Ashley Dunn didn’t always know what she wanted to do, but now, looking back it makes perfect sense.
Ashley, only 29 years old, is one of News Media Alliance’s Rising Stars (full list here.) Currently, she is a Multi Media Account Executive at Cox Media Group where she does print and digital advertising sales in Austin, Texas.
A lot of Ashley’s history would indicate her current career. She remembers always having an interest in how marketing worked despite thinking traditional jobs were the only real options. Her parents met at the local newspaper. Her mother worked in newspaper sales, but Ashley recently discovered that her mother also sold advertising.
“It’s like I am somehow fulfilling my mother’s destiny,” she says.
It was quite a journey that landed her where she is now. Ashley started in property management right after high school. Around four years later in Austin, a resident encouraged her to leave the world of property management and pursue her talents and interests through a career in the media industry. She began working for a magazine and quickly moved from inside sales to outside sales after only two months.
Three and a half years later, she was offered a marketing and advertising position for the housing industry, combining two of her greatest interests. This position, however, proved to be too good to be true and she quit her job. She’s grateful for this nerve-racking part of her life, because it led to her application for the position she now holds and loves at Cox Media Group.
As far as Ashley’s success in her field, one of her colleagues, Andrea Vick, confirms she gone above and beyond: “Ashley was single-handedly responsible for 25 percent of the sales in our recent camp guide initiative.”
She finds her age to be advantageous in her career. Although she did not have access to a computer or the internet in her own home, she grew up during the time when internet interaction was taking place in the school sector. Being from this generation, she became technologically savvy.
“Having that background and knowing enough about (computers and the Internet) in this field gives the advantage of being able to relate to the customers,” says Ashley.
When asked about the future of news media she says print is going to remain prevalent for a long time – “at least until we have flying cars.”
“I just bought 10 print books. I like to have them in my hands. This isn’t just a generational thing,” Ashley says.
As far as digital news media goes, she thinks that personalization will grow even more. She believes that soon consumers will be more likely to see more personally relevant headlines; one an algorithm picks for them.
In Austin, she continues her fondness of the outdoors and thrill seeking. In addition to regularly hiking, Ashley has plans to rappel off the W building with Austin Over the Edge for Make-A-Wish which helps raise money in effort to grant wishes to children with life-threatening diseases.
Ashley likes helping others while on the job. She said she feels good helping not only the Austin economy through her work, but also the smaller businesses in the area. One of her proudest moments was when she helped a local neurology practice move from no full marketing strategy to a frequency program with regular marketing that allowed for the practice to double their staff and office space.
She says, “my success lies wherever the client’s success lies.”
The relationships she makes with businesses are what Ashley says make her want to continue this work for the rest of her life.