It is absolutely thrilling to be working with the stellar group of people at Truescope, both here in the US and in Australia, Singapore and New Zealand. Media intelligence technology has advanced immensely since my early days in the industry. However, creating an outstanding, supportive and reliable customer experience never goes out of style and is at the very core of Truescope’s mission. I’m so happy to be leading the Customer Success team in North America.
My career in the media intelligence industry began in 1988 when Meg Crumbine (our wonderful President of Truescope, North America) hired me as a Client Services and Sales Rep at Video Monitoring Services (VMS), New York, a nationwide news retrieval service. My clients were diverse and included top PR firms, publishers and investment firms. Two years later, I was promoted to Client Services and Sales Manager of the Miami, Florida office. There I worked with The Walt Disney World Company, Universal Studios, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Royal Caribbean Cruiseline, Blockbuster, and many other prominent brands.
One of my key learnings from these days was that earning a client’s trust is paramount. In the early days of media intelligence, humans actually monitored the news; there were no computerized databases of information. Often a client would need essential coverage from weeks before without knowing the program or time, and we’d do whatever it took to find it. During my time at VMS Miami, Walt Disney World opened a new park - MGM Studios (now called Disney’s Hollywood Studios). I arrived at the office at 6am each day over several weeks, organizing coverage from all the VMS offices, writing detailed reports, and faxing it all to the client before 8am each day.
Putting in these efforts cemented the relationships. We were in the trenches together (and I’m sure that’s why I’m still friendly with a number of folks who were clients more than 30 years ago!) Today, more than ever, customers often wear more than one hat. Understanding their needs, frustrations and responsibilities is key to building a great relationship. Customer reps have the opportunity to become valued members of their teams, offering advice, helping with reporting and reducing pressure during times of crisis.
In 1994 I made the jump to Public Relations when a VMS Florida client, who was the Vice President of PR at an advertising agency, offered me a position as Media Relations Specialist. For the next 15 years, I worked in various areas of public relations. And in my move from media intelligence to PR, I found some fundamental similarities. Understanding the brand, goals, and people involved in order to build strong relationships is a major factor in creating success in both PR and media intelligence. The key is to deliver on expectations and address problems as they arise quickly and efficiently.
Fostering my passion for animals (cats in particular!) I earned a Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition concentrating in companion animal care. I was fortunate to combine this passion with my PR and marketing experience and became a nutrition and lifestyle consultant for cats and dogs. One of my clients, a dog called Mr T, was a senior struggling with many issues and the veterinarian didn’t think he would survive much longer. But with a few holistic nutrition changes, Mr. T bounced back and lived another five years! There is nothing more rewarding than helping a pet become healthier and happier. My next role was as Director of Communications for the first company to create hemp-derived CBD products for pets. Here I was responsible for all content writing for the company and spent five incredible years helping pets and their people.
Throughout the years, Meg and I had remained in touch. It was fate that we both found ourselves living in Southern California, five miles apart, and we formed a friendship over reminiscing about the good old days at VMS. Shortly after Meg was appointed in the role of President of Truescope North America, she asked me if I would consider working with her again to bring Truescope to the US market. Without hesitation I said yes. How could I not?! Combining my 34 years of experience and working with Meg again on a product that was truly something special, was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.
I love Truescope for its emphasis on creating an excellent customer experience. The fact that the team is comprised of people with comms and marketing backgrounds means we have walked in the customers’ shoes - we really understand their needs. The platform is comprehensive, easy to use and just so useful. When I worked in PR and we had to prove ourselves, it was all about scouring for media hits and showing audience numbers. Truescope’s integration of all media, real-time analytics and report creation is next-level; the efficiencies it brings are mind-blowing. It’s exciting to be part of a company that will be recognized as not only the leading media intelligence and analytics provider, but also for being a true asset in helping our customers become heroes within their organizations.