Feature Stories Campus Events

AdLib Conference to be Held Feb. 12-13

Washington and Lee University will host its fourth annual AdLib Conference on Feb. 12-13, 2015. The conference brings alumni who work in advertising, marketing and public relations together with students interested in careers in those industries.

The conference begins on Thursday evening with a dinner at the R. E. Lee Hotel in downtown Lexington. Ted Hissey ’78, a senior vice-president with Louisville-based Brown-Forman, will give the keynote address, “What Brands Must Do Today, and What it Means for Your Career.”

“The conference emphasizes the power of the liberal arts experience in this industry,” said Amanda Bower, the Charles C. Holbrook, Jr. ’72 Professor of Business Administration. “We want students to know that they can study psychology or sociology or English literature and not just get jobs in advertising, marketing and PR, but excel in those jobs, precisely because of the academic experiences they’ve had.”

On Friday, presenters take the stage beginning at 10:10 a.m. Three of the day’s sessions will be streamed live online. For a detailed schedule of events, visit wluadlib.wordpress.com or pick up a program at the registration table, which will be located in the Elrod Commons Living Room.

Morning sessions include:

Tips From Former Smokers (live online at 10:10 a.m.)
Jeff Boal ’84, president of the PlowShare Group, will talk about how non-profits and public health organizations can craft messages that get results. Boal was part of a team that created a historic campaign for the Center for Disease Control to combat one of the country’s biggest health problems—premature death and disease caused by tobacco use. The campaign relied on powerful messages and evocative images to provoke its audience to quit smoking. The CDC saw record numbers of smokers visit its website and call its smoking cessation hotline and Boal demonstrated that advertising can literally save lives.

Playing Nice: How to Get PR and Journalism on the Same Page
Jeremiah McWilliams ’05 will discuss the ways in which his eight-year career as a newspaper journalist has informed his career in public relations. He advocates for a better working relationship between journalists and PR practitioners, makes the case for finding the right mentor and emphasizes the importance of maintaining high ethical standards, no matter the industry. Alison Giblin ’13 will contribute.

Romancing the Brand (live online at 11:15 a.m.)
Branding Expert Tim Halloran ’91 takes a page out of his book, “Romancing the Brand,” to share step-by-step instructions on how to start, grow, and maintain the relationship between a brand and its customers and establish a mutually beneficial “romance.” Drawing on exclusive, in-depth interviews with managers of some of the world’s most iconic brands, Romancing the Brand arms you with an arsenal of classic and emerging marketing tools—such as benefit laddering and word-of-mouth marketing—that make best-in-class brands so successful.

Creating an Experience
Jonathan Hoffman is president of experience creation at the media agency Starcom MediaVest Group, where he leads Dot Zero, which plans and designs immersive, transformative experiences for innovative brands, blurring the lines between print, digital and the real world. Prior to joining Starcom, Hoffman spent a decade in creative agency management, including a stint as chief creative officer at Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis. A graduate of Vassar College, Hoffman has been putting a liberal arts degree to good use since 1984.

McWilliams, Boal and Halloran will also host Q&A sessions during the morning.

Courtney Berry ’05 will give an afternoon keynote following a closed networking lunch for students and alumni. Berry is a senior vice president and account director with Grey NY, where she runs the billion-dollar Pantene North America account. The title of her talk is “Things I Know That I Wish I Knew Then.” Her talk will be streamed live online at 2:20 p.m.

The rest of the afternoon will be devoted to panel discussions featuring a range of senior- and junior-level professionals. Rich Weinstein ’91, Jeff Boal ’84, Fred Moore ’80, Tim Halloran ’91, Courtney Berry ’05 and Britten Matthews ’10 will discuss ways the industry is changing and how advertising, marketing and PR professionals are adapting to those changes. Kate Brennan ’14, Colleen Paxton ’14, Drew Martin ’13, Allison Giblin ’13, Kathryn Risi ’14 and Callie Deddens ’14 will focus on how they launched their careers.

Both students and alumni can register to attend AdLib at wluadlib.wordpress.com.

Questions about AdLib? Contact Ian Hooley ’15 at hooleyi15@mail.wlu.edu.