Author Archives: the HIT board

DGC Rountable: 4th Annual Scavenger Hunt

The DGC Roundtable is moderated by our fall intern, Jamie Kurke.

Each fall, the DGC team hosts their annual scavenger hunt. The team breaks out into teams and treks out for an afternoon running around in the Flatiron District to complete clues ranging from the mundane (Grab an AM New York) to the bizarre (Eat a chocolate turkey.) Our winning team, “The Cluesters” won a free pizza party, and the team with the best spirit, “Team Flashypants,” won a free coffee break. To see all the photos, please check our Facebook page.

With all the fun that was had, not to mention the post-Hunt happy hour, we asked our team to share highlights from our fourth annual hunt as this week’s DGC Roundtable:

Pat Wentling, Senior Account Executive:

This year’s hunt brought some of our most “interesting” challenges yet. By far the most intriguing of them was taking a picture with a parking attendant (with bonus points for a minivan) and the attendant actually pulled up a random mini-van. We were a little concerned that it was someone’s vehicle, but we were more concerned about winning (we came in last place.) After the car arrived we provided a nice “thank you” and went about our way. We also spent more time looking for a chocolate turkey than anything else. I don’t think I’ve been to that many CVS/Duane Reade’s in such a short span and left empty handed.  By the end, I couldn’t wait to eat that turkey.

Lexi Hewitt, Account Coordinator:

For me the funniest aspect of the scavenger hunt was how many people shut us down when we asked if we could get a picture of one of us walking their dogs.  No one trusted us! When someone finally did let us take a picture, they still wouldn’t let go of the leash.  I thought that would have been one of the easier tasks, but it was the hardest.

Kathy Sampey, Vice President:

My favorite part of the scavenger hunt (also) was trying to find a dog to walk, which was on every team’s list. Usually, there are a million dogs sauntering down the block at any given time in this area, but when we were out scavenging, there was nary a canine in sight. Finally, in Union Square Park, a woman with a gentle-looking curly haired dog handed me the leash, and the poor dog thought she was being given away. When she realized she wasn’t, she jumped up to give me a kiss.

 

 

Jamie Kurke, Intern:10390272_944231045604570_7163020465331039479_n

For me, the best part of the scavenger hunt was just seeing the reactions from everyone we interacted with. To set the scene for you, my team was decked out in ’80s workout gear, complete with matching fluorescent pink sweatshirts. Among the most enthused to help us out were the Sleepy’s employees who couldn’t wait to have us take a picture sprawled out on a mattress and the two NYPD officers who graciously agreed to put their dinners on hold to do ‘The Mystical’ in a photo with us. Others, like the Petco employee who was trying to catch a hamster for us, were less than amused by our garb and requests, but those interactions were equally as entertaining. In the end, my team may not have won, but the experience of it all made every second of scrambling around the city worth it– and we did get recognition for being the most spirited!

 

‘Perspectives’ on Work/Life Balance from DiGennaro’s CEO

“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown,” Shakespeare wrote.

As CEO of the 35-person NY based agency, with outposts/partnerships in Los Angeles, London, Mumbai and Sydney — DiGennaro still manages a healthy balance between her work and her personal life. Sam founded her namesake PR firm, DiGennaro Communications (DGC), in 2006.

Sam DiGennaro on Perspectives “I just haven’t given up the things I love,” DiGennaro said of about her personal life in a seaside interview at the 2014 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity this past June. She told Katie Kempner, EVP/Chief Communications Officer at Cripsin Porter + Bogusky, and host of Perspectives with Katie Kempner. “I have sacred rituals and I don’t let anything get in the way of them. It keeps me centered and calm as the work week unfolds.”

DiGennaro talked about how she encourages a supportive, collegial atmosphere at her agency in which employees can spread their wings and embrace an entrepreneurial spirit.

Perspectives with Katie Kempner in an inspirational online series featuring conversations with women in business and how they balance business with their personal lives given today’s “always-on” mentality.

You can check out the full interview here.

DGC Roundtable: Halloween Marketing

The DGC Roundtable is moderated by our Fall Intern, Jamie Kurke.

