An AE's first campaign launch

An AE's first campaign launch

By Adam Pincus

The project objective was clear — create a master brand and execute a successful global campaign. This was a daunting task that turned into an invaluable learning experience for this Account Executive at his first agency job.

It started in January, running point for Grok, working together with the agency’s CEO Julie Bauer and our client — Cision VP of Marketing Nick Bell. It ended after a six-month process, and led to Cision going public at the New York Stock Exchange.

The campaign Grok and Cision created — a new logo, brand film and other marketing materials — provided three important pointers for any young advertising employee:

1. Keep learning

Coming from journalism school at the University of Florida, and a two-year stint as a Sports Illustrated Web Editor, Cision made for a natural transition into advertising. The PR software leader worked in the same space I had just left.

The tangential connection wasn’t enough though.

Grok’s onboarding process provided tools to succeed, but it was up to me to use them. Learning anything, and everything, about my client became priority #1— acquisitions, industry trends, names and faces; they all helped in the creative process.

To keep learning is to put yourself in a position to thrive and as with any campaign, you don’t know what you need until you need it. When Cision execs arrived at the Grok offices for a GrokShop™, I could relate with the clients. When Account Supervisor Casey Lewis joined the team, I could brief her quickly and efficiently. And now, I had someone who I could learn from to help us get to the finish line.

2. Plan ahead

Cision announced plans to go public three months into our partnership — 3 years ahead of schedule. Certainly an exciting time for our clients and the team, but also one of trepidation. IPOs are kind of a big deal.

Will we have the assets ready to go? Does the timeline match up? What extra content will be needed?

Any question, it turned out, had answers. By planning ahead, Casey and I helped Grok handle an IPO in less than three months. As the AE, I drove this process by coordinating timing with our creative team and handling the budget. Grok’s nimble nature, and my team’s organizational skills, made things easier.

By the time we did get the bell-ringing date, all the assets were ready to be delivered.

3. Find the story

None of the learning and organization would’ve mattered had we not had the story to match. After leaving SI, I never thought storytelling would follow me to an agency. To my surprise, storytelling defined this rebranding campaign.

It wasn’t enough to conduct employee interviews and customer focus groups to develop Cision’s brand strategy. We had to use this research to find and craft the Cision story.

That clearly defined story aided Grok to better execute a campaign which capped in a landmark day at the NYSE — a day this editor-turned-account-guy will never forget.

I walked into Grok on January 2 with a client and objective but no idea where they’d take me. Standing on the floor of the NYSE six months later, I didn’t mind the view.

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