Category Archives: Networking

Grab a Hold of the Vine for Your PR

It’s been nearly five months since Vine was introduced as a free iOS app and since then it’s become one of the most downloaded applications in the Apple App Store. Vine, introduced by Twitter in 2012, enables users to create and post six-second video clips that can be shared on social networking channels like Twitter and Facebook. vine-app-hed-2013

The very idea of video creation is all about storytelling, while connecting and engaging viewers. But can you do that in only six seconds? Tribeca Film Festival founder Robert De Niro thinks so. In April, De Niro was asked about the effect of technology on the festival and filmmaking itself. He responded by calling Vine an “interesting thing,” and said:

“Six seconds of beginning, middle and end. I was just trying to time on my iPhone six seconds just to get a sense of what that is. It can actually be a long time.”

  • Vine in the News: News outlets are getting in the Vine action, too. In February, Tulin Saloglu, a columnist for Al-Monitor and a New York Times contributor, successfully used Vine to capture terrorist attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. By posting the videos to her @turkeypulse Twitter feed, Daloglu’s films were one of the first attempts to use Vine for journalism purposes.
  • Vine + RyGos: Given Vine’s short form, its success in the world of memes is no surprise. Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal went viral last week, propelling creator Ryan McHenry’s following on Vine from eight followers to more than 15,000 (McHenry also has nearly 4.000 followers on Twitter now—we’re curious to know what the figure was before #RGWEHC hit) and no doubt sparking ongoing spoon torment for RyGos.
  • Vine in the White House: Vine is also becoming political. On April 22, the White House joined the bandwagon, publishing its first Vine video through its official Twitter account by announcing the annual White House Science Fair.

As the app continues to gain momentum, we at DGC are cognizant of the need to begin leveraging Vine with our clients. When pitching media, Vine can be used to raise awareness of pending news in a fun, viral way—you can develop Vine videos to tease hints of potential news announcements to get media buzzing before a big launch. Since Vine only allows for six seconds of recorded footage, it caters to us PR pros looking to get a message across quickly and succinctly.

Vine can also help with clients’ social media channels like Twitter. For your next social contest, consider asking users to submit a Vine video, allowing you to grow your clients’ following by leveraging new and existing hashtags. You can even think about distributing a social media release with Vine videos embedded to give the campaign wider exposure and drive traffic.

Do you have more ideas on how Vine can be used by the PR industry? Let us know in the comments below!

Using Your Resume as a Story Builder

Within our industry, the average tenure at one job stands at about four years, with the younger demographic spending less time than that before jumping ship. Is it an epidemic, or should we embrace it?

That was the topic of discussion at Tuesday’s panel “Supporting the 4-Year Career,” hosted by Minneapolis creative agency Carmichael Lynch during the ninth annual Advertising Week in New York. Moderated by Carmichael CEO Mike Lescarbeau, the panel consisted of recruiters, agency execs, and copywriters who supportthe new trend within the industry.

During the spirited debate, the conversation focused on two pivotal questions: Is the 4-year career a problem? Can staffers keep up the creative energy and enthusiasm for more than four years?

“You’ll notice a difference from when a new hire comes in and their energy is so high, until it plateaus to work they know they can get away with,” said Marcus Fischer, Chief Strategy Office with Carmichael Lynch. “What I look for in an interview is a passion point that may not even relate to work. I want to see that passion point and find out how to channel that into their career. A broad range of backgrounds is more interesting than purely agency specific careers.”

“Your resume needs to build a story, why you made that change and how to make it better,” said Carol Watson, President of Advertising Women of New York.

Alec Brownstein, freelance copywriter who has “observed” the 4-year career, was in favor of the constant change in careers.

“The most interesting thing a person can do is not based on their career path, but by following their passions,” said Brownstein. “There’s nothing holding you back anymore. Go out there and do something. Make something on your own. That will get you noticed and get you your next career.”

“The question I ask and everyone should ask before hiring someone is, ‘Is this place better if they are here or somewhere else?’” said Fischer.

Where do you stand in this trend? Are you in favor or against the 4-year career? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

They Have Ideas

Portfolio Night entered its 10th year this week, spanning 18 cities across the globe, including New York, on May 23 at the headquarters of WPP Group’s Grey. Sponsored by, the event brings together agency creative directors who meet one-on-one with aspiring copywriters, art directors, and nowadays, creative technologists, to review their portfolios. Brett McKenzie, Creative Manager and lead on Giant Hydra (IHAVEANIDEA’s collaborative crowd sourcing project) talked about what Portfolio Night is all about and why it’s important to the advertising community. A London gentleman named Sherry spoke about how the event helped him make important connections in the industry. Guyen Dinh, a graduate of Columbia College in Chicago, said she always wanted to live in New York and was thrilled to be attending Portfolio Night for the first time.

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.”


Managing Leads…at SXSW

The DGC team met C.J. Cunniff, Sr. Marketing Director at SmartLead (, a full-service, lead management company, on one of our many shuttle rides to and from the Austin Convention Center. As someone who comes to SXSW every other year or so, we asked him to give us his thoughts on SXSW, as well as share his insights on what companies should be doing to better manage their customer leads.

Here’s what he had to say:

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