in good company // issue no. 08 // jennifer maloney-adab
Who: Jennifer Maloney-Adab, Co-Founder, Brix Media Co.
What: Mamma to Ari, business owner, hip-hop enthusiast, yoga lover, PR maven, my people
Where: Vancouver, BC
Follow: @jennifermaloney and @brixmediaco
Profile picture courtesy of Noel Fox.
If there is one word I would use to describe Jennifer it would be 'contagious'. A contagious spirit, smile, attitude, energy and character. I could go on with a larger list, but you get the point.
She is, first and foremost, a close friend whom I met in our ripe 20's at a Junk removal company we both worked for. I was working in marketing, and she was in PR. From the moment I met her, I knew she would be easy to get along with and loads of fun. Jennifer struck me as a happy, eager lady just bursting at the seams to launch her career! Little did I know that she would take on the PR world as successfully as she has. I'm thrilled to feature my close friend in this month's In Good Company, so grab a coffee and read all about Jennifer's journey.
How did you get started in the Public Relations/Media Relations world? Was it something you always had a passion for or fell into?
Writing was my first passion. It was a creative outlet I revelled in from an early age, so it made sense for me to make a career out of it. I started out as a newspaper reporter for Black Press and loved it. I was invited into people’s homes, businesses, and city chambers to listen to different points of view and was always on top of current affairs. It was a change of management in my newsroom and a simultaneous job opportunity that led me into PR.
Your career has evolved considerably over the past several years and Brix Media Co. is the 3rd company you've started/managed. What have you learned throughout this process?
One of the most important things I've learned is who you surround yourself with on a daily basis, not only has a direct impact on your success, but on your happiness. One of the best things about running your own business is you get to choose your team. I like to think we have one of the best in the business and I'm so grateful for their support everyday.
I consider you half of a power couple, but the most humble kind. Did you always know you would end up with a spouse who is just as driven, motivated and successful as you?
Ha! Definitely not. Like many young women, I spent most of my 20's looking for the right person and half of my time dating or meeting the wrong one. When I met my husband it was different. I was immediately drawn to his passion not just for his professional life, but for life in general. He is also one of the funniest people I have ever met and always operates from a place of integrity. I am a very lucky lady.
How have you noticed the landscape of PR/Media/Marketing change over the years since you've been involved in it?
When I first started in the business, traditional media was the only channel between people and world events. It held all the power. Now with anyone, having the ability to publish and be seen or heard in real time, we have collectively become the media. It's a drastic change and interesting time to say the least.
Your company Brix Media Co. is a B Certified Corp. Tell us what this means and how it differentiates you from other PR companies?
BCorp companies essentially view people and the planet as stakeholders in their operations and they try to make decisions that positively impact them. It's basically declaring that you want to be a good corporate citizen. I believe businesses have great power in providing positive social change.
How competitive do you find the PR/Media landscape in Vancouver now that there are lots of boutique media companies popping up?
PR has always been a field that requires finding a way to have your client's voice heard above others, hitting targets and meeting deadlines, so you have to be competitive by nature to really exceed at it. Vancouver doesn't have the same big business culture as Toronto or other cities, so to succeed in the industry here, you really have to work for an in-house company, one of the few satellite offices or go boutique. I think we're living in a time where many young professionals would prefer to consult or set up their own shop and there are less barriers in doing so, which is great. There's room for all of this in our city, which is growing and starting to attract more international attention.
You and I met when you were first hired on at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? as a PR manager way back in 2006 (when you were blonde!). Looking back now, what would you tell your younger (career) self?
Enjoy now. You are exactly where you are supposed to be and you will never have these same experiences again. Oh, and join the Smart Cookies Money Group, those girls are going places;)
Both you and your hubby are incredibly close to your families. How do you balance the time between parenthood, work, family, date nights and any spare time you may have in between?
I ask myself this all the time! But seriously, I think you just get more efficient at managing your time when you have a baby, and you cut out or at least cut down on some of the things - like after work wine sessions - that you just don't need as often. My favourite times are spent with my family and close friends so I never lose sight of that. And I'm lucky to have a very supportive team at work who help me when things get chaotic.
What's your key to client growth and relationships while also maintaining them?
I think it's important to put the time in and also to celebrate the people you admire, love and respect and let them know you appreciate them. For me this comes natural as I thrive off connections with others.
How has having a baby changed your life and relationship with your spouse?
In some ways it's brought us closer together because we have this being that we co-created and it's the craziest thing to experience with another person. We both love him so much and we reflect on that together all the time. It's also challenging because there is less time for us together as a couple and we have to work together as a team under more stressful and sleep-deprived circumstances. Luckily in those moments, we are both good about keeping our sense of humour and also realizing how lucky we are to have support.
What sage advice would you give a driven, career-oriented couple who are both consumed with their careers?
Do what works for you. Everyone's happiness is individual and the idea that success is having 'everything' is dictated by someone else. So do what makes you happy, but definitely check in with yourself on what that is. That's key.
What do you think makes a great leader?
When it comes to leading a team, the greatest lesson I've learned is everyone has a different learning preference. Some people buy into concepts or vision, other people need structure or numbers, and some just like being in good company. The more you can learn about what motivates the individuals on your team, the better you'll be able to understand and communicate, which ultimately leads to better results.
What are the qualities you look for in the tribe of men/women you surround yourself with and what's the one thing men/women can do better to support one another?
Authenticity, humour and integrity. I think we could all do better by seeking to understand before we seek to be understood.
What inspires and motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
My toddler tapping me to wake up and hear what new words he has learned!
Is the risk really worth the reward?
Always! If you feel it in your gut and you will regret it otherwise, do it.
When have you been the most satisfied in your life?