Inside Talon: Mike Masone
Teaching Media Strategy at Marist College
Explain your role with Talon
My role is somewhat of a jack of all trades here at Talon, and that goes for my whole team not just me. While we have traditionally been handling every aspect of the OOH planning and buying process, we’ve recently split this up to focus more on the strategy behind our OOH plans and on building our client and vendor relationships. The goal is to provide best-in-class client service to our agency partners, like Havas, while enabling us to tell the story of why OOH works for their clients.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Certainly, a bit of everything, that is for sure. We typically have a mix of client, agency, and vendor discussions on current and future OOH campaigns. We also work heavily with the various internal teams at Talon to bring all the pieces together before presenting to clients. I like to think of us as wrapping up the present and putting the bow on top. Putting those final touches on and rounding out any missing parts. We’re also constantly working to ensure our campaigns are running smoothly and addressing any concerns that may arise.
What do you enjoy most about working in OOH?
I love the people and the relationships the best. From working with internal teams, to agency partners, to vendors, and clients, I thoroughly enjoy collaborating with people from all different walks of life to build out the unique and thoughtful OOH plans we put forward at Talon. There is also something about the physical, real-world nature of OOH that feels more present than other media formats that come and go with a flash on the screen.
Most memorable moment or achievement in your time in the industry?
It was a relatively small buy, but I do remember my first billboard I bought in Times Square. It was for COTY, and I thought it was the coolest thing. You can’t even buy this unit anymore as it’s strictly a Netflix perm, but every time I see it, I do remember working on that project.
You recently started teaching Media Strategy at Marist College, how have you been able to bring the real world into the classroom?
This, I think, is the key reason I wanted to take on this role. While at Marist, I enjoyed working with professors who brought that real-world experience into the classroom, pulling in knowledge from their time in the advertising industry. When I was asked if I could teach this course, I thought about what I know and what I have experienced and thought I could also bring some insight into the classroom, albeit with a unique perspective having worked in both traditional and digital media channels.
What is something that you’ve learned already from your experience as a college professor?
It’s an online, asynchronous class, which can be considered quite demanding, at least I thought so when I was in school. Definitely more of a graduate-level pace/expectation of the students as they do a lot of the course material on their own schedule. I think seeing the difference less than a decade makes in the way students have adopted using technology, especially coming out of the pandemic, is really interesting to me.
Any tips or advice for someone interested in joining the industry or pursuing a similar career path?
Try and say yes to as much as you can, it may sound cliché but that is definitely how I am where I am today.