At U.Group, we believe in focusing on you — so strongly that it’s in our name. With her natural curiosity to understand and help people, our Associate Director of Media Strategy, Christal Richards, practices this principle every day. Christal has led media companies supporting recognizable brands including Starbucks, Miller Lite, and Gatorade and currently leads our efforts to provide you with winning media strategies that connect you with your audiences. Keep reading to learn more about Christal’s journey through her career in media strategy.
Describe what you do at U.Group in 3 words or less.
CR: Build meaningful connections.
How did you discover your passion for media strategy?
CR: I honestly just stumbled upon media as a career. After graduating college, I moved to New York where my friend invited me to a networking event. There I connected with a woman who was a managing director at one of the top media agencies in New York. I went in for the interview not entirely understanding the role, but the company had a great training program. At some point during my second year there, I realized how much of myself I poured into my work. I had a real passion for helping companies solve and achieve their business objectives.
Before working at U.Group, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
CR: This wasn’t really a job per se but it was definitely unusual. I was 20-something living in New York City off an assistant media planner’s salary and was struggling financially. My roommate at the time convinced me to sign up with her for an experiment that paid $150 for the day. We were asked to watch six hours of TV while wearing some device on our head, which was supposed to measure how our brains responded to different ads. The experiment took place in SoHo and needless to say, we spent our entire day’s wage on clothes and accessories before making it to the train home.
Do your media strategy skills/preferences trickle into other aspects of your life, besides work?
CR: I am a naturally curious person, especially about people. In media planning, I often conduct a consumer analysis both prior to the campaign launch as well as post-campaign to determine if media tactics were effective against the intended target audience. My curiosity about people extends outside of work as I am always trying to draw understanding about what motivates and inspires people. In a way, learning about others has helped me learn about and improve on myself.
Where is your favorite place in the world, and why?
CR: Vietnam. I spent six weeks in Vietnam exploring the country, culture, and people. The country has incredible sceneries and the kindness and generosity of the people there go unmatched. Even as a solo traveler, I never felt alone.
What music gets you in the zone at work?
CR: I listen to neo-soul or reggae when I want to get in the zone at work. Recently, I’ve been listening to a lot of Chronixx, who is a Jamaican reggae artist. His music is filled with good vibes and positivity.
If you had one piece of advice to give someone just starting out in your field, what would it be?
CR: Don’t chase money or the title. Follow your passion and the rest will follow.
Want to learn more about our Media Strategy team? Check out their thoughts on news and strategies that will help connect you with your audiences.