Seasonal marketing kicks into overdrive this time of year, including storefronts with skeletons and commercials for candy. That’s right, it’s Halloween! Since we’ve all been gearing up for the holiday over the last few days – and celebrating here at DGC, the question this week was:

What is your favorite Halloween marketing campaign/ promo and why?

Pat Wentling, Senior Account Executive:

Cheetos launched Project TP a few years ago, which had Chester Cheetah putting “virtual TP” on houses using Google Earth. As an homage to my childhood, and the adolescent Mischief Night, I loved to see my present day house (and friend’s houses) covered in toilet paper. I even pranked my parents by sending them a “picture” of their house covered while they were traveling, and they were horrified. I guess you don’t really ever grow out of mischief.

Meg McMahon Stagaard, Account Director:

Denny’s “The Grand Slams” (created by our client Erwin Penland) has a great Halloween episode of the original web series: Food Fright, which takes a “stab” at Canadians, and no breakfast food is safe.

Kathleen Ruane, Vice President:

Crest and Oral-B serve up some fun Halloween humor in a kids’ focus group gone wrong. Costumed trick-or-treaters stage a mutiny when their candy is replaced with veggie flavored, vitamin-enhanced treats that look like candy. The only adult in the commercial soon has a mutiny on his hands as the kids reject his offerings. A nice closing reflects on the fact that nothing is more horrifying than a Halloween without candy.

I love this ad becuase the kids’ reactions are so real.  Not sure what they fed those kids, but it must have been pretty awful.

Christine Perez-O’Rourke, Account Director:

Without candy there would be no Halloween. Plain and simple. As a kid we get excited about dressing up in an outlandish costume, traipsing through our neighborhood and begging strangers because of candy. And as an adult, Halloween is the one and only holiday where devouring a whole bag of Reese’s is (somewhat) acceptable. So I’m going to have to give this one to a candy brand. In particular a brand that continues to take a simple idea created a few years back and make it feel fresh, not to mention funny. My favorite Halloween marketing campaign goes to Snickers. In particular, their ‘Horseless Headsman’ spot that aired back in 2012 and has been brought back each year around this time. Because you’re not you, when you’re hungry…

Gab Berman, Account Executive:

I love the Skittles Halloween ad with the giant spider – it shows him befriending a little boy who is trying to get Skittles from the spider’s cobweb. The ad then goes on to show the two doing fun activities together and becoming best friends. The kicker is at the end when the spider says he was just kidding and actually ate the kid, I love it.

Jamie Kurke, Intern:

I have to give my vote to Chipotle.  They’re bringing back their ‘Boorito’ campaign from years past, and it is awesome. Just show up (in costume) after 5 PM and any burrito, bowl, salad, or taco order is only $3.

As if I needed another excuse to dress up tonight….

 

Happy Halloween Everybody!

DGC Roundtable: Remembering Oscar de la Renta

The DGC Roundtable is moderated by our Fall Intern, Jamie Kurke.

On Tuesday, Oscar de la Renta passed away. To honor his memory and the huge impact he made on millions of lives, this week’s question was:

What is your all-time favorite Oscar de la Renta piece, and why?

Maryliz Ghanem, Vice President:Maryliz

The dress just screams to me ‘live life to the fullest’, which is how Oscar lived his life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jules Smith, HR Director:Jules

I think this dress speaks for itself, it has true “star quality”~ it is a show stopper and a real statement piece!

It showcases his passion, creativity and spectacular talent.

I absolutely adore it!

 

 

Claire Higgins, Account Executive:claire

Oscar de la Renta was undoubtedly a Red Carpet icon and I’m so sad to think about not seeing new work during award season– one of my favorite seasons. One of my favorite looks was Zooey Deschanel at the 2013 Golden Globes. Such a classic, which Oscar de la Renta always managed to do. I love the cut and the flow of the skirt; it’s a perfect Red Carpet dress for me.

