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Creating Diversity in Entertainment Industry with Veronica Salcedo

In this Cracking Corporate conversation we chat with Veronica Salcedo, the Senior Director of Integrated Marketing within NBCUniversal's Entertainment & Lifestyle Group, where she leads a team of marketers ideating and executing brand campaigns across NBCU’s cable portfolio. We touch on the lack of diversity behind the scenes and how that has impacted her career, finding her voice in her career, how to gain the trust of senior leadership and so much more!

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*Please note, the below transcript has been uploaded without the eye of a human editor so please expect some typos!

[00:00:00] This is a Mayzie Media production.

[00:00:02] During the Switch Pivot or Quit chats we talked to women who have successfully navigated through some of the plot twist years of life and are eager to share their stories and what they've learned in the hopes of inspiring, teaching or making even the slightest impact by candidly owning their truth. Hey girl, hey and thanks for dropping into the Switch Pivot or Quit podcast, candid convo for the girl needing a lifestyle plot twist when she's deciding if it's time to Switch, Pivot or Quit. I'm a Ahyiana Angel a former sports entertainment publicist in New York city, turned traditionally published author with Simon and Schuster. Who quit my old life to write a book, live in London for a bit and explore my dreams to find my happiness and fulfillment. I'm here to help encourage and guide you through your plot twist years as your chief encourager and host of this podcast, Switch, Pivot, or Quit.

[00:01:01] Our community is continuously growing. So welcome to all the new listeners, and thank you all for those who are returning. If you love what you hear on the switch, pivotal quit podcast, and wanna show your love, head over to iTunes and leave us a review. A review just helps more people know about the podcast and it helps to continue to amplify our voices as women in the space.

[00:01:27] Now, if you just can't get enough. Come hang out with us on Instagram by following me at Ahyiana.Angel. And that's A H Y I A N A dot A N G E L, or drop by our website,

[00:01:44] And today we're chatting with Veronica Salcedo. She is a Senior Director for NBC Universal's entertainment and lifestyle group. Veronica leads integrated marketing for NBC Universal's suite of pop culture, reality programs across cable, including the Real Housewives franchise, Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Chrisley Knows Best.

[00:02:06] Veronica has led campaigns anchored on E!'s Live From The Red Carpet at the Grammy's and Academy Awards, as well as Sci-Fi's live from San Diego ComicCon. She's been in the industry for more than a decade, working within the content in integrated marketing fields, as well as within communications and public relations.

[00:02:27] She's also been recognized by industry organizations, including PR Week as a champion of PR and marketing. Let's dive into this conversation with Veronica. Oh, but wait, before we do just a little disclaimer, please remember that many of the cracking corporate conversations you will hear were recorded in 2019, they were previously recorded in anticipation of a cracking corporate podcast that never came to life because guess what COVID happened?

[00:02:57] And I just felt like it was a little insensitive to release episodes regarding corporate climbing when so many people were finding themselves unemployed. So some of these conversations may not reflect exactly what the person is responsible for in their role right now. But overall, I felt it was really important to get these conversations out because the gist of them is about how to grow in your career and that never gets old.

[00:03:27] Alrighty, Veronica welcome to the show. Very excited for this conversation. How are you? I'm doing great. Ahyiana. How are you? I'm doing well. Thank you. Thank you. So to get us started, let's talk a little bit about your background and tell us how you got into your field and what you're presently doing?

[00:03:48] Sure. Thank you so much. So I'm originally from California. I went to school up there. I went to USC for public relations. And when I graduated, I worked for a really small multicultural agency out in downtown LA. Before I made the big move out here to New York. And when I made the move out here, I actually landed a very, very large public relations agency as well.

[00:04:09] Worked there for a couple years, did a lot of multicultural PR for Unilever, Pepsi, Microsoft, the like and after a couple years I started getting a little bit antsy on the corporate agency side so I made the big jump to join media companies originally working for a pretty large Spanish language network called Univision, and five years ago made the jump over to NBC Universal. And I was actually asked to work initially on a channel called E! We did campaigns with fashion week, the Oscars, the Grammys, and, and about three years ago, I made the move over to the cable side of the business. And now I'm working on USA, Sci-fi and CNBC, and my main role really in the integrated marketing team is to help the brands that we all know and love, bring them into the culture conversation that NBC as a media company is having and helping tell their brand story through the lens of, of our networks. So it's a lot of fun. I basically get to like watch TV and be creative for a living.

