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Women in OOH Spotlight: Maureen McCloskey

OOHToday highlights how each of the Top Women Driving Growth in Out-of-Home are making history.

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by Sarah Druhan, OOH Today Journalist

Throughout the rest of Women’s History Month, we at OOH Today will be exploring how each of the selections on our list of the Top 24 Women Who Drive Growth In Out-of-Home have made their mark on the industry. While OOH has long been seen as a male-dominated sphere, every one of these women is a symbol of how our industry can and must change—and each of them has an important story to tell.

The first woman in our Spotlight is Maureen McCloskey, Managing Director at Kinetic Worldwide.

1) What advice would you give to other women moving up in OOH?

MM: I have two pieces of advice – rather two mantras that I keep close to me in all aspects of life, and especially my career:

  • Walk through the fire – this has been some of the best advice I’ve received.  Any time I have found myself in an overwhelming situation or when imposter syndrome creeps up next to me, I say this to myself.  It is a reminder to follow your instincts and to believe that the other side can be prosperous.
  • Does it need to be said?  Does it need right now?  Does it need to be said at all?  We women have a lot of fire in us mainly because we have to, and I love that about us. However, in my younger career years, I wouldn’t always think before I spoke, and the results were not always favorable. This mantra, when said to myself, allows me pause—a cool down phase—to really understand the impact of what I am about to say.  It helps me reframe how I may say something vs. responding off the cuff.

2) How can the industry take a bigger slice of total ad spend? 

MM: Honestly, this is a question that has been asked of us all for years!  It is a BIG question and the answers I’ve heard over the years are BIG answers.

I get we need the big answers, and they make the person saying those answers sound smart and overall makes them feel good.  But I honestly believe it has to happen on a lot of little fronts. I firmly believe the investment teams inside the holding companies play a CRUCIAL role in this.  Investment teams need to get scrappy and get to each of their planning teams and “poke the bear.” I spend a lot of time with the planning leads of various brands, asking questions, challenging them and raising alternative points they may not have thought of.  And I follow-through and I stay on them, dropping as many “breadcrumbs” as I can.  It is not easy, but that is how I think we will begin to inch our way into more dollars.

Other things that need to continue to evolve:

  • Publishers and Investment teams need to continue to have mutual respect for each other.  I think there are areas here for improvement.
  • Publishers and Investment teams need to be aligned on the strategy and messaging that each of us is taking to the marketplace.  There are too many people trying to sell too many angles.  The blessing of our industry is we have many facets which are attractive to brands; however, our curse is we are fragmented with so many story lines it can be confusing to some.

3) What’s your golden rule for the workplace?

MM: Stick together; we win as a team and we lose as a team. Communicate kindly. Always have each other’s backs.

4) What’s the key to your success?

MM: I’ve always had a strong support system around me, and I chose wisely:

  • My father is my work role model.  I was the youngest of four and I did a lot of observing from a very young age. Watching him when I was younger in terms of how he treated people and how he dealt with certain situations certainly influenced me. He didn’t coddle me, and he did whatever he could to prepare us for what the world would throw at us.
  • I went to work for people that I felt could help shape me, and most importantly I went to work for people I respected.
  • When I met my husband, it was important to find someone who was comfortable in their own skin and not driven by their ego.  If that was the case, they wouldn’t be comfortable with an independent women whose career was important to them. He is my biggest champion. He probably believes more in me than I do in myself.

To see more from Maureen and other Outstanding Women in OOH, read our story on The Top 24 Women Who Drive Growth in Out-of-Home

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