How Media Brands Are Building Trust in the ‘Fake News’ Era

October 30, 2017

commweek1They are some of the biggest names in media today — so well-known that the President has aimed attack tweets at more than one of them — but is that enough to thrive in today’s cluttered communications climate?

In a word, no.

And yet, according to panelists at the New York Women in Communications’ panel, The Clicks Are In: How Major Media Brands Maintain Trust in the Era of Viral Media, held on Oct. 19, 2017, at Time Inc. headquarters during Communications Week, while the game is ever-changing, the real work remains the same: Finding the facts and telling the story.

Moderated by Joanne Lipman, senior vice president and chief content officer of Gannett and editor-in-chief of USA Today, the wide-ranging conversation of the state of the media industry featured Edward Felsenthal, editor-in-chief of Time; Mindy Massucci, head of Bloomberg LP’s soon-to-launch Twitter network; Allison Murphy, vice president of ad products & news partnerships for the New York Times; and Shareen Pathak, co-executive editor of Digiday.

“People want our brands because of the swirl of misinformation elsewhere,” Edward observed. “Audiences come to us largely because of the abundance of false news out there.” He is, indeed, optimistic about the media industry’s future: “We’re seeing record audiences and are learning the power of our own authority.”

The panelists agreed that they are learning the power — and pitfalls — of new platforms changing our industry. “Social media give us a unique platform for users to engage and establish trust,” said Mindy, who noted that Bloomberg aims to be as bipartisan as possible in its reporting. “Our part is to make sure that the data and facts are there to let consumers draw their own conclusions.” Allison agreed, adding that the “best way to build trust with our audience is to look for those facts.”

commweek2Another great way to build trust is through increased transparency in reporting — a trend that has been helped by the proliferation of podcasts. “Podcasts are a great, unfiltered way to tell news stories,” explained Shareen, whose brand has been producing shows featuring interviews with media leaders since 2015. “Through this technology, outlets can talk to their sources directly.”

Of course, podcasts are only one new way to tell stories. Increasingly, said Allison, the Times is considering upfront all the methods it wants to use in presenting its reporting, from video to print to social to digital. “How we tell a story, share it on the best platform and translate on other platforms, are all important,” she said.

So, too, is the question of revenue, which, not surprisingly, continues to be a key concern for all media properties today. “Not long ago, ads and audience flowed in,” said Edward. “Now we have to go find the audience where they are.”  And Mindy agreed, noting, “If you’re going to pitch a story, you have to monetize it.” 




Photos: Jan Goldstoff



Posted by: 
Wendy Maurice

You Got the Dream Job – Making the Most of Your YoPro Salary

October 23, 2017

saving moneyYou nailed the interviews and got an offer from the employer of your dreams  — but your salary? That may leave a little to be desired. According to Glassdoor.com the average salary for an assistant account executive in NYC is $39,037 and an editorial assistant is $40,235. How do you make the most of what you’ve got? Here are five tips to get you started.

Write a Budget and Stick to It.

Map out your fixed expenses (rent, student loan payments) and variable expenses (groceries, utilities) to get your estimated expenses each month. Subtract that from your after-tax monthly salary to find out what you have left to work with. From within that amount, set a budget for the things you expect to spend money on – like restaurants and bars – and most importantly, make sure to set aside money for savings. Monitor your expenses and make sure to stick to the budget that you outlined.

Make Tough Choices.

Choose one or two big ticket things to prioritize – that may be saving for a vacation or signing a lease on a fantastic new apartment – and set up a savings plan to meet that goal (mint.com is a great free tool to use). My first year out of school, I decided to live at home and commute to save money. I knew a lot of other AAEs that lived in the city and my lifestyle certainly wasn’t as glamorous, but it did allow me to go on a vacation to Costa Rica, have enough spending money to hang out with friends on weekends and eventually comfortably move to Hoboken, which were my top priorities.

Don’t Forget that Little Expenses Add Up.

You may not think much about that morning coffee or salad take out, but they add up very quickly. If you’re grabbing coffee and eating lunch out every day that could easily add up to $15-$20 a day, or $75-$100 a work week. Now wouldn’t you rather use that $400 a month on something more meaningful?