[00:05:03] But you know what I also get to do because of the position that I'm in. I'm also able and very lucky to help other women of color, particularly Latinas who, you know, are interested in the same field that I'm in. So really trying to break barriers in the marketing and advertising industry. So obviously representation in front of the camera is important, but that's not gonna start until we have that representation behind the camera as well. So, absolutely. That's really what I'm working on at the moment.

[00:05:29] I love it. Yes. So in terms of representation, we've we've touched on this topic a bit on this podcast, and I know that being a woman of color, sometimes coming into corporate spaces, you don't see a lot of you, a lot of people that you can automatically connect with and gravitate to. How has that played a role in your career, if at all?

[00:05:55] It's honestly been one of the driving and determining factors in my career that I've really used to propel and used it as a catalyst. Mm. In me really pursuing more opportunities. I, I started my career actually in the multicultural side of the business.

[00:06:12] So at the beginning it was, you know, I did see a ton of people that did look like me, the same culture backgrounds as me, but as I started progressing in my career and the higher end rank that I got, those started diminishing and when, especially when I moved over to New York and I started getting more involved in the entertainment marketing side of the business and entertainment advertising side of the business, it was slim to none.

[00:06:32] And there's a really big hole in gaping hole that we really need to address because. We have a ton of great talent at the entry level you know, coming into the workforce outta college, right. Who are so eager to learn about this, but aren't really sure that this is the, the industry that they wanna come in.

[00:06:49] And so again, because of the position that I'm in and, and, and my particular interest I've been. Very vocal, not only in my company, but in the industry at large, to make sure that we are paving the ways and just it's about access and information. Mm-hmm a lot of people just are unaware of the businesses that are available to them.

[00:07:06] Mm-hmm so, you know, I, I, I'm not only working on that. You know, in, in my day to day job, whether it's making sure that our advertising and marketing campaigns are breath full of, of diverse individuals, not just in race and religion, but things you can't see, right. The diversity of the human experience.

[00:07:22] Is it perspective, is it a veteran? Is it disability? Is it, you know, you come from a different world of view that is diversity as well. So my job is really just to make sure that we are representing those individuals and the campaigns that I'm executing for my brands. how, or when did you find your voice in your career?

[00:07:40] Oh my gosh. I think my inflection point was, honestly, maybe about five years ago. Mm-hmm I had an experience with a supervisor at the time that you know, he, in so many words told me I was too much and you know, I would come to work with my red lipstick, my hoops, my really loud dresses and skirts.

[00:08:00] And he told me that he literally said that I you're just too much, Veronica. You need to tone it down a little bit. And I gotta be honest with you, Ahyiana, I, I did. And I started wearing more muted clothes. I started not doing my makeup a certain way. And there was a point in time where I felt really dirty. I felt like, oh my God, this isn't me.

[00:08:20] This is not who I grew up to be. My mom would not be proud of this woman. And I, it was, it was a real reckoning for me because. I took the advice of someone who I respected and thought that that would get me further in my career. And I kind of flipped it on its head because here's the thing that it took me a long time to realize.

[00:08:39] I was at a, I, I was at a conference a couple of years ago and I came across a piece of advice. It was essentially, you have to play the game, then you have to win the game and then you have to change the game. You gotta play ball mm-hmm right. You gotta play by the rules. You have to come, you have to suit up and you.

[00:08:53] Do it, like they want it master that and then you're able to really change it. Right. So what I started to do was, you know, what, I, I will be that way, but I'll be the best that I can be and then I'll be able to change and flip this script on its head. Mm-hmm . So after a couple, as I mentioned, you know, a couple of, of weeks, months of reckoning, I was like, this is not okay.

[00:09:14] So I, I started to reintroduce those bold colors and those bold characteristics that make that make me, me mm-hmm , you know, I think getting a seat at the table is important, but what you say when you get there, I think arguably is more important because people are gonna help you. Get there mm-hmm right.

[00:09:33] But once you're there, it, it's up to you to make sure that you are suiting up and delivering the right information. So yeah, it happened about five years ago, but I'm so happy that it did because it really made me look at myself as an individual and made me remember what I stood for and what my values were.

[00:09:51] And I haven't lost it then. Mm. I love that. You know, this just makes me think of when you're in these moments where it's a little. Challenging for you. And you're trying to decide which way do I go? Do you reach out to anybody? Did you speak with anybody? Did you have any mentors or just people maybe that were your colleagues or just colleagues in the business world where you're like, Hey, have you experienced something like this?

