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Juneteenth: The Importance and Value of Action On This Day

By Acronym News, Diversity and Inclusion, Inside Acronym No Comments

It has been just over a year since the murder of George Floyd by a uniformed police officer on May 25, 2020. Since that date, it would be hard to imagine anyone in a leadership position in Corporate America to have not had a conversation regarding the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).  These conversations, in my opinion, have fallen into a couple of broad categories, based upon the legacy of DEI programs and policies at the company where the subject is being discussed.

For some companies, where DEI has been ingrained in the corporate culture for many years, the conversation likely centered around a discussion of the merits of these programs, and how they might be enhanced to maximize their results for the good of the company’s stakeholders – employees, managers, and executives, their families, clients, suppliers, and, of course, shareholders. While not easy conversations, those corporate leaders certainly had the benefit of years of “doing the right thing”, of backing up their words with concrete evidence of actions that had been taken long ago, to create a culture of inclusion throughout the workplace.

Other companies, however, were not so fortunate.  For many, taking the “me too” approach seemed the only way to go. Often, it was a case of “too little, too late.”

Yesterday, President Biden signed into law: S: 475, the “Juneteenth National Independence Day Act,” which designates Juneteenth as a legal public holiday.  And, today, many businesses, schools, and communities across the country will honor Juneteenth as a recognized holiday. We’re proud that Acronym is among them as our offices are closed so our employees may reflect on the meaning of the day.

The holiday, which is finally seeing the recognition it deserves, commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union Major General Gordon Granger read federal orders stating that all enslaved people in Texas were free.

Until that day, despite the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham officially freeing all slaves in the states that were in open rebellion in September of 1862, many slave owners migrated west toward Texas to escape the control of the Union army. In fact, following the Union capture of New Orleans in 1862, it is estimated that over 150,000 slaves were relocated to Texas. As one of the most remote slave states, the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation was especially slow in Texas. Consequently, General Granger’s issue of the federal orders reflects one of the final stages of official emancipation of slaves in the Confederacy.

A year later in 1866, the first celebrations of Juneteenth occurred amongst several church congregations in Texas. Throughout much of the early 20th century, the celebrations spread across the South, and the holiday grew in popularity during the Civil Rights era and has seen worldwide acceptance in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the emergence of the Black Lives Mater movement.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion have long been keys to successful implementation of many corporations’ strategic growth plans. They have been consistently proven to be important in both attracting and retaining top talent, as well as increasing a company’s client base. And, seeing corporate America recognize Juneteenth reflects the significant progress that’s been made over the years.

Simply put, embracing DEI is the right thing to do. I have spent close to forty years in corporate America, working for both small companies and large enterprises, all of which saw the value of DEI, and all of which encouraged me in my advocacy of those programs, often as an integral part of my job responsibilities. Last year, I was given the opportunity to present a training session on racism that focused on White Privilege and Unconscious Bias. Attendance at the session was voluntary, and yet over 90% of the workforce, which is predominantly white, showed up. And the effect was profound.

For the better part of a week after the session, I received calls and emails from attendees, attesting to the positive impact the session had on them and their families, as they began to finally understand issues that many of their co-workers had been dealing with their entire lives.  One of them made a comment that, I think, will stay with me forever. In his email he said, “When you asked the question ‘Have you ever had to talk to your son about how to survive a routine traffic stop and make it home alive?’, I realized how very privileged I have been as a white man. To be honest, up until that moment, my only thought would have been what that speeding ticket my kid got was going to do to my auto insurance rates.  The thought that his getting pulled over for speeding, or some such thing, could lead to his death at the hands of law enforcement would never have crossed my mind.

As a parent, I cannot imagine knowing that could happen to my child, let alone that it would be tolerated by much of our society.  Not any longer!”  Reading this, I realized there were tears streaming down my face, and I sat back and smiled, knowing that there had been a breakthrough in awareness for at least one person, and hopefully quite a few more.  And that, to me, is the most significant value to DEI.

So, with that in mind, I am once again proud to work for a company like Acronym that doesn’t just talk about diversity, equality and inclusion as the latest buzzwords. Here at Acronym, we walk the talk. You see it in the make up of our employees and senior leadership; you see it in the programs and internal initiatives we embrace, and you can see it in the moments in time we honor.

When thinking about the long-awaited national observance of this day, I can’t help but to think of the quote from Coretta Scott King who said, “Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won; you earn it and win it in every generation.”

This quote rings as true today as the day she first spoke it. There is still much work to be done in this country and around the world to ensure every human being is truly free.

But, it’s heartening to see that this year, for the first time, our country is officially recognizing Juneteenth as a federally recognized holiday.

POV By Irwin Drucker, Chief People and Diversity Officer, Acronym

 

omma awards

Acronym is an OMMA 2020 Winner!

By Acronym News, Awards No Comments

The OMMA Awards 2020 results are in… Acronym and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts take home the OMMA for Best Search Marketing: SEM with “Performance for Profit: A New Performance Model Achieving Exponential Growth.”

The OMMA Awards were created in 2004 to honor agencies and advertisers that push the potential of digital advertising. OMMA stands for Online Marketing Media and Advertising.

