5 Steps to Starting a Career in Digital Media

By Brittany Stephens

Cox Media Digital Media Analyst

I had a pretty unconventional start to my career path. After graduating from high school, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with my life. I ended up getting a job as a reservationist with a vacation rental company in Gulf Shores, AL. The owner at the time was always helping people and giving us a space to grow. That’s when I realized Marketing was my true passion. Below are five of the key steps I took to pursue that passion and launch my career in digital media.

  1. Find a Mentor Who Believes in You

I attended the University of West Florida to gain a bachelor’s degree in Advertising with a minor in Marketing Applications. I was blessed to have an amazing college mentor, Sabrina McLaughlin, who gave me real-life marketing experience and never let me turn in subpar work. I remember showing her a personal branding project that I thought was complete, the day before it was due, she looked at me and said, “This is one hundred percent not you and you know it. Start over.” I was so frustrated, but I started over. I worked on it all night long and eventually came to a finished project that I used to help craft my resume for my application with Cox Media years later.

  1. Don’t Second Guess Your Talent

Just after my graduation, the company I had worked for a few years as a vacation reservationist was sold to new owners and sadly I was laid off. My college mentor Sabrina was aware of a position at Cox Media and immediately called me. I felt as though I was under-qualified for a Digital Media position, but I applied anyway and my current boss, Steve Allen, hired me as a Digital Media Specialist.

  1. Take Time to Learn the Business and Client Needs

I put all my effort into learning the digital business and processes and quickly added duties to my role with each new thing that I learned. What started as a fulfillment-only position quickly turned to an analyst role where I helped tell stories of success to our digital clients. With this transition, I was promoted to Digital Media Analyst. Cox Media gave me space and flexibility to develop my role by leveraging my strengths and growth areas. A typical day in my life as a Digital Media Analyst is WILD! It’s super fast-paced and I never live the same day twice. Every day I am responsible for monitoring campaigns, building campaign strategies, training Media Consultants (MC’s), and helping clients set up Google Analytics. I find true joy in assisting Media Consultants with anything that pops up during the day and helping them find success for their clients through digital strategies. I also meet virtually or in-person with clients and the Media Consultants to review their campaigns.

  1. Use Your Resources to Help You Grow

I was able to take part in the tuition assistance plan through Cox Media which was a huge help and was a weight lifted off my shoulders as I started the journey to achieve my master’s degree in Digital Media through Full Sail University. This was an accelerated program where everything you would typically learn in two years, I learned in a one-year program. The tuition assistance at Cox was much appreciated, but I would say what helped me the most through grad school was the Cox Media mentorship program. Once again in my life, I was lucky to be teamed up with one of the best mentors, Julie Fielding from the Omaha market. From day one of the mentorship program, Julie helped me grow. She’s helped me build a career path and has supported me in all areas of my life from juggling school to working 40 + hours a week.

  1. Make Relationships and Have Fun

Our Pensacola office truly embodies the culture of family and coming together to help each other out. Before I was in grad school, I was studying to take a certification test and I was so nervous that one of my coworkers used her lunch break to work through flashcards with me to make sure I was ready. We are always there for each other and it’s been so inspiring to see our “family” grow through this COVID-19 experience. We are all finding ways to help each other. You never hear the words, “that’s not my job,” instead you hear, “How can I help?” or “We’re all in this together!” That is the culture that I love, and it makes me want to always stay at Cox (see pictures of us celebrating together at holiday-themed parties).

Finally, to have my leaders and my peers give value to my work has been an experience like no other. Last year, I was recognized as the 2019 Unsung Hero for my market and I also received the Torch award. It meant everything to me because this is a company that cares, and they see the hard work and dedication I give to the company every day. It makes everything I’ve done in the past two years’ worth it. All the emails calls and texts I received from coworkers in my market and across the country had me in tears. I love to serve my market and help people out in any way I can.

Special thanks to Brittany for letting us get a glimpse into her day-in-the-life at Cox Media. If you want to read more stories like this one, view our open jobs, or experience #LifeAtCox, visit our website

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    Sales Reps photo bar


    Ever wonder what it’s like to lead a team of sales reps? Or perhaps you’ve been curious to know what sales leaders look for when they are hiring a new rep. We sat down with three advertising sales leaders from Cox Media, Inc. who lead teams of all sizes from different states to learn some of the secrets to their success.

    Cox Media, Inc. (CMI), is the advertising sales division of Cox Communications with locations across the U.S., and behind the success of this division is a force of sales representatives who find creative advertising solutions for their clients. Let’s meet Suzanne Banks-Russell, based in Mobile, Ala. who’s been with us four years; Baton Rouge-based and 13-year rep Dirk Hofman; and San Diego-based representative Maria McRoberts celebrating 20 years at Cox.

    What do you love about your job?

    Suzanne: Meeting a wide range of business people and helping them grow. We have a growing portfolio of solutions with something perfect for everyone, no matter the size, business type or budget. I also love how people-focused Cox is and our corporate values. I’m proud to work for Cox.

    Dirk: I love that every day is an adventure. The morning starts with a cup of coffee and then you never know where it will take you. In sales, we have no dull moments.

    How do you proactively delight your customers?

    Dirk: I try to stay relevant. If I send customers the same stuff all the time, I become part of the noise. I try to think ahead and make everything relevant to the customer.

    Maria: I remind my clients how much I appreciate their trust in me and how much I value our partnership. More importantly, I do this FACE TO FACE!

    What advice do you have for new members of the sales team? New employees, in general?

    Suzanne: Cox is an amazing company. Invest time in learning about our company’s history and corporate culture. Don’t rush past our training. You can’t be effective for your clients if you don’t understand our products and solutions.