[00:10:18] I guess what I'm really getting at is what are our options when we are in those difficult situations at work where you have to make a decision, but you don't really know what the right decision is because maybe you've never encountered this before. Right. And the one thing I would say, Ahyiana is that there might not be one right decision.

[00:10:41] Mm. And I think every person has to struggle with that. The right decision for me might not be the right decision for you. Right. But I think you need to you know, it's funny, I, I, you need to surround yourself with your own board of directors. Right. Like you have mentors in your life, but you need people who will call you out on your, on, on your BS.

[00:11:00] You, you need people in life who are gonna, when you're down, help bring you up. You need people in life who, when your ego is high are gonna help bring you back to reality. you know what I mean? You can't just surround yourself with with yes, men, you need to be able to surround yourself with people who, who are invested in your growth, but sometimes that also means tough conversations. And sometimes it means conversations that you don't wanna hear. So you will be faced with these difficult encounters and scenarios in your life. And, and again, you gotta tap into your board of directors and, and take a pulse of what the industry is saying what, because they know you outside of your perspective.

[00:11:39] So I think your board of directors will definitely give you really valuable insight that others potentially might. and, and, and then really the onus is, is on you because you're the one who's gonna have to sleep with that decision. But again, I don't think there is always going to be one right path mm-hmm you know, our journeys are jagged our journeys.

[00:11:57] There's tons of U-turns pivots detours and that's okay. Because at the end of the day, if we would've never taken those, they would never have led us to where we end up. How did you land your first big promotion into management, cuz as we're talking about growing, and as you said, as you continued to excel in your career, you started to see maybe less representation.

[00:12:17] What was that like your first big promotion into management and how did that sort of like come about for you or, and was it a strategic move for you? My, my big promotion into management was something that I, I, I made them move over to a division where I don't particularly had a passion for. Mm. And I did that because I wanted to be uncomfortable.

[00:12:38] And I knew the only way that I was going to grow into the manager I wanted to be, was to do something that I potentially didn't have an easy knack for. You know, originally in my career, it was very, very pop culture driven. It was very red carpet driven and that's very much my, my style and, and kind of what I love and, and, and see, and that, that industry sparks joy for me.

[00:13:00] And when I made the move into management, I went to a division that needed the help to grow and needed someone who potentially had a little bit more pizzaz than they were used to and a little bit more bold and, and, and sassiness mm-hmm to help kinda revive it. And I. When you take these big promotions, they always come with a little bit of uncertainty and uncertainty, not in yourself, but in, in, in, in the future.

[00:13:28] And I think that's, that's key. You have to be able to take these stretch assignments and really use them to your advantage. Like, I mean, All star of the line. You just continually get promoted in the best job that you love. But typically that's not people's trajectory. Right. They're gonna, as I mentioned before, pivot U-turn detour everything.

[00:13:47] So I, I, I, I always recommend people that I'm talking, whether it's, you know, a mentor or a student. Take the uncomfortable jobs. Don't just look for the jobs that you think are qualified for pitch it. You know, I think we, as leaders and as managers, we always try to make sure that we're hiring for the person and the potential of what could be.

[00:14:08] We know you can do the job, but in the next X month, whether it's six months to 12, 18, how will you grow to be that and develop into that manager? And I think, you know, luckily I had a boss who saw that in me and took that step and in myself, Albeit it did come with again, those uncertainties and, and, you know, it's scary, but.

[00:14:28] You guys just gotta bite the bullet, suck it up, woman it up. Mm-hmm and and, and just keep, keep walking. Yeah. Yeah. We had an audience question and I wanna throw a couple of these your way. The first one was, how do I build the trust and confidence of the leadership team? Honestly, it's it's with action.

[00:14:47] Especially in a, in a corporate division. Like I come from, I, I, I work for NBC universal, which is a very, very large media conglomerate global at this point. And, and there's a lot of talk, right. But I think that the leaders who succeed follow with action also, Listen, you'd be surprised at you know, my level unconsidered mid-management as a director, mm-hmm, , you'd be surprised with entry level and mid-management and talent, how much talking they do and how little listening they do, because I think the first great characteristic in any leader is that listening characteristic mm-hmm so you gotta make sure you do that.

