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Bon Jour, Cannes!

The Ad world morphs at lightning speed. Traditional lines of branded entertainment, advertising, technology and media companies continue to blur, data scientists now sit alongside artists, data has become a crucial part of the creative process, etc. One of the only constants is The Cannes Lions Festival – the industry’s global celebration of creativity. It remains the center point of the ad world– a moment for all of us to look back and honor the best of our industry while simultaneously looking ahead and preparing for the changes yet to come. If the festival has changed at all, it’s only that it’s gotten bigger.

With this year’s event just days away, our team will be on the ground supporting clients and sharing the week’s most exciting news, bringing you insights from industry players, highlighting trends and observations and sharing live content right from the Croisette. As in years past, this year’s festival has attracted top names to the Palais including, Vannes Bayer (Saturday Night Live), Anthony Bourdain, Anderson Cooper, David Copperfield and many more.

Some of the sessions we’re excited about:

  • Tuesday, June 21, 11:00AM: “How to Change The World Through Advertising”, Cindy Gallop, Lions Lounge
  • Wednesday, June 22, 10:00AM: “Fireside Chat with Daniel Ek, Spotify”, Inspiration Stage
  • Thursday, June 23, 3:30PM: “Is Technology Making Creative More Intelligent” Mark Douglas, SteelHouse, Jose Molla, the community
  • Friday, June 24, 4PM: “Music as Marketing: Flipping the Script on Celebrity Talent” Jared Gustadt, Jingle Punks, Inspiration Stage

We expect a jam-packed week with lots of learnings, applauding the best of the best, networking with clients, prospects and friends, and, hopefully, having a moment in all the fracas to take a sip of rose and toast to everyone’s hard work.

Please check for updates on the DGC Hit Board, Facebook, Twitter and our new Instagram feed!

Another June, Another Cannes

We’re just a few days away from the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (June 21-27) and the DGC team can’t wait to hit the ground running!
Cannes Lions is a spectacular, week-long celebration of the world’s most creative minds and best advertising as well as an opportunity for over 12,000 delegates to network over rosé and intimate dinners. Over the course of the week and against the backdrop of the beautiful French Riviera, talks will be given, awards handed out and meetings taken along the famed Croisette. It’s a chance for the industry to recognize the best creative work of the past year and look forward to where we might be next year.
The DGC team will be on the ground supporting clients and sharing the week’s most exciting news, bringing you insights from key industry players, highlighting key trends and observations and sharing live content. This year’s festival has attracted top names to the Palais including, Sarah Koening (Serial), entertainers and pharrell and activist Monica Lewinsky.
Here are just a few of the sessions we have on our radar:
  •  Tuesday, June 23, 3:30PM – 5PM: MediaLink & Adweek “Daily Dose” Programming with Ian Schafer of Deep Focus; Carlton Hotel; Sean Connery Suite 7th Floor
  •  Thursday, June 25,
    • 2PM – 2:45PM: “Ogilvy & Inspire” Tham Khai Meng, Ogilvy & Monica Lewinsky. Grand Audi
    • 2:30PM – 3:15PM: “Watson & The Future of Advertising” Saul Berman, IBM & Jerry Wind, Wharton. Experience Stage – Data Creativity
    • 3:50PM – 4:20PM: “Solving the Marketer’s Latest Identity Crisis” David Jakubowski, Facebook & Julia Heiser, Live Nation NA Concerts. Inspiration Stage
  • Friday, June 26 4:15PM – 5PM: “Do This Or Die” Amir Kassaei, CCO, DDB Worldwide. Debussy
We expect a jam-packed week with lots of learnings.
Please check for updates on the DGC Hit Board, Facebook, Twitter and our new Instagram feed!

Rising Star Report: How Eulogy! Uses Video

Welcome to London, where the traffic is on the left, the subway is called the “tube” and the outlets—and the outlets—are different. Referring to both the pubs and plugs, aside from a few glaring cultural differences (tea is preferred to coffee, and Starbucks is slightly frowned upon) life at Eulogy!, an independent PR agency in London, isn’t too different from being at home at DGC. The office has a similar look and feel, and is filled with a bright team of Brits trying to get the best possible coverage for both B2B and consumer clients.