 

 

 

 

 

Much of our team (myself included) was moved by this iconic pink dress, featured in Sex and the City:


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Bridget Butlers, Senior Account Executive:

Arguably the most clichéd choice, but this pink silk, full-skirted, mid-length gown was the perfect mix of classic chic with an edgy, forward-thinking twist (and slightly more structured than many of his whimsical designs). When it hit TV screens during the final season, Oscar de la Renta’s name was permanently etched in the memory banks of SATC and fashion-lovers alike. Even a decade on, it’s a piece I still long to own.

Lexi Hewitt, Account Coordinator:

My favorite Oscar de la Renta piece was a dress Sarah Jessica Parker wore in an episode of Sex and the City.  The dress is simple and timeless, and it didn’t matter that SJP’s character wore it to a McDonalds!

Peyton McCarthy, Account Coordinator:

Agree!

Jamie Kurke, Intern:

You think Oscar de la Renta, you think this dress. It’s a beacon of style and character that an entire generation of women simultaneously swooned over. Given its cultural significance and timeless beauty, it’s no wonder that half of the office choose this piece to remember him by.

As much as the Carrie Bradshaw dress speaks to me, I think another important thing to note is that the last Oscar de la Renta crafted before his passing was Amal Alamuddin’s wedding dress.  jamie

Lesson learned: If you’re going to marry George Clooney, you should probably do so wearing ODLR.

 

DGC Roundtable: How to fix Uber

The DGC Roundtable is moderated by our Fall Intern, Jamie Kurke.

Uber has been a hot brand ever since its inception but as of late, they’ve been in the news for all of the wrong reasons. With that in mind, this week’s question was:

In light of recent bad press, what, if anything, should Uber do to clean up their brand image and regain trust from the public?New-Logo-Vertical-Dark

Maryliz Ghanem, Vice President:

Uber needs fixing and they need to show the public the measures they are willing to take to protect their customers. They need to put into action strict measures and guidelines, for example: third-party background checks, suspension and review of drivers with a spotty record, and dedicated customer services. They need to show their riders that they are serious about safety and put these protections in place.

Pat Wentling, Senior Account Executive:

Uber clearly is a hot brand with an in-demand product – it’s practically become ubiquitous for traveling in New York City. The recent bad press, not to mention a satirical look from the writers at South Park, proves that Uber needs to commit to keeping their consumers safe and comfortable. The Uber team needs to publically promote a rigorous training and background check on each and every driver they employ, as well as a clear algorithm behind their pricing methods. If that means having fewer drivers in the interim, it’s worth the price of regaining consumer trust.

Lexi Hewitt, Account Coordinator:

it is hard to ignore all of the negative attention Uber receives.  Uber needs to be more responsive to the bad press that they’re getting.   Ignoring it is not going to make it go away, and they need to be proactive in their public relation efforts by getting ahead of negative stories.  They should sympathize with their customers when they are unhappy and realize that what the media is saying about them does matter.  Their business may be doing fine now, but I think that the negativity will inevitably catch up to them.

Claire Eisenberg, Senior Account Director:

  • Be transparent – Many complaints from consumers are tied to being told that the ride would cost one amount and ultimately being charged astronomically more.
  • Be reachable – Riders can’t seem to get through to customer service when they have a problem. This typically leads to consumers airing their grievances in much more public forums.
  • Take Action – With the most recent claim that a rider was kidnapped, it’s shocking that the customer service tried to convince her otherwise. Are you kidding? Take this feedback seriously and take the appropriate legal actions.

For now, I’ll stick with cabs.

Jamie Kurke, Intern:

Uber has been in hot water, it seems, since their dawn of time. Unless they conduct a serious overhaul, one of these times will be the last straw for their customers. I already have friends deleting the app and complaining about bad service or being afraid—especially when using UberX. While they do have a great business model, my advice would be to stop the expansion for now and focus on their existing customer base. A heartfelt apology from a high up exec and the promise of some driver training and more extensive screening would probably be the best way to gain back rider trust. It would certainly put me more at ease about requesting a black car instead of hailing a Yellow Cab.

DGC Roundtable: SnapChat & Hot Apps

The DGC Roundtable is moderated by our Fall Intern, Jamie Kurke.

