Getting To Know A Fox: VP And Senior Account Director Joan Rizzo

Dec 18, 2023

Fox Associates has an incredibly strong team of media sales experts—if you’ll allow us to make that humble observation. One of our team members is Vice President and Account Director Joan Rizzo. Together with her fellow salespeople, they represent decades of experience and a vast and valuable range of life experiences that they bring to their work, all for the benefit of their clients.

For these reasons and more, we’re always proud to highlight our team. After all, Fox Tales is all about telling the stories of our friends, partners and customers, as well as offering insights into the world of media. In that spirit, then, we present a Q&A with Joan.

Fox Tales: Tell us about your approach to sales—what’s the Fox ethos, and your own—for value creation and win-wins?

Joan Rizzo: My father was the head of the Bridal Guild for many years—and he taught me that it’s all about the numbers. So, I just keep dialing and calling. Dialing and calling. Everybody has their own way of selling.  Everyone is a true professional on the Fox sales staff—but my way works for me.

Joan Rizzo.

Fox Tales: Can you quantify the value of this approach—in size of an annual spend, in lifetime value, in trust.

Rizzo: I treat all my clients the same, whether they’re buying a one-inch ad or full pages. Makes no difference to me. Small clients are taking money out of their pockets too. Large clients are spending their corporate budgets. I’m thankful for each and every sale and try to make all my clients feel important. My follow up is really good. I don’t like to wait—so why would I make someone else wait?

Fox Tales: Has your approach to media sales evolved over the course of your career? Tell us how.

Rizzo: My approach has been the same since day 1. If it isn’t broken, I’m not fixing it.

Fox Tales: What are some surprising requests for media campaigns you’ve gotten? How have you responded? What do you do when a customer rolls back their budget?

Rizzo: I don’t think anything surprises me. Usually, it’s just agencies too lazy to do their job—and asking for digital availabilities for every asset—and some of our publishers have a ton. I try to lock them in to at least a timeframe—if they won’t give me a budget. If they cut budgets, they cut budgets. But if it’s a sizeable amount of money, I offer the client rate protection if they commit to the same spend. Otherwise, I raise their rate. How much depends on the client/publisher.

Fox Tales: Tell us about yourself. Where have you lived, where do you live now and what do you like best about those places?

Rizzo: I come from Brooklyn and except for a year in Israel—50 some odd years back—I’ve lived all over Brooklyn. I have a house in Gerritsen Beach, I went to school at Brooklyn College. I love Brooklyn! I love almost everything about it. I live across the street from a wildlife preserve.  Unfortunately, I also live right off of the water, and Hurricane Sandy taught me the errors of my ways. It cost me $40,000 out of my pocket to rebuild!

Fox Tales: How long have you been with the company?

Rizzo: I’ve worked at Fox for 30 years.

Fox Tales: What are some of your avocations? Tell us something about yourself that is sort of surprising—a skill, an experience, etc.

Rizzo: I used to do some really heavy-duty travel before the pandemic. I’ve been to about 120 different countries. Some very odd ones—North Korea, Afghanistan, all over Africa. I love to read. I love animals. I have four kids, five step kids, three grandkids, five step grandkids, one old husband, two birds, one cat, and one tortoise named Barry Manilow, who’s about 70 years old or older. I LOVE Barry Manilow (the singer along with my tortoise!).