De Wind: Path to entrepreneurship wasn’t easyDe Wind: Path to entrepreneurship wasn’t easy
At the age of 49, Robin De Wind had a choice.
“That can be a very scary time, when most people are downsizing, and most people are shifting into a lower gear,” says the 55-year-old Fairport resident. “I chose a harder road, and it was the best thing I’ve ever done.”
That road led her to found the Robin De Wind Media Group. The company creates videos, press releases and written promotional materials for companies and organizations around the area.
Most of the videos are created for internal use by customers and placed on their websites or posted on social media.
De Wind gained the storytelling and video production skills she puts to use for her clients during more than 30 years as a broadcast news reporter and anchor. Her work for WROC-TV and WHEC-TV sent her out to cover a devastating ice storm, into operating rooms and to the gridiron to report on pro football.
The key is to adapt
“As reporters, you have to be chameleons,” De Wind asserts. “Whether it’s a crime scene or a locker room, you have to acclimate to your environment and still do your job.”
When WHEC downsized, De Wind decided to head off in a new direction altogether.
“Channel 10 [WHEC] made a business decision, and that business decision allowed me to ultimately be where I am today,” she says.
The path to entrepreneurship wasn’t easy. De Wind didn’t know how to create an online application, navigate the job market or perform other important job-search tasks.
“To go out in the outside world that I had only reported on was the biggest change,” De Wind explains.
While hunting for a full-time position, De Wind freelanced, writing press releases, creating video content and doing on-camera work for companies in the Rochester area. She was in the running for three key positions, including one as the executive director of public relations for a firm, but all fell through. Then, De Wind had a different kind of offer.
“I ended up getting somebody who really wanted me to create video for them,” De Wind says. “I’m like, ‘This is what I want to do.’”
The Robin De Wind Media Group was born in 2014. One of the firm’s first customers, The Pittsford Federal Credit Union, wanted a way to promote its mortgages and home equity loans to local realtors.
“The idea was to present to a group of realtors some of the things that we do for our members [or customers],” says general manager Brian Scudder. “She came in, talked with us, and almost immediately understood exactly what we were trying to achieve.”
De Wind interviewed some of the credit union’s satisfied residential loan-holders on-camera, and crafted the results into polished videos. The financial institution has placed those videos on devices that it loans to local realtors, and distributes them on the Internet.
“Because of the effectiveness of that, and simply the insight she provided along the way, we have engaged her on a continuous basis as a consultant,” Scudder says.
De Wind largely works alone.
“I create the messaging and strategy that allows businesses to tell their stories,” she explains.
When creating a video, De Wind contracts with photographers and others whose services she needs, and assembles the finished product on her computer.
“My laptop is really my office and my phone,” she says.
In the coming years, De Wind plans to grow her business.
“I find everything interesting,” she says. “When I stop finding things interesting, then I’ll probably retire.”