EVENT RECAP - Sonic - Audio Advertising

As digitization pushes Audio to a new inflection point, The Alliance for Women in Media: NYC Affiliate hosted a timely "Audio Advertising - Are You Super at Sonic?" discussion on April 27th with expert producers, market strategists, and brand masters. Jane Lacher, our moderator, posited, “If commerce was the thing to get in front of five years ago, Audio is the next one.” Below are our favorite points from the discussion on the role of Audio from marketing to its potential impact on DEI.

Event Video Highlights

Here are our top insights:

    1. WHY USE AUDIO IN YOUR MARKETING MIX: When building strategy, brands cannot leave audio out. Laura Meighan explained, “It is a strong awareness driver and brand builder.” We also discussed Audio as part of a full funnel strategy. Kate Metzinger talked about using Audio lower down the funnel. Audio spans the consumer journey from awareness, to purchase, with audio services allowing for the ability to measure anything from brand equity lifts to "utterance" of product and brand mentions to shopping lists.
    2. AUDIO HAS HUGE IMPACT ON HUMAN EMOTIONAL RESPONSES: Audio is the most powerful story telling tool and the most intimate. "It lends itself to thinking you are the only person that this person is speaking to…when you knock out every other sense, you have to rely on this one sense so much that it mushrooms in your mind,” Gabrielle Galanek detailed. 
    3. AVG LISTENER USES MULTIPLE SERVICES: On average, most listeners use 4 streaming services to consume the content they want to hear. From Lauren D. Williams, “Brands and advertisers are really starting to take notice that the consumer experience is not linear, so you have to be able to identify and understand every single moment that you have an opportunity to connect with them.” 
    4. AUDIO DATA ANALYSIS IS STRONG TOOL FOR CRM: The story and connection begin after the voice identity is understood. Sonali Bhavsar described voice as, "one of the premium drivers for understanding behavior.” Pitch, tone, speed, accent, sentiment, and other characteristics inform us about individuals. 
    5. THE POWER OF AUDIO DATA IN DEFINING AN AUDIENCE: In cookie-less future, first party data is becoming more and more important to move businesses forward. Capturing audio data will help companies understand employees, consumers and users. Jane Lacher furthered, “We talk about how they look, where do they eat, what are some of their behaviors and habits but we have been leaving out this audio piece of it.” 
    6. AUDIO SOCIAL PLATFORMS  HERE TO STAY?  For hot takes on Clubhouse, the group generally agreed that its chaotic, overwhelming, and the Wild West in regard to credibility, but while some of it is a complete waste of time, some conversations are really compelling. Gabrielle Galanek expressed that “It feels more like it was built by Silicon Valley; it wasn't built by people who are audio experts”. Lauren D. Williams reflected that, “There is something about Clubhouse that gives us that backstage experience. I can see it being super intimate in that way - you get this special ticket to hear this person talk,”
    7. AUDIO AND DEI: As we all work to be a more inclusive society, Audio is inherently inclusive. “If you are a brand and you put out a visual component to the message you are trying to convey and you use someone who looks like me, you might alienate others who do not look like me….but the power of audio is that you are using words, and moods and sounds to bring to life a specific product so that someone who hears it can create their own picture in their mind and envision themselves,” Lauren D. Williams explained. 

Our guest, Steve Keller, added this to the discussion on audio. "As companies look at DEI efforts, we have to remember that race and ethnicity is just something we see with our eyes. It’s something we hear with our ears as well. If we are not careful, our market segmentation can become market segregation, only using certain voices to speak to certain populations. This practice can result in marginalizing voices of color and defaulting to casting white voices for general market communications." To learn more about this topic you can go to: www.standforsonicdiversity.com 

The panel was moderated by Jane Lacher and included: 

  1. Podcasts: Gabrielle Galanek Strategic Communications Consultant and Producer

  2. Audio Marketing: Lauren D. Williams Senior Director of Marketing Strategy, SiriusXM and Pandora

  3. Client/Brand: Kate Metzinger Senior Director, Integrated Brand Activation, Georgia-Pacific, LLC

  4. Agency: Laura Meighan Senior Vice President, Strategy & Investment, Zenith

  5. Audio Data: Sonali Bhavsar Chief Member, Chief

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Powerful Tips & Tricks for Networking

Author: Natasha L. Vega, Media Supervisor at Solve(d), a division of FCB Worldwide

On March 16th The Alliance for Women in Media, New York City Affiliate, hosted a virtual event focused on ways in which individuals could build their network. This event was open to all Alliance members & Alliance allies.

Like other AWM events, this event was led by a powerhouse of women leaders within the Media industry: Jennifer Willey (CEO of Wet Cement & Sr. Director of Business Development at the Trade Desk), Helene DeVries (CEO/Founder of HDV Talent), Stacey Deziel (EVP of Media Planning & Activation at Solve(d) which, is a division of FCB Worldwide), and current AWM Board Member & past President Anne O’Brien (VP of Business Development at Health Union, LLC).

