While the NAB Show’s “Leadership That Looks Ahead” session featured the Alliance for Women in Media, their stories and advice were universal for anyone looking to emancipate themselves into a career in media. broadcasting. No doubt the lessons learned from the past two years of pandemic lockdown have also weighed into their good advice.
“I was reading a book at the start of the pandemic…a little 40 or 50 year old hardcover black book about getting us through tough times, and it was so basic, but it made me think of all the hard times we’ve all been through – our parents and grandparents – and it feels like that too will pass. I think we’re all stronger on the other side,” said Susie Hedrick, CEO of vCreative.
This theme carried throughout the session, along with the dedication to industry resilience. “We have come through the recession. I mean, everyone thought it was going to be over, but I always looked at it as if we could persevere through these tough times and thrive…not just survive,” said Tracy Gilliam, chief strategy officer at Futuri Media. . “The pandemic has taught us that you can trust your team to continue to do what they were hired to do and look up to them for responsibility and accountability to do the job they were hired to do. been hired, without having them in an office.”
Angie Balderas, senior vice president and general manager of Entravision Communications, noted that there are simply variables in the business that may never be the same. “That’s the first thing…is to accept.” For example, working with the automotive category on radio: “They’re changing the way they do business, (so) we have to be able to change with that too.” This applies to most industries, she pointed out. “Having conversations with your customers, listening to them, listening to what they need…that means being a solution provider for them.”
Moderator Christine Travaglini, president of Katz Radio Group, asked panelists for the best advice they could share with other women who are progressing into leadership positions. Gilliam said: “Be brave. It’s not easy, is it? But good luck. Easy decisions are not always the right ones. And sometimes that’s just the way to get there: it’s hard, it can be very intimidating. The journey is part of the reward and it may not be comfortable, but you can do it.
The next topic was how to find the right people to fit into your media organization. Gilliam added, “It’s all about culture, making sure you hire for the culture. For a long time, we have had fundamental values: speed, passion, proactivity and trust. We are hiring looking for that. It is important to address all of these characteristics early in the interview process, while taking your time and finding the right people.
Summarizing for all, Travaglini stressed the importance of leaning on colleagues every step of the way: “You don’t win alone and you don’t lose alone,” she said. And, Hedrick suggested, “Try different things. I really try to push a bit when I don’t know something. Be curious about what other people are doing and what it’s like to be someone else.
From left to right: Tracy Gilliam, Susie Hedrick, Angie Balderas, Christine Travaglini