LaToya Christian Talks Importance of Diversifying Today’s Media | GroupM’s The ReGroup Ep 5
The ReGroup is a limited series hosted by GroupM’s Global CEO, Christian Juhl. It’s an intimate conversation with the people who bring great advertising to life everyday—GroupM team members. The series features guests from GroupM and its portfolio of brands, including Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker, Essence, m/SIX and Xaxis.
In episode five, Christian speaks with LaToya Christian, GroupM’s Managing Partner/Director of the Multicultural team. In this episode they discuss what her job entails, continuing to diversify today’s media, being intentional and purposeful in life, how to handle the pandemic as an extrovert, and the wildfires of California.
Christian Juhl, GroupM’s Global CEO, caught up with LaToya Christian, GroupM’s Managing Partner/Director of the Multicultural Team to chat about her role, what she’s been up to, and what she’s looking forward to in the future.
When asked about how she came to be GroupM’s Managing Partner/Director of the Multicultural Team, she talked about how GroupM found her on LinkedIn. “Even though the role found me, it was very appropriate,” she stated. “Having a role that’s very much embedded in learning about people, different cultures, highlighted diverse and underrepresented groups, you know, that is something I am very passionate about, so that makes sense for me. I love marketing. I love marketing so much that I studied it twice, for undergrad and grad school, so it really is a merge of, you know, aspects of me personally, but then the things that I love professionally. So it is just a perfect blend.”
When it comes to her job, she talks about how each agency she works with has a vibe of its own and different energy that it brings with it. It is up to her and her team to help each agency understand what their role is in marketing, how consumers want them to respond, what they have the license to respond to versus territories they need to stay away from.
They move on to how it is important to show up for diverse and underrepresented audiences and the publishers they rely on to tell their story; initiatives like The Multicultural Marketplace are becoming increasingly important. LaToya says, “We don’t want to get to a place where we don’t have those partners, we need to make sure that we are continuing to support them through our investment and through our other initiatives so, once again, having those places and spaces where the audience feels their stories are being told and supporting those publishers for me that’s definitely one of the number one things we can do as an agency.”
With LaToya being located in the New York office, Christian asks her what she is seeing from management there. What are things she would like to see more of or where are opportunities to improve? LaToya goes on to say that she loves that there is now a GroupM North American CEO and she is excited to see what that will look and feel like. She speaks about how she feels it is important for the company to hear from their leadership team and their view on where the company is – creating conversations, town hall meetings, and an open level of communication.
To round out the interview, LaToya asked Christian some questions and she takes this opportunity to ask what he has learned about himself since he has taken over as CEO. Christian goes on to talk about how he had to learn how to adapt as an extrovert during the pandemic, to learn how to create that important social aspect of the workplace via online meetings, so that the creative flow can continue. He goes on to say that a strategic foundation is key to get through any situation – the execution may change, but the strategy will stay the same. This is especially important with the ever-changing situation in the world right now, including the wildfires of California. Christian goes on to say that it is “tragedy upon tragedy upon tragedy piled right now and it’s nice to still see people coming together, but it’s tough out here.”
LaToya asks Christian when was the last time he said yes to something that may have made him uncomfortable. “I am almost always uncomfortable,” he stated, “but I get a lot of comfort from those who work with me that they are really, really good at what they do. So I can kind of trust them and I think that’s how you can get comfortable with those types of things.”
Being that they are in the media industry, LaToya finishes the interview by asking – what was the last playlist, podcast, or show he had binged? Christian states that he just finished watching Absention on Amazon Prime and listening to the podcast The Recode!