Throughout the virtual event participants were encouraged to ask questions about in-person and virtual networking, tips and tricks for building a network, and ways to address networking fears & faux paus. The great advice shared by our speakers was, as Mastercard would say “priceless” however, there are a few tips & tricks that we would like to share in hopes of helping you during your next networking event.

Tips & Tricks:

  • The Power of Three: make it a goal to meet three new people at an in-person or virtual networking event
  • Networking is a marathon, not a sprint: be sure to establish personal connections with the person/persons you are trying to network with before moving onto your next conversation
  • Offer something: too often people try to network with the goal of receiving something from the person they are connecting with vs. offering something to them. One is far more memorable if they offer something to someone vs. trying to immediately get something from them.
  • Ikiagi: there are many definitions surrounding this concept but for Jenn Willey this concept is really about the four dimensions of life (passion, vocation, profession, and mission) laddering up to the bigger picture of: what you love, what you are good at, what one can get paid to do, and what does the world need? This was a powerful concept for many participants and we encourage you to do some more digging on this concept!
  • Make a date with yourself: schedule a once a week date with yourself and look to write LinkedIn recommendations for someone you believe deserves acknowledgement. This is a great way to do something memorable for someone.


Another important topic of March 16th’s discussion focused on the “what not to do’s” while networking. Personally, I found these recommendations to be so important as networking is all about building powerful connections with people and there is a fine-line between building a connection and creating a division. Here are a few things that our speakers recommended avoiding the next time you network.  

Things to avoid:

  • Over talking: be mindful of the body language being displayed. Does it look like the person you are trying to connect with has become disinterested or uncomfortable? Ideally, make sure to let the people you are talking to circle the room as they too are most-likely there to network as well
  • Rescheduling meetings multiple times: for many of our speakers, multiple cancellations and rescheduling of meeting was a big “no no” due to it feeling disingenuous and disrespectful of their time
  • Do not start networking when you need it: as Helene DeVries explained, the absolute worst time you can start networking is when you need it; try to network more frequently so that you have those connections in-place when the right time comes around
  • Be authentic with what you are doing: Anne O’Brien reminded us all to be true to ourselves during our networking endeavors; falseness can be spotted a mile away
  • Don’t hide your personality: as Jane Lacher put it nicely, don’t hide your personality in the beginning of your discussion as it will come out by the end; always be yourself when meeting new people


It is not uncommon for those of us in the media industry to feel as if we have no time for networking. One event participant described networking as needing a “25th hour”. How can you look to build in time for networking in your busy schedule? Stacey Deziel suggests networking during the weekends! This is a great way to build in that extra time that you do not have Monday through Friday and can lead to a perceptual shift surrounding networking. As Stacey explained, weekend networking “… feels like connecting vs. networking”. The next time you try to network remember the tips & tricks shared within this article by our network professionals.

For more information on the event and AWM’s NYC group, please reach out via the “Get in Contact” tab at the top of the website.

A huge thank you to our speakers & coordinators for this event

Moderator - Jennifer Willey CEO Wet Cement & Sr. Director Business Development, The Trade Desk

And Panelists...

Anne O'Brien, VP Business Development, Health Union, LLC & Alliance for Women in Media Board Member and Past President
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Continuing the Buzz Words & Bubbly Tradition

Pandemic Style

A global pandemic didn't stop the AWM team from their annual Buzz Words event. Sadly, the event had to drop the "Bubbly" portion of evening, but we are hoping to toast our members in person before the year is over. In the meantime, we received some great ideas and insights from a dynamic panel. See the blog and our top 10 buzz words for 2021 here

Jane Lacher - Moderator; EVP, Managing Director, Investment & Strategy Zenith Media
Rachel Bien, SVP Integrated Strategy & Digital Investment, Zenith Media
Yerddy M. Lanfranco, VP Marketing Sciences, Kinesso
Amy Lanzi, EVP Commerce Practice Lead, Publicis Groupe
Marla Newman, Executive Vice President, Digital Sales, Meredith Corporation



The Alliance for Women in Media, NYC Affiliate is a professional organization dedicated to women in the field of media in the Greater New York area with an emphasis on peer-to-peer experiences. Through unique events and programming, AWMNYC provides its members the opportunity to make connections both personal and professional who inspire as well as educate. We welcome members that are interested in making authentic connections, sharing their experiences and have a desire to develop themselves professionally.

AWMNYC not only educates, inspires and develops top shelf professionals, but fosters strong business connections and relationships which translate into business opportunities for their employers and their clients. AWMNYC can assist you in your personal and professional development by providing relevant and meaningful relationships and experience for professional women in media.  Join today for the member price of $50 and enjoy discounts to events and invitations to special member only evenings.

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