[00:15:28] And, and also. Empathy. I feel that's a huge component in, in any in any, you know, individual trying to rise to the top that is recognized in leadership because you can kind of teach people anything. I can teach you how to do a really great, you know, marketing strategy or whatever it may be. But. To have empathy and the, the human emotion and human connection is something that I think we all have innately, but we forget.

[00:15:53] So to stay in tune with that and never lose it is something that's gonna be very valuable in the long run. Mm-hmm there's another listener question. And this listener's background is a little bit common, I guess you could say in that. You start somewhere and you wanna grow to another level, but sometimes you feel pigeonholed or maybe even stagnant in your career because of where you started.

[00:16:21] Have you ever been in a place like that? And if you haven't, do you have any thoughts about how to sort of move out of that place of, let's say this person starts off just trying to get their foot into the drawer, right. As an executive. Or just a department assistant or something like that, you know, they're coming in, you know how it is at these big name companies.

[00:16:41] You're just trying to get your way in there. Right. But then people start to know you in that capacity. That can be a little bit frustrating, right? When you think to yourself, I have more to offer than this. I really wanna grow out of this, but you start to feel a little stagnant or maybe pigeonholed where you are.

[00:16:59] Has that happened to you, or if it hasn't happened to you, do you have any thoughts or ideas about how someone may go about navigating this type of situation? Yeah, absolutely. It has happened to me. And it, it was actually when I changed disciplines from publicity and PR over to marketing and, you know, a, a lot of people who aren't in the industry believe they're the same thing, but they're actually quite different, right.

[00:17:22] They are part of the school, the same school, but they're actually very, very, quite different disciplines. And I did just that. And it was because of the connections that I had made and the groundwork that I had laid. Years in advance that, that you're able to do it. And I know these decisions, you know, they're not just overnight, you, you start having an inkling of something that interests you or, you know, you might kind of be stagnant or start plateauing off in your, in your current industry.

[00:17:51] That is. When you start feeling that that's the time to start laying that groundwork, whether it's coffee with someone or introducing yourself here and there I am a huge proponent of networking. I have never gotten any single job by just cold calling or applying on a website. I it's always been through someone I knew or a friend of a friend that has connected me with the next hiring manager.

[00:18:13] Mm-hmm and. I truly believe any opportunities and opportunity to network. I go to the grocery store and I network there. like, you need to make sure it's so true. You, you need to advocate for yourself and throughout my entire career, I've lived and breathed by the one piece of advice, which is never forget the brand.

[00:18:31] That is you. I don't wanna be known as Veronica with NBC Universal. I want people to know me as Veronica at like full stop mm-hmm and. You need to start that work very early on in your career, because it's very unlikely, especially with the new generation coming up, that you're gonna stay in one co one job your entire life, right?

[00:18:52] So you need to be able to create equity for yourself and in the discipline that you're at independent of the job. That you have. So again, meeting people and, and never, never losing that, you know, making connections with individuals, not for a purpose, just because they interest you or just because they're at a, at a, at a company that they interest you is, is key because you.

[00:19:17] You don't forget that, you know, you always get these notes from people that say I'm very, just in a position and your team would love to connect. That's that's awesome. But this really special ones reach out to you when there's no positions on your team. Or if you're mentioned in the news or something, you know, you work on a great campaign, they comment about it.

[00:19:35] Like those are the real special ones that you can see really care about what you're doing. And I think those are the really successful ones because they really know how to work the room. And it's, it's really quality, not quantity. Like if you can go to a networking event and really, really connect with two to three people versus exchange business cards, if those still even exist with 15 people, it's, it's a lot more Fruitful for, for, for yourself in, in, and again, maintaining the quality of the relationships versus just, you know, the amount of people that, you know.

[00:20:15] Do you think that there's a double standard when it comes to promoting men and women? And if so, how can companies address this double standard?

[00:20:27] And, and maybe if, if you don't wanna answer the question of how companies can address it, mm-hmm, maybe it's how can an individual do work that goes in their favor and, and having that double standard in the back of their. Yeah. I actually come from a discipline where there's a ton of, of women representation.

