BIC Helps Sandy Hook Promise Prevent Gun Violence In Schools

12/20/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

On December 13, 2018 – one day shy of the sixth anniversary of the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School – four teams of BICsters presented campaigns to client partner Sandy Hook Promise. All of the teams had the same mission: to help stop violence before it starts.

The strategically driven year-long integrated campaigns leveraged traditional, online, social, mobile, digital, and experiential communications to inspire students to start SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) clubs. Judging the Client Pitch were Bob Flynn, Programs Director at Sandy Hook Promise and Strategist Michael Doody. Professor Katina Scott oversaw the BICsters' efforts, with Brianna Bishop providing creative expertise.

Each of the teams developed a unique approach, from encouraging teens to channel their own creativity to stopping violence one post-it note at a time to reminding students to act "before not when." In the end, Team Re:Vision won the day with their campaign titled "Power of You" which fights apathy by showing students their voices are heard and respected.

Past non-profit capstone clients have been The Grove School of Engineering, Columbia Children’s Health, The Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, and the UJA.

MSL Group Opens Doors to BIC PR Class of 2020

12/17/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

On December 6th, first year PR Trackers from BIC traveled to Columbus Circle to visit MSL, a global public relations agency that’s part of Publicis Groupe. Arranged by Professor Angela K. Chitkara to jump start the BIC PR Track, students met with Diana Littman, the new CEO of MSL; Michael Echter, Global Director of Corporate Communications & Marketing; Abisola Adekoya, Senior Sustainability Consultant; Paul Michael Marinello, Corporate Communications Manager; and Gina Larson, from Human Resources & Talent Recruitment.

The visit provided an eye-opening view of what it’s like to work in a leading PR agency. Through use case presentations on accounts such as Vick’s #TouchOfCare, the students learned why MSL believes public relations expresses its strength through the power of influence to create long-lasting impacts.

MSL leaders also shared what the industry expects from BICsters and others entering the industry and how to embrace opportunities to make a difference. Pro tips included: be a go-getter with a creative thinking mindset, have excellent writing & speaking skills,  expand their social media & data analytics knowledge and exhibit curiosity for new technologies such as AI and VR.

As BICster Carmela Vecchione stated, “The experience couldn’t have been any better. We’re now very excited about our next steps in the BIC program and our PR Branding Campaigns class in the Spring.”

PR Has No Boundaries - Sandra Stahl in Leaderspeak Series

12/12/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

In a recent interview with MediaBrief, founding BIC faculty member Sandra Stahl shared insights from her book The Art and Craft of PR, including her belief that there are no "traditional" PR people. Stahl, who teaches BIC's Branding Influentials course, chatted with MediaBrief as part of its Leaderspeak series which highlights "the most important news, reviews, videos, knowledge and more for the B2B professional consumer in the world of media, entertainment, new media, marketing, business, startups and more."

In the article, Stahl states "The holistic purpose of PR - not just one part of it or another - is what distinguishes our discipline and maintains its enduring value. This is our ability to use communications to create meaningful, trusted relationships that contribute to the achievement of larger goals. To me, there are no 'traditional' PR people. Any trained PR professional knows how important it is to be facile with new tools, new channels. We know how critical it is to be agile. The 'new stuff' doesn't define us or our discipline but how we use the 'new stuff' in service of our goals."

Stahl went on to speak about the biggest challenge in communications today: the 24/7 appetite for information. "Also a challenge is that the information out there may not be true. Anybody and everybody now has the proverbial megaphone. It can be difficult to discern fact from fiction. It's no wonder there is a crisis of public trust. The need for ethical communications has never been stronger and public relations is the discipline to lead the way."

Click here to read the article in its entirety. Read MediaBrief's review of Sandra Stahl's book The Art and Craft of PR here.

Barri Rafferty Inducted into ICCO Hall of Fame

12/10/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

The much deserved honors keep rolling in for BIC Advisory Board member Barri Rafferty. In 2017, she was inducted into the PR News Hall of Fame in Washington D.C. She was also the first woman to be named CEO of a top-five global public relations firm. And now, almost a year to the day later, she has been inducted into the International Communications Consultancy Organization’s Hall of Fame. The announcement took place Dec 7th at an event in London.

As President and CEO of Ketchum, Rafferty has helped spearhead a broad agency restructuring that strategically shifted the brand towards a communications consultancy. The move enabled the business to embed diverse communications specialists in client teams, rather than focusing on specific geographies.