The early buzz around the DGC bullpen this week stemmed from Yahoo’s investment in SnapChat. With the latest app to be acquired/invested by a big brand, our question this week was:

What’s the next big app / your favorite app that everyone should use?

Peyton McCarthy, Account Coordinator:

Timehop – I don’t think it’s new to everyone, but it is to me and it’s fantastic. It keeps an archive of your social network posts/statuses and allows you to see exactly what you were up to in years past on that exact date. It’s almost like an effortless diary or time capsule. Definitely would recommend to anyone who is an avid user of social media – sometimes things I don’t remember pop up and they happened just a year ago. Sometimes they are from a bit farther down memory lane and can be a bit embarrassing, but always great material for a #TBT

Kathy Sampey, Vice President

I don’t know about the ‘hottest’ app, but my favorite one is Best Parking, which helps me find parking garages near my Manhattan destinations for the best price.

Jamie Kurke, Intern

As someone who is attached to her phone at the hip, I try out new apps on a pretty regular basis (mainly puzzle games, to be honest, but I’m pretty sure no one else will be captivated by those.)

My latest and greatest find is Snap, by Groupon. It’s amazing for anyone looking to save a few bucks on groceries without having to wait in that mind-numbing Trader Joes line. All you have to do is browse the app for products on promo, buy them at ANY store, send in a picture with proof of purchase, and after you’ve saved $20, you get a check. Where has this been all of my life?

Another great one for New Yorkers is the Transit App, which gives real-time updates on the nearest public transportation. It’s a really great time-management tool– especially when it comes to those pesky trains (ahem, NQR) that don’t post their departure times in the station.

Patrick Wentling, Account Executive:

It’s by no means a “new” app, but the one that’s really changed the way my friends interact is Venmo. Simply put, it serves as virtual cash from your bank account to transfer money to your friends. While most banks play nice with each other within the same network, Venmo is bank agnostic. Gone are the days of “I have no cash” or massive headaches over splitting a restaurant bill. Venmo allows you to pay up (or charge up) right away so everybody endures the same damage.

The other app that is useful for New Yorkers is an app our President Howie Schacter referred to me called Exit Strategy, which gives a map of subway stations and where each staircase will take you above ground, and what subway car you need to take to be close to it. It’s a “premium app” but very worth it to save time while in the underbelly of NYC.

Jules Smith, HR Director

GreenHopping is one of my favorite new health apps…

It makes being healthy in the city and when you travel so much easier!

This app helps the green consumer seek out and access  healthy eateries by placing all vegan, raw, gluten-free and vegetarian restaurants, as well as green juice bars, cold-pressed juice bars, green smoothie bars and health food stores on an electronic map locate via a GPS mobile application. I love it for me because I am obsessed with juicing and love it for my kids so they can eat out with healthy delicious options!

Gemma Pollard, Vice President

Noted: an app that​ helps you remember bars/restaurants/places you want to go, saving new searches on Yelp everytime someone says “Where should we go tonight for dinner?”

Pocket: couldn’t love Pocket (formerly Read It Later) more. I have to consume a lot of content each day and Pocket lets me delay reading of non-urgent stories/articles until I have time (even if I don’t have wifi)

Evernote is a no-brainer for lists, but I love that I can access all of my notes seamlessly across devices, or through any web browser

Sara Ajemian, Account Director

Gemma introduced me to Noted – it’s an excellent app that lets you save best places you’ve been to or those that friends have recommended. So when you’re on the go and unsure of where to eat/say/drink, you can pull up a map of wherever you are give yourself a digital memory jog.

Kelsey Merkel, Senior Account Executive

I do find the Venmo app to be extremely useful and secure. With Venmo you can make and share payments instantly. Since not all banks allow seamless bank-to-bank transfers, Venmo makes it easy to deposit money directly from your chosen bank account into the bank account of the person of your choice.

Normally I would be skeptical on this type of app in terms of security, but with all of the talks about Apple’s new Apple Pay with the iPhone and Google Wallet, mobile payments are sure to be something that will continue to gain attention and consumer use in the coming months, proving that security is really a non-issue.

