Sheereen Russell has one of the most interesting and self-descriptive titles in the business of advertising supported media: Senior Vice President Ad Sales & Inclusive Content Monetization. "Inclusive content monetization strategy for us is leveraging our content," Sheereen explains in our Legends & Leaders Conversation. Leveraging best practices learned from the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), now as part of the larger Warner Bros. Discovery portfolio, Sheereen is among the industry's most insightful and experienced professionals responsible for connecting brands to "stories that celebrate honor and subjects who have been a part of marginalized communities, and allowing brands to be a part of that journey in a thoughtful and curated way."
"Think of all the richness that exists around sports, news, lifestyle, factual content ... around multiple groups including our LGBTQ community, Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic and Black," she says. "How do we build opportunities for a brand to come in and see themselves in those spaces connecting with those consumers and our loyal viewers in meaningful ways? And how do we create an opportunity to leverage the scale and the reach of the Warner Bros. Discovery portfolio for brands, and put people who are creators and producers in position to now have resources to tell their stories?"
In our conversation, Sheereen advises students to "think about our industry as a consumer of content, entertainment and media and also as publishers who are creating content." Focusing on ad sales opportunities, she adds, influencing brands and how they show up in those spaces is a really exciting challenge. "In every evolving industry and landscape where there's not enough people of color, I do think there's a great opportunity and rich offerings, and I want to continue to be one of those partners that lends access to and gives a view into what our world looks like." For Sheereen's view into the future and observations on opportunities for young people to come in and really learn the business, view our full Legends & Leaders conversation above.
Originally published October 13, 2022.
The media and advertising community are hosting Black Talent Outreach Week October 17-20, live streamed at MediaVillage.com and AdvancingDiversity.org. Promote it to your teams and support the campaign with your recruitment initiative. Visitweek.advancingdiversity.org