A Q+A with Lynette McCarthy, Mintz + Hoke Principal, Broadcast Buying
What better way to kick off our celebration of Women’s History Month in our 50th year than to honor our own Lynette McCarthy, Principal, Broadcast Buying and a 2013 AD CLUB CT Hall of Fame inductee. We sat down with Lynette to hear her insights on 44 years in the ad biz in Connecticut — and at Mintz + Hoke.
M+H: We’d love to hear your story! Was M+H your first job?
Lynette: Mintz + Hoke was my first advertising agency job out of college. I went to Endicott College, a two-year college for women. My major was Retail/Marketing, and a media director from a Boston agency taught our media class. I knew right then I would love buying media.
Upon graduation, I looked at several agencies in Connecticut and heard Mintz + Hoke was “the place to be” if I could get in. Mintz + Hoke had just landed the Southern New England Telephone Company account and was looking for a Media Assistant. I interviewed on a Tuesday and that Saturday, I got a call from Irene Makiaris, the Associate Media Director at the time, who told me if I wanted the challenge, I had the job. She and Rene Reyes, Media Director back then, taught me all about media and how fun a job it could be.
M+H: Here you are, four decades later! Is there something special about your work or Mintz + Hoke that has fueled your long career here?
Lynette: Every day is something new. I love working with the many people I meet daily — all the wonderful clients and media reps. And to be surrounded by creative, talented people in the agency is a blessing in itself. I never felt the desire to change my job or my location as being at Mintz + Hoke is still “the place to be” and I’m honored to be here for 44 years!
M+H: How has the media landscape in Connecticut, and the work you do, evolved in the past four-plus decades?
Lynette: When I started in 1978, we had typewriters, no computers. We looked up Nielsen ratings from the actual books — it took an exceptionally long time to do broadcast buys. We had to package ads in tubes and mail them to the newspapers. We also had longer lead times. Things were fast-paced in the business then but not as fast as they are now. Technology has given us that advantage.
The media consisted of a few major daily newspapers, static billboards, a couple of radio formats, and TV had the major four networks. Cable started up, but there were only a handful of networks. The choices we have now and how we can consume the media are growing every day. Working during this evolution in time is nothing short of amazing!
M+H: With so much change, is there anything in your approach that has stayed the same?
Lynette: One thing remaining consistent is how we work with our clients and the media. The passion we have to do the best we can, to get more for the client while being a good partner with the media, has not changed. Being proud of what I do — and seeing success for the client because of it — is the most rewarding part of my job.
M+H: How about the advancement of women in the field in Connecticut during your tenure? What are your observations, especially of women in leadership roles?
Lynette: For as long as I have been in the advertising business, it has recognized women, having them both in leadership and ownership roles. Advertising is made of some of the most intelligent, talented, and creative women I have ever met. If you are a woman and thinking of entering the advertising business, do it! I can guarantee you’ll love going to work every day. (Besides occasionally wanting to go on a beach day, which we all need!)
M+H: What is your advice for women looking to enter or advance their career in the advertising industry? Can you share several kernels of wisdom?
Lynette: Here are my Top Ten Tips for everyone no matter who you are or what you do:
- Work in a job you love. The quality of your work will reflect those feelings.
- Do not get too hung up on titles. Better to do a great job at what you are great at. The grass is not always greener on the other side.
- Always give respect to get it back.
- Teach without humiliating.
- Use “we” not “I” when working with a team.
- Give credit to all who put in the effort.
- Admit your mistakes and help others when they make one.
- Be friendly not frightful.
- Most importantly, laugh at least once every day!
- And, I’ll close with what a highly successful businesswoman told me: Always wear your name tag on your right shoulder. This way when you lean in for the handshake, they can clearly see your name.
Editor’s Note: We continue to be so grateful to Lynette for the work and wisdom she shares with us every day. Join us in congratulating her as she formally celebrates 44 years with Mintz + Hoke on March 6, 2022. You can do so on our social media channels spotlighting this blog post.