Let’s Hear a ‘Brava!’ for These Women Leaders

Sam DiGennaro, CEO and founder of her namesake PR agency, DiGennaro Communications (DGC), was among the 40 business women honored at the New York SmartCEO Brava! Awards held at Capitale in lower Manhattan on Sept. 23.

The annual award ceremony recognizes CEOs and decision makers who are chosen for exhibiting qualities such as vision, passion, compassion, dedication and perseverance both in business and in giving back to their communities.

SmartCEO magazine honored women from an array of industries that included ad-marketing, fashion, design, health and wellness, and the law. Hundreds of attendees watched short videos about each woman’s perspectives on what it means to be a business leader.

“It’s up to us as women to really support each other, build each other up and help break through those boundaries,” DiGennaro said in her video, adding that GM’s Mary Barra is the CEO she most admires because she started at the car company as an entry-level employee and rose to become its global leader.

DGC specializes in B2B communications on behalf of ad-media-marketing-tech companies as well as for consumer-facing multinationals such as Facebook, Live Nation, and McDonald’s. The agency supports programs that promote literacy among public-school kids and visits to the elderly. Several times a year, DGC devotes hours for staffers to read to elementary school students and to visit nursing homes to play bingo with residents.

DGC_Brava Awards 2014

The following entrepreneurs are but a sample of the high-achieving 2014 SmartCEO Brava! Award recipients:

  • Jennifer Blumin, Founder & CEO of Skylight Group, a real estate and venue management company that retains some of the raw charm of properties for business clients.
  • Lynne S. Katzmann, Founder & CEO of Juniper Communities. The company runs assisted-living residences that offer skilled nursing care for senior citizens.
  • Elisabete Miranda, President & CEO of CQ Fluency, a multicultural communications firm that promises translation services that observe cultural fluency in all its clients’ messaging.
  • Susan White Morrissey, President and CEO of White + Warren, a high-end women’s apparel company.
  • Ruth Rathblott, President & CEO of Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF). The organization provides academic enrichment programs in underserved communities for students in middle school through high school.
  • Robyn Streisand, President and CEO of The Mixx, a graphic design firm. In 2008, she co-founded the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

The night wrapped up with a toast to all of the fantastic women who have put their full hearts and efforts into their businesses and the larger community. Congratulations all.

DGC Roundtable: Advertising Week Learnings

The weekly DGC Roundtable is monitored by our current intern, Jamie Kurke.

This week was a hectic one. Everyone was shuffling in and out of the office to attend Advertising Week events for our clients– or just for fun! With that in mind, this week’s question was:

What was the best session/ learning/ quote you heard from Advertising Week?

Patrick Wentling, Account Executive:

There was a lot said this week, but my favorite quote actually came from Michael Strahan during his conversation with Facebook’s Carolyn Everson, where he spoke on how his dad said “not if, when.” It was an inspirational story considering how great his career – before and after football – came to be. Although I spent my youth booing him, I now have a new found respect for him.

Megan Sweat, Account Executive:

“Consumers are living in a state of ‘present shock.’ They are living in a world where everything happens now, and they are in a constant state of emergency interruption. There’s no time for advertising and being interrupted. Don’t interrupt me in the flow, provide me with the thing I need when I need it and not a second after.” – Douglas Rushkoff, media theorist and author

Jackie Berte, Account Executive:

Quote of the week:  “You’ll regret it if you don’t take a picture with the Aflac Duck” – at the Advertising Week Icon and Slogan Hall of Fame

Chrissy Perez-O’Rourke, Account Director:

When brands are looking to operate at the “speed of culture” they should be asking themselves three things:

  • What makes sense for their brand?
  • Which aspects of real-time trends and culture are a fit with the brand’s core messaging and essence?
  • Does the brand want to enter an existing conversation or create a new one?

To read more about the panel Chrissy attended, check out her latest Hit Board post!

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DGC Roundtable: Fall TV Season

The weekly DGC Roundtable is monitored by our current intern, Jamie Kurke.

This week, everyone at the office was buzzing about the return of the Fall TV season. With that in mind, this week’s question was:

As the Fall TV season kicks off, which show – new or returning – caught your attention this season, and why?

