Gabrielle Gambrell, an adjunct instructor in the NYU SPS DPB Integrated Marketing and Communications program, is a communication, branding, and media expert who has worked with many of today's leading sports, media, entertainment, consumer, technology, and lifestyle brands. Among her many accolades, Gambrell was named to PRNEWS' 2020 list of Top Women in PR and PRWeek’s 2019 Hall of Femme as a Woman to Watch. At NYU SPS, she teaches graduate-level courses in integrated marketing, digital and social media, media relations, and corporate communications. She maintains an active social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other popular platforms––and recently appeared in USA Today.
Gambrell took a moment to chat with us about teaching; the future of the marketing communications field; and how diversity, equity, and inclusion inform messaging and communications.
As a marketing communications professional, what makes you passionate about teaching?
Teaching affords me the irreplaceable opportunity to give real-world experience to my students. My students also keep me abreast of up-to-the-minute trends, and they allow me to tap into the minds and hearts of Gen Z. I am forever grateful for my amazing NYU students; I learn from each and every one of them. The mutual lessons exchanged with my students are impactful and inspiring.
How has the profound importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) informed messaging and communications across the marketing mix—and how do you see it shaping the future of the field?
I am immensely committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and truly believe in the significance of incorporating DEI into marketing and communications. Additionally, my courses include lessons on incorporating DEI best practices and successes. I’ve penned an in-depth essay with the International Public Relations Association on the obligation of professionals to educate society through strategic DEI methods which play a critical role in helping to eliminate stigmas and misinterpretations and help nurture relationships to strategically manage the intentional spread of DEI information. Our work affects public perception, thought, and opinions via awareness and, moreover, can impact, persuade, and influence society as a whole. Tactics that lack DEI are likely to fail. DEI is, of course, a business imperative, but it also must be a conscious decision.
Can you pinpoint any overarching principle or principles you try to convey to your students in order to equip them for a future in the marketing communications arena?
First, think about diversity, equity, and inclusion in all you do. Secondly, always start with research. Anything you do starts with knowing your customers and clients––keeping your community and target audience in mind––their history, traditions, and culture. Third, success looks different every time. Determine what success looks like today and in the future. Lastly, commit to continuous self-improvement in every endeavor. Strive to learn. If you’re not constantly challenged in new ways throughout your entire life, then growth is not happening. New knowledge and awareness expand your interests and opportunities and are competitive advantages.
Why do you think continuing education is so critical to professionals in PR and marketing?
One of the best aspects of attending graduate school is networking and relationship building. Your peers and professors will help to land your dream job, support in negotiations, and more. We live in a world where who you know and who is in your network is often more valuable than anything else. Furthermore, for those who are looking to break into the senior-most positions, developing fluency and competency in both PR and Marketing, which have age-old adjacencies, will be invaluable to their career.
What are your other areas of interest?
I love to travel and believe seeing and experiencing the world brings so much wealth. My newborn daughter, #GigiGambrell, has already had a handful of flights, along with her brother, my toddler son, #BabyGambrell. I enjoy spending time with my family and creating memories that will last a lifetime. I also love media and entertainment––TV, movies, music, theater, Broadway, and sports. I am an avid Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Cowboys fan. I absolutely love my hometown of Los Angeles––there’s no place like it in the world. I will always cheer for any Los Angeles professional sports team, and New York is a close second.