Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Day In Her Life: Karine Méhu Senior Director of Strategic Marketing for USA Network, NBC Universal

Her Day Begins…
With consecutive team meetings and more than likely will end just the same. In between meetings, the executive’s day is a busy balancing act as she helps the network maintain its place as the #1 cable network in the country.   

“We are not just competing with other networks but other NBC properties as well…My job is essentially to put together on air opportunities for our on-air and digital advertisers,” she says. “I work very closely with my editorial production team and I say to them ‘What about the advertiser? How do we keep them involved?’”

From there she takes on the vital task of compiling gripping marketing presentations and packages that will attract key advertisers, such as Ford and Chrysler, who are directly aligned with the network’s core audience and will further expand the network’s outreach. The second part of her job is developing programs for targeted audiences for the billion dollar network.  

Whether she is in a sales meeting with major brands, responding to a request for proposals, or mentoring her team on how to edit a video package, Méhu’s passion for her career is quite evident.

Her Journey…
With over 13 years experience in the industry under her belt, Méhu is a powerful hybrid of her digital, print, and broadcast media experience, honed almost by happenstance had it not been for what could have been perceived as a professional setback.

While majoring in journalism at Howard University in Washington D.C., the native New Yorker worked full-time for BET publishing, eventually writing and producing for BET Network’s hit 90’s television show “Teen Summit”, producing, reporting, and interviewing at just 19 years old. It was there she plunged into digital right as the first Internet wave was on the rise.

After graduation, she held positions with a number of e-commerce websites, building her skills-and passion-in digital along the way. Then, the big Internet boom began to burst, leaving Méhu along with so many others without a job.

“I spent 9 months with no job,” she says. “I wear (it) like a badge of honor because when you have been unemployed for that long and not a dollar coming in except for unemployment, you learn exactly who you are.”

Who she was, as she was forced to find out, was a unique talent with a diverse skill set that companies greatly needed as the dawn of the new digital environment began. Méhu would have to reinvent herself.

“I had the web background, the video production, and writing background. I was able to take that and produce online content for clients who wanted to have agencies build content. I took all that stuff and made myself a marketing project manager at an agency.” 

Méhu would go on to hold positions in digital marketing at major advertising agencies, pharmaceuticals companies, Sports Illustrated magazine, Time Inc., and ESPN.

“The transition really wasn't that tough because I was blessed through the whole process. I was laid off but I stuck with it. Had I not had all those hiccups along the way, all those transitions along the way, I wouldn't be here today.”

Her Advice to You…
“You have to be the ambassador to your own brand. You can't just sit back passively and hope that people start to figure out who you are. You have to be out there all the time,” advised Méhu, who created several award-winning advertising campaigns and was recognized in Black Enterprise magazine as a top advertiser and marketer.  

Best Part of My Job…
“The notion of entertainment-I love actors and really intriguing scripts that are written well. I love paying attention to our competitors. It's great to go home with a script that no one else has seen before it hits the air. All that stuff is just exciting and I adore. I think as long as I love it that will help me market it, which means I get to watch a lot TV.”  

Featured Writer: Lenora Houseworth is a published writer, editor, and social media strategist. She can be reached at Find her on Twitter: @LenoraTheScribe.

A “Day in Her Life” blog series gives an insider view into the professional lives of successful women from various fields with the intended purpose of educating and inspiring the next generation of BOSS women.

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