Case Study: Dugan Valva Contess
 
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Case Study: Dugan Valva Contess (DVC)
Leveraging an industry award to increase media and public awareness of a nationally renowned  New Jersey agency.

Background
PROMO Magazine, the leading publication in the promotion marketing industry, keeps its selection of Agency Of The Year a closely guarded secret. DVC was known to be a prime candidate for the honor. While tentative plans were "on the boards," nothing concrete could be accomplished until the "unveiling" of the winning agency. 
The announcement came on June 6. Kerry Smith, Editor-in-Chief of PROMO, was invited to DVC to make a formal presentation on June 13. BA was charged with coordinating press coverage. Our recommendation was to include public officials so that (1) area leaders could see DVC "in action" and (2) the press would have increased motivation for coverage. 

Chalenges 
1. Tight timeframe. BA had less than a week to pull the event together. 
2. Conflicting events. Murphy's Law was working overtime! Congressmen were needed in Washington D.C. for an important vote and county officials had plans to attend a convention in Atlantic City. 
3. Widespread indifference. "Why is this news?" "What's so important about an industry award?" BA noted a bit of attitude-correction was in order! 

The Berry Ecke Associates Approach 
BA seized on the opportunity to educate prominent citizens and the media about PROMO's credentials and the importance of the first ever New Jersey agency to be honored as Agency of the Year. The invitation faxed (to save time) to NJ state and local politicians included agency background highlighting the importance of the award to New Jersey. Follow-up calls to our contacts in offices throughout the state drew further attention to DVC as a "shining light" in the industry. 

Personal calls also accompanied mailings and faxings of news releases and media alerts to NJ media. Although they were familiar with DVC, the majority had not seen the agency "in action." For them, the tour included as part of the day's activities provided additional incentive to attend. 

Results
Despite stiff competition, a number of local officials juggled their calendars to accept our invitation. Others responded by sending personal representatives in their stead. 

Congressman Torrichelli had a flag raised at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. in honor of DVC. The presentation of that very flag to DVC principals became the highlight of the event. Later, the flag was raised on the flagpole at DVC, providing an excellent photo op. 

The Agency of the Year designation was integral to DVC's selection by Business News of New Jersey as one of the state's top 40 companies. A major feature followed. 

In addition to Business News, NJ Business, the Morristown Daily Record, Ad Week and the New York Times were among those who covered the award. Additionally, WMTR conducted an on-air interview with agency chairman, Peter Dugan. 

Months after the event, media interest in DVC continues to be high and the agency needs no introduction as an industry leader.


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