Kathy Sampey, Vice President:

The returning show that caught my attention is “Sons of Anarchy,” which for some reason, I’ve been following since its inception. It shocks me that it has so many female fans and exactly none of the commercials that run during the shows are targeted to women or even girls. This is the final season so I feel compelled to see it through even though last season wasn’t great.

Patrick Wentling, Account Executive:

Since that two minute trailer aired during 24 for Gotham, it’s certainly had the buzz and attention for many of my friends. It’s been curious to see all of the networks catch on to the superhero genre as a TV property following ABC’s S.H.I.E.L.D.  from Marvel. I worry about the longevity of the show – how long can Bruce Wayne be 12 years old? That said, it’s got the lore and studio budget to lay the groundwork for a strong show, it’s a matter of if the story can stay interesting. It’s overall a weak season for shows, as networks now embrace “52-week seasons” rather than individual seasons. That said, networks can’t afford to take a break with viewers and advertisers.

Sara Ajemian, Account Director:

How To Get Away with Murder! Shonda Rhimes knows how to make a hit – even if the New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley was entirely off base calling her an “angry black woman” – and I think everyone is chomping at the bit to see how Viola Davis’ talents will translate from the big screen to the small screen.

I’m also really excited for The Affair on Showtime. It’s got the best cast: Dominic Cooper (who’s BBC show The Hour was far too short-lived), Joshua Jackson (Bless us all, Pacey is back!), Ruth Wilson (who really shined as a crazy psycho in Luther), and Maura Tierney.

Maryliz Ghanem, Vice President:

Scandal: for the great pre-season buzz they generated via Kerry Washington’s clothing line at the Limited. Great way to energize their audience!

Kendra Peavy, General Manager:

Madam Secretary with Tea Leoni looks promising and leads into one of my favorite shows The Good Wife. I love that we’re seeing another strong female character join Alicia Florrick on Sunday night TV.

Jamie Kurke, Intern:

I’m ridiculously intrigued to see the reviews from (but not necessarily to watch) Black-ish. I’m always into shows that push the boundaries of political correctness and social statements. The promo posters are definitely something you have to look at twice to see if you read them correctly. For ABC’s sake, I hope people can take emerging shows like this with a grain of salt and appreciate the humor but there’s always that chance it’ll blow up in their faces…

In terms of what I can’t wait to binge watch for hours on end, however: Grey’s Anatomy- hands down. Maybe I’m the youngest person alive who is still die-hard though?

Some DGC Team Members just wanted to share their favorites shows, regardless of their marketing for the new season…

Claire Eisenberg, Senior Account Director:

I’ve finally jumped on the Netflix bandwagon and currently can’t tear myself away from House of Cards. What will Frank Underwood do next?! While I love the binge watching nature of Netflix, they sadly don’t always follow the fall TV timing. I’ll have to wait until February for season 3… I guess I’ll use all of my extra time to revisit some old favorites that are debuting on Netflix this month like New Girl and Parks and Rec.

Claire Higgins, Account Coordinator:

I can’t wait for Scandal! Olivia Pope rules all and I want to know where she disappeared to. Also can’t wait for Parks and Recreation’s final season, but NBC’s site doesn’t have a premiere date which is terrifying to me because it’s lit-erally an excellent show. I will say I was intrigued by Gotham, just because of all the hype before it even aired, but I tried to watch the pilot and the acting wasn’t really up to par for me. So no to that one.

Soraya Eltomey, Senior Account Director:

It’s not every day that a show loses its main character, and its season finale feels more like a series closer. But that’s exactly what last year’s episode of Homeland brought to the table. I can’t wait to see what’s to come for Season 4 – if it can survive without one of its leads (as well as its central storyline), or if it will successfully breathe new life into a show that arguably jumped the shark two seasons ago.

John Wolfe:

Favorite Shows in new Fall Season (all returning):

  • The Good Wife
  • Chicago Fire
  • Chicago P.D.

Why?  Because they all take place in Chicago—my hometown!

