Category Archives: Speaking

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.”


It’s a Mad Mobile World

NewMediaMetrics co-founder Gary Reisman had an unusual start to his moderating duties at the Digital Hollywood Media Summit on March 8 in New York. Just as he introduced the panelists to a packed room concerned with the issues around Advertising Accountability: Metrics and Analytics around Video, Social Media, Broadband and Mobile, an attendee wandered in talking loudly on his mobile phone, completely oblivious to proceedings. After a few moments of stunned silence during which the phone conversation was the only sound in the room, the caller looked around sheepishly, apologized and exited. Hilarity ensued among the panelists followed by what turned out to be a lively, sometimes combative, hour-long debate: Eugene Becker, VP, Analytics, Xaxis; Bob Ivins, VP of Data & Research, Comcast Spotlight; Scott McKinley, EVP Advertising Effectiveness, Nielsen; Debbie Solomon, Managing Director, Business Planning, MindShare; Mark Pascarella, CEO, uberVU; Jeff Plaisted, Senior Director, U.S. Sales and Strategy, Mobile & Skype Advertising, Microsoft; and Dr. Raymond Pettit, VP of Market Research, PRN.  Click the video to get Reisman’s take on one of the more compelling insights.

The Nuisance of Jargon

How often do you catch yourself in a meeting using words like “best-in-class,” “tipping point,” or  “framework” to get your point across? Well, DGC reported on the “buzzwords” that drive us crazy earlier this year and Modea’s Buzzword Bingo that makes fun of the numerous words we find ourselves saying over and over again. Now, as we edge closer to a new year and renewed hopes for fewer jargon words, AgencySpy has taken up the “eliminate jargon” cause.

Today, Kiran Aditham posted a short round up from agency execs at Organic, Sullivan, BON, Goodby, Cole & Weber and Ignited sharing the words they hope to eliminate in 2012. Take a look at – Which Form of Ad Speak Would You Kill in 2012 – and let us know the jargon words that drive you crazy.


TV On The Go: Coming To A Mobile Device Near You in 2012

It happens to all of us. We’re on our way out the door to work and Matt Lauer announces a Breaking News report “coming up next.” We’re on a business trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma when the Giants are playing the Jets. We’re on a road trip with the kids and are one of those families without TV’s in the headrests.

These days, consumers have a device for everything. So why is it that they don’t have a devise for receiving high-quality, live TV, on the go?

At this year’s Advertising Week, Abby Auerbach, EVP & CMO of TVB moderated a panel which featured some of the top names in Mobile Digital Television including; Erik Moreno, SVP Corp Development, Fox Networks Group; Co-GM, Mobile Content Venture, Anne Schelle, Executive Director, Open Mobile Video Coalition and Jeff Minsky, Director Emerging Media, OMD Ignition Factory.

Turns out Mobile Digital Television, via the Dyle app, is poised to make its first major consumer push next year- offering consumers in 32 cities nationwide free, over the air TV directly to their tablets and mobile devices.

So what does this mean for advertisers and marketers? Extended reach and frequency – MDTV allows for an extension of the viewing day- on average consumers increased their daily live TV viewing by 38%.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Daytime is the new primetime when it comes to MDTV-  Consumers loved watching different types of programming during the day, especially local news
  • Consumers were watching live TV at new and different locations – at work during their lunch break, at idle moments waiting on line at the checkout or the doctor’s office
  • Moms enjoyed passing a mobile phone or tablet to kids en route to school or running errands
  • Consumers were staying in-tune with breaking news and weather

Watch Abby Auerbach offer a recap of the panel here.

Alain Groenendaal, CEO of Wing, at the Latin Vision CEO Summit

Is it time to ditch the concept of a “general market” agency? This was one of the hot topics at the 2011 Latin Vision Summit featuring Alain Groenendaal, CEO of Wing. Alain agrees that given the changing nature of the U.S. population, it may be time to eliminate the “general market” mind frame, because it perpetuates outdated thinking that no longer reflects the reality of the American consumer. Find out Alain’s other key takeways from Latin Vision in this video interview with DGC.

Insights From TargetCast’s 2011 Advertising Week Panel “Phoenix Rising”

In this video interview with DGC, Steve Farella, co-founder and President, TargetCast tcm, discusses how technology is changing foundational media following TargetCast’s 2011 Advertising Week Panel “Phoenix Rising.”  In this annual  event, TargetCast execs talk to media insiders from companies like the NY Times, Hulu, and Emmis about how advertisers are using new technology to reach consumers.

Steve, whose panel focused on radio, shared the following takeaways: broadcast radio is healthy —  the revenue is there and people are listening —  and digital platforms like Pandora and iheartradio continue to enhance radio as an effective medium for advertisers.

A theme running through TargetCast’s three discussions on print, radio and video is that technology is increasing audiences overall — but the verdict is still out on how to marry scale and and targetability for some emerging technologies.

Audrey Siegel, co-founder and President of TargetCast tcm, also shared key insights from her discussion on the impact of technology on print media at “Phoenix Rising.”

Her key takeaways: content drives consumption and technology facilitates it, and there is good reason to be optimistic about the print business. Though the industry has faced challenges driven by advertising usage, readership is consistently strong, and tablet technology will only enhance that.

So You’ve Been Selected to Speak on a Panel…Now What?

The leaves are starting to turn. CVS started selling Halloween candy a month ago. OMMA Global and Advertising Week are right around the corner.

With the number of industry conferences occurring during the fall months, panel presentations are on everyone’s minds. But you can rest easy — the DGC team has pulled together a list of tips for delivering a fail-proof panel presentation:

  1. Prepare. There is nothing worse than going into a presentation knowing what you want to talk about, and then getting there and having trouble finding the words. Prepare at least three short, compelling points on the subject ahead of time that can be dropped into the discussion at any time.
  2. Dress the part. Mark Zuckerberg may be able to get away with wearing jeans and flip-flops to his presentations, but he is also worth more than $19 billion. If you want to make a good first impression, put your best foot forward.
  3. Repeat the question. Reporters at these conferences are always looking for good quotes to include in their stories, and it helps when those quotes have context. So, remember to always repeat the question at the beginning of your answer.
  4. Be concise. Is a reporter more likely to include a one-sentence quote that packs a lot of punch or a paragraph-long ramble? You do the math.
  5. Drop the “umm.” It’s distracting and it makes you sound insecure. Speak clearly, maintain eye-contact and prove to your audience that you believe in what you’re talking about.

So, you’ve prepared your key points and you’re doing your best Don Draper impression. You couldn’t feel more ready as you step onto that stage and look out at the dozens—no hundreds…wow, how many people are here? As the stage fright sinks in, you realize it’s the only thing for which you haven’t prepared. But never fear!

DGC has a sixth tip for that, as well: if you get nervous, you can always picture the audience in their underwear.

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