Publicis Media is based on trust, talent and transformation. On our last day we visited Zenith, which is under the Publicis holding company. We spoke to Zenith’s VP of Video Placement Sadia Rashid, who took us through what all Publicis has to offer its employees throughout its various agencies. From diversity committee-like teams representing LGBT+, POC and more to YouXplore, a two-week exchange program that sends employees across the globe, Publicis agencies are a miraculous place for young professionals to fine-tune their skills and experience in the world of advertising. Publicis agencies also do a great deal of giving back. Employees are given time off to go into their communities and give back, and the agencies also do a lot of pro bono work for nonprofits. One that particularly stuck out to me was the Alzheimer’s Association. Having started a chapter of The Youth Movement Against Alzheimer’s at USC this past school year and now working for the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, Alzheimer’s is a cause near and dear to my heart. Seeing an organization this big – with over 80,000 employees internationally – advocating and advancing a cause showed me that all of my work the past two years with nonprofits and volunteerism is meaningful outside of an academic space.
Zenith believes advertising is more than just sharing the message and should be a genuine return on investment for their clients. They work intensely on messaging and media placement and value understanding their client’s customers. Effective advertising requires the right message, and the right place and the right time. Zenith works diligently on their message calendar to advance their sales and general brand awareness. Steven Carter and Alex McNutly (a Gamecock alum) took us through a “Strategy 101” presentation. The two strategists examined their account with Verizon they call VM1. From reviewing their Pride Month campaigns to military campaigns, we gained real insight as to how advertising planning works and the process of buying television advertising space. Being a public relations major, I have gained a greater understanding for what the teams I one day will be collaborating with do. The most valuable insight Zenith gave to our group was their future expectations of the advertising space. They hope to further advance personalized and interactive advertisements and to tap into the growing world of podcasting as well. With media being a constantly changing landscape, it is crucial to be able to look ahead and prepare for whatever could come next.
We ended our visit with Caitlin Carr, the campus recruitment manager, and Frances Reavis, a more recent hire of the company. They covered Zenith’s media training program that all employees must go through. Zenith hires around 50 new employees in blocks in January and June each year. The media training program is a full-time paid rotational program that introduces their new hires to every aspect of the agency. At the end of the program employees are offered permanent full-time positions and have already developed their network in the company of friends and mentors. Zenith and other Publicis agencies are spectacular places to start professional careers for recent graduates.