Hirons Welcomes Six New Hires: Agency’s digital and Creative Departments Continue to Grow

Hirons welcomes six new hires
Agency’s digital and creative departments continue to grow

Indianapolis — Hirons Advertising and Public Relations has made six strategic hires in multiple departments to bolster an already talented staff.

John Molloy, Carrie Marsteller and Luke Woody-Fehribach join Hirons’ creative department.

Molloy joins Hirons as executive creative director and brings a wealth of experience on regional, national and international brands along with numerous local and regional ADDY awards. His work has been showcased in such prestigious annuals as Communication Arts Advertising and Design, LogoLounge and Graphics.

Marsteller makes her return to Hirons as an associate art director. A graduate of the Herron School of Art and Design, she spent her senior year interning at Hirons before relocating to New York City. There, she worked for many well-known clients including Bayer Diabetes and Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol with brands such as Smirnoff, Ciroc and Crown Royal.

New associate art director Woody-Fehribach comes to Hirons as a recent graduate of Ball State University, where he majored in advertising and creative development. Woody-Fehribach interned with Barn-Find Productions (where he won a creative Emmy for his photography work), Redwall LIVE and Cardinal Communications.

Hirons also welcomes Jake Miller as a senior producer, Meghan Hamm as digital media strategist, and Chloe Lyzun as management coordinator.

As a senior public relations consultant and producer, Miller brings his award-winning talents as a former TV news anchor and reporter to Hirons. As a journalist, Miller has covered stories from natural and man-made disasters to the Super Bowl. A native Hoosier, Miller studied telecommunications, marketing and anthropology at Indiana University.

Hamm will serve Hirons as digital media strategist — a new position on the Hirons roster. She will be focusing on digital strategy in marketing campaigns. Prior to joining Hirons, Hamm managed online marketing at an ecommerce company. Hamm is a graduate of Butler University, where she received a double bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing/international business.

Lyzun has been promoted from intern to management coordinator. A graduate of Butler University with a degree in public relations and advertising, she previously interned with Live Nation, MOKB Presents and Do317 prior to joining Hirons.

“We are thrilled to add outstanding talent to the Hirons team as our year comes to a close,” said Tom Hirons, president and CEO of Hirons. “2015 will undoubtedly bring bold work as a result of our brilliant and enthusiastic staff.”

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About Hirons

Hirons Advertising and Public Relations, established in 1978 by Tom Hirons, is headquartered in Indianapolis and is ranked as both a top 100 advertising and top 100 PR firm in the U.S. Hirons is a digital leader in advertising, public relations, public affairs and media buying. Hirons’ clients include leading private, public and nonprofit sector organizations locally and nationally. Hirons is an employee-owned company. For more information, find Hirons on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Hirons provides a collegial work environment fueled by innovation and passion. Peer mentoring and collaboration inform everything we do, from conceptualizing to presenting award-winning solutions to our clients. Hirons employees are more than just worker bees; they’re actual owners of the company. In 2013, Hirons transferred ownership of the company to a trust on behalf of its employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. By giving our employees the keys to the agency (literally and figuratively), our team is uniquely motivated to produce the very best work possible — after all, we own the place.

To learn more about potential employment opportunities, visit http://hirons.wpengine.com/contact/career-opportunities/.

Intern Spotlight: Emma Miller

Intern Spotlight: Emma Miller

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Name: Emma Miller
School: Indiana University, Fairbanks School of Public Health
Major: MS in Biostatistics, MPH in Epidemiology
Internship title: Communications Management Assistant
Hobbies: Hanging out with friends, traveling, watching mindless television shows and playing soccer

Duties at Hirons:

  • Facilitate communications for public relations and advertising initiatives to ensure timely response to clients, task coverage, data management, quality control, and intra-company cooperation
  • Draft scopes of work, project timelines, meeting agendas, communications plans, press releases, messaging, and collateral copy for client accounts
  • Track media coverage and follow up with media contacts to ensure placement of client pieces
  • Worked as a member of the branding team for Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management to develop a presentation, talking points, social media strategy, and messaging for the new STEM focus

Favorite part about interning at Hirons:

A small company like Hirons facilitates teamwork and nurtures friendships among co-workers. I have had the pleasure of working with a number of talented individuals, all of whom bring a unique perspective to Hirons and the creative process. This has enabled me to see how the same task can be approached from a variety of different ways. The people here seem to really care about identifying your talents and integrating them into the work that you do. At the end of the day, we support each other at work and in our personal lives. You never feel alone here!