[00:20:48] I think there's really great representation at the female level of, of marketing and especially in entertainment. And so what we try to do is, is make sure that we definitely have a lot more male representation too. but in terms of, in terms of making sure that you are representing a diverse group of individuals, it's, it's a really fine line, you know, and as I mentioned before, diversity for me is not just what I see diversity is, you know, a diverse of the human experience where you grew up in the different perspective that you can bring to me is an indicator of how successful I will be. And, and to be quite frank, you know, a lot of people in Corporate America start to hire people that look like them, people that come from the same backgrounds as them. And they're almost like little robots. Mm-hmm, just continue with the mm-hmm and it, diversity is good for business point is like plain and simple. It is good for business. And if we start to hire, if we start to hire individuals that compliment our opportunities in white spaces, mm-hmm , that is where the.

[00:21:58] Actually makes good business sense to be able to hire diversely, you know, I know there's some stats out there that actually like there's actual business impact that, that, that companies have seen with ensuring that their workforce is diverse. mm-hmm yeah, there's a lot of different studies and, and, and I'm glad that you pointed out the fact that people tend to hire people that look like them because that's a comfort zone that we all find ourselves in.

[00:22:24] It's just, it's the same thing. Like when they say people are dating and they tend to date people who look like them on some level. Yeah. Like it could be related or something it's that people stay. We, we tend to gravitate to comfort zones. And so that's. I guess the nature of it, but being aware of those comfort zones and then trying to reach outside of that is beneficial for everybody.

[00:22:45] Absolutely. Is there anything that you do to maybe routinely try and push yourself outside of your comfort zone? You know, I, I love taking stretch assignments. And as I mentioned before, that that never stops in your career. I took a stress assign. You know, initially when I made the pivot over to PRN marketing, I was like, Hey, this is pretty cool.

[00:23:05] I could maybe make a career outta this. Right. But I continually like to raise my hand for things that people might not know me for, because you never know. I, I may wanna change disciplines again. I've been in, I've been in this industry for you know, over 10 years now and there's gonna come in time where I'm gonna hit an inflection point.

[00:23:25] I'm gonna be like, What do I wanna do with my life now? Yeah. So I always like to ask for such assignments and not just professionally, I'm a part of several nonprofit boards independent of, of the job that I do with NBC Universal. So even with them, you know, I, I wanna make sure that I'm continually working on things that I'm not the best at.

[00:23:44] And I wanna sharpen those skills because you never know, I might do something that I thought I hated and I have a knack for it, and I find passionate in it. So mm-hmm, I, I continually like doing that because again, the only way that I'm gonna grow as an individual, a professional, a manager, a person is by.

[00:24:01] Stepping outside of my comfort zone and, and making sure I'm growing and growing that way. Mm-hmm you talked a little bit earlier about personal brand and establishing that so that people know who you are by your name and not necessarily by your name associated with any brand name or company name.

[00:24:17] Do you have a personal elevator pitch? Ooh, I don't actually, I, I usually I start with the California bit because if you actually saw me, I don't fully look like I'm from orange county, California. , I'm kinda like, you know, one of these CRAs isn't look like the other, so that's really an elevator could be an icebreaker.

[00:24:41] I also throw in that I was part of the band in college because not many people again, would think that I'm part of the band. And I think the elevator pitch is always so professional and I just love breaking the ice a little bit, getting people out of their, you know, professional, stiff, like right.

[00:24:57] Conversation mode and just, just connecting with someone on a human level, because they've gotten millions of elevator pitches. How can I make them laugh? How can I make them remember me? That's not just on my resume paper. Like what's one thing that I can throw out there that they're gonna be like, oh my God.

[00:25:12] Yeah, that's the girl. In the, the marching band they'll remember me that way. Yeah. You know what I mean? Yeah. So I kind of rely on my personality and and charisma, quite frankly, because I'm, you know, they can read what I do professionally and my accolades, but mm-hmm, , what's not there. So. That's what I rely on.

[00:25:32] Usually mm-hmm mm-hmm . When you think about leapfrog in your career, have you used any types of tactics or things that maybe you think back and you're just like, oh, I didn't realize that actually helped to propel me in a huge way. Have you used any leapfrog style tactics to aid you in your career? You know what I did pretty early on Ahyiana.

[00:25:55] I mm-hmm , I, I, I, I, I made sure that I evangelize the soft skills that I learned versus the hard skills. Because as I mentioned before, anyone can do a budget. Anyone can do a creative deck, but what I started to use was the soft skills that I had learned, the time management, the project management, the problem, solving the team, building that I think.