Rafferty is an industry icon and in-demand BIC speaker. She recently returned to the City College campus to share her insights from the World Economic Forum in an @BIC Lecture titled "Notes From Davos." One of her most popular presentations in 2016, "Secrets of a Female CEO," unveiled juicy and enlightening secrets to her success.

Since joining Ketchum in 1993, Rafferty has held numerous strategic roles. She was named global president in 2016 and once led the group’s North America business. She also ran its global brand marketing practice and was director of the Atlanta and New York offices.

The industry veteran is an advocate for gender parity and female leadership. A founding member of the Omni women board under Omnicom, she has spoken extensively about unconscious bias, pay equity, and gender equality across multiple global stages.

A big BIC brava to Barri!

A member of BIC’s Advisory Board, Barri Rafferty is CEO and President of Ketchum, a top-five, global PR firm, and member of Ketchum's Global Leadership Council where she oversees Ketchum’s global offices, Ketchum Digital and Ketchum Sports & Entertainment (KSE). A frequent speaker on the topic of gender parity and unconscious bias, Rafferty has spoken at TEDxEast, and the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting. She is a founder of a women’s leadership network at Omnicom and a recipient of the Plank Center’s Milestones in Mentoring Award. Rafferty is on the PR Council’s board of directors and the national board of StepUp, an organization empowering girls from under-resourced communities to become confident, college-bound, and career focused. In 2017, she was inducted into the PR Hall of Fame.

TBWA is Adweek's Global Agency of the Year

12/03/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

A huge BIC congratulations to TBWA\Worldwide -- especially BIC board member Rob Schwartz, CEO of TBWA/Chiat/DayNY -- on being named the Global Agency of 2018 by Adweek.
As noted in Adweek's December 4th article, "It's been a decade since the network last held the TBWA is once again producing culture-influencing work across the globe." President and CEO Troy Ruhanen has quietly assembled a strong roster of leaders across its global operation, including Rob Schwartz, who was moved into the role of CEO of TBWA\Chiat\Day New York. Since Schwartz took the helm, the midtown office has flourished. Revenue has soared 300 percent, with consistent yearly growth.

In 2018, from London and Los Angeles to Helsinki and Dubai, TBWA\Worldwide produced some of the world’s best advertising, grew its client roster in multiple regions, deepened its increasingly diverse leadership bench, expanded its foothold in key areas like China and built out new offerings that help redefine the value agencies can bring to clients.

The global agency welcomed a wave of new clients including Hilton, IMAX, McDonald's McCafĂ©, Dom PĂ©rignon, Belvedere, J-B Weld, WWF, Smashbox, Harvey Nichols, Peak Games, and Celebrity Cruises. And won new assignments from Nissan (shifted to the New York office), PepsiCo Australia, Adidas (projects, London and N.Y.), Uniqlo China and Singapore, McDonald's Latam, and Netflix Brazil.

With new leadership and a global footprint TBWA has once again entered a golden age of disruptive creativity. Read the entire article here.

A special BIC bravo goes to Rob Schwartz and his impact on the TBWA\Chiat\Day\New York office. Once described as a "CEO's Creative Director," Rob is that rare creative person who is fascinated by all aspects of a business and finds ways to create breakthrough platforms and campaigns that get results and build brands. We're thrilled to have him as a member of BIC's Advisory Board and congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition.

Merger? Or Manslaughter? Asks Michael Farmer's Ad Age Article

11/30/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

In a November 29th Ad Age article, BIC Professor Michael Farmer challenged the notion that the recent high-profile WPP mergers that formed VMLY&R and Wunderman Thompson are savvy strategic unions designed to optimize WPP capabilities. Instead, he describes them as industry-killing, cost-cutting measures that WPP has practiced since 1986.

As WPP’s growth and profitability have led to a serious decline in its share price, such moves seem justifiable, especially since they can be disguised as “strategic.” But as Farmer points out, “these mergers/cost reductions focus on the wrong problem. What's really killing agencies and holding companies is the declining level of agency fees and billing rates, and the uncontrolled growth of agency workloads.”

The article further states that if WPP CEO "Mark Read wants to make an enduring long-term impact at WPP, he needs to refocus his agencies on 'getting paid for all the work they do' at appropriate rates."

