Media Together: Marketing

Industry professionals talk with Adweek about their experiences

As with all industries, the spread of Covid-19 has put strains on all facets of the media industry, including marketing, advertising and editorial teams. As part of an ongoing project, Adweek has solicited stories of those who have been furloughed, laid off or otherwise affected by the pandemic. If you’ve been affected, please consider submitting your story here.

These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

Michelle Loughry

Most recently: Vice president of operations, Vine Collective

Click the headshot to view Michelle’s LinkedIn.

Adweek: What’s your experience been like during Covid-19?

Michelle Loughry: Anxiety-inducing? Uncertain? Fun? A mix of all of those things. The challenges I’m facing now are really the challenges I needed to face before but didn’t “have the time” to acknowledge. I’m worried for friends, families, clients, communities, but I’m also excited to see so much collaboration and innovation.

What’s your hope for the media industry post-Covid-19?

To keep this momentum going. Businesses are being forced to make massive changes right now, and they did it and can continue to do it once we get to the next normal. Things like working from home that experts thought would take a decade to come to fruition across the U.S. happened almost overnight. We are using the resources we have, we’re helping each other, we’re making good, helpful, real content. I’d love to see that spirit continue on as we go.

What is your motivation behind working in the industry? What are some memorable experiences you’ve had during your employment in the media industry?

My motivation is this: You are obligated to use your superpowers to help as many people as possible. My superpowers happen to be marketing, and because you can never know everything about it, it’s a continuous learning path that has gotten me excited to go to work for the past 10-plus years. Memorable experiences are many. I was fortunate enough to see Ed Norton speak about conservation at a World Wildlife Foundation event. I’ve been able to ask Nic Cage questions, interviewed comedians, musicians, actors. I’ve been able to learn from so many people, both well known and not so well known. There’s honestly something memorable about every day.

Tyler Moss

Most recently: Content director, Wanderu

Click the headshot to view Tyler’s LinkedIn.

Adweek: What’s your experience been like during Covid-19?

I was furloughed a few weeks back, as Covid-19 has absolutely decimated the travel industry. The company is a small startup, and without there being a prospect of the country returning to normal any time soon, I’m skeptical Wanderu will survive this period of self-distancing. In the meantime, I’ve been freelancing for a few clients and magazines (although my regular travel writing venues have mostly had their budgets frozen), pursuing some creative writing and employing my writing and editing skills for some nonprofit organizations.

What’s your hope for the media industry post-Covid-19?

I’m hopeful that people will recognize the value of independent journalism more than ever. I’m hopeful this period will spur even more creativity and innovation in terms of storytelling. I’m hopeful the industry will bounce back with force as people are hungry for ever-more-immersive media.

What is your motivation behind working in the industry? What are some memorable experiences you’ve had during your employment in the media industry?

Creative storytelling is my passion. It’s both my profession and my hobby. Some of my favorite memories in the industry are the opportunities I’ve had to interview bestselling authors for Writer’s Digest, being able to pick the brains of visionaries like Celeste Ng, George Saunders and Jeff Vandermeer has been an absolute privilege. Even more, my favorite part of that job was simply being immersed in the community, sharing tactics and motivation so that we could all continue pursuing our creative ambitions. I’m also incredibly proud of the work I did at Wanderu, developing an audience-centric content strategy based on interviews and surveys of real customers. We built out personas, brand guidelines and honed a cross-channel messaging plan that earned us media attention, drew in new customers and provoked loyalty in our regular users.

Tennyson Wilson

Most recently: Partner and head of media, Demonstrate

Click the headshot to view Tennyson’s LinkedIn.

Adweek: What’s your experience been like during Covid-19?

Professionally, a little rough after just joining a new company and hardly being in the office for three weeks before the shutdown began. It’s really weird as a partner who joined to build out a new capability (paid media) trying to now build relationships both professionally and personally with my new coworkers while also integrating this new offering. Naturally, it also makes things a bit tough navigating how to prospect and win new clients with our newly formed full-service offering. On a personal level, it’s been an adjustment having life slow down so much, but I have come to enjoy it and taken the opportunity to grow by learning new skills and brushing up on old ones.

What’s your hope for the media industry post-Covid-19?

That we will quickly rebound and many of those impacted by furloughs or layoffs will be able to get back into the workforce. I also hope it will bring us all together more, as marketers, brands, sales professionals and everyone else. My main hope is that everyone starts to show more compassion, empathy and overall humanness in how we collaborate with each other and the work we put into the world.

What is your motivation behind working in the industry? What are some memorable experiences you’ve had during your employment in the media industry?

The people and diverse backgrounds and perspectives they bring have kept me in this business. I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with some amazingly talented people who have helped nurture and grow my capabilities throughout my career. No matter what side of the table you’re on, there is always an opportunity to learn and grow. In fact, you need to come into every day with a desire and will to listen and learn, otherwise you’ll surely fall out of touch. Collaborating with brands and figuring out ways to solve their business challenges is also what keeps me coming back. The amount you can learn by digging into the issues they face in so many different verticles is fascinating and never-ending.

It’s the people that have also helped make some of the best memories. Whether that be coming together as a team at an event, being supported in tough times, providing advice or creating memories as a team while traveling together. There are so many different ways to stay engaged and build new memories, including how we all rally together during tough moments like these. While nothing about this is easy, I’m excited to see what changes this moment in time will bring about and the creativity that it will spark.