Mandi Salerno - She/Her
Digital Marketing Manager, Ministry of Sound Records (Sony Music UK)
Mandi Salerno is a digital marketing manager at Ministry of Sound Records (Sony Music UK), where she has used over 10 years of marketing experience to build streaming, artist proposition, and fan communities across a diverse roster of artists via creative, forward-thinking digital marketing campaigns. Currently, Mandi is also operating as Mandu Digital, where she creates effective, nuanced marketing strategies for K-Pop acts in the UK. Her unique experience and knowledge of the music industry, K-Pop and both niche music marketing and creative marketing campaigns has helped position her as the go to expert for labels, digital partners and promoters looking to explore opportunities for K-Pop in the UK.
Please tell us about your career
I manage a roster of artists, helping to grow their audiences and streams by developing creative, engaging digital marketing campaigns. I started as a fan. I was passionate about music and live shows from a young age (I was only 9 when I queued overnight for my first gig - with my mom, of course) and I followed that passion into a career. Who knows how to grow a fanbase better than a fan?
I’m very proud of how far I’ve come, and very thankful for my current team. It’s not always easy to understand me or the way I work, but I continue to be true to myself - and I’m lucky enough to have found a supportive, caring team that appreciates and encourages that.
I’m highly sensitive, as many ND women are. I used to think of it as a weakness and a detriment to my career in the music industry, which is notoriously tough. Now I know my sensitivity is a strength; that I’m empathetic, and attuned to people’s feelings in a way that helps put those around me at ease.
I hope I someday have the opportunity to use that empathy and sensitivity to lead by example and show those around me that we don’t have to be brutal in this industry to thrive. Sensitive, caring people can rise to the top, too — and the industry as a whole will be all the better for it.
How has being Neurodivergent shaped the direction of your career?
An ADHD diagnosis in my 30s gave me the courage, and self understanding, to leave behind one career to pursue another. It meant starting over (both the seniority and salary losses hurt quite a bit!), but it also meant pursuing a career which plays to my strengths and gives me space and daily opportunity to be creative. I've also been selected as the Sony Music UK representative for the inaugural cohort of Generation Valuable, a leadership programme for rising disabled leaders. I feel so honoured to have been selected -- and thrilled that my new career path has already been so fulfilling.
Do you feel that your career is a good fit for an Neurodivergent woman?
Yes, because no two days are the same, so I’m always challenged and therefore never bored or unstimulated. Plus, it’s such a creative industry - you have opportunities every day to put forward the wildest ideas, and just as many opportunities to bring those wild ideas to life.
What advice would you give to another Neurodivergent woman navigating their way through life?
Having support - whether that is one individual who you can speak openly with, or an entire group of fellow neurodivergent people, or any measure in between - is invaluable. I wouldn't be where I am without support.