In addition to handling press and social media for some of cable’s most popular shows and personalities—resulting in widespread coverage by top tier consumer press outlets—and providing support for Hearst’s HGTV Magazine, this year Adlam’s team added Great American Country to their roster. She says diversity is key in reaching such a wide audience: “Diversity only thrives when we respect people enough to welcome their ideas and provide opportunities for them to contribute to the business in meaningful ways.”
What’s the definition of diversity in 2014 and how can the cable industry do better in the area of inclusiveness?
Diversity is about how we choose to fuel business opportunities. We can choose to explore the range of innovative ideas and solutions that always come when we invite people of varying backgrounds to the table or we can choose not to do that, but, somewhere along the line, someone is making that choice. The seed of diversity may start during the hiring or selection process, but it must be cultivated with an investment in training and professional development to help as many individuals as possible maximize their skills and talents. Diversity only thrives when we respect people enough to welcome their ideas and provide opportunities for them to contribute to the business in meaningful ways.
Who has been your strongest mentor and why?
It would be a disservice to the many amazing mentors who touch my life and career to describe one as the strongest, but I can say that I value every mentor that I have because of a few consistent qualities. All are selfless and incredibly generous in sharing their experiences, lessons and wisdom with me. And, they are fearless about revealing their own vulnerabilities, sharing hard truths and illuminating hope. Truth and hope matter on your professional journey because when you know the truth and have hope you can handle anything.
What qualities do you look for when making a new hire?
The price of entry, regardless of level, is that candidates have knowledge of the overall industry and more than a cursory knowledge of our particular company, including our most recent activities, successes, controversies, etc. If they don’t have that info, they can’t know what’s at stake with the open position and they can’t tell me how they can contribute to our team or help us achieve our goals. They definitely need the requisite skills of our particular discipline (e.g., exceptional writing ability; strong verbal and project management skills; the ability to be nimble, cultivate internal and external relationships and collaborate with others), but I am also hoping to see a glimpse of their competitive spirit or be witness to a spark of passion that tells me they are eager to take their place on our winning team.