LAC Students attend the AAF RDU Leadership Summit – Advertising Tunes up in Rough Times
December 9th, 2009

LAC Students attend the AAF RDU Leadership SummitWithout question, the economy and current global events have caused us to re-examine the world we live in from several different aspects. Industry professionals from Ogilvy, Howard Merrell & Partners, McKinney, Capstrat and Craig Jackson & Partners bring to us the inside story on advertising discussing traditional media, recession, strategy, branding and understanding cultural trends held at the AAF RDU Leadership Summit on Wednesday, November 18. Living Arts College – School of Communication Arts joins in with 18 students to hear from top advertising executives in the triangle. The main presentation was filled with lively, relevant discussion on advertising. LAC Instructor, Vince Gardner and School Director, Debra Hooper asked very poignant questions about how these companies are differentiating and parsing the new social media landscape.

“Newspapers are not dead, they are more customized.” – Kathy Pepper, Ogilvy

Is traditional media important given the major web trends in marketing and advertising? Kathy Pepper from Ogilvy discusses newspapers and their place in modern and digital media. Though newspapers appear to be a more primitive outlet for the news her opinion is it will remain, yet will be more customized.

LAC Students attend the AAF RDU Leadership SummitManaging a recession in advertising requires strategy. Some key points the panel discussion board provided include: Investigate how you are investing; Acquire new accounts and tap into new industries; Build your business and reinvent your brand; Ensure clear communication and team morale. As for instance, are you sticking with the trends going “Green”? How does your target market consume media?

“Clients all want more for less.” – Donna Mercer, Howard Merrell & Partners

Clients will always want more for less in a struggling economy. Donna Mercer from Howard Merrell & Partners suggests diversifying a department to accommodate a Clients’ need and, in turn, business grows. You have a unique opportunity to get them to give you a try. Know your Client, and design your advertising to appeal to them.

LAC Students attend the AAF RDU Leadership SummitSimplifying complexity, a good reputation, innovations, strategy, marketing, teamwork and execution are all important aspects to consider when choosing an agency which is why branding is important as well as a diverse portfolio. Focus on all aspects of your business not just cash flow.

“The concept of “flat” organizational business structures and professionals being agile, flexible and versatile were other key points of discussion. The upcoming BA program in Interactive Media Arts is designed to meet the challenge of training students to be “business creative social marketers” in today’s ever-changing digital landscape! ” – Matthew Kelly – Assistant Director of Education.

Now let’s talk about creative and media strategy for the recession! Mobile social marketing is not only a current and “big idea” trend it has had a great impact with corporations. Students entering into advertising should have working knowledge in digital media, good work ethics, and real world experience, write well and integrate this into every day life to stand out in the crowd.

LAC Students attend the AAF RDU Leadership Summit“I thought the Summit was very interesting and informative. It was a great networking opportunity and a great chance for anyone looking to break into the industry.” – Holly Rowland, Current LAC Student

All presenters could not stress enough the importance of new professionals being digitally savvy and having a passion for their trade. Virtually most businesses can make it in a thriving economy, but only the best businesses make it during the tough ones. Success happens when we focus on managing our assets, ourselves, employees, clients as well as keeping up with the trends.

Debra A Hooper
Vice President/Director
School of Communication Arts
@ Digital Circus