Also, we are a dog friendly office (and this girl loves dogs). There are usually two to three dogs roaming the office at any given time, which really helps the office mood during high-stress times of trying to get a project out the door. Our furry friends remind us to take a break every now and again.

What have you learned during your time at Hirons? How does this opportunity relate to your career goals?

The skills I have cultivated at Hirons are highly transferable to the public health field. Being able to effectively convey your thoughts through written and verbal communication means that you will be successful in the business world regardless of your role. Most importantly, I have learned that you should treat yourself as your number one client to ensure that your actions are conducive to your end goals.

Most difficult aspect of the job:

Omitting the Oxford comma.

A Diverse City

By Matthew Neylon, Associate Copywriter

My great-grandfather was a tannery union organizer back in the early twentieth century here in Indianapolis.

Unfortunately, if you told someone who wasn’t from Indianapolis that leathering and tanneries were still a thriving business in this city, they would probably believe you.

To those outside of Indianapolis and Indiana at large, they don’t fully understand that our city is reinventing itself.

Let’s take a look at Indianapolis’ changing landscape.

Craft breweries are booming in this town – our consumer has an evolving change in taste, and that’s what’s causing a 50% increase in these breweries in the last year.

Indianapolis has always been a top sports city, but we also boast about being a top city for emerging industries in the life sciences, information technology, advanced manufacturing, logistics, motor-sports and clean technology.

So Indy has some pretty forward-thinking and savvy industries coming onto the scene. But what about the more creative industries? How’s our beloved advertising industry faring?

Looking at the big picture, advertising agencies have floated in a pretty stable industry. Economically speaking, advertising remains stagnant relative to the rest of the economy’s growth. The landscape hasn’t changed much for ad agencies, especially concerning diversity.

Eight years ago last week, the New York City Commission on Human Rights held hearings on how the advertising industry hires, retains and promotes minority employees.

I’m not going to get into the politics of the hearings, the outcomes or the status of the retention of minority employees (because honestly, if you need to turn in report cards to the government on how you’re hiring a brown person, there’s something systemically wrong). Instead, I’m going to comment on why diversity is important and why it’s exciting to be working in advertising in Indianapolis at a time like this.

White males have traditionally dominated the advertising workplace. It’s the old boys’ club. We usually liken it to Mad Men.

Let’s look at the numbers:

In 2013, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that of the 51,000 advertising and promotions managers in the US, 93.3% were white employees, 0.1% were black, 3.5% were Asian, 16.1% were Hispanic or Latino and 67.8% were women.

Of the 907,000 marketing and sales managers, 88.5% were white, 5% were black, 4.7% were Asian, 6.6% were Hispanic or Latino and 43.1% were women.

There’s not a lot of racial diversity going on here. But what is diversity beyond race and gender?

To me diversity is an inclusion and collaboration of different minds and walks of life.

Now what’s a minority? I believe this definition is malleable and subjective. When we see a lack of this so-called diversity, we can then easily identify a minority as the person that is missing from the picture. And when the so-called minority is in the picture, they’re the response for “which does not belong?”

In Indianapolis, if you look at me, I would be considered a minority. Don’t call me a professional on the matter; just consider me more cognizant than my Indy peers.

But why is diversity important?

Evolution is not possible without a little moving and shaking, a little change. We only see forward progress when someone asks “why?”

When someone asks the right questions, it leads to more creative ideas, perspectives, insights and experiences. In advertising, we are the creators of thought. We are the change agents. But we can only influence change when we’re familiar with it.

Plus, doing the same thing gets old. If I only had the option of eating vanilla ice cream, I’d get bored. I would want some variety to maintain my sanity. Albert Einstein famously said that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Regardless of the numbers, we need more diversity in advertising. After all, if we’re trying to speak to and influence the public, we should represent and know to whom we’re talking. That’s just common sense.

Our demographic makeup in this city isn’t the same as when my great-grandfather was organizing unions in the early 1900s. Yet for some reason, the advertising industry still looks as if it hasn’t changed since then.

Despite the lack of what I’ve been commenting, I’m just excited to be working in the job I love. I wouldn’t want to be working in any other industry right now. And although it isn’t reinventing itself as much the rest of the city, I’m glad to be at the forefront of the change. The only direction to move from here is forward. I’m also glad I work at an agency that embraces diversity.

I can’t wait for the day when we view diversity in advertising as an antiquated topic, like how my grandmother tells me stories of my great-grandfather tanning leather with immigrant workers. Imagine the day when we can say, “Back in my day, diversity was this new-fangled notion sweeping the industry.”

