10 Questions with ... Ashley Dingess
March 3, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started as an intern at KIIS-FM when I was 20 years old. I've got eight years of radio experience and I'm now the Social Media Manager and digital girl at Power 106.
I'm a social media maven and content curator for radio, artists and small businesses. I'm also a freelance social media consultant helping people achieve their online dreams one step at a time. I'm a music-loving, selfie taking, go getter that showcases my celeb encounters and shenanigans on Instagram @ashleyhollabakk and Twitter @ashleyhollabakk
1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I never really had a set career that I wanted as a kid, I just always told everyone I wanted to be the "boss". HA! I remember I would draw myself on career day being this giant human stomping into buildings and telling them that I need to make all the decisions.
2. Twisting 'the chicken or the egg' question...What came first for you, radio or social media?
Social media came to me first. When I was a teen, I had an online NSYNC newsletter that I would send out to NSYNC fans weekly and on my blog page and on my myspace page. Every week I would sit at my parents' computer for what seemed like hours and collect all the best NSYNC stories and photos for the week and send it out to this huge database of young girls. Music has always been my first love which is why I did the newsletter, then in college I was offered a radio internship and it all ended up coming together.
3. At what point did you see yourself heading up the social media efforts of a station like Power 106
I had been at Clear Channel (iHeart) for about five years and I was ready for a change. I went from intern, to programming to marketing to content and social media. I loved working there, but I felt like a small fish in a big pond. I wanted to head a team and have my ideas out there without being restricted by the program director of a station.
We all know programming wins in radio but at Power, Jimmy Steal really trusted me to do what I wanted to do with the Power platforms. When Power initially contacted me, they did not have a job for me, they just had heard about me and wanted to meet me. Once they had an offer on the table, I made a Cali Christmas social strategy which they seemed to love and I got the gig. I was super happy to make the switch.
4. What's probably the most important thing that you took from your experience as an intern?
I had an amazing internship advisor, Angel Nagar, who is currently the marketing coordinator at iHeart media. She taught me to use my common sense and to network without being overbearing. She taught me that being a jack of all trades would benefit me in the long run and told me to scope out EACH radio department until I know which craft I wanted to focus on. I learned to be patient and trust my journey and to hustle in the right way.
5. What should interns expect from an internship program?
With me, interns should expect how to utilize social media across the board. My interns leave learning how to uniquely show off their writing and social talent on the Power 106 platforms with guidance from me. I do hands-on training with each intern I have so they leave feeling confident that they could one day be the social media manager for brand or even take on a couple side clients so they can build their resume.
I am also a huge advocator of using common sense. Not everyone has it, and with time I feel like it could be taught. If you ask anyone that has worked with me I am literally the spokesperson for two phrases "use your brain" and "use your common sense". While it might sound harsh, I find it effective.
6. As the Social Media Manager at Power 106, any specific challenges that a market the size of Los Angeles presents?
Yes! Power competes with three other radio stations who are in a similar category. A big part of my job is ensuring we constantly sound unique, we stay topical and we create the most original content imaginable. I am constantly brainstorming on what we can be doing better to make sure our content doesn't get lost in the pop culture shuffle.
7. Are you a fan of the music and artists that Power 106 plays? What role does that play in your job?
I am absolutely a fan of the music that Power plays. I believe that being a true fan is what makes me strive in my job. It plays THE BIGGEST part in my job. It's honestly what DJ E-man and my boss Jimmy Steal tell me all the time...my passion and being a huge fan makes our social have the special touch that it does. I am sincerely interested in each piece of content that we put out because I am such a huge fan. It makes me that much more passionate.
8. If you weren't in radio focused on Social Media, what do you think you'd be doing professionally?
If I wasn't focused on radio I would probably be a newscaster. I was on the news team at Cal State Fullerton and love being on camera. I also love interviewing. So I would either be doing that or taking over my parents business, a restaurant in Riverside, CA.
9. Who brought you into the Power 106 family?
Dianna Jason and Jimmy Steal did. They saw my work, they invested in me and believed in me and really took me under their wing. Dianna initially reached out to me just to meet me and after coming to Power and showing her my work they ended up getting approved for the Social Media Manager position and brought me in! With their help, encouragement and them really letting me "do my thing" I have been able to shine and grow here! I am now an Emmis emerging leader and also do panels at colleges and student seminars encouraging students to do careers in digital media.
10. Do you see a new, up-n-coming app in the world of social media? What about an app that gone cold?
I feel like the Buffer app for social media is going to sky rocket this year. It's hands down the best tool for a social media marketer.
App gone cold? I would say the Shots app. It just doesn't seem to be moving mountains in the radio world, for me at least. It's essentially Instagram without the ability to make comments, which is great to end online bullying, but each photo must be in real time which eliminates the #throwbackthursday #waybackwednesday #flashbackfriday aspect which is one of the top 5 most used hashtags and items in social media to date
If you could be on any TV reality show or game show, which would you want to be on?
Oh my, this is a hard question. Probably The Voice, but I would want to be the person who sits there and teaches these kids how to blow up digitally. I don't even know if that exists...but hey, it can be created right? And of course, Jeopardy or any type of quiz show...especially if its pop culture questions. I am full of pop culture knowledge.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Concerts. I will spend my last dying dollar on a show ticket. I travel for festivals and concerts. Music is my one true love! Ha! I love to play soccer, spend time with my brother and sister who both are starting college this year, spend time with my boyfriend and um...have bachelor nights at my house with all my ladies!