By Algernon D’Ammassa
Las Cruces Sun-News, N.M.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Media entrepreneur Leah Messina shares her journey to launching her media and marketing company “Sinuate Media.”
At an early age, Leah Messina made a vow to open her own business before she turned 25.
Sinuate Media, the business she incorporated months before her 25th birthday, has endured 12 years through the recession of 2008, rapid changes in the marketing industry, and a move from the east coast to New Mexico in 2010.
During an interview at her company’s new colonial-style headquarters in Old Mesilla, Messina recalled the promise she made to herself.
“I come from a long line of entrepreneurs,” she said. “I always knew it was something I wanted to do, and it was just kind of getting real work to experience to see what I was most interested in and where I felt I could make a difference.”
She made her deadline, filing the paperwork to create Sinuate Media in 2006 just one month before her 25th birthday, while she was in graduate school at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Messina said she found her niche after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University and taking a job at a marketing firm in New York City, not far from her childhood home in New Rochelle.
Finding a niche
On walks around Times Square near her office, Messina said she would see billboards for television shows her company was marketing, noting stark differences between print advertising and what was being done with newly emerging digital media. “Blogs and podcasts were new technologies, and clients had to learn what the marketing applications were,” she said.
She began to think about “organic marketing,” which she describes as “a holistic vision where we look at the big picture of what’s happening in public relations, what’s happening on the web and search results, and how we can influence our marketing to integrate those together.”