A Way with Words

By Madeline Morgan, Senior Editor/Writer

First, a caveat:

I’m a bit of a throwback. I cook dinner just about every night, bought my first smartphone earlier this year and have no clue when women stopped wearing pantyhose.

But as lead editor here at Hirons, I see a lot. And one thing I see is a bright future for good writers.

Granted, I want to see a bright future, not only for me but also for my youngest son, who is majoring in journalism at IU. Nevertheless, I see in him and in several of the young people I work with an appreciation for this very old form of expression —  the drive to find the right word, to say what you mean,  to say it in a way that is not only true but fresh.

It’s a love of language, and it is as much an art form as painting and music. Writers, like other artists, want to explore the unexplored, to show their audiences a new way of looking at the world. And, despite what you may hear, it is not a lost art.

Naysayers point to the dwindling ranks of newspapers and magazines as evidence that writing isn’t prized anymore. And they charge that email and texting are making nouns, verbs and entire sentences obsolete.

Well, businesses, governments and social institutions expect you to use all of those fine words and more when it comes to pleading their cases and telling their stories. They want words that are descriptive, persuasive and riveting. They want punctuation that is correct, unobtrusive and helpful.

So writers: Take heart. If your goal is to work for a newspaper, you might need to be open to other media. But most companies and nonprofits employ writers in communications, marketing and development departments, and ad agencies employ them to fulfill the communications needs of their clients. The subject matter may not be of your choosing, but the process is the same: innovation, clarity and precision in language.

I’ve written all my life, and I believe some of my best stuff – the most fun stuff – has been on subjects not of my choosing – the Baby Boom generation, parade floats, septic systems. But therein lies the challenge: How can I make this interesting to the reader, and to myself? How can I make the words sing?

It never gets old.

Ad Agency Success: What Being Creative Really Means

By Jim Parham, Chief Operating Officer

At Hirons, a successful Midwestern advertising and public relations shop, we have a department officially designated as the Creative Department. This has been a standard practice in the ad biz long before “Mad Men” made us famous, or infamous.

I contend that just about everyone in the communications business, whether media buying types, public relations teams or advertising experts, are, by their very nature, creative.

Carolyn Gregoire, a features editor at the Huffington Post, recently wrote an article on what makes people, well, creative. In her article, 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/creativity-habits_n_4859769.html), she suggests that creative people fail up. Meaning, of course, they are not fearful of failing and are not detoured by roadblocks.

Here’s an excerpt from her article:

“Doing creative work is often described as a process of failing repeatedly until you find something that sticks, and creatives — at least the successful ones — learn not to take failure so personally.”

She cites Forbes contributor Steven Kotler, writing about Albert Einstein: “Creatives fail and the really good ones fail often.”

While for most businesses, failure is not an option, creative people in the communications business spend a lot of time thinking, rethinking, then testing and redoing a lot of work. Why?  Re-examination and retooling make a better final product.  And, creative communications people are not at all adverse to critical input and smart suggestions to make the work better. Just ask any reporter about how important an editor was to the final product.

While exceptional creative work may not take a village, it requires at least several pairs of eyes to think about the work as the client and final recipient will view it.  Hence, many agencies test the creative work (display ads, television spots or key messaging) on targeted publics before it goes final.

We’ve all heard the statements about right brain versus left brain and who is truly a creative type. Overall, while brain science is important and cannot be discounted, almost anyone can be successful developing a creative solution to a pressing problem. Just ask Rube Goldberg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, inventor, engineer and sculptor.

Dropping Knowledge: 5 Steps for Transforming Your Boring Workspace

By Luke Woody, Associate Art Director 

I am now three weeks into my internship here at Hirons, and it’s safe to say this place is the bees’ knees. (You know, if bees had knees.) And since I am new, this is my first blog for Hirons. Most novice bloggers would write about how they feel at their internship or tell some story about something somewhat interesting, but not this guy. I’m going to provide you with a step-by-step break down of how to get comfortable at your desk.

I live in the creative department here, so I like to make my workstation feel more like a break room when I need to take a mental break. It probably ramps up productivity to take a break at your desk, but I’m no scientist. However, I do feel like I have mastered the science of being comfortable. So listen up!

Step 1: Evaluate your surroundings. Look at other co-workers’ desks to see how they decorate their areas. Sometimes they have some pretty cool stuff, but nobody wants to be a copycat, except for a copycat I guess. Also, be sure to look at your own desk and get an idea of how much room you have to work with. Obviously.