A few years ago, Eulogy! teamed up with Onlinefire to enhance their social media and digital offerings. One excellent feature of the partnership is the use of video, which Eulogy! employs frequently to tell their story and get messages across concisely and creatively. Check out Eulogy’s Dave Macnamara, Senior Creative Account Executive, above with more on using video.

Ad Age Media Buzz Competition at MEC

Ad Age is hosting an ongoing, interactive competition titled “Ad Age Media Buzz” amongst various top media agencies this month in an effort to unite the different companies with a little friendly competition. On Thursday, August 9, 2012, reporters, sponsors, employees, and executives gathered at MEC’s New York office location to witness the trivia-style showdown, where teams of MEC employees competed against each other internally to see who knew the most about ad industry knowledge.

After a warm welcome from Marla Kaplowitz, CEO of MEC North America, a handful of MEC teams congregated around their designated team tables while Ad Age’s Editor-In-Chief Abbey Klaassen and Media Editor Nat Ives proposed industry-based questions to the teams throughout a total of 4 rounds, ultimately revealing the MEC team to possess the most knowledge of the advertising industry. In between rounds, employees socialized, ate, drank, and overall appeared to be enjoying the competition as a nice break from their typical workdays.

The winning team from Thursday’s rounds will move on to compete against reigning teams from other agencies in an ultimate showdown showcasing which agency’s employees are most seasoned with industry knowledge. Outside of promoting friendly competition, the goal of the Ad Age Media Buzz competition is to encourage industry professionals to increase their time spent reading up on current industry information available through various publications and outlets.

DGC was lucky enough to interview Jamie Ciamillo, a Senior Digital Planner for MEC. In her brief interview, Jamie talked to DGC about how the Ad Age Media Buzz competition amalgamated employees across all different departments within the agency, something she found to be a stimulating and opportune experience for socializing with people who she doesn’t typically get to see on a conventional workday.

Thursday’s Ad Age Media Buzz competition at MEC served as an exciting way to network with industry professionals as well as a chance for all ends of the advertising community to come together.

Senior Digital Planner, Jamie Ciamillo, MEC, shares her experience at the Ad Age Media Buzz competition.

DGC Rewind

This is the first in a series titled “DGC Rewind”, pioneered and written by our summer intern, Julia Tomasek.

Before finding our niches in the whirlwind world of PR, many of us here at DGC have experienced an array of previous jobs that were interesting, unexpected, and even humorous, helping to enrich our already effervescent office environment.

By digging into the past employment of my fellow coworkers, I aim to showcase the diverse pool of characters we have working here at DiGennaro Communications. The “DGC Rewind” blog series will introduce readers to the multi-faceted experiences of my coworkers that shaped the unique, hard-working individuals they are today.

DGC founder Sam DiGennaro (aka Sammy D) used to spend her college summers supervising rowdy kids as well as manning a mini-bus to transport them to and from “the world’s best day camp.” A favorite among campers and counselors alike, Sam had patience and bottomless energy, two traits that won her the “Counselor of the Year” title at the camp.

Sam’s “celebrity” status at the camp even landed her a spot in their national commercial, where she was shown directing her troops into the mini-bus she drove, transporting them to a typical fun-filled day at camp. (See video at 0:09).

DGC’s President, Howard Schacter, also has a noteworthy occupational past. In the mid-90’s, Howard’s sports-marketing/PR job sent him on a month-long journey to the Maui Invitational NCAA Basketball Tournament–all expenses paid. It was an ideal trip for the self-proclaimed basketball junkie, providing Howard the opportunity to meet some of his favorite players and coaches like Dean Smith and Bob Knight.


Above, DGC’s Howard Schacter presides over a press conference with University of North Carolina’s Coach Dean Smith and guard Jeff MacInnis at the 1995 NCAA Maui Invitational.

However, the saying “work hard, play hard” definitely resonates here, as Howard and his colleagues were responsible for transforming Chaminade University’s small-scale recreation center into a major venue to facilitate media coverage and relations for the 75 press who attended the event. Howard’s experience with this sports-marketing firm is reflective of DGC’s brand message that working hard does not necessarily have to be painful. It can be fun, too.

Tech Talk: News Consumption in a Twitter, Facebook World

Where do you get your news? According to the recently released Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s State of the New Media in 2012 report, not Facebook or Twitter. While Facebook has made a concerted effort to expand its relationship with journalists and new organizations through Social Reader and Twitter has always been seen as a mini “newsfeed,” the numbers tell a different story.

