Mobility is King

Mobility is king and instant gratification is the way of the world, which means the days of sitting behind a chunky desktop computer for all of our browsing needs are behind us.

We applied this knowledge when we created the Gabriel.com part search tool and engineered a version optimized for mobile devices. Both our team and our clients thought it was pretty great, and were quite excited when the mobile site was recognized with an IABC Detroit Renaissance award this summer. We were even more excited when we received word that the site garnered two more awards this month, a 2012 MARCOM Gold Award for a specialty web or mobile site, and best app for a mobile device from the Car Care Council’s Women’s Board at the 2012 Automotive Communications Awards at AAPEX.

As professional digital communicators, we know that it’s important to be on the leading edge of technology. Keep an eye out for more great work churned out of the PUSH team, it’s only getting better.

Check out our blog post,  “Do you really need an app for that?” for more information about the value of mobile sites and how one can apply to your business needs.

Corinne Petras manages public relations at pushtwentytwo, an integrated marketing and communications agency supporting leading and emerging companies.

pushing to Make a Difference: National Hunger Action Month

September is National Hunger Action Month. For our client, Faurecia, that means launching into action with Faurecia FUELS. Through FUELS, Faurecia employees across North America and Mexico gather food to support the communities where they live and work.

We were inspired. This year, we decided to get involved and aimed to donate 300 lbs. of non-parishable food to support Gleaners Community Food Bank in Pontiac. We donated 341 lbs., – enough to feed an average person for 68 days!

According to Gleaners, food donations are low, but one in four children in our community continue to live below the hunger line. Consider donating food, funds or time to a food bank in your area. Visit www.HungerActionMonth.org to find a community food bank in your neighborhood.

 

 

22 Piece Nugget: A Tornado Hits Downtown Pontiac…

Last week, the push team saw its backyard completely transform… into a movie set!

A local production company has been filming a few scenes in downtown Pontiac for a new movie called “Black Sky.” The store fronts on North Saginaw Street have been given new facades to create the town of Silverton, Oklahoma. Banners have been hung from the lamp posts on the street to advertise the fictional town’s upcoming rodeo. The streets have also been lined with massive fans to create the high winds of the tornado and storm that hits the town.

As I explored the new BBQ joint, the fake wedding shop, and even temporary street signs, I’ve been amazed by the amount of detail that goes into creating a set that is used for only a few scenes. I had never walked down that part of North Saginaw Street prior to the building of the set, so as I adventured with Erica, a graphic designer at push, I found myself asking her what parts were real and recreated.

As it turns out, not all parts were recreated. The WKC letters were left untouched on the top of the WKC building. This building and the WKC letters can also be seen in the trailer for the upcoming movie Red Dawn, which also has scenes filmed in Pontiac and will be coming out later this year.

Overall, it has been interesting to see the transformation over the past week.

However, not everything has gone our way.First, Erica and I were not chosen to be extras in the film despite the fabulous headshots we submitted via email. Second, the site manager informed us that we are not allowed to post any photos of the set on this blog until the movie is released — so I’ve used my superior artistic ability to draw a picture of it for you. And lastly, we haven’t spotted any celebrities…YET! One girl in the push office, who shall remain anonymous, is most looking forward to seeing Jeremy Sumpter, who is appearing in the movie.

When I began this internship, I imagined I’d get to see some smaller scale video shoots for our clients, however, I never expected to be on the set of a major motion picture. One thing that I have seen on both sets is the attention to detail that goes into producing either a short video, or an entire movie. All the details make a difference.

I’m Liz, but my friends call me Nugget … Don’t ask. I’m 22 years old and spending my summer interning at an advertising agency called pushtwentytwo. Each week I’ll be dipping into the different aspects of agency life and serving up supersized chunks of insight  about my experience at push, things I’ve learned about the advertising industry and much more.

22 Piece Nugget: Taking my own advice…

In my last Nugget, I talked about the importance of following up, often with a different type of communication.  This past week, I had to utilize this lesson several times.

I’ve been assisting on some PR for Champion Homes and their House United Project. It’s a great project that will give a deserving military family a new home at no cost. As part of the effort, we developed a pitch and a list of media contacts in the North Carolina area (where the project is taking place). After reaching out via email and only receiving one response, I knew I had to follow up with a call the following morning.

I. was. dreading. it.

I rarely talk to my friends and family on the phone, so calling people I don’t know is daunting. This is something I can imagine is typical of people my age — who depend on texting and emails as the primary mode of communication.

After writing out a 15 second script for myself to reference during the calls, I sucked it up and dialed the number. The majority of the calls went to voicemail — so I didn’t need the script, but having it there as a security blanket was reassuring and helpful when leaving a message. Thankfully, by calling the reporters and newsrooms directly, by the end of the day I was able to get into contact with people who were interested in pursuing the story.