Step 2: Make a list of awesome things you enjoy. Here’s my list:

  • Toy monster truck (for paperweight purposes)
  • (Knock-off) Nerf guns
  • Mustache coffee mug
  • Small foam basketball with hoop
  • Juice boxes (because I’m still a 5-year-old)
  • Remote-control helicopter

Step 3: Bring all that cool stuff to work. Make sure the “feng shui” is just right. Also, be sure not to do this during billable hours. There are people that get paid to do that, like movers and interior designers, but not interns who live in the creative department.

Step 4: Personalization is key. I wrote general notes on the darts of the (knock-off) Nerf guns like, “Look @ me” “Question?” and “Message 4 U.” When you personalize your stuff, it not only lets people know that it’s yours, but it lets them know what you’re about. For example, my coffee mug has a mustache on it. That means I like mustaches, right? Correct. Another way to personalize your desk is to change your desktop and screen saver to a picture(s) that describes you or your interests. I like antique cars, therefore my desktop is a photo of a 1936 Cord 812.

Step 5: Go to work. There’s no point in going through all of this trouble if you don’t get any work done. Why? Because if you don’t work, then you get fired and you no longer have a desk during which to take a break. The point of a creative workstation is to be comfortable and keep a jovial attitude while getting more work done in the process. Like I said, I’m no scientist, but I’m sure there’s some correlation there.

So there you have it, step-by-step instructions on how to make your work area more enjoyable; it might even encourage your co-workers to do the same!

Hirons Announces Promotions and New Hires

Hirons Announces Promotions and New Hires

Indianapolis – Hirons Advertising and Public Relations is welcoming four new staff members to the team, in addition to promoting four tenured employee owners.

Kendall Bybee, Candice Ingram and Blair Tilson all join Hirons as Account Coordinators in the Communications Management department. All three will be supporting Hirons public relations and advertising clients and senior staff.

Bybee graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Journalism, and has interned with the International Art Project and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. In addition, she served on committees for both the Spirit & Place Festival and the Beth Wood Chapter of PRSSA at Indiana University.

Ingram is a 2012 graduate of The University of Alabama, where she holds both a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Telecommunications and Film. She has interned at WVUA-TV in Tuscaloosa, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Indiana Pacers and the Cleveland Browns.

Tilson is a recent graduate of Taylor University, with a degree in Public Relations. While in school, Tilson served as the Co Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, The Echo. She has interned with Taylor University, and served as the Vice President of the Taylor University PRSSA.

Deb Nowak has been hired as Executive Assistant. Nowak is accomplished in her field, with past experiences at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in addition to serving various leadership roles on committees for the Town of Speedway.

Chloe Lyzun has joined the agency as an Account/Traffic Coordinator. Lyzun is a graduate of Butler University with a degree in Public Relations and Advertising. She has interned with Live Nation, MOKB Presents and Do317 prior to joining Hirons.

Four current staff members have been promoted to new roles within the agency.

Kayla Carmichael has been promoted from Executive Assistant to Account Manager. Carmichael will use her knowledge gained throughout her seven years with the agency to lead clients including the Speedway Redevelopment Corporation, Eskenazi Health, and Stratice Healthcare.

After 14 years with Hirons, Jill Dodge has expanded her duties; in addition to serving as Print Designer, Jill is now lead Web Designer. Jill has worked on various major web projects, including the recent relaunch of IndianapolisZoo.com.

Erin Kimbowa has been promoted from Account Manager to Senior Account Manager. Kimbowa, who has been with the agency for six years, provides strategic leadership to accounts including Country Mark, the Indiana State Museum, Compass Rose Academy and Kelley Direct.

Karissa Tepe has been promoted from Account Coordinator to Account Manager. In her new role, Karissa provides leadership to accounts including the Indiana Secretary of State, Indianapolis Airport Authority, Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union, St. Elmo Steakhouse and Harry & Izzy’s Steakhouse.

“This is an incredible time of growth and evolution,” said Tom Hirons, CEO. “For 36 years, we’ve been providing our clients with bold ideas. Welcoming a new ‘class’ of employee owners and watching another group continue to advance in their careers with us is both humbling and thrilling.”

Hirons provides a collegial work environment fueled by innovative and passionate practitioners. Peer mentoring and collaboration inform everything we do, from conceptualizing to presenting award-winning solutions to our clients. Hirons employees are more than just worker bee; they’re the actual owners of the company. In 2013, Hirons transferred ownership of the company to a trust on behalf of its employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). By giving our employees the keys to the agency (literally and figuratively), our team is uniquely motivated to produce the very best work possible — after all, they own the place.

