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Monday 6 April 2020
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Sheltering in Place? We Can Do This! | Read How the AdChat DFW Audience is Working Through the Challenges

Sheltering in Place? We Can Do This! | Read How the AdChat DFW Audience is Working Through the Challenges

Thanks to everyone for sharing your incredible stories with more to come! It’s completely amazing how within just under two weeks, our communities of advertising, marketing, production and film, have adapted to this temporary challenge. Read how they are doing it!

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Taylor Calise | CEO, Imaginuity

While we cannot make a difference on the front lines, we are continuing to keep our clients prepared to thrive when this crisis has passed. We instituted a work-from-home policy for both of our Dallas locations, and our staff is actively engaged with our clients’ businesses virtually. I am extremely pleased with how productive our teams are, and the leadership they are providing our clients is exceptional. Most importantly, we have encouraged our staff and clients to take care of themselves and their families as we navigate these uncertain times. I am confident the world will be a better place once all of this is over as we gain wisdom from this experience and adapt to our new reality.

Taylor Calise |CEO | Imaginuity

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Mike Stopper | VP Brand Management, MindHandle

NORMAL STUFF
At the outbreak of the pandemic, leaders at MindHandle, The Shop, Launch, Spire Agency and The Marketing Arm were in close contact with one another to communicate how they were handling the situation with employees and clients.

“We’re taking the expected measures to keep everyone safe and healthy, like holding screen shares and conference calls instead of in-person meetings,” said Eric Harris, CEO of MindHandle. “But we’re also taking the time we would normally be commuting and applying it to big ideas for our clients to not only survive, but to thrive in this unfamiliar territory.”

ABOVE AND BEYOND
To support its various restaurant clients during this challenging time, MindHandle mobilized a campaign called #TeamUp4Takeout to encourage people to order takeout 4X per week.

“People don’t just love the food, but also the faces at their favorite restaurants, says Eric Harris, CEO Of MindHandle. “The Texas Restaurant Association says up to 500,000 restaurant jobs may be lost in our state, so we’re using our storytelling talents to highlight bartenders, servers, hosts, buses and cooks in North Texas who rely on those tips to survive.”

MindHandle’s restaurant clients include Fish City Grill, Main Event, Chili’s Global, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers and On the Border.

Mike Stopper | VP Brand Management, MindHandle

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Amanda Lovewell | Copywriter, bloomfield knoble

Our approach to the virus was an easy choice, because it’s already built into the bloomfield knoble Advertising culture, which focuses on putting people first. Once we had all the facts, we didn’t hesitate to shift our teams to work remotely from their homes for the health of everyone and the common good.

As a company policy, all employees are required to establish a usable work center in their home in case of workflow disruption or general necessity. While we were prepared as a company for whatever may come next, we were as disrupted by this as everyone else. We are fortunate that our policy was in place so we could best ensure the health of our employees while we continue to meet our clients’ needs without interruption.

Amanda Lovewell | Copywriter, bloomfield knoble

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Tom Dennis | VP Brand Strategy, ExperiPro

Even though the world has gone mad, there is work to do! The most important thing we did right out of the gate was challenge clients to not shut down and do nothing – but to consider their new reality and alternative ways to continue conversations with customers and prospects. Messaging had to be altered a bit as a more direct sales approach didn’t seem appropriate when so many have had their life turned upside down. Yes, trade shows and conferences are out, but there are online channels they hadn’t yet tapped into. For several clients, we have used the downtime to do start that research project we had talked about but never had time for. We love a good challenge and while this is a horrible situation, we are trying to stay focused on the work.

Tom Dennis | VP Brand Strategy, ExperiPro

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Marcie Teague | Executive Producer, Side Chops

Although we’ve had to make some adjustments, the coronavirus hasn’t significantly affected the work we’re doing at Side Chops. Since our inception, many of our projects have been completed for remote clients, so we’ve simply continued to rely on the skills and workflows we’ve developed over the years to keep things running smoothly. The only appreciable difference now is we’re doing a bit more editing from home, but the infrastructure for that was already in place, so it really hasn’t been a disruption. We’re committed to keeping our work families healthy while also continuing to provide the outstanding service our clients have come to expect from us.