[00:26:18] What allowed me to not only pivot careers, but grow in my career, those soft skills are transferable to any discipline in any industry. I think those are things that not that they're not necessarily totally taught in school or in a professional setting. Mm-hmm those things come with practice. And what I was able to do was really hone on those.

[00:26:42] And as I mentioned, evangelize those in conversations where people might have originally pigeonholed me but now, because I'm able to really showcase the skills that I can transfer across discipline might now think of me in a different way. And I, I truly think that helped me early in my career because people then looked at me and said, you know, maybe she would be great for the marketing team.

[00:27:02] I had picked her for a publicist for X amount of years that, you know, she's really putting her marketing hat on and is able to really do a lot of the same things that my team does. Let's give her a chance. Mm-hmm and I think. Helped me be in charge of the conversation versus the other person. I was in charge of my own destiny because I was the one who was letting them know how I could help them based on the soft skills that I've learned throughout my, my, my career and apply those to the hard skills that I will eventually learn on their team or whatever it is.

[00:27:35] If someone is listening and they're trying to make a transition into middle management, they are not quite in a management position or capacity yet, but that's a goal for them. Do you have any insights or things maybe that you've learned along the way that could help that transition and maybe make it a little easier, maybe something that they didn't know to look out for or didn't think of or something that you learned along the way?

[00:28:03] Yeah, I think before you, before you get into any management position, you have to think about values. You have to identify what your north star is. Mm-hmm and. I for me, those are empathy, compassion, and understanding. And the reason why I say that is because as a manager, you're going to be put in situations where the rule book is gonna be thrown out the window.

[00:28:29] Something inside of you to keep your cool help the person, whatever it is like there's gonna be, you're gonna be put in scenarios where it's uncomfortable and you're not gonna know what to do. Those values will continue you forward. And they'll be, as I mentioned, your north star in any difficult conversation scenario, whatever it may be.

[00:28:48] Mm-hmm . So before you even become a manager, you really need to look inside yourself. What are the values that you can bring and, and help and impart on your team? And that's step number one. The second thing I think again is to, is, is, is to listen. It's such a, it's such a, you know, minor detail, but the best leaders, I believe, truly listen and understand where their team is coming from, where their peers are coming from, where their management is coming from and then helps to solve business problems.

[00:29:18] You know, it's, it's interesting because a lot of people. Walk into conversations already, knowing what they wanna say. And they don't really listen to the other person. And then. You know, respond it's, it's more about who just getting your point across, right. And the best managers and leaders, again, really perfect.

[00:29:37] The exercise of listening, because that's where you can really put yourself in someone else's shoes. Being a manager, a hundred percent honest is being a part-time therapist. Like half my job is, is actually what I do. Mm-hmm. But half my job is really just trying to block and tackle roadblocks that my team is having personally or professionally and right. I love it though, because my, you know, my legacy is not gonna be the great campaign that I did for you know, the, the next USA show. It's gonna be the impact that I leave and the, and the people that I have touched in terms of their lives. Mm. And I, I wanna be known for that.

[00:30:18] I, and as I mentioned before, I live by it for me, it's, it's, it's quality, not quantity. Mm-hmm . I love to be able to personally affect a handful of people in my career versus, you know, tangentially or minimally impact 200 people in my career that is fulfilling and rewarding in and of itself for me. And it's really, you know, kind of kept me on my path.

[00:30:40] You mentioned just briefly like, oh, the next great campaign for USA. And it made me think like, I wanna know a little bit about your marketing mind, how do you tap into creative ideas? Or do you have a process or it, what happens in your world when there's maybe a new show launching? And there's a creative campaign that needs to be thought of, and maybe you and your team are charged with some element of things, or maybe you are in your spearheading and you have to bring it back to the team.

[00:31:13] What's your process look like? Or, or let us into your world a little bit. Like, what is it, what is this? Cuz it feels like a little bit of, of pressure right. To deliver because there's always something new happening in a corporate corporate environment. There's always a new launch. There's always something, you know, bubbling to the surface. So what does it look like for you sort of behind the scenes, in terms of how you sort of tackle creative things day to day or how you operate

[00:31:38] Yeah, absolutely. There's always something going on. Right. You know, as I mentioned before, it's so invigorating to be able to do this stuff because it's, it's, it's content that I watch all the time on TV or whatever it is.

