41 minutes | Jul 15th 2020

Spotify’s Head of Communications, Dustee Jenkins [Episode 20]

Dustee Jenkins is the Head Of Global Communications and Public Relations at Spotify. Dustee joined Spotify in late 2017 from Target, where she spent seven years, culminating in the role of Chief Communications Officer. In addition to being part of PRovoke Media’s Influence 100, Dustee has been Recognized by Mashable as one of 10 Pioneering Women Changing the Field of Communications, and was listed on PR Week’s Global Power Book and also highlighted by Ad Age for 40 Under 40 in Marketing, and PR Week’s 40 Under 40 in Public Relations.

In this conversation, Dustee and Lippe Taylor CEO, Paul Dyer, discuss internal and external communications in the era of COVID, new and exciting advancements at Spotify, as well as the virtues of being press shy. Before we begin, here are three key takeaways from this conversation with Spotify’s Dustee Jenkins. 

Be press shy (or at least ‘press selective’). Daniel Ek, Spotify’s CEO, is notorious for being ‘press shy,’ but upon closer inspection, it’s clear that Daniel is simply highly selective about what he talks to the press about, which is extremely strategic. As a result, people pay more attention to his announcements because they’re usually exciting and meaningful. The practice of forgoing 'press for press sake' also gives Daniel more focus and energy to spend on internal communications (see next bullet). 

Double-down on internal communications. Spotify has always been very focused on internal communications and transparency, two qualities that have become significantly more important in today’s very uncertain times. Spotify takes transparency so seriously that they have even coordinated a way for any of their staff to ask their CEO Daniel anything they want, and to do so anonymously using an app called Slido, which allows a Reddit-like function to upvote and downvote questions.  

Use your mission to move mountains. Before becoming the behemoth audio platform that it is today, Spotify had to start off by individually going to all the major record labels to convince them to license their artists on the Spotify platform. That is an incredibly herculean task, especially considering that many of those labels considered Spotify to compete with record sales at the time. Daniel accomplished this primarily by explaining his mission against piracy with enough passion and purpose, and the rest is Spotify history. This story is indicative of how the communications function goes above and beyond press, and how the right mission can enable your company to transcend extremely daunting, even seemingly impossible tasks. So work on that mission statement, you never know where it can ultimately take your company. 

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Produced by Simpler Media

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