To learn more about potential employment opportunities, visit http://hirons.wpengine.com/contact/career-opportunities/.

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About Hirons
Hirons Advertising and Public Relations, established in 1978 by Tom Hirons, is headquartered in Indianapolis and is ranked as both a top 100 advertising and top 100 PR firm in the U.S. Hirons is a digital leader in advertising, public relations, public affairs and media buying. Hirons’ clients include leading private, public and nonprofit sector organizations locally and nationally. Hirons is an employee-owned company. For more information, find Hirons on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Intern Spotlight: Aly Weigel

Intern Spotlight

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Name: Aly Weigel
School: Indiana University
Graduation Year: 2016
Major: Journalism/Public Relations
Internship title: Communications Management Assistant
Hobbies: Drinking coffee, going to concerts, traveling, blogging, and finding a balance between working out and loving food

Duties at Hirons:

Hirons has allowed me to do a little bit of everything. Some of the things I have done during my time here are: research and organize information on current clients, write the first drafts of press releases, assist with projects and events, organize social media timelines and content, write blog posts, deliver samples and documents, create lists of local media outlets and contacts, and write and send pitches for news stories to local media.

Favorite part about interning at Hirons:

There are a couple of things I’ve really enjoyed about interning at Hirons. First of all, the staff here is absolutely wonderful. They are always so willing to help out whenever needed, and I never have to hesitate to ask questions when I don’t understand something. It’s apparent that the people who work here truly love their jobs, which has made me enjoy my time here that much more. Secondly, sometimes when you think “internship,” you think of mindless tasks and busy work, but that’s certainly not the case here. I’ve had the opportunity to work on important projects that have given me real hands-on experience in the fields of public relations and advertising. I feel like my time here is truly valued and utilized to the fullest, which keeps me motivated to work hard.

Most difficult aspect of the job:

Being a young college student who’s still trying to figure it all out, you could definitely say I have successfully mastered the art of procrastination. In a professional environment though, procrastination could potentially lead to a loss in business. The biggest challenge I have faced during my time at Hirons is learning how to manage my time wisely. Getting things completed efficiently, but also paying attention to detail is very important, especially in the world of public relations and advertising.

What have you learned during your time at Hirons? How does this opportunity relate to your career goals?

I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked through the doors at Hirons on my first day, but I was definitely ready to soak it all in. Getting real life experience in the field that I hope to one day have a career in and developing my skill-set has been so exciting! In terms of what I’ve learned though, I think the real question is: what haven’t I learned? Having the opportunity to help with media plans, pitch to media outlets, communicate with clients, and even work in a professional environment are all things I had not previously experienced. These are skills that you just can’t learn while sitting in a classroom. I’m so thankful that I was able to have the opportunity to be a part of a thriving agency like Hirons and use my short time here to its’ full advantage.

Fun facts about Aly:

  • I’ll eat anything that involves peanut butter
  • I have lived on both coasts (California and North Carolina).
  • I also work at Scotty’s Brewhouse in downtown Indy, so if you’re ever in the area, stop by and say hi!

Change is the Only Constant

“Change is the only constant.”

You said it, Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus. Especially in this industry. Creative concepts and new business opportunities constantly shift with the wind, but we’d be remiss to assume outer currents of change aren’t reflected within agency shops as well.

A decade or two ago, it would be commonplace for an employee to stay with one company for 10-15 years. Today, the average worker stays 4.4 years. But even that is old news to advertising and PR companies, where 4.4 years at one firm is considered a lifetime by today’s standards. That’s what happens when Millennials flood the job market.

This dictum is reflected in strategic and creative projects as well. A social media campaign takes approximately 90 days to build momentum, typically lasting three months before the message has peaked and the audience needs something new. Is it because constant multitasking has become an audience norm? Or is it just the nature of our work?

The truth is, we live in a world of momentary exposure: 30-second spots, 140 characters. Fireworks alight for a moment in a sky full of stars.

What separates good firms from great firms is the ability to capture that moment, with the talent you have and the client at your door, and make something spectacular.

We cannot lament lost ventures and missed opportunities or hang our heads when change inevitably comes to collect. What we can do is take the passive concept and make it active. Seize the moment. Pursue the fleeting idea. Realize that change creates opportunity and challenges monotony.

Embracing change, ironically, supplies a consistent long-term strategy to keep an agency afloat.

Change is the only constant?

For a great firm, change is the only necessity.