Digitas is a leading interactive marketing company that provides digital communications and direct marketing services. The agency offers Web site design, e-mail management, and demand generation services which enable clients to build marketing campaigns across media channels for such big name companies as American Express, Kraft, General Motors, and Procter & Gamble.
Kevin Pickering, a senior writer, managing advertising copy and informational content for Digitas Health came to the company after holding writing and editorial roles in the medical publishing field. I talked with him and Jodi Greenstein, VP and director of HR for Digitas Health, about life at Digitas.
What's it like to work at Digitas? How does it differ from other places you have worked?
Pickering: I genuinely enjoy coming to work each day because I'm constantly being challenged. My division, Digitas Health, is know for its expertise in the interactive marketing arena, but we are a full-service agency. It's been great being able to work on projects in different mediums -- print, broadcast, along with the Web.
I come from a medical publishing background, which is great, but I wasn't being presented with a vast array of projects to work on. My writing and editing assignments were pretty straightforward and for the most part, I worked autonomously. Now I'm collaborating with brilliant people across various capabilities to create and execute some top-flight marketing campaigns.
What is your favorite thing about working for Digitas?
Pickering: Without a doubt, the people. I feel very fortunate to be able to work with some really seasoned and savvy industry pros. Every day I try to learn from them. These are the people who have taught me how to see the proverbial big picture.
For example, as a writer I didn't always recognize the relevance of certain visual components. I work with amazing artists who have really helped me appreciate the meaning -- and the emotion -- of the imagery. The connection between art and copy really is a synergistic relationship. I understand how corny that may sound, but it's the truth. This is the type of place that cultivates creativity.
Can you tell me how you got your job at Digitas?
Pickering: The interview process started with a general conversation with a representative from Staffing and then I was introduced to the head of the department. He asked a wide variety of questions that had me thinking that I may not be the candidate they were looking for. To be honest, I wasn't sure if my experience as a medical writer would translate into a medical marketer.
I felt a little more confident after meeting with the creative lead of my eventual team. Her questions were aimed at seeing if I had the willingness and ability to learn the business. I left them with some writing samples, and luckily they offered me the job a few days later.
What about perks?
Greenstein: Digitas values the talent aspect of our business above all else. If it weren't for our loyal, fun, smart, energetic teammates, we would not have the business or culture we have today. It's our priority every day to keep that culture alive. The smallest details are our largest priorities. We strive to bring perks to our employees through every experience they have with us. We hope they are all meaningful, seamless, and impactful. We appreciate our employees and we want them to feel that.
In addition to the traditional monetary rewards for strong performance, Digitas offers many unique perks to recognize a job well done. Employees may be eligible for an extra day off, breakfast or lunch with a senior leader, certificates for dinner, a spa, or an airline, tickets to a movie, museum, show, or sporting event. We even reward employees by offering to make a donation to the charity of their choice. In addition, Digitas offers unlimited sick days and generous paid vacation, family, and sabbatical leaves.
What is the best way to get noticed by a hiring manager at Digitas? The worst way?
Greenstein: Since most larger companies utilize applicant tracking systems which makes the hiring process fully automated and less of an opportunity for people to impress live, the format of a resume or an introduction of skills/character can set people apart. An example of this would be a creative caption in bold letters outlining what an individual can offer a company and why they may be a fit despite not having the exact skills needed. One of our recruiters told me that she once received a resume via FedEx and a colorful note pad with the applicant's contact information on it, which both left a lasting impression.
The worst thing an applicant can do is apply to every opening at every level in every capability in all geographies. It is fine for people to be persistent; but they should stick to one skill set and opportunity.