Category Archives: DiGennaro Communications
It’s always news when a piece of content goes viral but in the case of the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” we’re happy to report that dumping a bucket of ice on your head is all for a good cause. The idea is simple: Pour a bucket of ice on your head and have someone video tape it; post the content to the web (preferably a social-media channel), and then challenge up to three friends to do the same within 24 hours. If they do not, they must donate $100 to “Strikeout ALS.” ALS is more commonly known as Lou Gherig’s Disease.
If you haven’t seen videos on your newsfeed, you likely will soon. Or simply search #icebucketchallenge on Twitter. It’s been everywhere as of late, including the Today Show. This week I found five different “Challenge” videos on my Facebook newsfeed from one day.
The origins of the movement are unclear, but there is no doubt that it has caught on quickly, seemingly achieving social media success without proper PR support or a formal marketing campaign.
As communications professionals, we see a missed opportunity for a brand or research organization to really own the program. What would make sense is a unifying site where these “ice droppers” could share their videos and encourage donations directly on the site. Movember’s site is a great example of a social movement site done right.
Without that central support and core message, the viral sensation – while for a good cause – feels misguided. Is the objective to dump ice on your head (and get those ego-boosting “likes” at the same time) or to truly encourage donations? Many of the videos I’ve seen lack that link to a site to donate.
In the meantime, if you’d like to donate to ALS without dumping ice on your head, please click here.
It has been a busy month with numerous marketing and tech industry events taking place across the country, and this week is no exception. The DGC team is on the ground at the 4A’s Transformation conference in Beverly Hills with many of our wonderful clients, including the 4A’s itself. Not only have we already experienced an earthquake, but also we’ve gleaned some key insights into how collaboration, trust, transparency and talent can drive better business. Whether you’re on the client or agency side, here are three things to keep in mind to create better partnerships, and ultimately, garner better results:
1. Collaboration, Collaboration, Collaboration: Always a hot topic, but even more so in today’s results-driven environment, collaboration was one of the most-talked about themes. Dana Anderson, SVP of marketing strategy and communications (and a seemingly part-time comedian) at Mondelēz, discussed the fact that successful collaboration is a two-way street, and that clients should endeavor to respect and support their agencies, with the goal of reaping better work. She stressed that the more direct and specific clients can be in their briefs; the more creative, strategic and cutting edge ideas agencies can derive. Offering her own ingredients for fruitful agency/client collaboration, Anderson said it is a lot like love: it requires trust, commitment and giving.
2. The Trust & Transparency Imperative: Definitely a hot-button issue as it relates to data and metrics, but also within the context of client/agency relationships, trust and transparency emerged as two non-negotiables for getting to good work. For PR practitioners, trust is the basis for successful results. Our relationships – with journalists as well as clients – are rooted in a common trust and mutual respect for one another. We can’t lead our clients and provide solid communications counsel unless they trust us enough to be open and transparent, and allow us the room to push back on them. John Hayes, CMO of American Express, went so far as to say that he loves it when one of his agency partners tells him he’s wrong. He said it tells him they are thinking about his business.
3. Talent Wars: When you get a group of 1,200 marketers together, where the majority of attendees either work or have worked inside an agency, you can bet the subject of talent is top of mind. With increasing competition from tech companies and start-ups, agencies are facing more challenges than ever in attracting and retaining their primary currency: rock-star talent. In a fireside chat, Andrew Benett, CEO of Havas Worldwide, told attendees that the CEO now needs to play the role of Chief Talent Officer, dedicating a significant portion of time to finding and nurturing talent. He also suggested aligning your best talent with recruiting efforts, saying that when you have your greatest stars leading talent and recruitment, they become the ambassadors of your brand and ultimately recruit more great talent.
Check out this video clip of DGC Founder + CEO Sam DiGennaro as she shares her initial observations on the key themes being discussed at this year’s 4A’s Transformation conference:
A Circus Visits the Circus: The DGC Team Spends a LEGENDary Night in Brooklyn with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS®
One cold night in February, DGC’s “Children of All Ages”® stepped off the subway and into Barclays Center for a magical evening at “The Greatest Show on Earth®.” This year marked DGC’s second year working with the world famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus as it traveled through the New York Tri-State area. “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS”® is an all new show that rolled into the area in mid-February on the largest private train in North America, carrying 100 performers, 100 animals and 200 crewmembers.
There’s been quite a bit of media excitement about the new show, with feature stories appearing in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Daily News, The Huffington Post and New York Magazine as well as broadcast segments on Good Day New York, WPIX and NY1. But after months of listening to DGC’s Ringling Bros. team pitching stories about the circus, the rest of the crew wanted to experience the show for themselves and see what all the excitement was about!
The DGC team arrived early for the interactive all-access pre-show an hour before official show time and watched juggling and balancing skills, met performers and hung out with the famous Ringling Bros. clowns.
