OOH Today features individuals who Champion and define Outdoor Advertising. We share the faces and stories behind the names who add a personal dimension to Out Of Home (OOH). Our Champions are leaders of #OOH who don’t necessarily seek the limelight as they work in the ‘trenches’ daily seeking success. Personal connections, are a critical part of OOH where the people behind the company, are as important as the company itself.
Lynn Terlaga started in the Outdoor Advertising business as a sales person in Hartford, Connecticut in 1982. By 1990, she was named General Manager under the new ownership of Martin Media. Terlaga has a steller work experience in OOH selling and managing traditional posters, bulletins and DOOH. She schlepped trash cans as an investor for a period before moving to director of new business development for Posterscope NYC. As recent as April 2018, she managed a huge territory of transit formats with Signal Outdoor. In April last year, Ms Terlaga joined Stott Outdoor as Director of Sales & Marketing, moving west to Chico, CA.
OOH Today’s Conversation with Lynn Terlaga
BB: Lynn, what drew you to the billboard business?
LT: I was selling mutual funds and the market crashed. A friend was a recruiter and asked me to interview with the GM of Patrick Media Group in Hartford, Ct. I had no intentions of selling billboards but he was a great guy, he made the job sound very entrepreneurial, which I loved. I was hooked soon after I started. I love this business just as much today.
BB: What have you stayed in the business?
LT: It’s always changing, always fresh. I am passionate about our medium and the impact it can have on businesses, particularly small local businesses. Nothing can beat OOH when it’s done well. In a small market, I can give our local customers the same kind of SOV as the advertising giants.
Nothing can beat OOH when it’s done well.
BB: What have you done for OOH and you are most proud of which makes you a Champion of OOH Today.
LT: Oh wow, interesting question. Hiring and training some great people, who are still in the business and have gone on to have fantastic careers is definitely one, particularly in the Martin Media days. Building billboards in a city park is another, the project took a lot of heat, but at the end of the day,
BB: Wait! What? You built billboards in a city park?!
LT: It was noted as a great example of public and private partnerships. At the time, the city could not afford to maintain the park, the lease payments funded the cleanup and served as collateral for the park. The New York Times picked up the story. It was a protracted battle that ended well for both parties.
Building billboards in a city park is another, the project took a lot of heat, but at the end of the day, great example of public and private partnerships
BB: What is the future of OOH? Do you have a prediction for the future of OOH?
LT: I absolutely love the mobile application to OOH, and it’s ability to ignite interactions on social media. Its so powerful, I think it’s the future of OOH every bit as much as digital. I think we have only begun to scratch the surface with mobile applications and the data available. Programmatic buying is another interesting topic to keep an eye on.
BB: Is there anyone you most admire or credit to providing significant influence in your Outdoor career?
LT: Yes, without a doubt, Tom Martin. He was such an amazing leader and mentor. He taught me so many things about our business and challenged me to grow outside of my comfort zone. I have so many great memories of working for Tom and Dave Weyrich, who also a great guy to work with. Jim McLaughlin and Todd Hansen were inspirational leaders as well. I have been fortunate to have worked with some of the legends in our business, John Connolly, Jack Sullivan, Jack Cohen, Joan Greenberg and Stan Nygard come to mind. There are many who have helped me tremendously along the way. I am grateful to every one of them.
BB Here’s a magic wand: Change 3 things in OOH Industry today.
LT. Let’s see, first, as an industry we should be outspoken about our numbers, powerful creative platform and accountability. We are so far ahead of most other formats its mind-blowing! Geopath has been phenomenal about this and I am especially excited about the Insights Suite that is in beta now. More, better, faster, PR. Everyone of us needs to do better at that. The OAAA’s “This Ad is Real” and #GetOutofHome were fantastic; exactly what we need more of, especially as other media becomes less accountable and more fragmented.
We are so far ahead of most other formats its mind-blowing!
Secondly, you have commented on this many times Bill, we need to push for great creative; I call it inspiration over information. We all have phones, we can get the phone number or website, inspire me to want your product or service, inspire me to walk in your door. Some of the graphic designers in our industry are down right genius, Eddy Herty at Outfront is a great example, they need to be front and center of what we do. We need to do a better job of getting them out in to the field to train our sales teams and customers. As sales people, we are the front line of great creative; we need to lead that charge day in and day out. It’s about educating our customers instead of letting a time crunch rule the creative.
Finally, flexibility, keeping pace with the flexibility of other media, finding cost-effective ways to manage our inventory to maximize it from both revenue and advertising perspective.
BB: What is missing in the OOH Community? What is your solution?
LT: I think we could do better at embracing technology more quickly. We have so many smart people pointing the way, I think we could be more engaged in the technology conversation and applications in our business. Trust me, I absolutely know how time-consuming it is to do the research, but its vital to our growth.
We also need some kind of creative connection for our creative teams. Don’t get me wrong the Obies are fantastic; I mean some kind of recognition and connection for the graphic designers in the trenches.
BB: Great visiting with you Lynn!
LT: Thank you Bill.
Lynn encourages and welcomes contact.