Blog Archives

New Year, New Us: DGC Gets Its Juice On!

With the new year comes health resolutions and, here at DGC, we embarked on an agency-wide juice cleanse last week.  

While we all had different motivations – to kick start healthy eating habits, rid our bodies of toxins (yes, maybe one too many eggnogs), or even just to try something new – we were in it together. The cleanse consisted of six juices ranging from green juice filled with kale, apple, ginger, spinach and cucumber, to a lemon drink with cayenne, and then everyone’s favorite, cashew milk with vanilla, cinnamon and agave. For those who needed a bite to eat, avocado, celery and cucumber topped the “safe cheat food” list.

I can’t say we were all in good spirits for the three days, but we’re all certainly feeling refreshed now and ready to take on 2014.

And aren’t we glowing?

Check out some of our reactions to the juice cleanse here with pictures to follow.

Megan McIlroy, VP, Group Account Director
I experienced a wide range of emotions during the cleanse, including alternating bouts of clarity, hunger, euphoria and what I think were mild hallucinations at one point. While I won’t be juicing again anytime in the foreseeable future, this was definitely a good exercise in clean eating – or clean drinking I guess – and a great start to the new year.

Patrick Wentling, Account Executive
After eating terribly over the break, I needed a good reason to start fresh in the new year, and this was the perfect opportunity. This was my first cleanse ever, and I was a little nervous about surviving for three days on just juice but endured the experience just fine. I don’t think I could have done it without our “juice support thread” which had us sending positive emails to each other each day and well into the night to not give in to eating solids. I’m not sure I’ll do it again, but I’ll never forget it.

Erin Donahue, VP, Group Account Director
This was my third juice cleanse, but by far my most fun. I have never cleansed with a group before so coming into work each day to commiserate with seven co-workers experiencing the same headaches, dizziness and straight-up hunger was a lot easier than going it alone. While my goal of the cleanse wasn’t to lose weight, it was more about clearing out the bad stuff to make room for the good stuff in 2014, losing four pounds was a nice side effect. I am most impressed by my colleague Pat and his dedication to the mission. The sole male in the group, Pat not only kicked our arses in weight loss (boys have it so easy), he barely complained and cheered the rest of us on as we suffered through the highs and lows. If I’m going to cleanse again in the future, I hope it’s with my co-workers at DGC!

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‘Tis the Season!

It’s hard to believe another year has come and nearly gone. Earlier this week the annual DiGennaro Communications holiday festivities commenced and, once again, it was a huge success.

Before the festivities, however, we still had some business to take care of as DGC executives presented the State of the Agency, recapping highlights of 2013 and vision for 2014, reminiscing about all the fun we have had and giving some special shout-outs and honors to our awesome team.

The first-ever “DGC MVP” honors went to Account Director Claire Eisenberg and Senior Account Executive Chrissy Perez-O’Rourke for their hard work, dedication and true embodiment of the DGC spirit in all they do. We also inducted our inaugural members into the “DGC Hall of Fame”— General Manager/Director of Development Kendra Peavy and VP/Group Account Director Erin Donahue. The Hall of Fame is reserved for our top talents who consistently work to make DGC a better place for three or more years.

Additionally, we announced the winner of the second annual Rising Star program with our sister agency Eulogy! in London. Amidst some tough competition, Account Director Soraya Eltomey was selected to represent DGC for a week next year at Eulogy!, where she’ll get to know our partners and learn about how PR is practiced in the U.K. And a special shout-out to Senior Account Director Marielena Santana and Account Director Lee Lubarsky for their fantastic contribution to the program’s entry process.

After many rounds of applause, Secret Santa presents for all (complete with an appearance from “Mr. and Mrs. Claus”), and a champagne toast with some snacks – it was time to get the party started.

At The Library inside the Public Theater, we proceeded to stuff ourselves with delicious food, enjoy signature cocktails and dance the night away in the gorgeous space. Nothing gets this team up and moving like a little Beyoncé or Britney.

A great time was had by all, as you can see from the photos. Already excited for next year!

