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Career Connections Profile: Cindy McConkey

Cindy McConkeyMy job and what it entails:
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Scripps Networks Interactive. Set the communications strategy and processes for integrated mar-comm programs that help drive and support Scripps Networks Interactive’s business. Direct day-to-day responsibilities include reputation management, executive communication, media relations, social responsibility, and government relations, with supervision of employee communications, speakers’ bureau, event marketing and marketing & creative services.

Cable work history:
Joined Scripps Networks Interactive in 2001 as VP, Marketing & Communications; Named SVP of Corporate Communications in 2004.

Work history B.C. (before cable):
Sports journalist 7 years; marketing-communications consultant 15 years.

ACC history and involvement:
Member since 2001, serving as judge of the Beacon Awards several times and participating and moderating conference panels. Regularly encourage co-workers to be involved and attend conferences

Favorite ACC member benefit:
Interaction with other mar-comm leaders in judging sessions and at conferences.

First job out of college:
Sports Journalist, covering college football in the Southeastern Conference for the Knoxville daily newspaper, followed by broader sports assignments on the national scene at USA TODAY in Washington, DC.

First communications job (if different from above):
First job in marketing-communications was as an account executive at a generalist PR firm with seven employees. Left that position 15 years later as EVP of what had grown to a full-service, regional agency with 33 people.

What I’m working on today:
Following up to Q&As from last week’s company-wide employee meeting; Finalizing plans for the upcoming Cable Show in Boston; Leading corporate communications team in building out and launching new corporate web and social media portals; Developing DC strategy for second half of year.

Best thing about my job:
Working with forward-thinking leaders in a highly creative, positive work environment.

How my job has changed in the past year:
Learning to utilize social media effectively, both internally and externally, to support SNI’s business priorities

If I could change one thing about my job:
Overwhelming volume of email.

Biggest professional accomplishment:
Building and retaining a smart, talented and dedicated group of strategic and diverse thinkers within SNI’s Corporate Communications team.

Worst professional mistake (at least the worst I will admit):
Accidentally leaving an unfortunate, critical comment from a co-worker on an email chain.

Best lesson I’ve learned in my career:
Mistakes will happen; it’s how you respond and what you learn from them that matters most.

Advice for newer communications pros:
Be flexible… Don’t ever stop learning.

Education:
BS in Journalism from University of Tennessee College of Communications

Family:
Married 32 years to Gary Cox; two daughters, Kendall (23) and Hannah (19); two dogs and two cats too!

Favorite cable channel(s):
HGTV and any channel showing Big Bang Theory.

Hometown:
Knoxville, TN

What I’m passionate about (besides family, job and the cable industry):
Anything outdoors ... hiking, boating, snow skiing, rock climbing, tennis, even yard work!

Mailing Address: PO BOX 75007 Washington, DC 20013-5007
Phone: 800.210.3396 or 202.222.2370
Fax: 202.222.2371
services@cablecommunicators.org