MILLI MOGUL MOVES | Krystal Franklin, Senior Producer of Digital and Social Media at TV One
Meet Krystal Franklin!
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA), the oldest Greek-letter organization established for African American women, was founded on January 15, 1908, on the campus of Howard Universityin Washington, D.C. Their principles include Sisterhood, Scholarship, and Service to all humankind. The Milli Blog was able to find a twenty pearl-wearing millennial who is making positive changes in her respective community. We proudly crown Krystal Franklin a Milli Mogul because she exemplifies how Alpha Kappa Alpha women positively move throughout society with their beliefs on their sleeves.
Krystal Franklin is the Senior Producer of Digital and Social Media, Creative Services and Marketing at TV One. It was not a smooth transition for Krystal coming into this role. But once you read this feature you will see that she truly is a pearl--rare and forever evolving into the woman of her own dreams.
We got a chance to have a dope conversation with Krystal about where she started and the journey leading up to where she is today!
Do you owe 50 Cent any money?
No. Only Sallie Mae.
You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?
I heard DL Hughley answer this question and I live it. I would hide it in plain sight right next to where our compassion should be. You should always see it in some form… from a mile away.
If you could pick 1 theme song for the rest of your life, that plays every time you walked into a room, what would it be?
Whitney Houston’s I’m every woman. It makes me smile, makes me feel sexy and powerful. No matter how hard it is being a woman-- and a black woman-- I still feel enough. I like the confidence of that song. It may be hard to believe, but I don't always walk into every room confident, even though people think I do.
If you were given a one-minute ad slot during the Super Bowl, what content would you fill it with?
I wouldn’t make it about me. I would give that slot to a marginalized person. Someone of color or belonging to the LGBTQ community to allow them to share with the world how uncomfortable it could be sometimes just being in their skin in a world that demonizes what it doesn't understand.
Would you recommend HBCUs to prospective college students?
I am pro-education first, but I am pro-HBCU second. I really feel like my life was forever changed during college. That’s what HBCU’s do-- They change your life in so many ways. To go through those formidable years with people who look like me and talk like me… It felt inclusive and for me and I need that. It awarded me the foundation to be comfortable in my blackness in the workplace. I love the pride that comes with having a black degree and the opportunity to educate the masses about said black degree.
How hard was it to get into this field?
I knew very early on that I liked reading and writing. My mother got me a library card and unbeknownst to me that started jump-started my growth as a storyteller and producer. I remember going to the library every weekend turning in chapter books and checking out 2-3 more books to read. Eventually I started writing books. I think I was the only kid in America that got a set of Encyclopedias for Christmas and was ecstatic about it. I think that’s the reason why I'm so interested people stories.
What compelled you to become an entertainment media professional?
I knew very early on that I liked reading and writing. My mother got me a library card and that started jump-started my growth as a storyteller and producer. I remember going to the library every weekend turning in chapter books and checking out 2-3 more books to read. Eventually I started writing books. I think I was the only kid in America that got a set of encyclopedias for Christmas and was ecstatic about it. I think that’s the reason why I'm so interested people stories.
I remember watching Living Single and seeing Khadijah on screen. In one episode she was holding an issue of Flava Magazine and I said to my mom, “I want to do that!”. I credit Queen Latifah’s character in helping steer what I wanted to do. I wanted to tell stories in print and I wanted to be on camera. At 16 I made my television debut as a Correspondent for High School Sports Special. It aired on the ABC affiliate in Dallas. I knew then I had to major in Journalism in college. I like talking. I like reading. I like writing and thankfully I figured out how to make a career out of it.
For those millennials out there who are interested in your field, what are some specific roadblocks to watch out for?
You have to be collaborative. That hasn't been the easiest revelation for me because I am an only child and was all about me, me, me. As an artist in a competitive field I had to learn to take constructive criticism. Learning that it’s not always about me and being open to having some help.
The Dream and the journey can make you really selfish. You have to be disciplined and persistent. It's not always gonna look like what you thought it was gonna look like.
You have to be ok with your dream taking a different shape.
Tell us about a project/accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career thus far:
Career: TV One brought me in to help restructure and reshape their digital presence. The online home went from 400,000 page views a month to averaging two million. In May 2019 4.8 million eyes visited the site, the largest record ever. I'm super proud of that. Getting the cast of Living Single together on the 25th anniversary of the show to celebrate their success. It was incredible to see an idea turn into a huge success for the network.
Personal: Showing up as my full self because for the longest I wasn’t doing that for myself. Showing up as Krystal has gotten me into a lot of rooms. I'm most proud at how responsible I am with my platform and that I have been able to be myself, both on and offline.
Can you tell us about a time where you interviewed a celebrity and it didn't go well and why?
I interviewed a very popular talk show host and it did NOT go well. She just wasn’t vibing with me. I tried my best. Every question I had for her she was like Idk... or No... So I cut the interview super short and I remember going outside and crying. I had never had such a struggle when interviewing someone. I was so pissed at her like, [you do this for a living... you see what I’m trying to do here].
Who are your role models, and why?
Professionally, I look up to and aspire to have the longevity and same access professionally as Shaun Robinson. She’s an OG. She is a beautiful black woman who went to Spelman and hosted Access Hollywood for 17 years. I admire the longevity and I love how she uses her platform to give back to people who want to be in the same industry as her.
Also Cari Champion, a host on ESPN. She doesn’t make any apologies for being herself. I want to always stand in that power.
If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you in this role, what was your biggest accomplishment?
In June 2020 I will be living in LA working at Netflix, HBO, Spotify, or Hulu… those are my dream jobs. I would have doubled my salary. I'd finally be financially stable and at peace with where life has taken me!
What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
I think every leader should affirm and support their team members. You want to feel valued and appreciated when you go to work. I want to be able to give that to my team members. I want them to feel safe, seen, applauded and appreciated.
I want to be what I needed for someone else. But especially black women. I didn't (and still don't have a mentor) and I do think it made my journey a lot longer and harder… I want to be that guiding light. To have that person in the workplace, especially when she looks like you, is so incredibly.
If you could offer advice to other millennials in order to produce positive change, what would it be?
You are enough just as you are. You belong in the room. You belong at the table. You belong in the seat. You are smart enough to be whatever you want. Don’t let your dreams die in that setting. You. Are. Enough. You belong in whatever space you want to be.
Impostor syndrome is real… so stay true to you.