The study determined that only 9% of digital news consumers regularly get their news from these social networks while 36% of people go directly to the publication’s website, 32% use search engines to get news and 29% use a news organizer site or app. These numbers rise to 52% when you look at people who “sometimes” get news from Facebook and Twitter – but that’s still drastically lower than the 92% who sometimes go directly to news sites and the 85% that use search.

Digging deeper into Pew’s State of the News Media, we learn that for the users who do get news from social channels, Facebook and Twitter function differently. On Facebook, for example, 70% of the news people read were from family, 13% from news organizations and 10% from non-news organizations that suggested a story to read. On the other hand, people on Twitter get 27% of news from organizations, 18% from non-news organizations and only 36% from family and friends.

While we had a bit of sticker shock at how low these numbers were, there is no denying that Facebook and Twitter should still be a part of your news distribution strategy. You just have to ensure that you’re using the channels to your advantage and sharing the news in a way that your audiences will take notice. As we shared last year, when you’re creating content for your social community you have to play to specific social audiences and should speak with an authentic voice, sharing relevant news and unique visuals to tell your brand’s story. Take the time to study how your audiences react to different posts and types of news. Experiment with continued personalization, visuals and editorializing of content to see how it boosts engagement across specific channels, then give them more of what works.

In time, we predict that there will continue to be an increase in the consumption of news from news sources across social media communities. But it’s clearly not there yet. So in the meantime, remember the power of personal connections. Don’t be afraid to ask for action from friends, family, colleagues and industry connections to spread the news and involve them in your company’s story.

How Much Have We Really Changed?

In the weeks leading up to the season premier of AMC’s Mad Men, various business publications had a field day showcasing the sexist ads of earlier eras.

As astonishing as some of them are, it’s legitimate to ask just how much society and the industry have evolved, especially when you consider that the percentage of women comprising the advertising workforce has remained flat—holding at 55 percent since 1982, the earliest available data from the 4A’s.

Belvedere vodka recently ran an online ad that was suggestive of an attempted rape.  A steakhouse in Georgia thought it was funny to post on Facebook the name of one of its sandwiches—the Caribbean black and bleu–in honor of Chris Brown and singer Rihanna. And who could forget last year’s Chapstick ad?

In all three instances, the ads went viral, not because people thought them clever, but because consumers wanted to express anger and disgust at words and images that were demeaning or made light of violence against women.

Even though the companies apologized for the ads, it’s tempting to lament that societal attitudes about these issues haven’t changed much. However, the speed with which consumers can and do shame brands on social media regarding questionable messages gives us reason to hope.

Help Wanted: Future Media Professionals Need Apply

Helen Gurley Brown, former Editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine, announced last month that she is donating $30 million to Columbia University and Stanford University in memory of her late husband, David Brown. What do two schools with two of the top ten endowments in the country need this type of money for, you ask? The David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation.

According to Columbia and Stanford, the institute “will encourage new media, promote innovation and prototypes, and recognize the increasingly important connection between journalism and technology.” In an industry that continues to evolve in direct correlation with the digital space, this is a huge step forward in educating future media professionals. But what if your university doesn’t have a media institute? Here are DGC’s top three tips for pursuing a career in media/communications…no matter where you go to school:

  1. Intern. You may learn some of the basic concepts behind media/communications in your Marketing 101 class, but nothing you learn in the classroom will prepare you for your first job. Try to pursue as much internship experience as possible. Not only will it give you better insight into your future career, but it will also help you determine if the field is right for you.
  2. Read the news. Half the battle of the media/communications industry is keeping up with what’s happening. If you are well-versed on current events, you’ll be setting yourself up to win.
  3. Network. The job market remains tough to navigate. Make sure you are reaching out to your contacts on a regular basis so you are not missing any opportunities. And this doesn’t just mean via email. Recruiters are finding candidates through all manner of social networks these days, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others, and hiring those who show savvy and persistence online.

Are you one of those people who kick-started your career via social media? Tell us how! Are you looking for a job in the communications industry? Reach out to us in the comments section below!