YoPro event FinancesTake Advantage of Loyalty Programs.

Almost every loyalty program is free — so you’re leaving points on the table when you stay at a hotel, take a flight or even buy that coffee in the morning. You should always try to minimize your expenses but if you’re spending the money anyway, you might as well benefit from the points. I’ve gotten multiple free nights and coffees from the loyalty programs I belong to – not to mention exclusive coupons and discounts.

Think Long-Term.

While it’s easy to focus on the short term, it’s more important than ever to start saving for your future. The money you invest in your 401K in your early 20s will garner significantly more compounded interest than the money you invest in your 30s. Most employers offer a 401K match up to a certain percent – try to invest at least that much – and increase the percent that you contribute as you grow in your career. A good rule is to increase your 401K contribution 1% each year.

Want to hear from the real experts? Learn how to take your finances to the next level by joining us for a discussion with Fidelity on “The Money Move: Take Your Finances to the Next Level” on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017.


Posted by: 
Caitlin Talty

Balancing Your Career: Your Work Should Give You Purpose and Meaning

October 16, 2017

Linda DescanoLinda Descano is a mover and shaker who has used her communication skills and influence to elevate and educate women throughout her career. Linda is past president of New York Women in Communications and currently serves as the organization’s Vice President of Strategic Planning. Linda’s day job is Executive Vice President at Havas PR.

During a recent NYWICI Twitter chat, Linda shared insights about career choices, overcoming obstacles and the best career advice she has ever received.

How would you describe your responsibilities at Havas?
My role at Havas PR is part conversation architect, part account management and part new business development. As a “conversation architect,” I create integrated communications programs underpinned by social media and content.  

You are NYWICI past president and now serve as VP/Strategic Planning. What does this role entail? 
As VP of Strategic Planning, I work with the executive committee to set the strategic priorities for NYWICI. 

When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in communications?
It was never a conscious decision but evolved over time, as I discovered my skill at “translating” information into insights that were relevant to a user.

What was your first job in communications?
Well, I guess it was as co-editor of The Patroness, which was a poetry journal produced at my high school.

What is the biggest obstacle you faced while pursuing your career goals?
My biggest career obstacles were being underestimated for my smarts because I didn’t have a MBA and was, shall we say, curvy which was synonymous with "lazy" in some people's view. Lastly, I was being criticized for exhibiting behaviors that were considered strengths in male colleagues. For example, I was "emotional" while the guys were "passionate". I was "bossy", while they were "decisive" and so on.

Highlights of my career were being a part of Women & Co. while at Citi, and second, no surprise, my tenure as president of NYWICI. Both provided me with the opportunity to stretch my skills while educating and elevating other women.

What advice would you give college students interested in pursuing a career in communications? 
Get a job as a tutor. Teaching others is a great way for developing your communications skills. Learn and embrace social media and digital tools, as they must be a key part of any communications platform.

On the best advice Linda has ever received
The best advice I have ever received was from a manager who asked at my first performance review whether I was happy. He said that we spent too much time at work to only do it for the prestige, money or trhe title and that our work should give us purpose and meaning if we want to be happy. I’ve looked at every career opportunity through that lens!

What I love most about NYWICI is how invested our members are in each other’s success. NYWICI is all about women raising their hand to reach for more while lending a hand to bring other women along.

Check out the full Twitter chat transcript on Spotify and our event calendar for upcoming Twitter Chats.


Posted by: 
Rodeena Stephens

2017 WiCi Awards Recap

October 11, 2017


On Tuesday, October 10, 2017, communications professionals, colleagues and friends gathered to celebrate the achievements of five rising stars in the communications industry at NYWICI's 5th annual WiCi Awards. The event was sponsored by MediaCom, hosted by Bloomberg and emceed by Dyllan McGee, CEO & Executive Producer at McGee Media & Founder & Executive Producer of MAKERS.

