Talk about making a splash. Menzel’s innovative cross-network partnership strategy with top affiliates to promote the most recent Shark Week garnered $3 million in unpaid media and over 65 million impressions. The increased viewer engagement resulted in Discovery Channel’s most-watched week in history. Menzel suggests new cable executives study consumers and how they interact and connect with Discovery products: “We live in an age of information overload, and true success is never losing sight of those who interact with your product,” she says.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
The absolute best part of my job is watching the people on my team grow and become superstars who are passionate about their careers. Watching them excel and “win” in their chosen fields is the most rewarding experience in my X years in the business…whether that’s moving up inside the company or trying a great opportunity elsewhere in the industry, I’m equally proud. The cable industry is such a tight-knit community of people who root for each other’s success. It’s a particular point of pride to count the number of people who have worked for me have moved on to bigger jobs elsewhere.
How do you define success in the workplace?
I personally feel most successful when I’m passionate about what I’m doing and I’m fortunate to say that I’ve been passionate about this business since the moment I stepped through the door of my first cable job at Cox Communications. The other key to success is keeping an eye toward the subscribe/consumer. I always tell early career executives I meet who are trying to break into the business to do what they love, whether it is sales or operations or finance. And I tell them that no matter what they’re doing from a functional standpoint they need to keep looking at the consumer and how they’re interacting and connecting with our products. We live in an age of information overload and true success is never losing sight of those who interact with your product.
Best trick for maintaining the personal-professional life balance
Someone very dear to me jokes that I am the most organized disorganized person they know! And if you saw inside my handbag you’d agree. So, to try to compensate for that, each morning on the train I send myself an email reminding me of all of the things I need to accomplish that day. I make sure to put my personal "To Do’s" at the top of the list or my kids would never have their annual check-ups and I’d be the mom who forgets to bring cupcakes to school for the Halloween party. I was also told by a good friend and colleague many years ago to lower my expectations for myself. Sounded crazy coming from a very accomplished woman, but her point was you can’t do everything perfectly so focus on what’s really important and let the other stuff just fall to the bottom.
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