No one laughed or swore at me. Even though your mom may have told you not to “talk to strangers,” calling them is okay, and really not that bad.

I’m Liz, but my friends call me Nugget … Don’t ask. I’m 22 years old and spending my summer interning at an advertising agency called pushtwentytwo. Each week I’ll be dipping into the different aspects of agency life and serving up supersized chunks of insight  about my experience at push, things I’ve learned about the advertising industry and much more.

Doublin’ Down on Communication

If I had to pick out one of the most important lessons I’ve learned throughout my internship this summer at pushtwentytwo it’s this — more than one method of communication is often necessary.

Following  up an email with a phone call, following up a phone call with an email, following up an email with a face-to-face conversation… you get the idea. It all helps keep the agency running smoothly and efficiently and when it doesn’t happen, sometimes stuff gets missed. I have found this to be especially necessary with emails. For one reason or another, things seem to get lost or overlooked in cyberspace. Then again, it is easier to ignore someone via email as opposed to on the phone or face-to-face.

Regardless, there are two main reasons I have found it necessary to use more than one method of communication (other than to avoid being ignored).

First, we are all different.

Our brains are different. Our vocabularies are different. We are just different. These differences can lead to miscommunication and confusion. While you may believe that you’re giving clear instructions, they may not always be clear to others.

Jason, push’s web-guy, is great about laying things out for me step-by-step because he knows I don’t speak “computer” as well as him. He usually sends me an initial email detailing a project and then comes to my desk to explain it in person. He’ll even walk me through the first few steps to be sure that I completely understand what needs to be done and how to do it properly. He understands that sometimes two forms of communication can be helpful. Being able to read his instructions and hear his verbal explanation makes learning new programs and processes a breeze.

Second, people are human.

This means they may have read your email or listened to your voicemail and simply forgot. Or maybe they missed a detail in your message.

When an online advertising representative from an online ad network didn’t get back to me by the specified time we’d laid out in a previous email, I had a problem. Since we needed the information before an upcoming meeting with our client, I reached out via the phone to remind her that we needed the information as soon as possible. She profusely apologized and I got the information I needed. Following up over the phone allowed me to reach her directly and possibly more quickly than an email, and she got the necessary information to me later that day.

The lesson: sometimes using more than one method of communication is needed to get a job done well, efficiently, and on time. At first I was afraid it would be annoying, but people typically understand and want to help you learn or do your job well. This is a lesson that can be applicable outside of the office, for example as a recent graduate looking for a first job it is important to stand out as an applicant. In order to make it out of the endless pile of resumes, it is necessary to follow up with companies. And hey, follow up again.

I’m Liz, but my friends call me Nugget … Don’t ask. I’m 22 years old and spending my summer interning at an advertising agency called pushtwentytwo. Each week I’ll be dipping into the different aspects of agency life and serving up supersized chunks of insight  about my experience at push, things I’ve learned about the advertising industry and much more.

Get to Know Us

We believe that for you to truly understand us, you should know who we are – each of us. Featured this month is Account Executive, Marisa Sciarrino. Marisa loves to cook, plans her wedding in her spare time and used to sell chocolate. Read on; we think you’ll like what you learn.

July Employee Spotlight: Marisa Sciarrino, Account Executive

Hometown
Rochester Hills

Where did you go to school
Oakland University, for advertising and marketing

Where do you find creative inspiration?
From my very talented co-workers and of course, Pinterest

What’s your favorite cereal?
Honey Bunches of Oats

What are your top three interests outside of work?
I’m getting married soon, so I’m having a lot of fun planning my wedding. I also love being by the water and of course cooking (I’m Italian)!

What’s your favorite YouTube video?
The Charlie Bit Me video

What’s the best ad campaign of all time?
The Pepsi Commercial with Godfather Girl

What was your first job?
I worked behind a fresh fruit and Godiva bar at a Papa Joes Gourmet Market

What did it teach you?
It taught me how to handle difficult people while always maintaining a smile. And that chocolate is always the better choice.

Do you cook? What is your favorite recipe?
I love to cook! My favorite recipe is a homemade spinach pie that my fiancé’s Mother taught me how to make.

Quote to live by
All you need is love

Caraoke: Is AT&T’s Commercial Both Catchy and Effective?

As you may have noticed in my first entry, I did not study advertising, marketing, or even communications in college. Therefore, my knowledge of the media and marketing world may be slightly limited, and consumer-based. But who better to evaluate what “works” or doesn’t in terms of advertising than the consumer for whom the ads are meant? Maybe I deserve more credit than I give myself.