Marcie Teague | Executive Producer, Side Chops

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Andy Streitfeld | Founder and CEO, AMS Studios

We’ve made it through the first full week of our journey into the new world of dealing with this virus! And while we’ve certainly had to make some major changes, we continue to find creative ways to meet our clients needs while keeping everyone safe. We’re fortunate to have a small staff in a very large building with many private offices, which has allowed us to easily practice social distancing. We also have many people working from home and have systems and harddrives ready to go so our post staff can work remote, as well. In short, it’s going pretty well. We’re poised to adjust as things continue to change and we are dealing with this crisis the best we can – by staying focused and engaged!

Andy Streitfeld | Founder and CEO, AMS Studios

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David Schechter | Reporter/Host of Verify Road Trip

As of Monday morning… this is my new office.

It’s an abandoned edit suite in the bowels of WFAA-TV. To avoid cross-contamination our news staff is distributed in three locations, we’re meeting online and I’m limiting my contact in the newsroom by working from this little cubby.

TIME TO ADAPT

The coronavirus story is moving super fast. Here’s one way we’re trying to keep up. 

It usually takes a long to find the right guest for a Verify Road Trip. Time we don’t have right now. So, we threw out that playbook and brought back Jennifer, a great guest from a previous episode.

“I actually had a hard time falling asleep last night. Not so much of, ‘what happens if I get it?’ But what does our life look like now?” she said.

Jennifer’s got a young daughter and aging grandparents. And when it comes to the coronavirus — probably, a lot like like you — she wants to know how prepared she needs to be? So I brought her to the county health department to interview the Director.

From concept to execution, most of our stories take several weeks to produce. This story took one day. Watch story…

David Schechter | Reporter/Host of Verify Road Trip

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Kirk Hermansen | Owner, Hermansen Land Development, Inc., Dog Haus

“We’re keeping our head up and I have no doubt that we’ll come out of this on top. We have a loyal community following who are continuing to order delivery and takeout every day. It has given me and my team a great deal of hope and the drive needed to keep moving forward. Our staff has done an amazing job of staying focused on the things we can control amidst the daily changes. We are doing everything possible to not only stay open for our employees, suppliers and community, but for the ability to grow our business and seize opportunities where they exist! At our DFW locations, we’re currently offering free delivery whenever you order from your favorite delivery service. We’ve also launched no contact curbside pick-up, making it even easier and safer to get your favorite Dog Haus items – including a to-go beer or cocktail. Additionally, we’ve recently launched a “20-20-20 Who Needs a Drink?” growler promotion. Thanks to our supplier, Red Gap Brewing, we are offering a 64 oz. growler filled with Red Gap Brewing Double IPA or Hefeweizen for $20 with a $20 minimum food order AND 20% off on all future craft beer refills! This offer is available for a limited time with our no contact-curbside delivery – so hurry over to our Richardson or Arlington location now!”

Kirk Hermansen | Franchisee Dog Haus 

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Amy Hall Phyfer | President, The Barbershop Shop Marketing & Promotions

As brand marketers, we’ve grown expertly equipped to help clients during desperate times and plan for the unexpected. Although the current crisis could not be predicted with its extensive disruption for every industry, there still comes with it the opportunity to embrace togetherness and build effective strategies that unite all industries and support one another.

It’s important that we are sensitive to all aspects, not just with our clients and partners, but our agency team. We’ve always been strong collaborators and supportive of one another, and those crucial features have been invaluable for us. This emotional environment and fine line we must tread together is met with a solid foundation of teamsmanship. Everyone is moving at warp speed. Hold each other up and be willing to help out as you can. No one is on their own here. Transform joint decisions and strategies together for the greater good. Even if we can’t yet see a silver lining, our virtual connection and commitment to creatively unite as everything seems to crumble, is the start of the silver lining itself.

