Integrated Marketing Communications major Ashley Hull ‘20 is making waves as Cayuga Radio Group’s newest — and youngest — account executive. Hull graduated in December 2020 from Ithaca College and has found that her IMC skills have given her a leg up in a competitive sales environment.
Hull began working at Cayuga Radio Group, which is composed of 10 radio stations in the Ithaca area, in early February 2021. She maintains relationships with clients who already advertise with the company and works on landing new contracts.
“Every day is interesting,” Hull said. “I am like a one-person agency almost. Our main focus is radio, but we also do all of the TCAT transit advertising. We have full digital services as well, along with special promotions and events. There are a lot of products, and we're the only broadcast medium that's in Ithaca.”
Hull estimates that she has 85 clients and is in active communication with approximately 35 of them. For each new client, she makes a custom advertising plan, from background research to radio scripts, and is responsible for seeing the advertisements through from the first conversation with the client to when the advertisement airs.
During the application process for her new job, Hull was asked to give a sample radio advertising pitch to her current supervisor. She met with Scott Hamula, professor and chair in the Department of Strategic Communication, and Mark Addona, assistant professor in the Department of Strategic Communication, to practice her pitch and get feedback.
Now, Hull says her IMC skills are indispensable on the job. “A lot of my coworkers do not have an IMC background, and I think it just gives me a huge advantage,” Hull said. “People may not take you 100% seriously because they've been running their business for 25 years. However, I believe that having a strong marketing background really helps. I think everything through thoroughly. How can you disagree when I have all of the data to back up my recommendations?”
Chet Osadchey, president of Cayuga Radio Group, noticed that Hull was uniquely prepared for the position as a result of her IMC education. “Ashley came to us with a very strong knowledge of both marketing and sales,” said Osadchey. “Those two elements are integral to her work as a media account executive. It allows her to apply those skills, learned and developed at Ithaca College, to each individual account for maximum client outcomes and results.”
Hull grew up in Windsor, New York, a town just outside of Binghamton. She says being local to the area has given her a competitive advantage because she has a deep knowledge of businesses in the region.
Outside of her coursework, Hull was a dog raiser with Guiding Eyes for the Blind and the fundraising chair for the Ithaca College Figure Skating Team, which further acquainted her with the community. She also interned with Intelligent Green Solutions, an Ithaca-based solar company, which she says helped her learn to wear many different hats on the job.
This versatility, and her IMC background, have prepared her well for the unpredictability of advertising.
“It's exciting,” Hull said. “Every day is a little bit different. The industries that I work with are all across the board, and I love it.”
The Cayuga Radio Group consists of 10 radio stations and two standalone digital products in the Ithaca/Cortland and Finger Lakes region. Each of the stations all have varying degrees of geographic coverage. The largest signals stretch to Syracuse (North), Bath, NY (West), Norwich (East), and into Northern Pennsylvania to the South. The AM stations also are carried on FM signals, and several of the FM’s have additional metro coverage signals as well on separate FM frequencies. The stations are well respected in the region for their excellent programming, outstanding community relations, strong on-air personalities, and overall commitment to local and regional advertising clients.