[00:31:49] Yeah. Before I start anything, I like to do a little bit of homework and I always start with. Some type of human truth, right? Mm. I like in our, you know, conversation, I know you probably gleaned already that I'm big on connections. I'm big on energy. I'm big on human aura. I always wanna start with something that is true, but you could be a 70 year old person living in Alabama or a 15 year old here in, in New York city.

[00:32:13] What is one human truth that we all. You know, an example could be like, we all love our moms, right. And that is something that is a driver in a marketing strategy. So you start with something that is innately human, that connects more, that crosses borders and connects individuals on a human level. And you use that as your north star and that really kind of helps to breathe where a marketing strategy would go or a guiding principle would go. I I'm, I'm really lucky because I get to work at an intersection of consumer brands. What, whether it may be, you know, major tech companies, major retail companies, and a major media company, NBC Universal.

[00:32:54] And I get to tell stories that. Deliver what the brand is looking for from a messaging standpoint, but through the lens of our content. So if you could think about Mr. Robot, for example, is a big show on USN. If you could think about that show, how can we, how can we bring brands into the conversation and into the fold and tell their story through the lens of that world and that tone.

[00:33:17] And that's where I come in. I help to craft the message that the brand will be able to anchor on independent of platform. Right? So we wanna tell a story, how can we tell that via. TikTok, how can we tell that on air? How can we tell that through our social campaigns? What I do is help create that like 30,000 foot strategic overview and what that nugget is that will be breathed into life.

[00:33:42] And then I'll tap into the experts of those platforms, whether it's my content strategy team, whether it. My, you know, social editors, whether it's my producers or creative directors and they help bring their expertise into my conversation and say, all right, this is your north star. Here's what I can do.

[00:34:00] So then it's almost like a puzzle, right? Then I, I have the template down. And then I start plugging the pieces of the puzzle to be able to tell one cohesive story. And sometimes it's, it's, it's per show. Sometimes it's a year long campaign. Sometimes the clients come in and ask for, Hey, I have this product launch coming in, you know, 18 months from now.

[00:34:18] What can you tell me from then? Mm-hmm, , it's very exciting place to be. I, I get to read pilot scripts. I get to read stuff. That's coming down the pipe, you know, in two years from now. And it's cool thing because. As a entertainment junkie. Like I swear my best night is just to stay at home with watch TV and drink wine.

[00:34:37] Like that is what we do.

[00:34:43] Oh, my.

[00:34:46] You know, liquor brand mm-hmm is so exciting because it, it never gets old. It, we always have new shows coming out. We always have new projects coming out. So this there's never a day where it's boring. Really mm-hmm and I'm I'm, I feel very lucky, you know it didn't just. Fall on my lap. I, I worked hard, but I I'm still thankful.

[00:35:03] Every day I get to walk into the walls of 30 Rock and, and be like, oh my God, like I work here, like the trees outside right now. And I can see it light up and like people come around the world to see this building. So it's a very exciting place to be. Mm-hmm I feel the excitement. I love it. I love it. I think that's so amazing when you really enjoy what you do.

[00:35:24] And I also think that it's very cool that the type of position you're in it's. This integrated marketing in a way that I think social media has really opened the doors for more of this and expanded the opportunities within a role like yours. I could be wrong cuz I don't do your job, but that's just what I think from the outside looking in.

[00:35:44] Absolutely. Yeah. So how has, and, and I, I have to ask you this question. How has. Social media and influencer marketing and those types of elements. How has that impacted the work that you do day to day? It's honestly critical. And it's funny because I, you know, I graduated from school a little bit over 10 years ago.

[00:36:04] Mm-hmm and had I known the. The impact that social media would've had on my job and just the community in our world. I would've definitely sunk my teeth into it earlier. Right. And I'm learning, I'm learning things every day. And social at, at its current point really, really helps us evangelize the messaging that we have.

[00:36:27] And quite frankly, sometimes it's how people, you know, get to know us. I think what's really great about social. Every platform has its own use, right? Like Twitter, for example, on TV is a great tool for us because when people watch content, their reactions are there. So it's a great platform for us to continually engage with fans on a one to one basis in real time.

[00:36:51] You know, Instagram is, is, is high, high visual, big impact, not so frequent and not so real time either. Right. So every, every platform has such a unique place to fill in our media mix and we have a great solid team that, that, that does all that, but it's such a critical tool to help us tell our story in even those two examples that I just gave mm-hmm It's it's really helped us evangelize things and set in such a big way.

