Have you ever wondered what it’s like to help run the marketing department of a wildly successful theatre company known for launching people’s careers? I know I have and last week I got a chance to talk to Marilyn Rupp Cox, Vice President of Marketing and Customer Relationship Management at The Second City.
Rupp Cox graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a minor in German. She made her career as a project manager and marketing director for several technology companies including Oracle. A little over a year ago she took the position at The Second City flying from Ohio to Chicago a few times a week.
The Second City is a social company where “dialogues beat monologues” and face-to-face time is a must. Rupp Cox’s days never look the same. Her secret to getting things done is to be task oriented.
Another not-so-secret of the trade is to live out what is taught at The Second City. The number one rule to move any scene along in improv is “yes, and.” This means you acknowledge a person’s suggestion, agree with it, and you will add something to it to help it grow. This mentality is one of the challenges Rupp Cox sometimes faces, but she has learned to embrace a marketing team full of unlimited possibilities.
The team is comprised of several divisions in three cities, L.A., Chicago, and Toronto. They pride themselves on living a non-for-profit lifestyle in a for-profit industry and Rupp Cox makes sure their marketing strategy is a reflection of that.
Each team within marketing manages their own social media platforms. The challenge is to convey a universal tone of voice across the board. How exactly does one capture the essence of The Second City in 140 words? Taking writing classes of course. Employees are encouraged to take classes and learn more about the craft.
The most important thing to remember when working at The Second City is to not be afraid of failure. As I’ve said before failure is apart of life. You can’t achieve greatness until you’ve failed. Rupp Cox works with a bunch of failures and they have achieved greatness.
Special thanks to Marilyn Rupp Cox.
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