Digital , Marketing & PR , Creative , Virtual Events , Strategy

Yes& at the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit & PR Summit DC


Yes& sponsored the 2021 Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit and PR Summit DC, where members of our team joined industry leaders in person for the region’s premier event for marketing, communications, public relations, public affairs, and media practices.  

The one-day event was packed with sessions on emerging trends and technologies, reaching target markets, navigating a post-pandemic marketing landscape, and finding the balance of prioritizing employee health, culture, and results. We had the privilege of moderating a panel on ‘Top Tips for Working with the Government Defense Media.’ In case you missed out on the fun, we’ve gathered a few of the Yes& team’s biggest takeaways:


Know Your Audience and Be Quick Communicating What Matters


A brand should think about social media as if being invited to a big dinner party. Be glad you’re included, bring wine, and participate. But be a good guest and abide by the rules… A remedy for post-pandemic information overload is “speed to value.” How fast can you get to the point that a prospect understands the value you are able to provide?... The Washington Post has a full-time staffer devoted to only one social media channel. That’s an indication of how brands need to staff and resource their communications departments. 

Bob Sprague, President and CEO


It’s vital to know your audience when pitching reporters. Learn what journalists care about. Make sure ALL story pitches are newsworthy and relevant to the reporter’s beat, and keep up with what the report is covering – it may have changed. For social media channels, focus more on engagement and building community rather than just blasting out messages and churning out content (avoid sales/marketing messages!) – align your goals with building quality content that is relevant to each audience and creates a conversation that helps build brand awareness for your company.

Chris Gensch, Public Relations Manager 


The speakers in the Unleashed Technologies session (two ex-employees) told me that they felt that they got a lot of blank stares when it came to the audience understanding the role of data collection/data collection technology and how to apply that to personalization… Facebook's ban on third-party cookies was talked about in the ‘CRM in a Cookieless World’ session with a stress on the need to collect and use first-party data. This puts an emphasis on capturing that data creatively pulling it from backend systems to create a personalized experience. 

Tracy Betts, SVP, Digital Innovation 


IMG_1499 3A.J. Guenther, Yes& VP of Public Relations moderating the panel 'Top Tips for Working With Government, Defense Media'


Prioritize Employee Culture and Inspire Your Team

Krystal Putnam-Garica, CMO FiscalNote from the session 'CMO and Communications Directors Roundtable' talked about making conversations around mental well-being and mental health at work a priority. It really resonated with me. Our new way of working lends itself to longer days and less 'escape' when we are done as many of us are still working from home, and we need to make time to check in with the individuals on our teams. 

Carmel McDonagh, SVP, Account Management B2G


The thing that stood out for me is how many CMO’s across a few of the panels talked so much about their employees, creating a culture where their employees could thrive and have their different perspectives appreciated. In the ‘Tomorrow’ session on the Stage in the afternoon, the panelists were asked ‘Where do you find inspiration?’ and they talked a lot about ‘I find inspiration from the people I work with. It’s good to surround myself with people who are smart and think differently than me, challenge me, and push me to be better.’

Jeff Novak, SVP, Head of Account Management  


People are rejecting the work by day and do good by night corporate model. Think of the Bruce Wayne/Batman example. His company’s malfeasance created all the all the arch criminals he battles, e.g., Joker fell into a vat of Bruce Wayne industry chemicals and became Joker as a result. Companies need to ensure that they are acting in the public interest and if they don’t, it is their employees that will out them first.” – ESG, Data Informed Communication session… “With increased scrutiny on corporate behavior, the role of Corporate Communications Officer is paramount. It needs to have the budget for technology and management oversight that would enable the holder of this position to prevent messaging disasters that are inconsistent with the organization’s mission or can negatively impact the company.” – summary of statements from Frank Tramble, Vice President of Communications and CCO, Howard University.

Pava Cohen, Director of Capture Management


Trust seemed to be a major theme across all sessions — what are agencies doing to build trust with organizations and what are those organizations doing to build trust with their stakeholders? Now more than ever, people crave trust and seem to be wary of anything that feels transactional. Customer-centric marketing means thinking about how your product or service can solve the customers’ challenges rather than your own. In the panel ‘B2B Marketing: The Latest Strategies & Thinking,’ Nora Conklin of NowSecure suggested that organizations can work toward building trust by developing marketing strategies that start with a focus on increasing engagement rather than immediately seeking a direct response.

Sarah Ross, Director of Business Development



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