This week, we’re featuring Jenina Nuñez as our Everyday Chica. The Brooklyn, NY-native is Manager, Global Menu Strategy at McDonald’s Corporation, where she manages new product development activities from around the world. Prior to that, Nuñez led public relations and social engagement programs for the world’s largest fast food restaurant’s U.S. business. She spoke with Ain’t I Latina? about her career in strategic marketing and communications, engaging with the Latino demographic and growing up Garifuna.
Ain’t I Latina?: What led you to work at McDonald’s Corporation? Talk about your career trajectory and how you landed your role at McDonald’s.
Nuñez: My career trajectory is a very unique one, I would say. I’m in one of those kind of really rare positions where I had the very wonderful fortune of having a cross-section of experience. An integration of traditional, social, engagement, multicultural, digital experience, which I think really prepared me well for what I currently do at McDonald’s.
I spent most of my career on the agency side, learning different environments, different client models, and also really different ways to engage customers and do PR. It started out very traditional, looking up press contacts by hand; you know, just really getting my feet wet. I’ve worked for non-profit organizations. I actually started out in multicultural PR for a little while working with the Hispanic segment. Eventually moved into the general market segment working on the McDonald’s business at GolinHarris in Chicago, so it was then that I had been exposed to the golden arches for the first time.
I had a great couple of years on the brand and then I moved back into multicultural communications efforts for the Hispanic and African-American segment for a couple of different marquee accounts, and I think what was really good about that was understanding that there’s a way to effectively engage audiences. It really made me attune to the fact that there are opportunities for finding shared messages across all customer segments, but also at the heart of it [is] understanding the sensitivities and the value points that also make it relevant when you’re talking to that particular segment.
I had a really amazing experience working on Hispanic and African-American customer segments, and then moved into just social media engagement, so Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, leveraging these platforms for clients and really also seeing how they fit into a traditional integrated marketing mix. When you start to see your experience from all these different vantage points you kind of see how all the pieces of the puzzle work together.
When the opportunity at McDonald’s opened up, and it was a former client who was looking to hire for a team, it felt like a really amazing fit because at this point I had amassed a lot of those core tenets that you need to do PR today. When I look at my career from then to now, PR has completely evolved. When I think about the last several years, now you have the advent of social media, multiple market segments and it’s just a much more sophisticated profession. It involved a lot of alignment integration more than ever before when you think about how savvy the customer is and all the ways they can consume information. It was a really natural progression to really understand the marketplace from multicultural, traditional, digital, and social to move into the corporate space. I love the brand and I think it’s been really awesome to kind of leverage experiences from each of those parts of my background. There’s not one part of my background that I don’t leverage every day working at McDonald’s because that is how dynamic our customer base is.
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