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Game Time: DGC Makes a “Play” at Philanthropy for Jewish Home Lifecare’s Casino Day

Coming off of a successful day of philanthropy just a few weeks ago at Educational Alliance’s Head Start Program, DGC took to Casino Day at Jewish Home Lifecare, a nursing and rehabilitation facility for elders in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In fact, the afternoon marked our fourth 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. We also participated this year in New York Cares’ Coat Drive where we were able to not only donate our own coats but in fact a number of others from various businesses in our office building.

Before volunteering, I sought out the advice of an expert – both in card playing and in interacting with the elderly. My 92-year old grandmother. “Smile. Engage them in conversation. And when you’re playing cards, show a little ruchmunis – a little mercy.”

Needless to say, we didn’t need to show any mercy as these residents truly had a knack for these games! When we arrived, we were eagerly greeted by the residents – many of whom were anticipating Casino Day all week. And the volunteers from DGC were joined by those from UJA-Federation New York, the organization that provides volunteer services and nearly $200 million in annual funding to organizations like the Jewish Home Lifecare.

We arrived for orientation and were assigned to different tasks and groups. Those that manned casino games like poker dealer extraordinaire Howie “Aces High” Schacter and blackjack dealers Michael Isaacson and Jackie Berté found themselves on the front lines, while other DGC’ers like Soraya Eltomey and Melanie Mackey helped to escort the residents from their rooms and between games. Not to be forgotten were those of us that manned the prize room where the big winners of the day traded their vouchers for gifts such as stunning holiday scarves. Click here for photos of the day’s activities.

The takeaway from the day was clear, and my grandmother’s advice served as more of a theme. The residents were eager to have conversations with us – one gentleman even sought out Jackie to help him set up his Twitter account! And the smiles were in abundance – from the participants, the facility workers, and the volunteers. In fact, some of us have committed to coming back as volunteers on a regular basis.

We’d like to again thank our friends at UJA for what was yet another positive experience – a feeling I’m sure we will take with us into the New Year. Giving back to the community is incredibly important to us at DGC, and we look forward to continuing our volunteer efforts throughout the entire year of 2014. 

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Play Date: DGC Participates in Day of Philanthropy at Educational Alliance’s Head Start Program

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.

DGC @ Head Start

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!

Poly Prep Recognizes Alumna Samantha DiGennaro with School Service Award

Four Alumni Honored with Distinguished Achievement Awards

Sam DiGennaro, Service Award recipient with Nick Gravante and Larry Brandman, each Distinguished Achievement Recipients

Sam DiGennaro, Service Award recipient with Nick Gravante and Larry Brandman, each Distinguished Achievement Recipients

Last Saturday, DGC founder/CEO Sam DiGennaro had an appointment to have her hair cut before attending her 25th class reunion. Alas, her plans changed abruptly when, the night before, a classmate informed her that she needed to arrive at Poly Prep, her alma mater, in the morning – considerably earlier than anticipated–to be recognized at an Annual Awards convocation.

DiGennaro would receive the School Service Award, given annually on “Reunion Day” to a member of the faculty, alumni, a parent or other member of the school community for distinguished service to the prep school over a period of years. We’ve been told she is the first female recipient in the history of the award.

Headmaster David B. Harman delivered opening remarks at the April 27 event and shared an impressive list of universities to which this year’s graduating students were accepted – from the Ivies to Duke to The University of Chicago, among others.

Sam DiGennaro with Jeff Ferraro, former president of The Poly Prep Board of Governors, Erika Boccio Farrell, former member of The Board; each class of '88

Sam DiGennaro with Jeff Ferraro, former president of The Poly Prep Board of Governors, Erika Boccio Farrell, former member of The Board; each class of ’88

A member of the class of 1988 at the Brooklyn-based independent high school, DiGennaro has spent the past 20 years on the Board of Governors and is now a Board Member Emerita. Through her work with the Board, DiGennaro was involved in mentoring, networking, fundraising and fostering deeper and lasting ties between Poly Prep and its alums. She is currently “class agent” and was reunion co-chair for the Class of ’88.

