Rising Stars: FIG’s Tara Melvin On Making It in Media
Tara Melvin was brought on as an unpaid intern at Us Weekly right after graduating from Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College in 2010. The current associate director of integrated marketing at Condé Nast’s Food Innovation Group packed her bags and brought her 6-month-old puppy half way across the country from her hometown in Kansas to New York.
Despite insistences from Wenner Media that there was no opportunity for her to get hired full time, she was brought on as an integrated marketing manager immediately after her internship ended. She spent four years at Us Weekly.
Coming from Kansas with her little dog in tow, living in six states before landing in New York and having met a lot of interesting characters along the road; she says she’d definitely compare herself to Dorothy. “Also—ask anyone I know, I kind of have a thing for flamboyant shoes.”
In late 2014, Melvin, 29, was made a senior integrated marketing manager at FIG. “I work with some of the most wildly talented people,” she says. “Every single team member, from a Bon Appétit editor, to an Epicurious designer to a FIG predator, genuinely cares about producing the highest possible level of quality content and dreaming up innovative new products.”
She explains that it doesn’t matter whether FIG is inspiring readers to book a food-focused travel adventure after reading BA City Guides or feeling proud about making a recipe for the first time with Epicurious’s newly launched app. “We are innovative and we move with the industry. We’re not only the content producers, we’re the consumer too,” she says.
Some of Melvin’s favorite projects at FIG have been non-endemic wins where she had to think outside the box. As part of a larger partnership last year, the company partnered with Ralph Lauren Paint, her personal favorite, and hosted “The Perfect Palate” which was a visual storytelling round table that explored the intersection between color and cuisine.
“As part of The Perfect Palate, we held a gallery exhibition at 1 WTC where we painted the walls with Ralph Lauren Paint and paired their palette with some of our iconic food photography,” she says.
Another pet project of Melvin’s is FIG’s annual collaboration as the exclusive media partner of Feast Portland. She tells min that it’s been really fun to grow the company’s presence and collaborate on ways to natively integrate Bon Appétit with ad partners.
Currently, Melvin’s been working on a partnership with Amazon. “It’s one of the most innovative companies out there, so I love working on our partnership with Amazon Fresh,” she says.
Looking forward to this year, she’ll be focused on reading the trends and leveraging new technology, social publishing and new products to help FIG’s brands and ad partners reach new audiences.
“The Food Innovation Group is a real team who are constantly creating new ideas to engage new audiences and continue to deliver what our loyal audiences want from us. Food is universal and our team is about bringing everyone to the proverbial table,” Melvin says.