Going Digital: Changes in the Advertising and PR Industry

Four Texas State University alumni with diverse backgrounds put on a presentation giving students advice on how to succeed in the ever-changing world of advertising and public relations. All four are part of the Fleishman-Hillard Digital firm in Austin. Brad Mays, who graduated summa cum laude from Texas State University in 1996, opened the presentation with words on the current state of the industry.

“It’s not really a static change,” Mays said. “Things are constantly changing.”
Much of the presentation focused on the importance of integrating different methods and strategies in order to put forth a current, attention-holding product. Mays suggested that the way they form ideas and concepts as a group isn’t a linear road, but more of an intersection, also advising students to constantly stay current with new technologies, and keep a constant lookout for the next big thing.

“What might be really cool now, six months from now might not even be on our radar,” Mays said.

Mike Cearley, who received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Texas State University in 1997, presented a statement that summarizes what Fleishman-Hillard is all about: “Relationship focused. Channel agnostic. Insights driven.”

Cearley described the strategies employed by Fleishman-Hillard representing Chevy at the SXSW festival in Austin this year, one of which was the Chevy Volt Recharge Lounge. The lounge was clad with power strips baring the Chevy logo and the words “plug into Chevy,” so festival goers could charge their phones, get some rest, and have a beverage. Sarah Fulton graduated from Texas State University last December and now works for Fleishman-Hillard. She described the concept behind the lounge.

“That represented what Chevy was doing at the festival, just adding value,” Fulton said.

The group also set up a “road trip” which gave several groups from various parts of the country Chevy vehicles to travel to SXSW, asking only that these groups documented their experiences on the road.

“It wasn’t about the brand at all…it was about the experience,” Cearley said.

Miker Stovall graduated from Texas State University in 1997, and gave students advice on how to stay relevant in the world of advertising and public relations.

“Be entertaining, be useful, or be ignored.”

He also described the group’s diversity, pointing out how each of them has a specialized expertise, and left students with a positive message on how to put themselves in a good position post-graduation.

“Keep studying and keep learning,” Stovall said. “That’s how you’re gonna get ahead, and that’s how you’re gonna get a job.”

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