Andrea Messimer Henley dishes on Adams, Clear Channel and Outfront.

henleyAndrea Messimer Henley has worked for 20 years in out of home advertising sales including stints at Clear Channel Outdoor, Outfront and Adams.  Earlier this week she talked about 7 tips for selling out of home and memorable out of home sales campaigns.  Today she dishes on Clear Channel, Outfront and Adams.

Adams Outdoor  was where I got my start and discovered my true passion for the industry.   A great organization.

  • I am where I am today because of the influence of Kevin Gleason. He’s a straight shooter and he is a hands on accessible CEO.  I respected that. If you work hard and make your numbers you never have to worry about anything. If you don’t make your numbers, Kevin Gleason showing up at your office can be your worst nightmare.   
  • adams-logo_webKevin sent me a hand-written note about what a great job I was doing on an account. I still have the note and sometimes read it  when I lose a sale. It has inspired me to pick myself back up on many occasions.       
  • I learned two important lessons from from Kevin: (1) Stand-out creative sells long term agreements.  (2) If you have passion for OOH you will be successful no matter who you work or what market you are in. Because talent always comes through.

Clear Channel Outdoor.   A very different kind of culture.   All business.

  • Our team was very close and we worked hard and played hard. 
  • clear channel outdoorThere were lots of policies and procedures that I felt were unnecessary, along with too many meetings that got in the way of productivity and creativity.   All I have ever wanted to do was sell outdoor advertising  and work on stand-out campaigns.  They focused on way too many reports, meetings and attendance.   It was a buzz kill.   
  • Out of home was the stepchild.   Radio was the golden child.   Today the out of home division is carrying the radio division.  Maybe they should change it to “I heart billboards”.
  • You were rewarded handsomely in commissions for your efforts. I mastered poster showings at Clear Channel and at 28 years old I was making a six figure income. 
  • I worked with some of the most talented OOH executives I have ever met.  Most are still in the business and very successful.    
  •  Clear Channel has amazing inventory. 
  • The internal day to day operation, was a pressure cooker and that prevented me from utilizing my creative and sales talents. It’s a good company to get experience but eventually every BIG fish will out-grow it’s tank! 

outfrontOutfront Media.   Hands down my favorite OOH company. I found my OOH family.  We laughed together, cried together, fought together,  but we always loved each other. 

  • I started out selling OOH locally in Tampa & Sarasota, I built a large book of business.  There was a lot of internal competition in this market for inventory.  Over time I began to to regional and national business.
  • They weren’t micro-managers,  and I thrived.  They cared about sales, sales and more sales, which was refreshing. They only had one meeting a week and then off you go. Yes!  You either sink or swim. One of their sayings was if we are talking to each other, then someone else is talking to our clients.
  • I always exceeded my budget because we had no limits on what we could sell.  Rusty always took care of his back yard.   He did what’s right for the company and was respected and loved by his employees.  He is big on promoting people.   He wants people to be happy and successful…If we ran out of inventory in Tampa, he would say go sell the other markets, or OOH products, such as malls, transit, C-Stores.  
  • There are many other people in this organization that always supported me and I think it’s important to thank them  Phil Stimpson, Billy Long, Rob Shilling,Phil Vasquez, Alice Lo, Lee Bolton, Jodi Senese, Kathy Traina, Steve Buck.  And the entire operations, administrative and real-estate departments, in Tampa.
  • I think it’s amazing how much technology integration and resources they utilize: Geopath, Geo-fencing, xAD, BlueBite etc. Strong analytics and measurable ROI’s were always missing in out of home. It used to be that sight and sound was the peanut butter and jelly combo, radio + billboards.  Today, it’s look up, look down, billboard + smart phones/mobile!   They are definitely going in the right direction…

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One Comment

  1. Great article …. as a person who has been selling Media for 23 years the bullet point that struck the me the most was “There were lots of policies and procedures that I felt were unnecessary, along with too many meetings that got in the way of productivity and creativity. All I have ever wanted to do was sell outdoor advertising and work on stand-out campaigns. They focused on way too many reports, meetings and attendance. It was a buzz kill.”. I laugh how managers say they want you out on the streets with a minimum of 20 meetings a week and then send emails setting up meetings and asking for prospect lists, action plans, projections, etc. I know a certain amount of that is necessary but like you said isn’t the idea “sell, sell and sell more?”.