Several years ago, DiGennaro was part of a group that led the charge to establish the school’s Spirit Award and Rising Star Award. She won the latter in 1998.

“I’ve always believed in the importance of giving back,” DiGennaro said in her acceptance remarks. “To the school, to the neighborhood, to the larger community. We all have a stake in the world around us.” She encouraged all attendees—faculty, alumni and current students—to give back.

DiGennaro, who founded PR firm DiGennaro Communications in 2006, last fall, rented a yellow school bus for a full work day to take volunteers from her company’s staff to help with the clean-up after Hurricane Sandy in Rockaway Beach—where she grew up and travelled by yellow school bus to Poly Prep every day.

Lisa Della Pietra, class of ’86 and now Director of Alumni Relations at Poly Prep described DiGennaro as “tireless in giving her time, expertise and love to this school.”

Poly Prep alumni who received the school’s Distinguished Achievement Award at the April 27 program are as follows:

Located in the Dyker Heights section of Brooklyn, Poly Prep was founded in 1854.

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Poly Prep’s Commons Hall, site of the Distinguished Achievement and School Service Award Ceremony. Headmaster David Harmon addresses attendees.

The Second Annual IST Start-up Week

DGC is coming to you live from Happy Valley, the home of The Pennsylvania State University.

We’re here covering Start-up Week, a week-long event put on by the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) highlighting the success of its alumni—visionary entrepreneurs and innovators in technology.

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Today, we had the opportunity to sit down with IST’s Dean David Hall to get his take on the event, and what lies ahead.

DGC: Dean Hall, can you tell us why IST celebrates Start-up Week?

Dean Hall (DH): Start-up Week allows us to showcase 20-30 examples of successful entrepreneurs, both alumni and friends of Penn State, to our future graduates in a one-week timeframe. Through panels, networking sessions and town halls, we can show our students that you, too, can be successful after graduation. More than that, Start-up Week gives our students the opportunity to network with successful entrepreneurs to make future connections and even potential job opportunities.

DGC: What is the history behind Start-up Week?

DH: Start-up Week began as the brain child of David Rusenko, an IST alum, who is currently the CEO and co-founder of Weebly. Together, we collaborated to create an event that provides an opportunity for rising stars in the technology field to discuss a wide array of career options that students may be interested in pursuing.

DGC: How can alumni who are not here get involved with future Start-up Weeks?

DH: As Start-up Week continues to become an annual event for IST, we invite alumni to come attend and be a part of the excitement. Our alumni are our biggest asset; we continually look for ways to inspire our current students by our successful alumni. By attending Start-up Week, our students get a firsthand view of life after school.

DGC: What are you most excited about at Start-up Week?

DH: During each of the presentations, IST is videotaping the sessions for future use in the classroom. And that’s something that we base our entire curriculum on, real life problems and real life solutions. We are constantly asking our students to come up with creative solutions for real organizations. IST believes that established companies benefit from the fresh set of eyes of our students. And in fact, it’s that entrepreneurial spirit that Start-up Week is based upon.

We’ll be attending more sessions, networking events and the annual Hackathon today, so stay tuned. For more information on Start-up Week and a full schedule of events, visit http://startupweek.weebly.com/

Food for Thought: How Advertisers Can Stoke Super Bowl Buzz Year Round

When it comes to reaching a mass audience, TV is the undisputed king of all media (sorry, Howard Stern). Or is it? In this column, originally published in Adweek, Radha Subramanyam of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment demonstrates how radio delivers not only reach, but receptivity and the sense of community consumers want. Read on for insights on how marketers can create Super Bowl-style results with the original social medium:

How Advertisers Can Stoke Super Bowl Buzz Year Round

Look to radio for reach, receptivity and community By Radha Subramanyam

Football fans around the country geared up for weeks before last Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers and their opposing coaches—brothers Jim and John Harbaugh, who took sibling rivalry to new heights.

The big game did not disappoint.

From the power outage to the 49ers mounting an almost-comeback to that electric Beyoncé performance—there was no shortage of drama. And the commercials were no exception.

