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MMC Appoints Kim Stokes Deputy Director of Digital Integration

kim stokes

Marina Maher Communications (MMC) has appointed Managing Director Kim Stokes to Deputy Director of Digital Integration, a newly created role at the agency.

Stokes manages the Digital and Social Media practice within the Creative Catalyst Group (CCG), overseeing digital and social media strategy and execution across the agency. She has deep experience developing social media strategy for consumer, healthcare and technology brands, including development and management of owned assets, brand reputation, product innovation, and influencer engagement.

“Since joining MMC in 2013, Kim has made an extraordinary contribution to MMC,” said MMC CEO Marina Maher.  “She has integrated social and digital strategy throughout the agency, and significantly contributed to agency growth.”

“Kim has the talent, the business acumen and the team to pioneer new ways to enable our clients’ brands to break through in the ever evolving integrated media landscape,” said Susan Bean, Executive Vice President of the Creative Catalyst Group.

Prior to joining MMC, Kim was Senior Vice President, Global Digital Strategy at Hill + Knowlton Strategies in New York. She led the digital practice for the Eastern Region and International in the U.S., advising clients on their online strategies for brand reputation, issue management and product or service launches.

Kim also spent seven years working in Beijing, China advising multi-national companies on their strategies for growth and is fluent in Mandarin.

MMC Receives Two Gold WOMMY Awards

 

WOMMY

MMC’s Ariana Finlayson accepts two Gold WOMMY’s at the WOMMA Awards Dinner

 

MMC has received two Gold WOMMY Awards at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Awards Dinner in Los Angeles.

The two awards went to:

  • Head & Shoulders for its “Season of the #Whiff” campaign:  “Introduction” Award
  • U by Kotex for its “Generation Know” program:  “Influencer” Award

According to WOMMA, the Introduction Award is given to “the best word of mouth communication program to introduce a new product or service.”   The Influencer Award honors “the most effective/creative use of an influencer marketing program to achieve a business outcome.”

The WOMMY Awards celebrate word of mouth marketing and recognize the industry’s most inspiring work.

MMC and Mederma Host First Media Shower

Mederma

Image Courtesy: Lady and the Blog

MMC and client Mederma® hosted the first-ever Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy Shower for mommy bloggers and expectant mothers at Alice’s Tea Cup in Midtown Manhattan.   Dermatologist Debra Jaliman educated media about pregnancy-focused skin care, including use of Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy, the #1 pharmacist recommended brand for stretch marks. There was high engagement among attendees, who shared their pregnancy stretch marks stories at the event and on their social channels.  Check out this post on Lady and the Blog by Tabitha St. Bernard, who is preparing to welcome her own little one soon.  More to come in the coming weeks.

 

MMC Honored as an Ad Age Best Place to Work

AdAge

Image Courtesy: Ad Age

MMC has been named one of the 40 Best Places to Work in Advertising & Media by Advertising Age. The agency was selected based on criteria such as hiring practices, benefits packages, salaries, office perks, workplace environment and design.  

The AdAge article said:  “Respondents described the 31-year-old firm’s culture as “empowering” and “invigorating,” citing an “entrepreneurial spirit” and a team structure that demands a lot but praises success even more. “I feel 100% set up for success,” one employee said.”

“MMC has worked hard to differentiate itself by creating the kind of culture that allows world class talent to flourish and rewarding them when they do,” said Diana Vienne, MMC’s EVP of Human Resources & Organizational Development. “Great talent today want a flexible and supportive environment where their contributions are meaningful and recognized.  At MMC, we encourage employees to pursue their passions and hold them accountable for their results. In return, our staff approaches everything with a “can do” spirit, sense of purpose and true collaboration.”  

Submissions were evaluated by Ad Age research partner Buck Consultants LLC, which crafted two surveys to find the companies with the best benefits and most-engaged employees. The employer survey asked about pay, promotions, health care and other benefits and hiring practices. The employee survey measured aspects of the workplace environment that contribute to an engaged staff, including matters such as fairness of pay, vacation time, relationships with management and co-workers, career development and other workplace issues.

Natalie Zmuda, deputy managing editor at Advertising Age, said, “With hundreds of companies applying and going through the rigorous employer and employee survey process for the 2014 Ad Age Best Places to Work list, the competition was tough. The organizations that rose to the top are incredibly deserving.”

