Creating Buzz for Your Agency

Advertising professionals know how to build consumer brands, but too often, they’re confounded when it comes to building their own agency brands, according to DiGennaro Communications founder and CEO Sam DiGennaro, who compared the phenomenon to “the cobbler’s kids who don’t have shoes.”

DiGennaro made the observation during a co-presentation with Melanie Wells, her company’s managing director and chief content officer, at the Mirren New Business conference on May 3 in New York’s financial district.

“Creating Buzz for Your Agency,” their 40-minute break-out session to a packed room, offered practical and actionable guidelines for getting news coverage in the increasingly complex media marketplace. DiGennaro and Wells outlined how to align a PR strategy with the agency’s new-business goals, which should also include raising the profile of the C-suite, building pride of place, recruiting star talent and establishing category expertise.

Wells referenced the famous quote from Microsoft founder Bill Gates who once said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.”

In the age of social media, it’s easier than ever to raise an agency’s profile outside traditional media outlets, Wells said. But first, the agency must have or develop a platform—what the company stands for.

From the platform, the agency’s leaders can offer their points of view through blogs or guest columns in select outlets.

Wells told the story of how DGC client BzzAgent felt it had lost its “cutting-edge” quality. DGC worked with and developed a unique platform for CEO Dave Balter that repositioned him and the company in a more positive light.

Balter admitted during a PR strategy session that he made some ego-based decisions that hurt his company, Wells said, and she worked with him to develop his platform, which became “The Humility Imperative.” Shortly thereafter, reporters were calling him for insights, and he was making the rounds on the speaking circuit. Last year, a unit of Tesco bought BzzAgent.

In developing a platform, Wells said CEO’s need to “be honest about who you are. Be transparent and a little fearless.” She also advised agencies to embrace social media in promoting their news because these channels increase reach. Besides, she said, “It’s free and it’s effective.”

DiGennaro cited other agency success stories such as Arnold Worldwide, Woods Witt Dealy, Organic and Optimedia, a former DGC client, all of which exercised the patience and persistence required in executing PR plans that paid off with new business leads, wins and media recognition. Advertising Age named Arnold to its 2012 Agency A-List and named Organic “Comeback Agency of the Year.”

“Momentum begets momentum,” DiGennaro explained. “Clients and prospects want to be attached to agencies they think are hot.”

 

Posted on May 3, 2012, in Business, DiGennaro Communications, Media Relations, Media Relations Tips, Melanie Wells, Networking, Sam DiGennaro, Social Media, Speaking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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