Counting Down To Super Bowl XLVI: The Ultimate Pre-Game

The Super Bowl has turned into more than just a game — it is a two-week celebration with events every day building up to the big game. Although we have a seemingly “super” matchup this year, and many DGCers are excited that the Giants are playing, we’ve realized that the game isn’t the biggest attraction to the Super Bowl. There are parties, concerts, more parties, live tapings of every NBC show imaginable, and yes — more parties. You’ll find the Playboy Party, the GQ Party, the Coors Light Lodge Party, and even a celebrity poker tournament – all on February 3.

It’s a media planning frenzy from a PR standpoint. Every media outlet in the country will be covering the Super Bowl, looking for stories, pictures, and interviews. Everyone wants a piece of the NFL pie.

With such an action-packed schedule in Indianapolis and on your TV, we thought we’d share with you DGC’s top seven Super Bowl events (besides the game, of course).

7) Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl – Because who doesn’t love puppies playing football?

6) The NFL Experience – Each year the host city also hosts the NFL Experience, which is essentially the Disney World of football. This year it will be at the Indianapolis Convention Center, with NFL Charities donating $1 million of ticket sales to local Indianapolis communities.

5) EA Sports Madden Bowl – The athletes that couldn’t quite make it to the real Super Bowl get a second chance virtually.

4)  Pepsi Fan Jam 2012 – Folks tune in to watch Gym Class Heroes, B.o.B., and the All-American Rejects perform on VH1.

3) Super Bowl Media Day – Super Bowl Media Day receives more coverage than any sports interview ever should. With Eli Manning and Tom Brady leading the teams this year, Super Bowl Media Day offers a special treat for fans that get to watch from the stands. If you can’t make it to Indianapolis, you’ll be able to watch live on NFL Network – and it’ll be the top story on any televised sports news that Tuesday.

2) The Bridgestone Halftime Show – Although it’s been toned down since the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” of 2003, we’d venture to guess that some people are watching this year’s Super Bowl just to see the latest iteration of Madonna.

1) The Ads – Whether the game turns out to be a nail-biter or a total snooze, people will be buzzing during the game and the next morning about the ads regardless. And with companies spending an average of $3.5 million for 30-second spots, marketers hope to make a splash that will reach beyond the game.

With all this talk of pre-game hype, DGC is already looking forward to the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII in New York – let the planning begin!

Tech-Talk: Pinterest and PR

If you haven’t heard of Pinterest yet, you need to get up to speed fast. The social network, termed “scrapbooking on the web” is sweeping the Internet and recently broke into the top 10 most popular social networks right behind Yelp, according to an Experian Hitwise report.

Pinterest is an online pinboard that allows users to cluster things they find on the web, be it pictures, articles, videos, websites, etc., into various categories and share them with others. You’re ultimately becoming a curator of information. The site says “you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.”

The site had over 11 million visits in December, illustrating that consumers are clearly taking to it. With so many consumers flocking to one place, Pinterest has created a new, innovative outlet for brands and companies to get involved in social media.

As PR professionals, it’s our job to be on top of what’s next in tech so that we can pass info on to our clients and, of course, consider it for planning purposes.  Pinterest opens up a whole new world of possibilities for PR and marketing.  Here’s DGC’s list of the top 4 ways to use Pinterest in PR.

  • Pinterest is the perfect avenue to illustrate a company’s culture by making a profile that highlights your brand’s personality. Maybe your CEO has a passion for knitting, he/she can pin interesting articles, tools, books and even post pictures of things they’re creating, to ultimately connect deeper with consumers.
  • High site traffic makes a Pinterest page great for product launches and announcements. And since it allows you to post and share images easily with real time comments, it’s the perfect place to showcase news. But, be creative in how you share. Pinterest has a rule against being too self-promotional.
  • Trying to get more interaction with consumers? Create contests. Whether you’re a beverage company asking clients to pin their favorite drink or a fashion designer asking followers to pin their own designs, Pinterest creates an easy, visually intriguing way for you to hold contests and learn more about your followers.
  • Why not provide a pin for your thoughts? Use your page to publicize your thought leadership initiatives, by pinning images that showcase links to your articles, coverage or video content.

For more information on how to get started on Pinterest, check out this how to guide on Mashable. Or for a more in-depth look at how other brands are using Pinterest, check out this great list on American Express Open Forum.

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