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Stephanie Winans

Women Succeeding In Digital



Use Facebook for this. Use Twitter for that. Take more video. Promote the new app. Tease website content. Managers are inundated by digital changes. But whos doing the research to keep your company cutting-edge?

Whos writing the online content, setting up the social platforms, and executing the strategy? 

Your digital presence is only as strong as the people behind it. Trinity Brocato is VP of digital media for Premiere Radio Networks, and Kathleen Heaney is digital director for Elvis Duran in the Morning. Two women who share a similar vision for radios digital presence and their passion for digital is contagious.

How did you arrive where you are?

Brocato: I started as a radio intern in Santa Barbara my freshman year of college, and Ive been in love with radio ever since. Ive worked as an overnight jock, board op, promotions coordinator, commercial production editor, morning show producer, and music director. In the late 90s, when I was offered an opportunity to become the operations manager for a cluster of small-market stations, I turned the offer down and asked to split my time between my music director position and a newly created website director position. At the time, radio station websites were a rarity and had very little perceived value. Thankfully, I had a forward-thinking GM. We launched our first website, and, within the year, two more  followed. My role continued to expand, and before long, I was managing nine sites across two markets. In 2007, I discovered an opening at Premiere and jumped to syndication.

Heaney: When I entered my freshman year at Rutgers University in 2004, jobs like mine didnt exist. Facebook was in its infancy, and Twitter wasnt on the radar. I started off wanting to be a fashion writer, but the dress designer I worked for quickly realized I was far better utilized designing the company website than merchandising clothing. When I saw there was a demand for young, tech-savvy people to pave the social road for big companies, I signed up for graphic design and Web-development courses to supplement my bachelors degree. Many of my skills are self-taught, but I knew having Web courses and certificates on my resume would give me an edge in the job market.

How does your company rely on you?

Brocato: My job is to lead Premieres digital team while overseeing its interactive business, creating alternative forms of program delivery, developing new online business opportunities, and building innovative digital capabilities to engage listeners. I also oversee strategy, production, and creative for various websites dedicated to Premieres nationally syndicated talent, and lead the digital efforts at live events like the CMA Awards.

Heaney: Im plugged in 24/7 to the news. When your job is to share content, you have to always be connected. Im addicted to hashtags, viral videos, trending topics, everything. I write articles and design artwork for, snap and edit photos, craft social media posts, and interact with listeners on Facebook and Twitter. One of the most important things I do is update our Twitter and Facebook accounts in real time with the topics were talking about live. Encouraging the conversation via social media allows  people to interact with us on a different level.

What skills are essential for someone in your position?

Brocato: Having a baseline technical understanding is obviously important, but being able to easily communicate that knowledge is key. Its imperative to educate others that radio is no longer a one-way conversation personalities, stations, and brands have the ability to engage the audience in a two-way dialogue, anytime, anywhere. Its necessary to constantly look for new and innovative ways to improve our business, and part of that is being aware of, and open to, new technologies. Not every new idea is here to stay, but its important to stay on top of trends and weed through them to find ways to strengthen our brands across multiple platforms.

Heaney: You have to be a digital one-man band. It isnt enough to be good at just social media or graphic design. You have to do it all, and do it quickly! From writing content to designing banners and editing videos, companies are looking for someone who can execute well thought out Web campaigns from start to finish.

What advice can you give others who hold digital positions in radio?

Brocato: Be flexible and open to new ideas. The digital landscape is constantly shifting, and new platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and iHeartRadio offer new opportunities to reach beyond the transmitter and connect with consumers 24/7. They give us the power to transform local radio into global radio.

Heaney: In a day and age when you can get all the top news headlines, respond to e-mails written to you from the other side of the world, and wish 800 of your closest friends good morning before your first cup of coffee, its essential to stay on top of online trends. Sign up for newsletters, use Google Reader, and enlist a social media dashboard to make your life easier.

Stephanie Winans is a social media strategist and content curator for the Randy Lane Company and Stephanie Winans Digital. Learn more at or e-mail her at