A few years after college, Dennie Ortiz was invited to join American Towman magazine as an event manager for their annual trade show, while also assisting the editorial team administratively. From there she moved into advertising and exhibit sales, and then ad sales manager. Today, Dennie serves as publisher and president of A.T. Media Corp.
Here Dennie shares insights from her media career and what keeps her deeply appreciative of the first responders in the emergency road service industry that her publication covers.
How did you get started in media?
During high school I worked part time for a publishing company that handled automotive newsstand publications. The entire process was very interesting to me, from editorial content creation, graphic design conceptualizations, to the advertising sales and circulation management.
Anything about the industry that has surprised you?
The industry that our company serves has been a source of amazement to me over the years. Even though we are a business-to-business trade publication, our readership is quite unique.
Our audience is comprised of first responders in the emergency road service industry (also known as the towing industry). I’ve always thought that these towing professionals are truly the unsung heroes of the road. They exhibit remarkable dedication in their vocation to assist the motoring public and keep our highways and byways open and running.
There is great pride, bravery and heroism reflected in the individuals that run towing and recovery businesses. That our magazine and trade shows have been able to connect with these first responders on various levels to help educate and raise the bar of professionalism within this industry has been greatly rewarding.
Share an initiative that helped your organization innovate.
Several years ago, we decided to focus on editorial that would provide suppliers a tie-in with the content, enabling our sales team to bring in more advertisers that recognized the value of this type of connection. It didn’t hurt that we offered a cross-reference to their ad pages from the articles. Not only did this give our advertisers more exposure, it also helped our readers find the companies that offered a specific product or service for their business.
How has BPA supported your company?
Having a leading authority auditing our circulation has allowed us to stand out from our competition. Enlisting BPA, with its strong reputation and high standards, to verify the accuracy of our circulation claims, has allowed us to bring in larger advertisers in greater numbers.
What in your career are you most proud of?
I am gratified to have risen to the rank of Publisher and President of American Towman Media especially, and ironically, being a woman of a publication titled Towman.
What advice would you give someone starting out in your field?
My advice is to find a market or industry in which you have an interest. Initially, I had not been acquainted with the towing industry; however, I’ve found it is an extraordinary world that is to be admired and one of which I am proud to be a part.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Not surprisingly, I love to read, though I prefer fiction to a business publication. Nevertheless, I need to get out of my head sometimes, so I enjoy concerts and dancing, as it allows my body to take over my mind for a much-needed break.
What word describes your company?
Remarkable! Beyond covering the challenges of the towing trade each month on issues critical to a towing operation, we have developed several programs that bring recognition to the hard-working individuals of this industry. From awards of heroism and service excellence, to aiding local fire and police departments, we have helped to acknowledge the critical roles these towing professionals play within the community.
What is one goal you would like to achieve?
The marketplace we serve is predominately male focused, so I want to continue to bring greater attention to the contributions that women offer to this incredible industry.