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Meet the… sales director

Nicki Fisher, sales director, EMEA at Clear-Com, reflects on her journey to the broadcast market and why the best thing about this community is its people

Talk us through an average day in your role

There is no such thing as an average day in my role as sales director of EMEA at Clear-Com. The diversity of our markets is profound, I could be discussing a project for theatre comms in a new entertainment complex, then the next minute, working on a new OB project for a major sports broadcaster. Comms is absolutely everywhere, and whether it’s a space project, an oil rig installation or a theme park, every application has its own intricate comms details that need addressing. 

At the start of every week, I begin with a remote meeting for all my sales team and other supporting areas of the business to join. That sets us up well for the week, so that we all know what our priorities are and how we can work to effectively to best support each other.

We regularly have open house events, seminars, training and exhibitions that require precision preparation in terms of demo equipment and marketing collateral. Throughout the week, I will have customer support calls to attend, finalising contracts, PR activities and supporting our channel and customers with pricing and delivery requirements. In addition to this, we are continually looking to grow our developing market applications and territories; and also support the next generation of the industry through outreach with the Rise Up Academy sponsorship initiatives and mentorship programmes.

How did you get started in the media industry?

My first experience in the industry was with Hewlett Packard in 1998. I was selling Spectrum Analyzers to the MoD and my manager at the time suggested that I might like to come and assist with the developing a new area of HP’s business, which was working with UK TV channels to start transitioning their assets from tape to file. Within months the business had grown exponentially, and I found myself in the glitz of NAB Las Vegas promoting Mediasteam servers. The heat of Las Vegas and being on my feet at the trade show made me queasy and I returned, back to the UK only to discover that not only had HP sold the business to Avid but that I was also expecting my second child! On returning from maternity leave, I returned to my test and measurement roots but in 2005, I joined Tektronix as sales director for the video business, which resulted in a second soiree with the media industry!

What training did you have before entering the industry?

Throughout my early career, all my training had been focused on test and measurement (testing PMR radios and the noise floor of signal generators) which I became very proficient at demonstrating. My media industry knowledge was less structured in its approach and was all about having someone who knew about VITS and timecode as a specialist and be available to answer my dumb questions; I had some great teachers to guide me often with their careers starting in the BBC (you know who you are!). Later in my career, I took the opportunity to attend IABM courses to develop my understanding further.

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

The absolute best thing about the industry is the people. Through the years, I have developed some great partners and colleagues, many of which have grown to be close friends. It’s a super industry for networking and learning how to support each other to be the very best that you can be.

What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?

The best piece of advice that I can offer anyone looking to explore this industry and this type of role is twofold.

Firstly, go for it, aim to reach for your potential, don’t preclude yourself from applying for fear of not having skills or particular experience. Consider how you can develop these skills and ensure you promote yourself and the skills that you can bring to the role. Secondly be yourself, you are unique and they are not making any more of you, so go and show them what you can do.