Forever fueled by the challenge, Alex works as a media planner and spends her days at Paradowski figuring out when and how brands can have the best conversations with their consumers. She’s going to figure it out, and there’s nothing you can do to stop her. Not that you would want to.
Despite how her job title reads, Alex might actually be a consumer of media first and a planner of media second.
Alex was raised in Marthasville, a town of roughly 1,100 people directly west of St. Louis. Her family lived on 55 acres of woods, which meant her nearest neighbor growing up was a mile away. With friends slightly out of reach, Alex turned her inward.
While her shows of choice might not have been age-appropriate, that television opened Alex up to an entire world beyond her family’s rural abode. Little did she know that her love for consuming media into the wee hours of the night would blossom into a career spent planning it.
But even in a rural environment, Alex had no problem staying busy.
Alex’s parents were both teacher; her mom taught elementary school, and her dad was a secondary math teacher, in addition to coaching sports. That meant excelling both in class and on the field/court/track was more or less expected of her and her brother.
So excel she did.
During her time at Washington High School, Alex played volleyball, basketball and softball—and ran track and field. Her dad was and still is a coach at her high school. She was lucky enough to be coached by him in basketball as well as track and field, and to have him as a math teacher in middle school.
“My friends would ask me, ‘Do you get better grades because your dad is the teacher.’ Well, I had a B, so… no.”
Even though her parents didn’t cut her any slack, she was glad to have them around on campus and at home whenever she had questions or needed help.
Outside of sports and school, going to the movies and watching TV were constants of her young life. While she doesn’t consider them “hobbies,” these interests remain among her favorite ways to pass the time.
Alex is here to master the art of media like no other.
After Alex finished her communications degree at UMSL, she wasn’t exactly sure what her best professional fit would be, but she knew she wanted to put her degree to good use.
Luckily, Alex learned that agencies aren’t just creative and account at her first internship, which happened to be in a small agency’s media department.
“I had assumed agencies were just creative people and the people who manage them. I had no context of what media does before that.”
After that internship, Alex found herself in the sales department at Clear Channel (now iHeartRadio), which is where she started to become familiar with digital advertising.
“Digital was just starting to happen then, but no one paid for banners ads. If you bought a radio package, you just got banner ads.”
Since then, she’s earned her masters in communications from Webster and bounced between agency and vendor positions, always approaching her work with a curious mind and an eagerness to learn.
“For creatives, it’s totally different because you to go school for writing or to learn design as well as to learn the programs needed to do those things. But with media, the best way to learn is to learn as you do it.”
Alex likes working at Paradowski for two very important reasons.
1. She needs to have good people to work with and under.
2. She can almost walk here.
Anyone who works at Paradowski will tell you the people here are one of the company’s greatest perks. When she was interviewing, she saw Paradowski’s reigning media overlord, Pat Rosner, as someone who could help her grow.
“I knew I wanted to work with someone who’s super smart and experienced—and someone I could learn from.”
It also doesn’t hurt that Paradowski is in Webster Groves and Alex, a self-proclaimed homebody, lives down the street in Maplewood.
Alex’s perspective on media is simple: think creatively, work skeptically.
“I think it’s important that creative people know what’s available and what we’re capable of doing from a media perspective so that we’re being creative every step of the way.”
To her, knowing is half the battle; if you think print ads are the only option, for example, you’re probably going to make a print ad.
“I try to look at the type of creative coming down the pipeline and find out what’s possible for it before I try to plan something out in full.”
While new media options are usually exciting, there’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned print ad if that’s what the campaign calls for. To Alex, part of what makes her perfect for media planning is her ability to “see past the B.S.” and independently decide what’s best for each client’s goal.
The other part is that she does her research. From looking at past campaigns to constantly reviewing analytics and reports, Alex keeps a close eye on her entire media kingdom.
“I want to do all of it. I have control issues, which just might be a media trait. I like to spend the money and then be able to tell you where it goes and how it impacts our audience.”
In her opinion, the best way to get clients excited about media is showing them the right research and results. When I asked Alex what her biggest challenge was—fully expecting her to say “dumbass creatives who ignore my suggestions” (which would have been fair criticism)—her response was “more tools, I always want access to more tools.”
Someone get this woman some more tools, damn it.
Alex keeps a low profile, and that’s the way she likes it.
She still loves going to the movies and watching TV, though she typically watches on larger screens now. And she’s always down for dinner and drinks.
But mostly, she loves spending time around the house with her husband Jeff, her dog Loki and her cat Wilson. She and Jeff are constantly updating small things around the house, looking for ways to improve every nook and cranny. Although, in this arrangement, Jeff is the one with the tools and she is admittedly more of the “ideas person”—a slight change of pace from her professional world.
Something that continues to catch me off-guard while working with Alex is her bone-dry sense of humor. She delivers subtle, sarcastic punchlines with the razor-sharpness of a copywriter with nothing to lose, but if you aren’t listening closely, you might miss a hell of a zinger.
But that’s the genius of Alex Ogle. Her approach to media, like Alex herself, is oozing with life and personality where you least expect it. She’s not 100% serious all the time, but it’s in your best interest to take her very seriously.