The WiCi Awards are presented to women who represent the next generation of communications leaders. These women are also admired by their peers and employees, are actively involved in the communications industry, have made significant contributions to their companies, and embody the values of New York Women in Communications.

Wicis2017This year's award was given to (in bottom left photo, left to right): Mora NeilsonAssistant Vice President, Integrated Communications at L’Oréal Paris; Amanda CowieHead of Business & Strategy Communications, Bloomberg Media at Bloomberg L.P.; Amy OdellEditor at Cosmopolitan.com; Shari ReichenbergExecutive Director, Strategy and Planning at Ogilvy; and Leslie PittersonVice President of Communications, US Media at Nielsen.

The WiCi Awards honor women who...

  • Represent the next generation of communications leaders
  • Have made significant contributions to her company and industry
  • Are admired by peers and employees
  • Embody the values of New York Women in Communications
  • Are actively involved in the communications industry 

Wicis winners 2017

Each of the honorees shared their advice about their personal and professional successes:

Leslie Pitterson: “Always keep in mind to have a presence in every room that you’re in.”

Amanda Cowie: “You can’t ever sacrifice your self-integrity.”

Mora Neilson: “Raise your hand for the jobs that no one wants because you have a lot to gain and can make a real impact.”

Amy Odell: “If you’re afraid at work that means you’re probably doing your job.”

Shari Reichenberg​: “You can always find a way to bring you back to center.”


Photos: Jan Goldstoff


Getting Paid at Every Stage

October 2, 2017

Adweek PanelYou’ve worked hard, you’ve made your case and now the job is yours — but how can you be sure that salary offer is fair?

The question was top of mind for “Charting Your Course at Any Stage,” the NYWICI panel held during Advertising Week, on Sept. 26, 2017, on the NewGen Stage.

Moderated by Meredith Long, senior vice president and general manager, news, luxury & style at Time Inc., the panel featured top media executives Karna Crawford, managing director, head of marketing strategy, media & digital development, JPMorgan Chase Consumer Bank Division; Lori Conkling, executive vice president, strategy and business development, NBCUniversal; Mia Tramz, managing editor of Life VR; and Karen Van Bergen, chief executive officer, Omnicom Public Relations Group.

Each shared their own take — and their own experiences — navigating what can often be one of the toughest conversations of your career.

Test Your Value

One way to see what the market will bear? Talk to a recruiter. Lori learned this lesson firsthand after having been asked what it would take for her to consider a new opportunity. When she threw out a salary figure, the recruiter replied, “Oh, that won’t be a problem,” Lori recalled with a laugh.

The recruiter’s quick response prompted her to start thinking about her future salary in bigger terms. But she also realized that any negotiation at her current employer would require her to make her own case for herself — and that was something she was prepared to do. “I could show the value I was bringing to the company — and I found that to work very well as well.”

Tap Your Network

For Karna, creating a surrounding trusted and especially informal network, featuring a human resource professional or two or an experienced hiring manager in your field, can be a way to get the scoop on what your next role should pay.

“Hearing an average or a range [for a potential title change], you can generally understand where you’re going to fall within that,” said Karna, pointing to factors such as your experience level.

But what do you do if you’re earning within your position’s typical salary range but at its lowest level at your company? Karna warned that riding the bottom of the salary range can haunt your salary progress as you move up the ladder and are stuck at its lowest pay rates.

Adweek PanelDo Your Research

The first step in raising your salary is to find out what others are currently paid in that role. Are they making more than you? Then with your research in hand, it’s time to say what has to be said.

“I know that in this next job I’m worth $10,000 more or $20,000 more or whatever that number is. Have the courage to have the conversation," Karna advised, "or you’ll always ride the bottom of the line.”

Karen stressed the power of finding out everything you can about your position’s potential compensation prior to negotiating your salary, and she urged that women should not hesitate to call out inequities as they see them.

“There’s nothing wrong with challenging your employer to prove that you’re not paid less than men with the same responsibility,” Karen said. “There’s so much reticence among organizations across the board to really look into it. It’s something we need to do better.”


Photos: Jennifer Owens


Posted by: 
Jennifer Owens