As a National Account Executive in digital media for the leading diversified Canadian communications and media company, Rogers Communications, Kevin Kennerney has always had a knack for sales. It even traces all the way back to working in his family’s music store when he was in elementary school.
We met up with Kevin to find out just how he got to where he is and what made him choose to enter the unpredictable and ever-changing field of advertising and digital media.
The best piece of advise I have ever received is…
Make sure you know how to sell yourself. Someone has to believe in you before they believe in your product and get to know you as a person, especially if you are representing a brand.
Favourite Instagram account to follow is…
@makerwatchcompany. They make custom watches out of unique wood and resin. They make their own leather straps and everything and film it all really well. They post awesome content.
First thing I do when I wake up in the morning is…
I definitely check my phone. I look at emails, the weather, and the top news.
I couldn’t do what I do without…
Strong management, I always felt having someone to lean on at work, and a mentor is the biggest thing. It’s great to have people at work to bounce ideas off of.
How did you get started?
I’ve been in sales since childhood. My family owned a music store, and I would sell guitars after school and up until I was 24. I then jumped into property management for a few years but found that it wasn’t something I wasn’t passionate about, so I went back to school for advertising. A teacher took me under their wing and got me a position at Starcom Mediavest Group, it was a strong team to learn from, but I always wanted to be in sales. After a year and a half, I was able to make the jump to Rogers and start at the bottom there as a coordinator on digital and working on campaigns with a lot of great reps who also took me under their wing. From there, I got promoted a couple more times and became an account executive for digital media where I have been for the past four or five years. I have been at Rogers for just over six years.
What type of Notable are you? Are you a creator, an entrepreneur, or a professional?
Professional, I’d say, I actually won Sales Professional of the Year at this year’s Notable Awards!
Why do you love your job? What sort of cool things do you get to do?
My job is a little outside the norm concerning the day-to-day. Yes, there is the administration and sales portion, but I’d say our offices are more relaxed. You see a lot of our announcers and talent walking around the cafeteria, and we have Rogers events, which are awesome. We get to host clients at cool events like Blue Jay’s boxes or Raptor’s boxes and get one-on-one time to really get to know them which is not what you would do in a typical day to day job.
What do you want to be known for?
The guy that knows most in my profession.
What does ambition mean to you?
Not having two separate lives. It’s ensuring that your work life is part of your overall life. It’s not just showing up and punching a card.
Looking back, are there moments that clearly stand out in your life as defining moments that have led you to this point?
Back in college when I connected with my media teacher who offered me my first position outside. It was a position where she hired the director of that account when she was new. I knew someone and connected the dots that led me here. The start at Rogers was the most significant defining moment, choosing to stay there and grow within the company.
Did you know immediately when you started at Rogers that it was a company you wanted to grow with?
Yeah. It was different. I liked the way the team worked. Everyone seemed to be friends on the floor and did stuff together, and it was more family-knit. It was a cool environment, and I felt comfortable there.
Looking back now, is there a business decision that you wish you made differently?
I am happy that I went back to school for advertising as an older student. I took things more seriously. I don’t think I would have appreciated it as much going in right after high school or into that field specifically. I’m glad I was able to explore other areas and learn about the grind of going to a day job that I really didn’t like.
What are some pivotal mentorship moments for you?
The professor in university that took me under her wing knew that I was the oldest person in the class and took things seriously and that I thought of it as a last chance for my career. I was 27 when I was in her class, and she saw that I was determined and it was reflected in my work. She took extra time outside of class to mentor me for the field ahead. When someone reached out to her regarding a position, she put my name forward which was fantastic.
What parts of your personality, skills, or approach have helped your career?
Humour! I think am pretty witty which helps with the sales portion of things. We have to work with a lot of clients and work with them one-on-one to establish relationships. Getting to know them outside of work is a big thing as well and meeting people for a drink and being able to not talk about work and share a laugh instead is a big deal.
What are your Notable Life Goals?
My primary goal of getting into this field was getting into the position I am in now. I still like making the sales, feeling the rush, and making packages and doing presentations. I am where I want to be.
Do you have any secret passions or hidden talents?
I am actually taking night classes to study cheese! As someone would be a Sommelier with wine, you can get a certificate for cheese. It’s called a Fromager. Other than that, I play a little bit of guitar as well.
Where can we learn more about you and connect with you?
The best way to connect with me is through my LinkedIn.