For marketers, advertising during the Super Bowl is a once-a-year moment of unprecedented reach and consumer attention. Never does advertising have a more captive audience. But most brands can’t afford the $3.8 million it takes to buy just a 30-second spot. What’s more, everyday TV buys don’t come close to generating the awareness of a Super Bowl spot—and in fact, can be a fumble for brands.

The magic of the Super Bowl ad spectacle is that rare alchemy of reach, receptivity and community. Don’t underestimate the power of community; at a time when we are more plugged in than ever through email, Twitter and Facebook, what many of us actually yearn for is to feel really connected. That’s the feeling we get when we’re sitting around the living room with family and friends, engaged in a common experience—like the Super Bowl. But if you want to achieve Super Bowl-sized results all year, radio is the only medium that delivers a Super Bowl kind of reach, receptivity and community year round.

To read the full column, click here.

Essence Digital’s Richard Mooney Talks Man vs. Machine at OMMA RTB

At this year’s MediaPost OMMA RTB (Real-Time Buying) Conference, held late January at The Grand Hyatt NYC, Essence Partner & Managing Director Richard Mooney, served as a panelist, sharing his insights on this ever-evolving space.

For the uninitiated, RTB refers to a type of media buying where instead of buying a block of impressions in aggregate, an advertiser buys only the impressions it wants at a unique price determined for each individual impression.

On the panel, entitled “From Real-Time Bidding to a Real-Time Marketing Culture,” Richard demonstrated the breadth of his expertise, expounding on a variety of topics, such as the limits of optimization; how data impacts the quality of an agency’s talent pool; the capacity – and limits of – machines; and why people must remain the core of an organization’s nerve center, whether data-centric or otherwise.

After the panel, Richard shared a few more thoughts on the importance of human capital in a data-driven industry with DGC.

Super Bowl: A Game of HORSE and the Pre-Game Debate

Twenty years ago, as a young PR buck, I was tasked with creating a strategy to help McDonald’s leverage its Super Bowl XXVII “Nothing But Net” spot.  I knew we had PR gold in our hands when the storyboards included Michael Jordan and Larry Bird in a game of HORSE. Slam dunk!

What wasn’t a slam dunk at the time was my idea: invite select media on-set (Entertainment Tonight, ESPN, a few others) to capture interviews with Jordan, Bird, director Joe Pytka and behind-the-scenes footage for segments that would air BEFORE the game to build anticipation and consumer engagement.

The heated debates at the Golden Arches over a concept that seemed heretical at the time were unforgettable. But, we hit pay dirt that year with phenomenal pre-game PR and a USA Today Ad Meter victory. It arguably kick-started what today is considered the first page of the Super Bowl Commercial PR Playbook.  In fact, now NOT finding ways to gain exposure for a brand’s Super Bowl spot before the game is considered heretical.

Stuart Elliott did a deep dive on the subject in The New York Times this week that’s worth reading…

DGC Video Bowl: #TeamBeatz vs #TeamWinning

The Super Bowl brings people together in celebration: It’s a celebration of football, a celebration of friends, and a celebration of the best campaigns in advertising. While DGC won’t have its own spot in the game, we didn’t want to be left out of the fun.

 This year, we put our own spin on the Super Bowl rivalry…

 Two teams, one simple brief: show the world what makes DGC so awesome. Our collaboration, our team spirit, and, yes, at times even our zaniness. Each video was made with an impossibly tight deadline, zero budget, a lot of love and collaboration, and a late night of laughter.  Enjoy…. view, and “Like”!  There’s a bagel breakfast hanging in the balance.

Team 1: #TeamBeatz

What is it about DiGennaro Communications (DGC) that makes working there so awesome? DGC’ers Megan and Michael ponder that very question in this video made with love and collaboration by #TeamBeatz, one of two DGC teams whose goal in our 2013 internal contest was to highlight our special team spirit.

Team 2: #TeamWinning

In this video made with love and collaboration, #TeamWinning shares what makes DGC great by channeling inspiring Super Bowl Halftime Show performances from years past and present!

 May the best team win. Who knows? We may even end up being the next viral sensation.

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