shelter. “I’ve always felt very strongly about women’s rights and women’s empowerment,” she said. So, when she came upon the opportunity to put her passion into action, she jumped at it.
That go-getter attitude is something Emily gleaned from her father—who also happens to be her hero. “He’s really taught me the value of hard work and the strength of positivity,” she said. “A couple of years ago he had a medical emergency, and he almost died. But he pulled through and was so positive throughout the whole thing; I’ve never seen anyone else come through a situation like that with so much grace.”
So whatever challenges come her way—personally or professionally—Emily always strives to tackle them with as much grace and positivity as she can. After all, life rarely goes according to plan—but sometimes missing out on rapping superstardom means discovering your true creative calling.
Fave Five with Emily
- Favorite food: Filet mignon
- Favorite movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Favorite sports team: Manchester United
- Favorite musical artist: Kanye West
- Favorite place: Isle of Man (off the coast of Ireland)