Chrissy Perez-O’Rourke, Account Director:

Some people get excited about the beginning of Summer, some get excited about Christmas – well, the kickoff of the Fall TV season is my favorite time of year and I couldn’t be more excited that it’s here! To pinpoint just one show that has piqued my interest this season would be impossible though. Many of my old favorites – Scandal, Nashville, Blacklist, Parenthood and Modern Family – are returning with promises of more drama and splashier plotlines than seasons past. And new shows that are debuting are also reeling me in with clever concepts and riveting characters – like How to Get Away with Murder, Mysteries of Laura and Marry Me. All in all, I don’t discriminate. Drama, suspense, comedy, rom-coms – I get hooked on most shows in the primetime lineup. So after the past few months of re-runs and bad reality TV I’m glad that the shows I have come to know and love are back on the air. From Olivia Pope to Rayna James, I feel like my long-lost friends are coming home after a long summer trip – welcome home ladies!

DGC Roundtable: Solving the NFL’s PR Crisis

Welcome to the DGC Roundtable, a new weekly feature on the hot topics of the moment. The series will be monitored by our current intern, Jamie Kurke. Each week, we will ask our team to respond to a question and share their POV on the top stories.

This Week’s Question:

How should the NFL heal its reputation – with fans and with brand sponsors – in the aftermath of the Ray Rice investigation and other off-the-field incidents?  

Gabriella Berman, Account Executive:

The NFL needs to start by practicing what they preach. If they have a zero tolerance policy, there is no reason why Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy should be playing in thisRoger Goodell Sunday’s games. If the NFL can stop contradicting themselves, they may stand a chance in healing its reputation, but until then it seems unlikely that fans and sponsors will be able to trust the brand.

Gemma Pollard, Vice President:

No sport is without scandal, and like any brand suffering a dive in reputation the NFL should be looking into making some tangible changes to its business that can be communicated to its stakeholders – the players, the administration, the fans, the general public and of course, the media. Scandal of this scale can’t, and shouldn’t be covered up. It should be faced with transparency, an authentic commitment to change and a steady flow of communication. Some “good news” stories about players and clubs doing the right thing, shared at the right time, wouldn’t hurt them either!

Don’t get me started on New York Post covers with “Ray Rice has found God” headlines – desperate last-ditch pleas to religion are never a good idea.

Peyton McCarthy, Account Coordinator:

“Another case surfaced with a player of the Arizona Cardinals being deactivated due to a domestic violence case this week and it just goes to show the dire need for the NFL to establish a concrete set of rules/consequences for the crimes of child abuse or domestic violence to be used from here on out. The entire process is unorganized and I believe these cases will continue to rise, until there is a player/organization understanding of the costs of their actions. Fans and brands need to see that something is being done in an organized and well thought manner, especially because right now there is nothing to support, as nothing has been done. The NFL organization and brand looks terrible to the eyes of the public right now and each day that passes that nothing is done to organize the penalization process of these players, the harder is it going to be for them to recover, especially if they lose a brand like Anheuser Busch. In my opinion, the first step to doing this is firing Roger Goodell; fans will then see the actions the NFL is willing to take.”

Claire Higgins, Account Coordinator:

I’ve been really surprised at how brands are reacting to the Ray Rice debacle. While some have pulled sponsorships from Rice already – understandable – some are really taking their time and waiting out final decisions from the NFL before making any changes. In some cases, it could say something about what a brand stands for, but it’s also a business and the NFL is a big name to have on your roster. In this case, I think most brands are reacting smartly and treading lightly, gathering all of the facts and waiting before making big decisions. I will say…some unaffiliated brands aren’t doing so hot – looking at you DiGiorno with that #whyistayed tweet.

Pat Wentling, Account Executive:

It’s been a tough few weeks for the NFL. While there is a lot of accusations going around, the one clear point is that the league hasn’t acted quickly enough — for it’s players or for it’s sponsors and owners. Roger Goodell spoke late on Friday afternoon, which is known for being a bad time for press, and laid his claim to fixing this. Only time will tell if it will, but the two weeks in between the Ray Rice video leak and his public response was too long. Only time will tell if they have truly righted the ship.

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