Mónica Talán: PRWeek Hall of Femme 2016

EVP, corporate comms and PR, Univision Communications

What would you do if you were not in PR?
Something either in anthropology or in education.

Talk about the last time you experienced a truly fist-pumping victory moment.
I have been fortunate to be at Univision at a time when we have reached many milestones that have changed the media landscape, from the Univision Network outperforming ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox on a number of sweeps to be the number one network in the country, to expanding our reach across 17 platforms — whereas when I joined Univision, there were only three networks. 

There have been many victorious moments along the way, but the most recent one related to the deep connection with the Hispanic community that fuels Univision’s success. Earlier this year in New York we held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Univision media center at the New Venture Community School, a middle school in the Bronx that Univision "adopted."

This is something we had worked toward for months — spending time at the school, getting to know the faculty and students, painting the center with a group of colleagues and students and getting it ready to be an valuable resource for them. 

Seeing the joy of the principal, teachers, and students was a moment of great pride for all of us, and was an incredible personal and professional victory for me.

When was the last time you endured a real "agony of defeat" moment, a total wipeout? What did you learn from it?
It was a few years ago when all that could go wrong at an event, did. I learned many lessons that day, including that one failure does not define you and, most importantly, the importance of owning up to your mistakes.

How long ago was the last time you truly took the time to recharge your batteries? What did you do?
I try every year to spend time with friends and family to disconnect and recharge, but based on the nature of our industry, this is never easy. Having said that, three years ago I took a trip to Tulum, Mexico, with limited cell access, allowing me to truly disconnect.

What is it about the communications industry that frustrates the hell out of you sometimes?
One word: measurement.

When have you seen PR or your organization really shine?
Univision’s mission and values are to stand up for the community we represent. This is how we shine, and it is what makes me the most proud of being a part of the organization.

Words to live by?
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others," Mahatma Gandhi.

Favorite drink?
A glass of Chianti.

What would you tell your 20-year-old self?
I have asked this question of a number of leaders who have spoken to our teams at Univision and most have consistently told us to be more confident. This is good advice, and would add that you should take more calculated risks.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say to you as you enter?

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