Amy Hall Phyfer | President | The Barbershop Shop Marketing & Promotions

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Steve Gaconnier | Executive Producer, Janimation VR

A note to our clients and fellow artists:

While we are all facing unprecedented challenges, our team is working virtually in order to stay safe and continue creating engaging animations to meet our client’s project needs. If we can assist you in any way in the days and weeks to come, please reach out to me directly via steve@janimation.com or (214) 762-9946.

As of today, Janimation is utilizing ALL of our computer processing power to help combat the coronavirus. We have installed Folding@home on our render farm and workstations which will perform molecular simulations of protein dynamics. If you want to learn more about this or implement at your company or at home, let me know and you can join the Janimation team.

We are also aware that many companies have terminated or furloughed artists and producers. Please contact me if you are interested in remote freelance work.

Due to the lack of live action production, we expect to see a major shift in visual storytelling with animation and motion graphics leading the communications for the foreseeable future.

We are ready to help you tell your new story.
God bless and stay safe. 🙏

Steve Gaconnier | Executive Producer, Janimation VR

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Diane Seimetz Duncan| Principal, LAUNCH AGENCY

We cherish our creative culture at LAUNCH; I’d say if anything, the current situation has galvanized us in preserving and protecting that.
We have worked on a collaboration platform for several years, so the move to “shelter in place” has allowed us to continue serving clients without a hitch. But we weren’t willing to give up “family” traditions – like our semi-famous Friday afternoon wind-downs (complete with silly party games) – just because we weren’t under the same roof. Using a little of that creative ingenuity, someone had the idea to take the wind-down virtual – keeping spirits up and beloved traditions firmly in place. Serving those in need is also in our DNA, and our LAUNCH Lift community volunteer team mobilized almost immediately to brainstorm ways to help struggling businesses, schools, and families in need. We are currently talking about ways to extend the impact through partnerships with clients, suppliers and FOL (Friends of LAUNCH 😊).

Dealing with a global crisis would never be our first choice, but it’s reminded us of how much we have and how grateful we are – for the work we love, the clients we serve, and each other.

Diane Seimetz Duncan| Principal, LAUNCH AGENCY

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The Shop Team Working Virtually

So this is what things look like for our company today, and may look like for awhile. Even though we’re not together physically, we are united in our passion to do the best work we can for our clients, our country, and our world at large in this critical time. The chairs in our office may not see our butts for a while, but that won’t stop The Shop from kicking ass. Let’s all do our part to get through the challenges ahead with positivity and determination.

Dustin, David, Matt, & The Entire Shop Team

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Jo Trizila | Founder/CEO, Triz Com PR & Pitch PR

We are living in unprecedented times, but the way my team has responded to this ever-evolving coronavirus situation has been nothing short of inspirational. Last Friday, our boutique public relations agency moved to working remotely out of an abundance of caution. But, our productivity and commitment to our partners has not wavered. Everyone packed up their monitors, computers and supplies and set up shop on kitchen tables and offices remotely, the phones where transferred and a plan to check mail was made without missing a single beat.

We recognize that in times as these, our partners need us now more than ever. Our Dallas-based firm specializes in crisis communications and we have dealt with a number of issues that also brought great uncertainty – 9/11, Anthrax, the Boston Marathon Bombing and other individual company crises that negatively affected the workforce and changed lives. As an integral partner with the individuals and organizations we work with, our services have a long-term impact of their successes and just because the world seems to have stopped temporarily, our work has not.

Inside our agency walls, we are all constantly walking into each other’s offices to bounce ideas around to create the best opportunities for our partners. And now, even though we can’t physically see each other, our communication has amplified. Whether we connect over a conference call, through our team instant message channels, or by phone and text, we are in constant communication as we continue to collaborate and produce measurable results for our partners. Beyond our typical agency work, our team has become even more of a family, checking in on each other to make sure we all have everything we need personally. As an agency owner, I’m proud of the way my team has risen to the challenge of these trying times.

Jo Trizila, Founder and CEO of TrizCom PR and Pitch PR

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Kent Bishop | Partner/Managing Director at Southern Sky Films, Outlaw Post & TX Supply Co.

We hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying a little family time during quarantine. We’ve turned to random house projects and homeschooling to keep us busy between remote commercial projects. (Side note: Hug a teacher. Their job is no joke.) It’s been a great time to pause and reflect and have some really great human-to-human conversations with our industry friends and clients. We’re all in this together and it’s really nice to see so many people coming together to help their neighbors.

Things are beginning to settle in our industry and we’re finding creative ways to make things happen under restriction. We’re all going to come out of this a little stronger and wiser. Here’s an overview of how we’re handling things…

Southern Sky Films – We’ve always prided ourselves on being incredibly resourceful. Our team has a variety of ways in which we can execute creative and capture live-action content while keeping folks safe and within bounds of local, state and federal guidelines.

Outlaw Post – The biggest change on the post side has been moving from the fancy client suites to a 100% remote environment. Outlaw was engineered to be lean and agile, so this was a fairly straightforward transition for us and work has been moving forward as usual.

TX Supply Co – On the production supply rental side of the house, we are cleaning and disinfecting our equipment, trucks and vans to make sure everything is safe and ready to go for the production community’s needs when government rules allow.

Everyone stay safe and take a moment to recharge if you can. Know that there is an end to this and we’ll be back at it soon enough. See you at the bar when it’s all over!

Kent Bishop | Partner/Managing Director at Southern Sky Films, Outlaw Post & TX Supply Co

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Parks Blackwell | VP of Marketing and Client Development, PMG Advertising

The PMG team has been serving our customers and providing them with as much guidance as possible as we go through this challenging time together. Our first and foremost concern remains the health and safety of our employees and partners, their families, and the communities we are part of. We are doing that while working from home and doing our small part in helping to “flatten the curve” and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

In support of our employees working from home, PMG has given everyone a stipend to spend towards whatever they need to make their home office environment as effective as possible. We are providing our working parents with the flexibility they need to juggle kids at home because of school closures. And we are erring on the side of over communication to make sure our team members are taking full advantage of the resources available to them to stay physically and mentally healthy.

We’re confident that however this current situation plays out, we will come out stronger because of it. Our customers see and appreciate the level of responsiveness and problem solving we’re bringing in anticipation of business challenges. PMG’s mantra is Digital Made for Humans, and we’ve never been more focused on the humans that are dealing with this from all different angles.

Parks Blackwell | VP of Marketing and Client Development, PMG 

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The Groove Jones Team

These are certainly unusual times right now.

We find ourselves in uncharted territory as we learn to navigate life during this COVID-19 outbreak. Each city, state, and country is dealing with it in their own way. We are confident this crisis will end. We are all busy adjusting to what many refer to as a “temporary” new normal.
At Groove Jones our first concern is for your health and safety as well as for the safety of our team. We are still working hard; we’re just doing it remotely.

Thanks to great technology and good planning by our team, its business as usual here at Groove Jones. Working smart is just as important as working hard, so we’re using all the tools at our disposal to keep communication and workflow smooth and seamless.

We miss our in-person hangouts for sure, but when you are in the extended reality business, going virtual is almost natural for us.

The point of all this is to say we are here. Ready to help you navigate in this new normal. And while hand sanitizer might be scarce, great ideas are not.
We are going to keep working… creating, innovating, and staying ahead of the curve because that’s what we do.

The most significant innovations come when we face our greatest challenges. We are challenged now, but we will be stronger together because of it.

Several of you have already reached out to us, looking for advice to help you and your clients who are impacted by the challenges we are now facing. We will be releasing a series of emails with insights and creative ideas soon.

In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.
Dale, Dan, Gary, Scott, and the Groove Jones Team

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AdChat DFW will continue to post your stories now and into the future. Please send them to info@adchatdfw.com or directly to me at patty@adchatdfw.com

We ARE all in this together! Here’s to getting through it with grace and fortitude! And as Kent Bishop said, let’s all meet at a bar somewhere when it’s all over! 

Patty Harrion | Editor-in-Chief | AdChat DFW



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