We all know that feeling of being sick of hearing the same song over and over again on the radio, or out with friends. The song you were so excited about when it first came out, but now you want to curl up in the fetal position every time you hear it until it ceases.

Over the past few months, one thing that I have not gotten this feeling towards is AT&T’s “Road Music” commercial. I still enjoy the commercial each time I see it. “Allllll my ex’s live in Texas.” And, if you’re like me, you sing along with the commercial. I think this advertisement works simply because it makes me feel warm and fuzzy – and I love pretending I can sing, whether in a car alone or karaoke at my grandparents’ 60th anniversary party. The beignets are extremely tempting too.

Nevertheless, while I do enjoy the commercial, one has to wonder if it’s actually effective in advertising what AT&T is trying to sell? They aren’t trying to show they can incite consumers to sing along, but instead that their 4G network can support your demands, such as music downloads and streaming, in more locations across the country than their competitors.

Someone in the office brought up a valid question: “Do people really stream internet radio out of their phone speaker while they’re driving these days? I know it’s an old car but it seems a little unlikely…”

To which I responded, “I did this yesterday in traffic when the radio was annoying me and I didn’t have my connector cord in the car.”

After thinking more about it, it seems that whether you play it through the cord, or from the phone’s speaker, you will need a quality cell signal just to stream the music in general. I chose to see if I wasn’t alone in streaming music from my phone while in the car through an informal survey of my Facebook friends. It appears that approximately 2/3 or more (at the time of writing) do in fact stream music on their phones from the internet while traveling in a car.

Based on this conversation, and those with my friends, the spot seems effective in opening up dialogue and definitely getting stuck in our heads, but does this make me want to switch phone carriers? No. But maybe that’s because I’m still on my parents’ family plan. Could it be effective on someone who is considering switching carriers? Based on my informal research, I don’t see why not.

From both the dialogue opened by this commercial, as well as my informal poll on Facebook, I have learned that one of the most important aspects of advertising a product or service is understanding the target audience and consumer. In AT&T’s case, because many people my age replied that they do stream music in the car, it seems they have a good grasp on what our demographic demands of their service and products. I suspect this spot’s angle would be extremely effective among twenty-somethings, however, I’m not sure how it would be on my parents. Therefore, for the rest of my time working alongside the push team, I will work to constantly remind myself to think about our client’s consumers and what they want or need.

I’m Liz, but my friends call me Nugget … Don’t ask. I’m 22 years old and spending my summer interning at an advertising agency called pushtwentytwo. Each week I’ll be dipping into the different aspects of agency life and serving up supersized chunks of insight  about my experience at push, things I’ve learned about the advertising industry and much more.

 

 

ROCHESTER COLLEGE APPOINTS PUSHTWENTYTWO AS AGENCY OF RECORD

Rochester College, an accredited four year undergraduate institution with campuses in Rochester Hills, Clinton Township, Southfield and Flint, Mich. has selected pushtwentytwo as its advertising agency of record (AOR). pushtwentytwo, based in Pontiac, Mich. is an integrated marketing agency.

Rochester College tapped the agency to develop and execute strategic digital, online and broadcast advertising campaigns to generate targeted consumer awareness of the College and its educational offerings. The College offers specialized extended learning programs in nursing, business, education, psychology and religious studies.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to serve Rochester College with our unique marketing approach,” Michael Verville, partner, pushtwentytwo. “Businesses are constantly trying to discover what motivates their customers, and we believe that colleges are not any different. Rochester College is in a unique position to provide existing and perspective students with diverse and competitive programs to help them grow confidently in their career. We are thrilled to apply our expertise to support the institution’s growth and strategy.”

This latest addition expands pushtwentytwo’s growing practice into higher education. The agency currently serves brands such as Crittenton Hospital Medical Center, Wittock Supply Kitchen & Bath, Walbridge, Champion Homes, and Lafayette Place Lofts.

“The addition of Rochester College to our client roster builds upon the agency’s upward business momentum over the past two years,” said Verville. “It also helps to further develop our core business focuses to include higher education, thus allowing us to serve companies and organizations across many facets of the industry.”

To further exemplify pushtwentytwo’s growth, the agency has also been retained to provide strategic branding council and marketing communications support for the Michigan Association of CPA’s (MACPA) and TTi Global, a worldwide workforce development agency.

 About pushtwentytwo
pushtwentytwo is an integrated marketing communications agency that is focused on propelling clients ahead by offering original solutions to their marketing problems. The agency provides a unique blend of strategic thinking and creative implementation in the following industries: automotive/manufacturing, IT, residential and commercial building, healthcare, and professional and financial services. pushtwentytwo provides branding, advertising, new media solutions, public relations, and investor relations to help clients move forward, thinking. For more information, call 248-335-9500 or visit www.pushtwentytwo.com.

