The Robins Executive Speaker Series ended the year with Ruth McCartney, CEO of

McCartney was right in line with previous speakers, including the Group President of North America and Global Hyper-Super-Mass Channel at Procter and Gamble, a Federal Reserve Governor, Chairman and CEO of Landmark Media Enterprise, and a panel of Wall Street Experts. Each speaker has had unique professional expertise in his or her areas of business and offered insight and valuable advice to the campus community.

McCartney’s presentation began with a description of a huge dining room table in her home growing up, which they used at The Beatles’ fan club’s filing system.

“Of course all the mail from Australia and New Zealand went ‘down under’ the dining room table,” she said. “And those from Beijing and China went in the bay window which faced east.”

Known as the “Digital Diva,” McCartney went through a few of her business ventures, some of which had comical ways of putting themselves out there.

“Sometimes humor and thinking outside the box is the best way to stretch a marketing budget,” she said.

McCartney told the University community about the importance of social media and the strategic way you can use it. Using examples from her own business, McCartney was able to portray the power of social media and how it is changing the way businesses market themselves. 

“Ruth successfully explained the social media strategies her company uses for both B2B and B2C companies by giving us examples of who are doing it well and an insight on how to measure social marketing campaigns,” Alice Boothroyd, an exchange student from London, said.

McCartney showcased some recent work she had done for her client Corbin Bleu, a High School Musical star. Through a sign-up page on Bleu’s Facebook page, McCartney’s company was able to collect important data for its client, such as age and other demographics.

“Unless you actually know who these people are and how to get at them (and frankly how to sell them something), you’re a legend in your own lunchtime,” she said.

McCartney credited Facebook with uncovering the most advanced way to learn about customers, saying they know the best way to find out who they are both collectively and individually. In this way, targeted advertisement was born.

“She stated that it is one thing to search for and connect with your potential customers,” Boothroyd said, “but how you turn your Fans into SuperFans is an important consideration for any celebrity with a Facebook Fan Page.” 

The progression of social media, all the way from the days of black-and-white, silent movie bulletins, to the iPad and geographically tracking listeners, came across in McCartney’s presentation. It was about adapting to the way media changes and listening to customers.

“I thought that Ruth was really charismatic and well-spoken, and used interesting examples to make her speech relatable,” Andrew Odenheimer, ’12, said.

Another Robins Executive Speaker, Melanie Healey, Group President – North America and Global Hyper-Super-Mass Channel at Procter & Gamble Co. and one of Fortune Magazine’s ‘50 Most Powerful People,’ had also spoken about branding, the specialty of P&G. Healey introduced the Richmond audience to P&G’s latest endeavor, sponsoring the Olympics and finding an identity amongst all of their separate products. Her presentation inspired her audience with its heavy emphasis on leadership and hard work.

The lineup of speakers has covered a wide range of career paths, and each time students have been able to see a unique path to success in the possible direction they want to follow. Elizabeth Duke, Federal Reserve Governor, explained her rise to the top from starting out as a community banker.

Along with career paths and expert advice, speakers also allowed audiences a glimpse inside the different company cultures. Frank Batten, Chairman and CEO of Landmark Media Enterprise, focused on Landmark’s values-based leadership culture, similar to Healey, who told of P&G’s campaign to get every Olympic athlete’s mother to the Olympic games at the company’s expense.

The series was funded in part by a grant given by the Manville Foundation for Private Enterprise in 1979 and successfully enhanced connections between students, the school and the community.