Such sage advice is more fully developed in Farmer's book Madison Avenue Manslaughter which is a starting point of classroom discussions in the Spring semester's B3003 Internal Management course, which he co-teaches with Rodes Ponzer.
To read the entire article, click here

Zontee Hou Named a Top B2B Marketing Influencer

11/27/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

In November, communications leaders and innovators gathered in San Francisco for the 13th annual MarketingProfs B2B Forum for four days of packed programming and networking. To help business marketers navigate the forum, TopRank Marketing published its annual list of top speakers. Once again, it featured BIC Professor Zontee Hou, President/Founder of Media Volery, who presented "How to Build Customer Loyalty Through Behavioral Economics and Big Data."

According to TopRank Marketing: "A variety of criteria go into such a ranking including the topical relevance of the content each influencer publishes, how much their networks engage with that content and the size of their networks with online data pulled from Twitter, blogs, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, SlideShare, and several other platforms. This is important to know, because many lists rely entirely on Twitter and we all know Twitter alone does not represent the entire social media universe."

To see the full 2018 program, click here.

Three BICsters in The Drum’s 50 Under 30

11/27/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

Every year since 2013, The Drum has published "50 Under 30," a list of high achieving women in creativity who have made their mark before the age of 30.

This year, the conversation-starting list includes three amazing BICsters: BBDO copywriter Vera Golikova Keiter from BIC's first graduating class, Ogilvy art director Amera Lulu from the BIC Class of 2019, and BBDO art director Delilah Kim, a current BIC instructor.

Vera and Delilah are a creative team at BBDO Worldwide working for brands such as Dunkin' Donuts, Pedigree, Band-Aid, J&J, AT&T and Dove Chocolate. They’re jointly teaching BIC’s Multi-Media course this fall. In addition to graduate studies and professional projects, Amera is passionate about using design to solve social issues and bring awareness to subjects like injustice, violence and discrimination.

The annual list sets out to celebrate female creative talent in the industry, highlighting their careers and plans for the future. It’s part of The Drum's ongoing commitment to champion the growing number of hugely talented young women blazing a trail in this sector, racing up the ranks, changing the world, and "caring not a jot for outdated notions around gender roles." It’s based on nominations from readers of this global media platform and curated with the help of a panel of industry experts.

See the whole story and full list here.

BIC and VMLY&R Hack For STEM

11/20/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

Why would 46 college students from 7 different disciplines spend 24 sleepless hours together? To problem-solve new ways to inspire girls to stay in STEM. The clock started ticking at 6PM on Friday, November 2nd as BIC kicked off this unique 24-Hour Idea Hack, a collaboration with VMLY&R, one of America’s most iconic ad agencies, and the Ad Council, one of the oldest public service non-profit organizations. With support from CCNY’s Zahn Innovation Center, the 24-hour session in Spitzer Hall attracted students from across campus, wrapping up at 4PM on Saturday afternoon when judges gathered to review the work and award prizes.

BIC students from all three tracks (creative, management/planning, and public relations) as well as undergrads from Ad/PR, economics, psychology, and engineering quickly formed teams of five to seven to start ideating new concepts for the Ad Council's "Empowering Girls in Stem" initiative. Their challenge: come up with new perspectives, ideas and technology-based solutions that create an emotional connection between young girls and STEM -- all in record time.

Ten coaches from VMLY&R and CCNY were on hand to provide guidance and help teams stay on track. Coaches included VMLY&R professionals Eric Ackley, Digital Experience Director, Fernando Martinez, Sr. Integrated Project Manager, Phillip Pastore, Associate Director of Creative, Katherine Piscatelli, Account Director, David Prince, Sr. Strategist, Rebekah Shufelt, Global Projects Director, and Jeff Small, Creative Technologist. CCNY coaches included Lynn Appelbaum, Professor, MCA Ad/PR, Gerardo Blumenkrantz, Acting Program Director, BIC, Javier Garcia, Adjunct Lecturer MCA Ad/PR, and Paul Kim, Adjunct Lecturer, Colin Powell School. The time flew by, with most of the students working through the night, sleeping in breakout rooms on air mattresses, sleeping bags, and on the floor. Gerardo Blumenkrantz was the only adult who remained at Spitzer throughout the night to provide support to the bleary-eyed teams.

CCNY adjunct lecturer and BIC alum Javier Garcia was impressed by all of the teams. "In just 24 hours, I've seen a new level of growth in the students. They'll bring a fresh perspective with them into the classroom they wouldn't have gotten otherwise. They've learned that everyone has something to offer - from different backgrounds and disciplines. It's about finding ways to help people have the confidence to have a voice."

