On October 29, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded 50 news media professionals around the world with its debut Elevate Scholarship. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.
Ruby Allen almost missed her calling. Although she was signed up to take a United States law class for her final semester of high school, she decided she wanted to do something “fun” instead and switched to the school newspaper class — much to the chagrin and resistance of the school’s vice principal, who was certain she was making a huge mistake.
“Little did I know that it would develop into my career and passion for life,” said Allen, regional planning manager for Gannett. That led her to work on her college newspaper, where she started out in design and layout. Adding to her immersion in the newspaper industry, she took a job as a classified advertising rep for the Green Bay Press Gazette to pay her way through college.
“Along the way … I have had the opportunity to learn the ebb and flow of different departments,” she said. “Working at multiple news organisations, from small weeklies to major metro news publications, has provided me with a strong background in the industry.”
These days, she works in circulation marketing for Gannett (formerly GateHouse Media) and envisions one day rising to a senior level marketing position.
“I want to use my skills and knowledge base to help our team from a top level in all aspects of circulation marketing, including — but not limited to — acquisition, retention, and engagement.”
As a woman in a predominantly male-driven environment, Allen works to promote a culture of acceptance, inclusiveness, and support for all. She hopes to see a day when there is greater representation of diverse individuals in every newspaper department.
“I also believe in listening and engaging with all backgrounds and viewpoints on a strategy without using any biases,” she said. “There are many great people who can see things from a different viewpoint than my own based on their backgrounds, experience, and culture.”
In addition to having the willingness to listen to those different viewpoints, Allen brings her own perspective as someone who has multiple sclerosis.
“I do not advertise my disability, sometimes out of fear that it would hold me back from a senior management position,” she explained. “I want to be a part of changing the industry to be more inclusive and less biased. I want to create an environment where those who are under-represented or disadvantaged are not afraid to disclose who they are, and instead can be proud and heard.”