Diane Seimetz, Launch Principal, offered her take on Journalism and Mass Communication Education at the recent Idea Summit hosted by the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication (ASJMC). The topic of the Summit, held at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, was “The changes I would make in Journalism Education.”
Communications professionals, including Seimetz, came to discuss what Journalism majors — and the corresponding curricula — are doing right and critical areas for improvement. The event focused on the perception that there are no new jobs in these professional fields, and the consequent dwindling numbers of students in these majors. In attendance were eminent presenters and academics from some of the most respected mass communication schools including Syracuse, Trinity Tech, TCU Schieffer, BYU, Missouri and Scripps College of Communication.
“The topline to the students was that the world still uses pictures and words to tell stories,” explained Seimetz. “The need for that skillset and talent hasn’t changed.”
In addition, “Students should be held to real-world timelines and more realistic deadlines. They should be taught how to concept quickly and accurately, and call upon that creativity at a moment’s notice to survive in their first jobs out of school. Inspiration is capricious, but creativity is on demand.” Seimetz proposed pointers on “how to do things quickly” and “how to articulate and present ideas well.” She contended that good ideas are often lost because someone couldn’t sell them.
Seimetz suggested class topics with more immediate, and practical application, such as: “How to Have a Two Way Conversation with Your Audience,” “How to Change Your Voice When You Change Medium,” “How to Sell Something in 140 Characters” and “Writing for an Audience with the Attention Span of a Gnat.”
One of her key takeaways was that because the lines between advertising, marketing, and journalism are blurring, there are new opportunities for students who understand aspects of all three and possess the skills to utilize them. Most current courses offered in these programs are attribute-driven as opposed to benefit-driven. Shifting this paradigm could help students in their approach to solving problems and critical thinking.
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Last month, Launch welcomed its newest copywriter, Ryan Ingram.
Originally from Texas, Ryan heeded the siren song and returned to Texas after an 8+ year stint at Ogilvy & Mather New York.
Ryan graduated from Texas Tech and jumped into the advertising industry at Ogilvy Houston and, later, JWT Houston before heading to New York. During his career he has created successful and award-winning work for blue chip brands such as American Express, IBM, Motorola, Shell and Pfizer, to name a few.
Ryan is a connoisseur of culture as well as a secret lover of romantic comedies. He thinks Point Break is a severely underrated movie. One of his roughest days in memory was the day Lost ended. Now he lives out his own romantic comedy with his wife, his 15-month old son, and a lack of sleep.
As Ryan turns his gaze to Launch’s client roster, we turn ours to his Q&A.
Q: What is your favorite children’s movie?
A: The Dark Crystal. It was creepy, trippy, and I don’t know what was
going on, but it was awesome.
Q: Favorite “That’s what she said” quote?
A: “This doesn’t do it for me.”
Q: Do you currently hold any Guinness World Records? If not,
which are you most likely to achieve in the near future?
A: I don’t, but it would be consecutive hours in a tanning bed
without anything happening. I’m really white.
Q: If you were a toaster what kind of toast would you make?
A: I would toast bacon, extra crispy, or beef jerky, or slim jims.
Something with meat.
Q: How will the world end?
A: Exactly like Independence Day without Will Smith, 30-minutes in.
Launch is happy to have Ryan helming a pen, paper, word processor and concepting on its – and its clients’ – behalf.
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March is Launch’s anniversary month, so the agency celebrated in style with an agency dinner March 10th, at the exceptional Steve Field’s restaurant in Plano. The eight-year anniversary party was an evening of fine food, fabulous friends, and shared stories of hard work, great creative and success.
There was only one requirement for entry to the dinner, a contribution of personal insight gained from tenure at Launch. As the staff of 25 went around the massive table between delicious courses, each regaled with agency experiences, inside jokes, and office anecdotes.
It began with a few comically photoshopped pictures of staff members and continued with hilarious memories of office pranks. Diane Seimetz was even awarded the title of Creative Gangsta complete with a giant plush crown.
But the tone of the evening echoed strongest in the unanimous expression of gratitude the employees felt toward Launch and their peers. The heartfelt laughter and camaraderie remained even as the employees called it a night.
Now, with eight years of strategic and insightful work behind them, Launch prepares for eight more. The agency is ready with new surprises and renewed dedication to the clients and communications that made it what it is today.
Happy Anniversary, Launch, and may there be many more to come.
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Neither wind, nor rain, nor snowpocalypse could prevent Art Director Ellen Marquart from her first day at Launch Agency this past February.
Ellen’s overland adventure from Atlanta to Dallas, lasted 3 days through icy roads and bewildered Southern drivers. Now that she joins Launch she can continue her work in art direction, graphic design, and popular cultural studies. A self-diagnosed pop culture nerd (read aficionado), Ellen is addicted to television and popular entertainment.
Born in Brazil, Ellen moved to Houston when she was 3. After relocating again to attend a Southern Adventist University in Tennessee, she went on to the Johnson Group, and then N+A Advertising in Atlanta.
To better understand the mind of Launch’s newest AD, the Q&A was tailored to plumb the inner depths of her psyche. Read on to find out even more about her.
Q: What is your spirit animal?
A: A hummingbird
Q: Who would play you in the feature/art film/made-for-TV movie about your life?
A: Michelle Williams. I stole her haircut. So they wouldn’t have to pay for a stylist.
Q: Play, opera, or symphony? TV, movie, or concert?
A: All of the above.
Q: Are you now or have you ever been employed by the CIA or any other clandestine agency?
A: I haven’t but it’s always been a secret dream of mine.
Q: What is the most awkward / unfortunate elevator conversation you have ever had?
A: I haven’t ridden a lot of elevators in my life but I did have a very extensive conversation about hand sanitizer with a man on a plane once.
Q: Celebrity you’d most like to meet.
A: Zachary Levi (Chuck, Tangled)
Q: Best movie 1-liner?
Ellen’s talent and skills enhance the Launch creative firepower and bring female flair to the art directors. Please join us in welcoming her!