    Dirk: Keep moving forward. Don’t get stuck in something you feel like you could have done better. I always tell new people that when they fail (and they will), Fail Forward. Make mistakes and learn from them. This is the best way to grow and succeed.

    Maria: Take advantage of our excellent company training programs and continue to be a life-long learner. Our company benefits are second-to-none. Sign up for everything and stay informed!

    How can non-sales employees help us to reach our sales goals?

    Suzanne: EVERYONE is a sales employee. Not everyone has face-to-face interaction with our customers, but they need to be ready. Non-sales-employees should take pride and ownership as much as anyone else. Everyone should be part of the goal. Whether it’s a new commercial, a new business popping up in your neighborhood or billboard, tell someone. Everyone can help.

    Maria: Non-Sales employees in our organization are some of our best and finest. I find that their ongoing support and encouragement is what makes our sales organization stand out and succeed.

    Want to read more articles like this one, view job opportunities that speak to your passions and experience a day in the life at Cox? Search for our Sales Jobs to learn more.

    We’re not a ‘Dress Shirt and Tie’ Kind of Company

    Find out why that matters to Cox Communications employees Todd Tang and Bailey Young Smith, and why they say life at Cox is awesome.

    “When someone asks, ‘where do you work’ and I say Cox Media, their eyeballs seem to light up as I explain the portfolio of digital elements that we offer as a major company,” Advertising Account Executive Todd Tang said. “Yes, we are more than a TV and cable business; we offer digital advertising solutions too.”

    Cox Media, the advertising sales arm of Cox Communications, helps business owners of all sizes advertise through advanced cable TV and online digital solutions. It’s rewarding work, and one that helps not only the local business owner, but the community they serve. And Advertising Account Executives, like Todd, are on the front lines of that important work.

    “In our world, there’s a ton of collaborating,” said fellow Account Executive Bailey Young Smith. “We get to work with our marketing team, analysts and research teams, all based on our client needs.”

    That collaboration and knowledge sharing is important, and has been especially for Todd, who leaned on teammates like Bailey during his first few months with the company.

    So then, what brought Bailey to Cox initially?

    “I’m a longtime resident of Arizona and worked for other digital companies, tech startups and even a magazine,” Bailey shared. “But I felt like I had plateaued and there wasn’t much room for me to grow. When I began interviewing for my role at Cox, I was in the process of getting married. It was a very hectic time and while I wasn’t considering doing both a life and career change at once, it sort of happened that way and I’ve been here ever since.”

    With a great team atmosphere, lots of activities outside of work and a culture of giving back to the community, Cox Media provides tremendous opportunity for career growth and career satisfaction.

    “We’re not a dress shirt and tie kind of company, either,” Todd said, “and a lot of millennials love that lifestyle of flexibility and less formal attire. Millennials are starting to become the new sales force with their trending experiences in social and digital, and a lot of other employers don’t offer that culture.”

    “We have fun here,” Bailey chimed in. “We have an internal group called the People Focus Culture, and we celebrate fun holidays like Cookie Day or National Ice Cream day with in-office ice cream parties.”

    On any given day you can find Todd golfing, hiking or visiting restaurants with friends. Bailey looks forward to weekend bike-riding and brunching with friends at local, organic restaurants.

    And they both have their sights set on building successful, long-term careers at Cox.

    Special thanks to Bailey and Todd for sharing their stories. To learn more about life at Cox and opportunities at Cox Media, visit our career site today.

    There’s No Place Like Home…at Cox Media

    By Megan Keller
    Advertising Account Executive

    There aren’t many companies where you can walk into your vice president’s office to ask questions, invite them to lunch or just simply say hello — that’s what it’s like working at Cox Media.

    Cox Media is the advertising sales division of Cox Communications. It’s a huge open-door policy here where anybody, no matter what level in the organization, can talk to our leaders about anything, whether it’s getting advice, giving feedback or discussing opportunities for change.

    I started at Cox Media Inc right after college. I’m originally from southern California where I attended the University of La Verne, and received my bachelor’s degree in broadcast radio with a minor in marketing. During my final year of school, I wasn’t quite sure which direction to head, so after graduation I flew to Arizona for 10 days to attend the Media Sales Institute hosted by the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation.

    Throughout my time at the institute I had the chance to meet and work with different media companies across the country. However, Cox Media stood out to me right away.

    I was attracted to the company right from the start; everybody was so educated in their industry and spoke well in front of the group of students. I think what stood out the most was that no one from Cox Media had a bad word to say about other companies there. I could tell this was the kind of culture I wanted to be a part of. When I got a call letting me know that they had a Sales Associate role open and offered it to me, I was excited to come, jump in and get started with my career.

    I had never left the state of California before, but Fran Mallace and the rest of the team at Cox made me feel comfortable enough to relocate to a state like Arizona because I had a good support system. I could tell I already had a wonderful support system from the leaders at Cox Media, who were not only vice presidents and directors, but truly mentors, friends and family that wanted to guide you and invest in you.

    Now that I have grown from a Sales Associate to an Advertising Account Executive, I have witnessed so many factors that make working for Cox Media something truly unique. Everybody hears the buzz of why working for Cox Media is the best, and those that come from other companies stay at Cox for a long-time career.

    As time goes on, I’m truly blessed that I get to learn from and work alongside the best of the best. I will soon reach my two-year anniversary and as someone taking their first steps in their career, I’m especially looking forward to more opportunities for growth at this wonderful company. I know that wherever I end up in this Cox umbrella, I will have a lasting career.

    Special thanks to Megan for sharing her story! If you would like to build a career around amazing people and leaders too, visit our website to learn more about our career opportunities.

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