On Saturday morning, 17 hours into the Idea Hack with little to no sleep, the teams continued working furiously on their solutions. At 4pm they put their game faces on to pitch their ideas to the panel of esteemed judges: Belle Frank, SVP Chief Strategy Officer of VMLY&R, Kesia Hudson, Executive Co-Director, Zahn Innovation Center; Monica Hunter, Assistant Campaign Manager, Ad Council; Catherine Patterson, Executive Creative Director, VMLY&R; and Ashley Gramby, Senior Marketing Manager, Girls Who Code.

Belle Frank found the IdeaHack especially rewarding because as a young girl she was discouraged from going into STEM. Nonetheless, she was able to find her way into research and today firmly believes STEM is important for the world as well as for girls. As a judge, she was looking for "A solution that helps people appreciate how numbers and data can help them in the world today; that helps them experience the beauty and utility of data as a philosophy and can be applied in a realistic way."
L to R: Alisha Amanda Torres, Melissa Lee BIC '20, Penelope Herrera BIC '20, Karla Jacome, Melissa Orr BIC '20, Carolina Perez, Daniel Gaston 
First Place. Team Stemtastic R US won $700 for their STEM Hive emblem mentoring system, where female college STEM students mentor high school girls and high school girls mentor middle school girls.
L to R: Ronald Sherill BIC '20, Raymond Sein BIC '20, Lorenzo Lasagna BIC '20, Julia Almonte, Kacy George, Carlos Matias BIC '20, Kamattie Singh BIC '20 (not pictured) 
Second place Team Femmestem won $500 for their SPARXSTEM solution, an IRL and digital network of resources for young girls to look to in their everyday lives.
L to R: Mohamed Amribet BIC '20, Carmela Vecchione BIC '20, Sanjana Chowdhury BIC '20, Everett Mitchell BIC '20, Sandy Qiu, Karina Gorodkin, Shane Tepper BIC '20
Third Place Team Mileva won $200 for their STEM Force comic book whose characters are based on historical women in STEM and use Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to solve everyday problems.

It took a small army of people to pull off this event. Special thanks to: Karen Wu, Global Talent Manager, Tasha Gilroy, Director, Inclusion & Community Global HR from VMLY&R; Kesia Hudson - Co-Interim Executive Director and Devin Voorsanger, Managing Director from Zahn Innovation Center; Katherine Olives, Program Associate, and Professor Lynn Appelbaum from CCNY MCA Ad/PR; Gerardo Blumenkrantz acting BIC Program Director, Nancy Tag BIC Program Director, and Marlene Leo Program Specialist from CCNY BIC.

More pictures in the Gallery.

ABOUT our partners

VMLY&R is a newly united WPP agency that combines the power of Y&R, one of the industry’s iconic agencies known for building many of the Fortune 500’s biggest brands, and VML, one of the most forward-looking agencies in today’s marketplace – blending award-winning creativity with deep expertise in digital marketing. Commenting on the recent union, former Global CEO of Y&R and BIC Board member David Sable said: “VMLY&R has been nearly 18 years in the making as we have worked to build two successful brands and develop partnerships together with clients such as Colgate-Palmolive, Dell and the U.S. Navy. I’m proud of this pinnacle moment as we are now able to provide clients one robust, seamless offering.”

The Ad Council is the largest producer of public service advertising. It uniquely collaborates with advertising agencies, media services, and business communities to develop pro bono campaigns with donated media to deliver informative and behavior-changing messages to the American public. Founded in 1941 to help sell war bonds, more than seventy years and hundreds of campaigns later, the Ad Council remains America's leading producer of public service communications, including "Smokey the Bear," "McGruff the Crime Dog," and "Love Has No Labels."

The Great Hall Welcomes Paula Scher & Erik Oberholtzer in @BIC's Breaking Brand

11/19/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

As part of its year-long 5th anniversary celebration, BIC held a blockbuster @BIC lecture on November 6th in CCNY's Great Hall featuring legendary designer Paula Scher of Pentagram in conversation with her client, Tender Greens co-founder Erik Oberholzter.  "Breaking Brand -- How Good Design is Great for Business" was moderated by Ina Saltz, Professor and former director of CCNY's Electronic Media & Design program.  