It is an honor to be recognized for our team’s hard work with our incredible Client. This is a true partnership.

 

 

Inside Acronym – November 30, 2017

By Acronym News, Archives, Cool No Comments

Meet Acronym’s Sara Caban

Office Assistant and Receptionist

When did you join Acronym?

I joined Acronym in February 2016.

What is your title at Acronym and which clients do you work for?

I am the Office Assistant and Receptionist.

What are your specific responsibilities?

My responsibilities include greeting and taking calls, maintaining the office, organizing meetings, coordinating invoices, and much more.

What do you consider the most interesting things you do at work?

A variety of different tasks can come up daily which definitely keeps things interesting! As a resource to all of Acronym’s team members it’s cool to get a fuller view of everything we do here and to be able to connect with the team on a more personal level.

What do you like to do best when you are not working?

When I am not working, I like watching TV or YouTube, reading, and spending time with my family and friends.

You are going on vacation to a place where there is no Internet connection. What book or magazine would you bring with you?

I would bring my favorite book, Rant by Chuck Palahniuk.

Inside Acronym – November 16, 2017

By Acronym News, Archives, Cool No Comments

Meet Acronym’s Danny Bruh

HR Coordinator

When did you join Acronym?

I joined Acronym at the end of September 2017.

 

What is your title at Acronym and which clients do you work for?

I am the HR Coordinator, so I would say my clients are the Acronym staff.

 

What are your specific responsibilities?

My responsibilities include employee relations, benefits and compensation, training development, and recruiting.

 

What do you consider the most interesting things you do at work?

The most interesting part about working at Acronym has been getting to know all of the staff and learning from them. I come from a Social Work background, so being able to gain more knowledge about Acronym and the industry has been incredibly interesting.

 

What do you like to do best when you are not working?

When I am not working, I am either watching soccer games or, hopefully, traveling somewhere new!


You are going on vacation to a place where there is no Internet connection. What book or magazine would you bring with you?

If I had no internet connection and had to read a book…it would probably be Harry Potter.

The Forrester Wave for Search Marketing Agencies is out and…

By Acronym News, Archives, News, Tech No Comments

Acronym was ranked as one of the top 12 search marketing agencies by research firm Forrester.

In fact, The Forrester Wave™: Search Marketing Agencies, Q4 2017 report noted the 5 Strong Performers, including Acronym, offer a “competitive option.”

The report included an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of 12 vendors against 25 criteria in current offering, strategy and market presence.

Acronym scored the highest possible score in the following criteria:

· Collaboration
· Account Management
· Global Execution
· And Performance.

“Acronym did well in this year’s study due to its ability to collaborate with other agencies and internal stakeholders,” the report said. “It also received high praise from client references for its account management…”

Forrester said in conducting this research it found search marketing agencies have reached what it called “full maturity” because they have mastered SEO and paid search.

“Every agency in this Forrester Wave demonstrated that they have a good framework or methodology in place to create a client’s SEO strategy and each agency uses proprietary or third-party tools that help automate SEO tasks like keyword research or site auditing,” the report said.

What’s more, Forrester said non-traditional search engine expertise and agency strategy are key differentiators among search marketing agencies.

These are two key Acronym attributes. In fact, the news from Forrester comes on the heels of awards from two industry bodies lauding Acronym’s work in voice-activated queries, proving Acronym’s understanding of modern end user interactions across mobile devices and digital assistants, such as Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant, is quite advanced.

“Acronym is leading the next generation of search agencies because we’re not only becoming more AI- (or, more specifically at this point, machine-learning-) led, we’re broadening our service offerings to clients,” said CMO Mike Grehan. “We were pioneers in the first generation of search agencies specializing in SEO and paid search. Now, we are focused much more on understanding searcher intent and consumer behavior throughout their journeys. That means we’re well positioned to deliver in social, display, content, discovery and more. Simply put: The path to purchase is fragmented today – and brands need a Strong Performer to navigate.”

mateo

Inside Acronym – November 2, 2017

By Acronym News, Archives, Cool No Comments

Meet Acronym’s Mateo Suarez

Marketing Intern

When did you join Acronym?

In July of this year! (2017)

What is your title at Acronym and which clients do you work for?

I’m currently working as an Intern on the Marketing team.

What are your specific responsibilities?

I help the Marketing team with the cool initiatives in store for Acronym. This includes things like managing the Empire Cam, finding credible awards for us to win, and conferences or events for us to attend or sponsor.

What do you consider the most interesting things you do at work?

Honestly everything is interesting to me! My “world” may have roots in art, fashion, and design, but I consider myself lucky to be gaining an inside view on aspects of marketing I never thought about before. I want to absorb as much as I can in my time here!

What do you like to do best when you are not working?

I’ve always loved to draw and create. When I get home though, the only things I’m creating are excuses to not make art (I’m half kidding). These excuses often manifest themselves in the form of anime and/or RuPaul’s Drag Race, lately though, it’s been Stranger Things 2, playing Final Fantasy 14: The Zodiac Age, or hanging out with my friends.

You are going on vacation to a place where there is no Internet connection. What book or magazine would you bring with you?

My sketchbook and Volume 21 of Claymore: 魔女の屍, Majo no Shikabane (Corpse of the Witch)