A Q&A with D6’s PR Services Team
What do you get when you gather some of D6’s brightest PR minds to discuss the state of their business, their most memorable campaigns, and what they see on the horizon for the industry? You get a lot of can’t-miss insights and 2022 predictions.
On the mic:
Rich Quigley—SVP, Group Director, PR Services, DEFINITION 6
Becca Reissman—VP, Account Director, PR Services, DEFINITION 6
Julia Heath—VP, Account Director, PR Services, DEFINITION 6
Nicola Blount—VP, Media Relations & Reporting, PR Services, DEFINITION 6
Nikki Kunkle—Account Manager, PR Services, DEFINITION 6
First things first: what you do is a bit…niche. How do you explain what PR Services is to your family and friends?
RQ: We are strategic partners to some of the world’s most recognized brands, and those that aspire to be. For these brands, which are all fighting for the same space, being seen and heard can be a huge challenge. Our PR Services team excels at developing and executing strategies that connect our clients with their audiences on TV and radio. And if that’s met with a blank look, I’ll just say, “We get our clients on TV,” and that generally suffices.
JH: I have a very cool job working with the media, and I help brands get on TV and radio and tell their story!
BR: I always ask people if they’ve ever seen a news interview where the anchor is talking to a guest in a box. Well, I’m behind the person in the box. Of course, that was from my production days, but it’s the easiest way to explain a media tour.
NK: While some people may describe their working environment as a zoo, I enjoy thinking of ours as a wildlife conservancy. With a deep respect for the nature of authenticity, each day we fiercely advocate on behalf of our clients and their brands to the media—to make their lives easier and to help create awareness among the audience that’s most important for their success and longevity.
NB: For those in the PR/Marketing/Communications space, I tell them I use long- and short-form storytelling and creative media strategy to concept, create, and distribute content that promotes thought leadership, provides actionable consumer takeaways, and increases overall brand awareness. For my uncle? I just told him last month that we “get clients and their stories on TV.”
What D6 campaign are you most proud of?
NK: For the last two years, we were engaged by a nonprofit to help with a campaign to advocate for and generate conversation around the No Surprises Act—which protects people from surprise medical bills.
On January 1, 2022, when I received the notification on my phone that the bill had officially become law, I felt such an immense sense of pride for being part of a team that affected change that betters the lives of millions of others.
BR: After losing a dear friend to metastatic breast cancer, the projects I do each October to help bring awareness to early breast cancer detection always make me proud. I feel like I’m giving back in her honor.
NB: A recent favorite was a content distribution segment for Crayola’s Scribble Scrubbies. The client came to us needing a broadcast win after another partner dropped the ball during the busiest month of the year. The entire project had to be concepted, developed, produced, and executed in seven days, with a tight distribution turnaround. It was a small but mighty project that allowed us to flex our client counsel, creative strengths, media strategy, and distribution networks. The project team—media relations, production, and media buying and monitoring—delivered outstanding content and strengthened a client relationship, resulting in immediate new work.
RQ: I’ll bend the rules a bit…I’m most proud of the important and diverse projects that we produced for our clients throughout the pandemic—ranging from the distribution of vital health news to virtual commencements, and supporting our clients as they return to business. It’s been very rewarding.
JH: Every time we work on a medical or nonprofit story, I feel like we are making a contribution to society. A perfect example: The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to remind parents to stay on top of their children’s vaccinations and regular checkups, as well as checking in on mental health—a very important message during these difficult times. We arranged interviews with their Chief Medical Officer on TV and radio stations across the country to get this message out.
Tell us about a campaign or project you just can’t get out of your head.
JH: 1-877 KARS 4 KIDS…you’re welcome. 😉
BR: Thanks a lot, Jules. Now that’s the only thing coming into my mind as well. Okay… I also love Dove’s “Real Beauty campaign.” It was a game changer for so many women. And to brag a little, I was lucky enough to work on the PR launch for the campaign back in ’04.
NB: I have a soft spot for all things Nike. Their marketing campaigns tell stories, are socially relevant, and visually reflect the world around us. They also make me want to run—emphasis on want to. My current favorite is the “You Can’t Stop Us” campaign from 2020.
NK: Campaigns involving athletes are so compelling. Even when it’s not about performance, they stick with you. When Taco Bell released the $5 Box in 2010, they tapped Charles Barkley as their spokesperson, and in the 11 years since, anytime someone mentions any kind of box I hear, “What comes in this box? This box that rocks?”
Time to break out the 🔮. What’s next in PR Services?
NB: Authenticity. It’s been an industry buzzword for several years, but I think the pandemic has accelerated the call to action and heightened the need for more diverse points of view in marketing, communications, and media. And I believe it’s not only a call for more authenticity in storytelling but for more honesty, compassion, and empathy in our workplaces.
JH: We never thought it would be possible to do TV interviews virtually from a home computer and yet, here we are. (Thanks Zoom!) I think we will continue to see more and more brands working at grassroots levels and reaching consumers through technology.
BR: At the risk of sounding like everyone else, the Metaverse. It’s what’s next for everything. I also think we are going to continue to see a shift to more platform-based content, and that will expand to include all our television watching—like live news programming.
RQ: We recently started a Metaverse Slack channel at D6, so it’s officially a thing now (lol)…though I remember brands rushing to Foursquare, so there is a part of me that wants to sigh and say, really? But then I think about our COVID-era lives and how reliant we are on digital tools to keep us connected to one another, and I can see it all converging in a heightened digital world. And that world may have all the same PR and marketing opportunities as the physical world. So, what does a PR activation or media tour look like in the Metaverse? Stay tuned…
Whether the future of PR is in the Metaverse or beyond, we’re confident that this group of D6’ers will be out in front, pioneering the new ways brands and organizations get stories told.
DEFINITION 6 is an award-winning customer experience agency that has combined strategy, creative, and storytelling for more than 20 years. Based in Atlanta and New York City, with satellite offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, DEFINITION 6 is behind high-performing experiences and top campaigns for leading brands like Nextdoor, LL Flooring, Paramount+, CBS Sports, and Barnes & Noble College. For more information, visit definition6.com.