Scher began with a presentation outlining the design rationale behind a few of the iconic brands she helped shape over the years, including Citibank, The Public Theater, Microsoft, The Metropolitan Opera, and Shake Shack. 
Scher and Oberholtzer then got right to the topic at hand: how a brand like Tender Greens is defined and the ways in which the design process elevates that identity. Oberholtzer had decided to rebrand his California-centric fast-casual restaurant chain before embarking on an East Coast expansion. He was introduced to Scher by celebrated restauranteur Danny Meyer with this bold statement: "Paula is the best in the world. She’s in the design hall of fame. You and I are not. Trust her. She’s going to make you uncomfortable, but trust her. Let her take you somewhere amazing.”

Oberholtzer chuckled as he described Scher's visit to Los Angeles. "She visited five Tender Greens L.A. restaurants and spent most of the day insulting us; telling us how folksy and awful we were. But at the end she was able to extract those qualities that made us unique. Not in terms of design but in what we did; that every one of our restaurants has a fine dining chef and the menu changes daily at every restaurant based on the local ingredients available."

These two key differentiators inspired Scher as a designer. "Tender Greens is a lot like my design for Pentagram. It's a place for a chef to work. Each restaurant is not the same; it's based on the individual chef, who they're buying fresh market things from. It's not the same every day. The menu's going to change and the food is amazing. What was strange was the logo made Tender Greens look like a vegetarian place - which was confusing - and the restaurants seemed a little hippie. It didn't seem like something a New York audience would get culturally." 
For the new logo, Scher centered on the chef instead of the greens part of Tender Greens. "The new mark is a pot and a pan with the idea being you're talking about specials which change every day. The notion of getting back to the chef was the heart of what was driving this graphically and then the modernity and the clean-ness was stylistic, nuanced and right for the period but it was driven by what the place is. That's pretty much the way we work."
How did Oberholtzer feel about the design shift from greens to chef? "It let us put the focus on tender as well as greens. It let us highlight the emotion of the brand. How each restaurant IS its chef; how we work with foster youth or daily practices of mindfulness woven into our organization. We really are a heartfelt, heart-centered business in that sense. So it really helped us change the narrative."

The Tender Greens rebrand launched a a year ago. Saltz wondered if the rebrand had been controversial and whether Scher's good design has been good for business. Oberholtzer admitted he knew there'd be criticism and risk - especially with employees and customers who were with the company from the beginning. "It's emotional. People don't like change. But Paula warned me some people would react and that it would be OK. Truth is, I struggled with it. I sat in Paula's office and needed therapy. But as she said, the important thing to remember was we were designing for the future, not for the past."

The success of the company speaks for itself. When it opened 12 years ago, the first restaurant had lines out the door. Tender Greens now operates 28 locations -  including on the east coast. And Oberholtzer plans to double the number of restaurants by 2020.

See more photos of the event in the Gallery.

This @BIC event is the third in a series of high profile lectures celebrating BIC's 5th anniversary. In September, BIC hosted "The Future in Five" a panel discussion with IPG leaders from Golin, Weber Shandwick, McCann, and Facebook which was moderated by IPG Chair Michael Roth. Last month, Barri Rafferty presented "Notes from Davos," which provided insider insights on the global economic leadership conference. 

Over the years, @BIC Lecture Series has provided a platform for industry thought leaders, including Rob Schwartz, Rob Norman, George Lois, and Michael Farmer


Paula Scher is one of the most influential graphic designers in the world. Described as the master conjurer of the instantly familiar who straddles the line between pop culture and pop art, she has won every major design award on the planet. Scher began her career as an art director in the 1970s and early 80s, when her eclectic approach to typography became highly influential. In 1991, she became a partner in the New York office of Pentagram. Iconic, smart, and accessible, her images have entered into the American vernacular.

Erik Oberholtzer is co-founder and Executive Chairman of Tender Greens that started in 2006 with the goal of serving fresh, high-end food at affordable prices — a place that would take inspiration from the Golden State’s haute food temples such as Chez Panisse and democratize it for the masses. Oberholtzer's passion for food policy has made him a strong advocate for reform in food policy issues, which "serves his higher purpose.”

The event was sponsored by BRANDING + INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS (BIC), Electronic Design and Multimedia BFA Program, and The One Club for Creativity. Special thanks to Ina Saltz, Jennifer Bowles, and Mark Addison Smith for helping to bring our rock star guests to campus.