Public Relations: From a Workshop to the Working World

During my last semester at college my roommate convinced me to do a three day PR workshop with her through the university’s Communication Studies department. Despite having to give up my entire weekend, I decided the pros outweighed the cons and went for it.

“Wait, Megan, what’s PR anyway?” I asked.

“Public Relations,” she answered.

“Yeah, but like…. What does that even mean?”

“I guess we’ll find out on Friday?”

We had no idea what to expect, but were intrigued by what we would be learning. The weekend workshop was organized by a Michigan alumnus who is the VP of Public Relations at Hearst Corporation (which includes magazines such as Elle, Seventeen, and Cosmopolitan). The workshop consisted of several alumni panels and presentations about all aspects of PR such as event planning, social media, cultivating relationships with the media, and so much more.

Over the past few months I have been able to see many of the things I learned about in that workshop come to life here at push. This includes working on press releases, pitches, media lists, and of course this blog. Below are some words of advice I received during that workshop and how I’ve seen or experienced their importance while working with push’s PR team.

1. Being a good writer is the most important skill you can have.

I’ve helped Corinne, push’s PR guru, write press releases, pitches, and these blog entries. I now understand why the alumni told us that writing skills are imperative— it seems to be the majority of the job! Keeping up your writing skills is also important because the required writing is not simply an internal email to your colleagues — it is for the public eye. How embarrassed would you feel to publish a piece full of mistakes and have your name on it? I personally shudder at the thought of periods outside of quotation marks!

 2. PR is about telling a story.

Recently, I was asked to write two pitches — one for push, and one for a client. I had heard of a pitch at the workshop, but we hadn’t really gone over examples. I didn’t know where to begin. Corinne told me there was no right or wrong way to do it — because pitching is simply telling a story in a condensed fashion. Sometimes, this can be challenging, because no one wants to read a boring story. It forces us to think creatively. No, the “creative” part of the agency isn’t contained within the designated creative team. It permeates into all aspects of agency life in order to be successful.

And a word of advice from the media panel:

3: Do not pitch people in the media stories on topics they don’t cover.

As I’m currently working on a media list related to one of our new clients, this advice becomes even more obvious. For example, why would a political writer be interested in our pitch about an auto client? This seems obvious, but it takes time to find out who in the area would be interested in a particular story or field. It isn’t about sending a pitch to a million different writers or anchors, but specifically ones who have a professional or personal interest in the story you have to offer. There is a better chance they’ll pick it up. And according to the media panel, offering to take them to lunch doesn’t hurt either.

I’m Liz, but my friends call me Nugget … Don’t ask. I’m 22 years old and spending my summer interning at an advertising agency called pushtwentytwo. Each week I’ll be dipping into the different aspects of agency life and serving up supersized chunks of insight  about my experience at push, things I’ve learned about the advertising industry and much more.

22 Piece Nugget: The Big Three

Since beginning my internship at push earlier this summer, there are three experiences that I am thankful for:

1. Learning about online advertising: Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to sit in on a meeting about online advertising opportunities for one of push’s newest clients. I had never been exposed to how online advertising worked, so I jumped at the chance to sit in when I saw the meeting on the daily schedule. I learned that online advertising can be extremely useful because it allows you to target a specific audience, whether this is based on geography, demographics, or even online behavior. This seems particularly important today as more and more people are using the internet as their primary source of, well, everything.

2. Writing this Blog: Working on entries for this blog is an ongoing process and has been a series of mini-lessons in itself. (Huge thanks to Corinne for having the confidence in me!) Overall, it has allowed me to practice and fine-tune my writing skills for the public eye. The peer review process in my college courses was a dreaded, anxiety-filled day. Call me shy? Not only am I becoming a more confident writer, but I am building a public portfolio of writing samples for the future.

3. Tiger’s Game: During my second week of work the entire office went downtown for a Tigers game (via party bus!). Since

The pushtwentytwo team at a Tigers game

I was new to the office, getting to know the push team in a social setting helped me become more comfortable working with them in an office setting. Sometimes what happens outside of the office is just as important. Check out how good we look outside the stadium – credit to Marisa’s Instagraming skills. No credit to me for the farmer’s tan I got that day.

I’m Liz, but my friends call me Nugget … Don’t ask. I’m 22 years old and spending my summer interning at an advertising agency called pushtwentytwo. Each week I’ll be dipping into the different aspects of agency life and serving up supersized chunks of insight  about my experience at push, things I’ve learned about the advertising industry and much more.