Country music brand manager speaks with studentsBy Jake Howell | 04/20/2017 10:44pm
On-air personality and digital director Nada Taha met with students on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com
Students at The University of Alabama were given a chance this Wednesday to meet on-air personality and digital director Nada Taha, and hear her discuss branding and the entertainment industry from the perspective of a self-made prodigy.
Nada, as she prefers to be referred to in public media, acts as an on-air personality for the Nashville country music iHeart Radio show, The Bobby Bones Show. She is described as a pizza-loving, cat-cuddling, social media savant, and at the age of 27, is the youngest of five members of the show, filling the role of the tech-savvy millennial.
Right after driving in from Nashville, Nada held an informal seminar with students, answering questions about public relations, media management, and entertainment careers. After a brief introduction, she took non-prepared questions from the audience and discussed the issues important to the students.
When asked how to have the upper-hand in the public media industry, Nada stated that variability was a must-have trait for new industry hopefuls. While she serves as a brand manager for multiple artists in the country music industry, she also takes on side-jobs in graphic design, and developed a wide range of technology skills on her own.
One challenge that she herself faces in the industry is balancing life with work. While proud of her identity as a driven working woman, she said that the work had driven her to major extremes before.
“For a year and a half, I lived off Red Bulls and Cliff bars,” Nada said. She previously worked for the Bobby Bones Show for free, while maintaining a music industry job which demanded her attention through day and night.
Emily Hillhouse, a sophomore majoring in public relations and international studies, helped bring Nada to campus.
“My favorite thing she talked about was branding, specifically building your personal brand and making it cohesive,” Hillhouse said.
During the informal lecture, Nada constantly referenced living as a personified brand for yourself.
“You need to think of yourself as a brand,” Nada said. “Anytime you post something to social media, anytime you tweet something, anything that you do is part of your brand.”
She admitted that sometimes the lines between personal and corporate brands even get muddied, as happened with Tomi Lahren and Glenn Beck of The Blaze, a conservative media outlet. Lahren was recently fired for making comments that many perceived as pro-choice, and was quickly ousted from her public role as a media commentator.
Without straying into the politics of the situation, Nada stated that she felt that The Blaze overreacted in firing Lahren for her own personal views.
Artists’ whose brands she admired included rapper Kendrick Lamar and country couple Dan and Shay, all of whom she felt lived as people sure of who they were.
“It’s definitely a vibe with branding,” Nada said. “Knowing who you are as an artist, knowing who you are as a person, that is so important.”