 

You can read the Ad Age article here.  

MMC’s Susan Bean Outlines New Paradigm for Brand Communication at Holmes Global Summit

Summit

Susan Bean, EVP of MMC’s Creative Catalyst Group, moderated a panel at the 2014 Holmes Global Summit proclaiming that content, delivered through earned media, is now at the center of brand communication, and laid out a future where strategic use of paid media will amplify earned.

 

Her opening remarks for the panel, which included Jeff Pyatt from Outbrain and Olivia Herron from Curalate, are below:

 

The topic of our panel today is the “Hidden Power of Earned”. So let’s start with a fundamental question: What does “earned” mean in today’s world? What are the opportunities for our discipline in a media landscape where earning the consumer’s attention is increasingly the ONLY way to reach them.

 

Now, earning attention for the companies and brands we represent has always been at the heart of what we do in PR. Our legacy core competency has always been to look at the story a client has to tell and consider the value proposition for all of the possible messengers of that story, to create the context where the brand’s story becomes relevant. The other area in which we’ve always excelled is navigating, and frankly manipulating a complicated media landscape.

 

So when you consider the splintering of the media landscape in the past 20 years with the decline in the power of push advertising, where all media has essentially become permission based media…that’s a world in which we should WIN.

 

After all, it’s certainly not a world in which our friends in advertising naturally thrive. They’ve never had to create a context in which their messages earn people’s attention. And let’s face it, consumers have become experts in how to avoid advertising; they time shift past it. They customize everything they see to avoid it and no matter what mechanism the media buyers come up with next, they will figure out a way to get to that little red X to avoid content they don’t want to see. But earned content is the content they’ve opted into…the conversation they want to be a part of.

 

Earned storytelling also creates its own distribution engine. Because earned media – by its nature – travels on the power of what’s interesting to people. Yet, if we’re honest, we all know that PR is still struggling to claim its rightful place in the new media landscape.

 

And that’s what we want to address in this panel. That we are in a fundamentally DIFFERENT business than we were 10 years ago…even five years ago: we are now in the direct-to-consumer communication business.

So we need to become the creators of the earned content people engage with and experts in navigating an INTEGRATED media landscape, in which content, social, influencer…and yes, traditional media all create an echo chamber that uses multiple channels to create a shift in belief. A world where, instead of being the “amplifier” of advertising, earned media is at the center of brand communication and we are the masters of a new media universe in which strategic use of paid media… amplifies earned.

 

 

PR News Recognizes Two Members of the MMC Team

PR News

Image Courtesy: PR News

Two members of the MMC team have been named PR People Awards Finalists by PR News.

Amber Meredith, Deputy Director, Consumer Group, is a finalist for Agency Account Manager of the Year.  Meredith’s expertise is in strategic and creative brand building as well as her strong client management skills.  Recognized as an insightful collaborative leader on integrated agency teams, she has a passion for developing high-impact brand programs with paid, earned, owned and shared components that drive business results and deliver ROI.

Ronna Waldman, Vice President, Media Specialist, is a Media Relations Professional of the Year finalist.  With a background in national broadcast television, Waldman possesses a strong knowledge of the kind of stories and assets media require.  She marries these insights to client programs to create strong messaging with inherent news value.

Both Meredith and Waldman will be honored at PR News’ PR People Awards Luncheon in Washington, D.C.

 

MMC Ranked as a Top 10 Creative Agency

Holmes ReportImage Courtesy: The Holmes Report

MMC has been ranked in the Top 10 of The Holmes Report 2014 Global Creative Index.

Candidates are decided based off of The Global Creative Index, which analyzes entries and winners from twenty-five other PR programs worldwide.  The scores are then weighed via the Holmes Report formula.  The ranking also takes into consideration each agency’s staff size.  The Global Creative Index creates a “points per head” calculation which helps identify the most creative PR agencies in the world.

The 2014 ranking is the third annual analysis of creative excellence in the PR industry.

The Holmes Report stated, “The organizations and firms featured here should be commended for their commitment to breakthrough thinking.  Ultimately, we hope that this report, in particular the work it showcases, helps to elevate and inspire.”

To read more about The Holmes Report 2014 Global Creative Ranking, visit http://www.holmesreport.com/news-info/15543/Unity-And-Ogilvy-PR-Retain-Top-Spots-In-2014-Global-Creative-Ranking.aspx

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