This year, Janice Schecter Media Director, Celebrates her 20th Anniversary at Harmelin Media. With two decades comes changes in both personal and professional life: Moving Offices, Getting New Accounts, Having Children, Celebrating Happy Moments and Mourning Tragic Ones…Lots of Life.
Scott Davis EVP who supervised Janice at key times in her career at Harmelin had this to say about her: “From the day we hired Janice, it was evident that she was destined for great things. She has always had this amazing work ethic, and it is combined with boundless enthusiasm and optimism. Whether buying, planning or working with clients, she has always given 100% of herself to the task. No detail is too small, no idea too big. In many ways, she embodies the “Harmelin culture” as well as anyone here. I miss seeing her and working with her on a daily basis, but I’m glad to call her my friend.”
To celebrate her twenty years of service we interviewed her to get her take on the Industry and get to know her better:
What are some of the notable changes you have seen in the industry since you started at Harmelin?
When I first started at Harmelin, I used to spend a good portion of my day standing at the fax machine sending out orders or printing Tapscan buys off of the word processor at my desk so there have been many changes in the last 20 years! We had a print department and a broadcast department and everyone had their specialty. Eventually the industry moved away from that model and we began to integrate the two parts of the company through cross-training programs. Guerilla marketing became much more of a player. Obviously, the most notable change is the evolution of digital media. Twenty years ago people weren’t even carrying mobile devices let alone advertising on them. The level of research has also changed exponentially. What we know now about consumers is astonishing compared to 1996 when the choices were “male, female or working women” as target demographics! As consumer behavior has changed, our company has adjusted. Harmelin has always been at the forefront of the upcoming media trends.
What has been your greatest success at Harmelin?
This question brings two important things to mind. First, my role as an account executive over the years and working with our internal teams to bring measurable success to our clients is something that makes me extremely proud. I love the planning process and that moment when I get that one idea that just pulls all of the puzzle pieces together where I think “Yes! This is it!” It’s the media planner’s rush! I’ve been so fortunate to collaborate with so many amazing teams at Harmelin who are professional, fun to work with and share these same core values of customer service. It’s always a group effort to execute and manage the vision. The relationships that I have built in this industry are priceless to me. I truly value my colleagues, clients and the hard working reps who partner with us to make our plans come to life.
The second success that is near and dear to my heart would be serving as the original chairperson of the Harmelin Cares Committee. This fantastic group of Harmelin Media employees goes out into the community on a regular basis to find ways to serve using only our (wo)man power, not through fundraising. What I loved about it was that it continues the vision that Joanne Harmelin set forth of giving back to our community. Most projects are done on company time. The committee was comprised of people from all levels so we had senior staff working with a new assistants and everyone in between. It gave everyone a chance to get to know each other outside of the office while assisting a much needed charity. We did so many things such as serve meals to the homeless, restore a playground, clean up the waterfront and put together donated back to school items for inner city children. As the years have gone by the committee has grown under new leadership and what they are doing now is bigger and better – more charitable work in the name of Harmelin Media!
Where do you see the industry in the next 1 Year, 5 years, 10 years?
The industry will continue its journey in digital media at a faster pace as we move through the next decade. In the short term, video and mobile advertising will stay on the rise. Programmatic buying continues to trend upward, which is something that has come on the scene in my media lifetime. In 5 years, I will be anxious to see the strides in mobile marketing. The more technology breakthroughs we have, the more ways we will find to cultivate an advertising opportunity. It’s impossible to think of what could come next (ie – Pokémon Go!). Long term, expect consumers to be connected to everything. Marketers will need to personalize their ads to consumers – both the message and delivery – and the best way to earn their business will be for advertisers to align their culture with their audience, especially with the younger generation. Next step will be to hire really good media buyers to place those brilliant ads in just the right place (call me…I know who can get that done!).
What is the most unique trip you have ever taken?
The most unique trip that I’ve ever taken was to East Bank, West Virginia. It was a mission trip during spring break when I was in college. I was fortunate to attend Rosemont College, located on the beautiful Main Line, and the trip was arranged through their Christian Ministry program. We drove down in a van, stayed in small local housing hosted by a church and the entire area was like nothing I had ever seen before. East Bank is part of Appalachia so it was a big coal mining town. I used an outhouse for the first time, faced my fear of mice (multiple times), helped to renovate a kitchen, build a fence, cooked many meals and delivered them to local families who had nothing. Some people had holes in the walls of their homes and had duct taped trash bags to cover them up. I left there having learned some wonderful skills, made new friends, met people I would never forget, challenged myself and felt extremely fortunate for the life I was returning to in Pennsylvania. My friends and I went for two years in a row. It was a life changing experience.
Fun Tidbit about person/Something no one could guess about you?
I worked in a convent for 4 years as a receptionist. The back story to that is that when I was in 8th grade I needed to do 10 hours of community service in order to receive my Sacrament of Confirmation. There was a convent down the street so my mother told me to call them and ask if they needed any help so I could fulfill this requirement. They agreed to have me come on Saturday mornings for 3 or 4 hours and take over the receptionist duties, which was currently being handled by the sisters in-house. Well, once my 10 hours had been fulfilled, I felt so bad telling them that I was ready to leave that I just continued to come every Saturday and the next thing I knew, it had been almost 4 years!
What is your favorite Song, Movie or TV Show and why?
My favorite song – “Whenever You’re Away From Me” (by Gene Kelly and Olivia Newtown-John) is from my favorite movie – Xanadu.
When I was a little girl my parents would go to the video store and no matter what they rented, they always brought home Xanadu with it. I watched it a million times! My dad bought the soundtrack so we could listen to it on our long drives in the car from my hometown of Baltimore to his hometown of Scranton when we went to visit his family. We loved this song and would belt out the duet together. (My dad has a great voice!).