Education: Bachelor’s Degree and MBA from Florida A&M University
Previous Job Experience: Reach Media Inc. / Tom Joyner Morning Show / BlackAmericaWeb.com; InterActive, Corp ; Vibe Media Holdings, LLC / Soul Train; Microsoft Advertising
HelloBeautiful: Briefly describe your day to day activities and responsibilities on your job/position.
Arisha Williams: I operate as the “go to” digital resource within the multicultural agency, Liquid Soul Media. I develop the strategic and tactical approach for paid media and social media campaigns for our suite of clients. This includes orchestrating end to end digital media planning, buying and custom project management for entertainment based clients.
HB: What does that really mean?
AW: I look to find innovative ways to communicate my client’s message to the African American and Hispanic consumer via online, mobile and social platforms. From a social media tactical perspective, I am typically the “man behind the curtain” that is either talking to you on Facebook or Twitter via an entertainment brand trying to get you to “Like” a page, go to a football game or tune-in to an award’s show.
HB: Briefly describe what prompted your interest in Digital Strategy.
AW: Ever since I can remember I have always had an interest in technology; my parents worked for Hewlett Packard for over 20 years; during that time, we always had the latest and greatest computers and gadgets at our fingertips. Fast forward to my early days within my career, I always worked for websites as an advertising program manager or yield manager when it dawned on me that I was providing the “big ideas” to the agencies and THEY were getting all the glory. Having a deep understanding in technology, it was easy to transition to the agency side of the house as a strategist because you not only have the end to end knowledge but you also have to ability to communicate with all channels within the workflow (client, developers, brand managers, writers, sales team, etc.).
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HB: What suggestions regarding networking would you give to those seeking to work in this particular field?
AW: Know your stuff. This industry is dominated by self-proclaimed “know it alls”. As an African American female, you have to be able to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. Take some time to understand how technologies work, how your consumer segment consumes media and how they make their purchasing decisions. In every aspect of the job, you are required to “prove” why your thinking is accurate. Knowing the data points, reviewing the research and keeping your fingers on the pulse of the marketplace is a requirement.
HB: What are the major challenges in your role as Digital Strategist and what solutions have you deemed best to handle these challenges?
AW: Aside from the daily challenges of knowing your stuff, you have got to know how to communicate complex technical concepts in layman terms. While that sounds easy, it can be difficult to remove yourself from tech immersion to pitch campaign tactics to marketing executives who more than likely have been groomed through traditional media (TV, Radio, Print). I recommend practice, practice, practice – while that may result in free training for friends or through community service, it helps provide you the level of comfort to jump on a pitch call within a moment’s notice.
HB: To what would you contribute your level of success?
AW: First off my faith–God has always guided my steps and made the way for me to participate in phenomenal opportunities. I would also say work ethic is important; working long mega-productive hours in my early years and being the one to roll up my sleeves to get things done have built my character and reputation within the landscape.
HB: Any advice for younger colleagues?
1. The ability to master written and oral communication is imperative, especially in a challenging environment
2. Diligence and attention to detail is EVERYTHING – spell check and formulas can become your best buddies!
3. Study your surroundings and look to always learn something from your colleagues at every level, even subordinates. Everyone within a workplace is important.
4. Be quick to listen and slow to speak, it’s amazing what you can accomplish once your master this!
Follow Arisha On Twitter: @EyeMediaDiva
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