“You’ve changed the shift.”
This statement by Steve Doctrow, EVP of global entertainment public relations and marketing agency Rogers & Cowan, perfectly captures one of the messages he shared with aspiring young communicators and business students of the National Millennial Community via video conference earlier this month.
Global marketing and creative executive Steve Doctrow has worked with some of the world's leading corporations across industries including TV, luxury real estate, and consumer brands. Some of the companies and personalities he has worked with include Paramount, Nike, Maserati North America, Producer/TV personality Nigel Lythgoe and more.
Rogers & Cowan is a leading public relations firm and consistently wins awards from the most prestigious third party creative competitions in the industry including Marcom, PRSA, Bulldog ad Herme. Doctrow’s 25+ years in the industry make his perspective and direction priceless. (Photo credit: Steve Doctrow.)
During the hour-long video conference with members of the National Millennial Community, Doctrow shared advice and insight based on more than 25 years of strategic marketing and publicity experience.
Members of the Community who were a part of this video conversation, from over 25 universities spanning the U.S. from Hawaii to New York, were able to ask questions about the entertainment industry, Rogers & Cowan and Doctrow’s experience in the public relations field. In return, Doctrow received unique millennial perspectives on a variety of topics relating to the entertainment industry and even some current projects.
Shown here is Executive Vice President Steve Doctrow (top) of Rogers & Cowan answering questions, imparting wisdom and seeking out millennials’ perspectives on marketing tactics during a video conference with millennials from across the country. Brigham Young University student Jordyn Crowley and Rasheba Jones from the University of Florida served as moderators of the video call. (Photo credit: Screenshot of video conference hosted on GoToMeeting.)
Doctrow was asked whether or not the millennial generation has caused a shift in the entertainment industry or in brand marketing.
“You’ve changed the shift,” said Doctrow, referring to members of the millennial generation. “Anyone not recognizing that is not relevant.”
The shift Doctrow was referring to includes new challenges and direction for the entertainment industry. A defining aspect of this shift is the need for “out of the box scenarios.” Doctrow explained that millennials are so tuned in that they can’t just be “bought.” He believes that millennials need something new and relevant to be influenced.
“[Millennials] aren’t just anybody, they haven’t been living in a shell,” Doctrow said. “We have to make it organic.”
This need for organic, transparent marketing resonated unanimously among millennial members participating in the conversation. Many agreed that media influencers with strong social media followings rarely live up to their title unless they are sincerely using and engaging with the product being pushed.
Julie Lubbers, a student from Brandeis University participating in the conference, said: “It’s more influential when the company and influencer partner to create something together.”
Eastern Oregon University student Miles Loupe agreed. “If it’s just a sponsored post, it’s not as relevant,” he said. “But if it’s a social influencer using the product … they may be getting paid or getting free products, but it still resonates with me if they are using it.”
This isn’t the first time Doctrow has consulted with millennials to gain perspective. He said it’s important to surround himself with people who can offer different perspectives. Even his most recent hire, who was taking notes off-camera throughout the conversation, is a millennial only recently graduated from college.
“I work with someone just out of school, right where you are … and I can learn from her,” Doctrow said. “When you have young people, older people and those in the middle around you, you know how to reach people.”
The National Millennial Community and some of its members often broadcast these types of meetings with standout quotes and thoughts from the conference.
(Photo credit: Screenshot of @millennialcom Twitter account.)
In addition to discussing the unique millennial perspective on several relevant topics, industries and even current campaigns, Doctrow shared his knowledge about public relations topics such as the differences between PR and marketing, how to reliably measure ROI and how to transform controversial brands or personalities. Doctrow’s valuable experience and insight inspired members of the Community to view the entertainment industry with a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective. In return, Doctrow was able to view an entire generation through the eyes of a diverse and engaging group of millennials. Community members look forward to further learning from Doctrow when they visit Rogers & Cowan in January of 2017.