[00:37:17] And quite frankly, right now, globally, too, you know, I, I work for networks that are currently only available here in the us. Our content is distributed. Yes. But you know, the USA Network is only available here, but we're able to create and grow our fan base internationally via social win content that we were like, oh my gosh, like, look, we have this huge.

[00:37:38] You know, fan base in Mexico, for example, that we would've never even known to tap into mm-hmm had we not known or engaged with them on social? So it's opened a ton of doors for us, not only from a marketing and an awareness standpoint, but also from a fan engagement standpoint. In your career, what turned out to be more challenging than you expected and what was easier than you expected?

[00:38:00] I'll start with easier. Okay. Easier was, was making the move. Honestly, I, I, I moved cross country. I knew no one. I had no family here. I slept on an air mattress and I sub in an apartment from a French model in battery park city until I had enough money to buy a bed for a month. And I had this like, oh, oh my God, what did I do?

[00:38:20] 10 years ago when I moved and. Blink of an eye, it's been a decade and I'm like, oh my God. Like, I, I wouldn't have done anything different. Mm-hmm that making that move was a lot easier than I expected. And I think what what's been the hardest thing, I think. Really has been finding connections with individuals that have similar mindsets that I do.

[00:38:44] Mm-hmm and I think in the industry that we're in, there's a lot of like, let's just keep it real. There's a lot of fake people out there. Yeah. You know, and be able to. To truly connect with someone that's on your level and wants, and has the same values that you have and wants to achieve the same things that you do is really hard.

[00:39:01] And especially when you move to a new city to find those people that you connect with. So, you know, purely is, is, is tough. But again, like I've been lucky that I've, I've met some really, really great people that have become friends, mentors throughout my career. And you gotta hang on to those. Knowing everything that you know, and having all of the experiences that you've had.

[00:39:23] And you've shared a lot with us today, but we know there's a ton more to your story. If there was anything that you wanted to leave a listener with who was trying to grow in her career, what would, what would you wanna share with her? If, if there's anything that we haven't touched on yet

[00:39:38] You will be rejected 100%, you will be rejected and that's okay. I think we come from a generation that thinks we can do anything. My mom told me I could do anything when I grew up. And you know, you need to be able to create those means for yourself to do just that. And when I got my first rejection, it was a huge pill ahead to swallow, but it turned out okay.

[00:40:02] And I. The biggest thing that you have to be comfortable with is, is failure to be a hundred percent honest. Mm-hmm , that is the one for like sure thing in life. Is that not everything is gonna go the way you planned your journey will not be a straight arrow. You're going to have twists and turns and detours.

[00:40:20] But again, that is the diversity of the human experience. You've gotta be able to bounce back and it's about resilient. It's about making sure that you're learning from your mistakes in a way that will propel. for the, the next best thing mm-hmm and it's a really, really tough industry out there. Like I'm not gonna lie.

[00:40:39] It's really tough. And it's not for the faint of heart, but if you push through, it's so rewarding and fulfilling it's worth it. It really is. Mm-hmm mm-hmm my final question. What does success mean or look like for you? For me, quite frankly, is, is connecting with individuals. Be it via my campaigns or otherwise, and impacting them in a way.

[00:41:06] I can help leave a legacy with them. I wanna make sure that I can leave this world with, with stronger women, again, particularly Latinas, because we're, we come from a culture that is very male dominant and ma very male driven. Absolutely. And for a Hispanic woman, to be able to walk into a room, be a boss, run a team of maybe men of maybe white men.

[00:41:33] Is so powerful and that is something that we don't traditionally see growing up. Mm-hmm and I think being able to, again, leave this world with, with the next group of leaders, knowing that that is a possibility is, is, is critical for me. Ooh. I love that for Veronica. This was such a good conversation.

[00:41:57] We touched on a ton of things that I'm sure will be really, really helpful for everyone. So thank you so much for sharing your time with us today. Thank you a, I really appreciate it. So, Veronica, do you want to share with us how people can maybe get in touch with you and contact you or just follow your journey?

[00:42:14] Sure drop me a line on LinkedIn. I respond to all my messages. I think it's a great, great tool to stay connected with individuals in your professional life. And again, you know, I'm always open to having conversations with individuals who are more interested in the space that I'm in or, or what have you, so I'm available.

[00:42:32] That does it for our episode this week. I hope you enjoyed. If you did make sure to head over to iTunes and leave your girl a review, I would greatly appreciate it. And as always take care and be good.


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