- Kirsten Ballard
Brittany Coale wears many hats.
She is a psychologist, a coach and a salesman. She is an outdoor enthusiast and owner of rescue dogs. At The Kansas City Star, the 27-year-old Automotive and Grocery Manager works in the two very different verticals to find out how to best serve up the advertising.
“I’ve got to put my grocery hat on, and figure out what drives our clients for groceries,” she says. “Auto is a totally different story, there is a digital involvement.”
She pushes both of her teams to think more creatively about how to fit the client’s needs. She says instead of following one path, she wants them to consider that there are five or six options and choose the best one.
“I’ve always been interested in media and the advertising aspect,” she says. “In college, I really wanted to learn everything about psychology and why we buy something.”
She combined the journalism aspect of advertising with the psychology of buyer behavior.
When asked about being named one of News Media Alliance’s 2016 inaugural 30 Under 30 Award winners, she says, “I’m really excited to get the award and then to win. I look forward to seeing the other stories, and reading about what some of my peers that also received the award have done,” she says.
She was nominated by her coworker Kristin Griffin, Senior Accounts Manager. In the application, Griffin wrote that Coale was one of the hardest working, most dedicated young adults she had ever met.
When Coale was hired in 2012 as a Retail Account Executive she became known for her creative approach. Two years later, she was named Automotive Account Executive. In 2015, she was promoted to her current position.
“Exceeding expectations is the hallmark of her leadership,” Griffin wrote. “Brittany routinely goes above and beyond her job requirements.”
She has always been driven; she credits the mindset from her two military parents who built themselves up from nothing. Coale graduated college in 2010, two short years after the 2008 economic recession. Nothing had bounced back and jobs were scarce.
“You had a college degree with little to no experience,” she says. “At first you’re very specific and pickier; you want this perfect job and perfect career. It’s not that easy and you have to build your own career and dreams and it’s not going to be handed to you.”
It was a goal of hers to be a manager by the time she was 30. Now, she has set her sights on being a leader for her team.
“Seeing them grow and sell a big package or create a big campaign, see how excited they are and the influence that has for the client is really what drives me to work harder and better,” she said.
Coale describes her leadership style as more of a coach than a boss or manager. Even though she is a younger member on the team, she does not see her age as a barrier.
“I think it’s not so much about the age, I think it’s about who you are, what your vision is, and how you can help someone else grow and learn something different and try something new,” she says.
She considers her youth an advantage in the new digital era.
Coale grew up with a cell phone, internet and computers at school. She is excited to see the industry evolve. With each new technology, Coale embraces the challenge, knowing that what works today will be totally different in six months.
“What I love about the future of media is we’re going more digital, but collaborating more,” she says. “We’re collaborating more with editorial, working side by side, and finding unique ideas for our clients. We’re thinking more creatively.”
News Media Alliance announced the winners of its first “Top 30 Under 30” Awards program at mediaXchange 2016 in April, which honors young leaders working in every aspect of the news media who are contributing to the future success of the industry. Over the next several weeks we will feature profiles on the winners, highlighting their work and ideas, and how they’re helping the industry grow and evolve.