LEGENDS is truly a magical journey into the imagination. DGC’ers watched with amazement as the Torres family, eight motorcycle daredevils, raced together inside a 16-foot steel sphere at speeds up to 65 mph; as the Cossacks performed astounding acrobatics from the backs of magnificent steeds galloping full speed around a small ring; as the China National Acrobatic Troupe leaped and flipped into our hearts with four incredible acts of strength and grace; and as the loveable clowns from Ringling Bros. famous “clown alley” made us laugh and cheer.
The Medeiros troupe performed hair-raising aerials suspended 30 feet in the air by their long tresses. The magnificent “king of the big cats,” Alex Lacey, tamed some of the world’s most ferocious felines. Audiences were charmed by the menagerie of almost 100 animals, including elephants, rescue dogs, llamas, goats, pigs and kangaroos and left speechless as a Pegasus, unicorn and wooly mammoth performed on the arena floor.
Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, who stands 6’5”, is a 15-year veteran of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey family. At 22 years old back in 1998, he was the youngest and first African American ringmaster in the history of “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Joining Johnathan was his sidekick Paulo, the “legend seeker,” whose feats of strength belied his diminutive stature.
As the lights came up, the DGC team rolled out of Barclays Center full from nachos, slushees and cotton candy. Visions of clowns and elephants danced in our heads.
A big thanks to the folks at Feld Entertainment for a LEGENDary evening.
“Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS” continues its journey through New York and New Jersey with runs at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island from March 5 – 10; Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., from March 13 – 16; and IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., from March 19 – 23. For tickets and additional information, please logon to http://www.ringling.com.
This week, DGC’ers took a field trip to PS 140 on NYC’s Lower East Side where we got to spend time with great students, grades 1-5, at one of Educational Alliance’s After School Programs. We helped them with homework, did group reading, learned about the cutest boys in One Direction (it’s a toss-up between Harry Styles and Zane!) and were treated to an early viewing of talent show dance moves.
During our mini-briefing about The Educational Alliance After School Programs, we learned that the organization provides almost 2,000 kids between 5 – 17 years old with tutoring, homework help, snacks/meals – and “a safe place to go” after school. Activities are modeled after The Boys & Girls Clubs’ nationally-recognized program, so classes and events focus on important issues like education, the arts, health, exercise & nutrition, and alcohol/drug, pregnancy & gang prevention.
This experience was DGC’s second time working with the Educational Alliance. For our annual holiday philanthropy in November 2013, we spent a morning with the Educational Alliance Head Start program, a pre-school program for children ages 3-5 located on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan.
As always, we had a wonderful time with the kids – in large part, thanks to the UJA-Federation New York for helping to coordinate DGC’s participation. Giving back is not only something we love to do; it’s one of DGC’s core cultural values. Now it’s time to brush up on our dance moves as we get ready to attend PS 140’s upcoming talent show!
DGC kicked off the holiday season with a morning of philanthropy at the Educational Alliance Head Start program, a pre-school program for children ages 3-5 located on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan. This morning marked our third annual holiday philanthropy effort, having cleaned up the Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and participated in a weekly food delivery campaign through God’s Love We Deliver in 2011.
Upon arrival this morning, we attended a brief mini-orientation where we learned all about the Educational Alliance, it’s programming and the wonderful work it does in the New York community. The Educational Alliance is a non-profit organization that helps break the cycle of poverty for low-income children and families through preschool, after school programs and college prep programs. Children in the Head Start and Day Care programs learn, explore, socialize and grow, and families receive help with employment and social services.
After orientation, we broke into groups and headed off to individual classrooms for a morning of play and activities ranging from arts & crafts and cooking class to reading and yes, even recess! We had a blast hanging out with the kids, and more importantly, it was an amazing opportunity for us to give back to our local community, a major tenet of DGC’s company culture. Click here for pics of the day’s activities.
A big thank you to our friends at UJA-Federation New York for not only making a wonderful experience possible, but also for helping Educational Alliance run its wonderful programming as one of the organization’s biggest annual donors.
Next up on the DGC Philanthropy docket – Casino Day on December 11 at Jewish Home Lifecare, a nursing and rehabilitation facility for elders in northern Manhattan!
A.C.O.D. (Adult Children of Divorce), a film co-written and directed by Friend of DGC Stu Zicherman, hits theaters in New York and Los Angeles this Friday, October 4th and in Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston, Dallas and San Francisco the following Friday, October 11th.
A.C.O.D. follows Carter (Adam Scott), a seemingly well-adjusted Adult Child of Divorce. Having survived the madness of his parents’ (Richard Jenkins and Catherine O’Hara) divorce, Carter now has a successful career and supportive girlfriend (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). But when his younger brother (Clark Duke) gets engaged, Carter is forced to reunite his bitterly divorced parents and their new spouses (Amy Poehler and Ken Howard) for the wedding, causing the chaos of his childhood, including his wacky therapist (Jane Lynch), to return.
Go to the link below to view the trailer and find theaters/showtimes. You can also find out information about A.C.O.D. actors and filmmakers doing Q&A’s after screenings in NY and LA this weekend.