Behind the Screens: Meet Media Consultant Sarah Morris
Welcome back to ‘Behind the Screens,’ a monthly blog series in which we introduce members of our Cox Media team. From coast to coast, there’s a lot of collaboration and behind-the-scenes efforts that go into each client relationship and campaign, and every person on our team of experts brings a unique background, perspective and area of expertise. While we each have different day-to-day roles, we’re all working toward the same goal: to help our clients’ businesses succeed.
Before we jump into this month’s interview, I wanted to briefly introduce myself as the new author for this column. You may recognize my name from a previous Behind the Screens interview; I am Frances Mooney, the Senior Marketing Communications Specialist for Cox Media’s Oklahoma team. Marco did a great job of featuring Cox Media employees throughout 2021 and has graciously passed me the torch to continue the series this year.
This month, I was joined by Media Consultant Sarah Morris. Sarah is a member of our Omaha market. We chatted about what it’s like to be on the front lines of a client relationship, and how she works to be a continued valued partner to businesses.
Alright, so to get started, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been with Cox Media?
My name is Sarah Morris. I have been with Cox Media for, it’ll be three years in April, and I actually started at Cox Media as marketing communications specialist. In that role, I focused on mostly internal marketing for our Omaha team, but also collaborated with Center on projects as well. It was really within the last year – January of 2021 – that I moved over to the media consultant role. Now, I work with business owners, primarily in our local market, but all over the country as well, to create strategies that will help them move the needle and reach their business goals.
That’s great. So, when you decided to make this switch to a media consultant, what really drew you to that role?
That’s a good question. First, I’ll say that the leaders at Cox Media are really, really good at always asking what you want to do next. While I’m always thinking about ways to grow, every time we had that conversation, the answers I gave really reflected responsibilities of the media consultant role. I wanted to interact more with clients, and get more involved with the strategy of a campaign from start to finish. That includes reviewing data and reporting to truly understand how we can make a campaign better and provide recommendations. The role also allows me to solve challenges and think big outside the box, even if it’s not traditionally what we offer. I’m always looking to enhance our clients’ experiences and keep clients longer term.
Another thing that drew me to the role was the materials I created in my marketing role. I wasn’t sure if they were being used, but I felt strongly that if they were, our sales teams would be even more successful in retaining clients or improve clients’ experiences. So, part of me wanted the opportunity to prove that the assets our marketing team created were truly impactful. In short, I wanted to put my money where my mouth is.
What would you say a typical day in the life looks like for you, as a sales or media consultant?
To be totally honest – there isn’t a typical day-in-the-life. Every day is different, and you have to be adaptable, which is another thing I love about the job. But for me, I like to start my day with coffee and research. I get up every morning and utilize our resources that help me stay current on industry information. I also look for reports that are relevant to my clients or prospects that I can send out as touchpoints. It’s a meaningful way to connect with them that isn’t just a sales pitch and shows how we really are trusted partners, being able to provide research that you can’t really get anywhere else.
Another thing I try to do is block off my calendar once a week for administrative tasks, prospecting, or training. Then, the rest of the week is all about setting up meeting with people – whether it’s client meetings to go over reporting, meeting with new prospects, or networking to find new people in our community and creating meaningful ways to interact with them.
I’ll be honest – I can be a creature of habit, so this role challenges me to be flexible, but it keeps work fresh every day.
How has the work you’ve done or things that you’ve learned in your role impacted your life outside of the virtual office?
So for the last 10 years or so, I’ve been involved with the American Marketing Association. They have local chapters as well as a big national organization that supports all the local chapters. I think a lot of my volunteering and involvement with them has been of value because of what I have learned in the office, like learning to work with different personalities and working styles.
I work with chapters to help them operate more efficiently and problem solve, whether it’s improving their finances or increasing membership in local chapters. I work with them all over the country, and I think that what I’ve learned at Cox Media, especially in this media consultant role, is that each chapter is unique and every problem is unique, and there’s never a “set-it-and-forget-it” solution.
Also, and this may sound silly, but managing different time zones! You know, we can reach anybody digitally, anywhere in the US, so that’s been something that has translated to outside of the office as well.
What would you say first to someone who’s interested in working as a sales consultant for Cox Media?
I would say first of all – I truly mean this – be genuine. Second, enjoy the five minutes where you have nothing to do, because it will not last long. But more on the genuine part – I really don’t see what I do as sales. I see what I do as marketing. My whole career has been in marketing, which really helps me focus on creating a solution that is centered around solving our clients’ challenges, and ultimately is focused directly on the client and putting them first. If you do that, I think that the sales part will just naturally follow, and it’ll be much easier.
I’d also say be intentional. Make sure your actions are always focused on your client’s best interest, and get to know them. You know, it’s OK to ask about their family or interests and things like that. It helps strengthen your relationships.
Finally, I would say, acknowledge and own your mistakes and take action to fix them. We’re all humans and mistakes happen and, as much as it stinks, I’ve never had a problem if I address the mistake head on and talk about what we’re going to do to solve it. People are so much more appreciative, they trust you. I think at the end of the day, people just want someone that they can trust, whether a mistake happens or not. Just be a genuine, good person and keep your focus on your clients.
To close it out, if there’s one thing you’d like your current or future clients to know, what would it be?
Simply put: I care. I care about my job, I care about my career, my growth, but even more so, I care about my clients and their businesses. I care about moving the needle for them and helping them grow.
I also do everything in my power to ensure that our partnership is successful, and I truly do want to learn about their business so I can be the best partner possible. At the end of the day, I do what I do because I love it, not because I have to. I think that really makes a difference as to how we show up – in our jobs, with our team and with our clients as well.
We hope you enjoyed our sit-down with Sarah! I’m excited to kick off the Behind the Screens series for 2022. Keep an eye out for more stories about the people behind Cox Media.
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