Happy 10th anniversary, SHIFT Communications! This April, in honor of SHIFT’s journey from small start-up to well-respected bi-coastal integrated communications agency, we will be featuring weekly posts from SHIFT staff members describing the experience and challenges along the way. Today we feature Danielle Mancano, an Account Director in our New York office.
Was it Bob Dylan or Carrie Bradshaw who said, “The slow one now will later be fast…for the times they are a-changin?”
This is SHIFT Communications in a nutshell. When I first joined SHIFT, we were a scrappy, little agency with big ideas not yet ready to have life. We were starting from scratch after a devastating tech bubble burst and an overall tough time for the country. We knew who we wanted to be (and DIDN’T want to be). We just needed to figure out how to get there.
Right away I saw a spirit in SHIFT. Even during my interview, I heard laughter and light-heartedness coming from people who were intimidatingly smart. I knew I stumbled into something special.
Those big ideas…and lack of fear and good sense…came to fruition and quickly made SHIFT a recognizable force in the PR world. We were “later fast,” and now find ourselves waiting for the rest of the industry to catch up.
But it isn’t just the working part of work that has made SHIFT such a huge part of my life through the years. As we inch closer to the ten-year mark, I thought it would be fitting to share my favorite SHIFT moments.
1. Winning the Halloween costume contest with Matt Trocchio. I was Dog the Bounty Hunter and Matt was his voluptuous bride, Beth. The best part about this was the SHIFT harassment and workplace ethics training scheduled that same day. Poor Matty had to attend in full drag.
2. Pod A. That’s what we called our little nook in SHIFT’s old office in Boston (or Watertown if you’re getting specific). It was an amazing freshman class of friends I still have to this day. We’ve attended each other’s weddings, helped each other move, we’ve been there for each other through personal tragedy. It’s rare to find and fortunately, something I’ve seen duplicated with each incoming class at SHIFT.
3. The opening of the NYC office. Admittedly, I had reservations about going from our finally established headquarters to our start-up office in Manhattan. I was set on bringing the Boston culture to the new office; but instead, found a whole new kooky-yet-hardworking group to call my own.
4. Thanksgiving Pot Lucks. This gluttonous tradition spans our three offices. All SHIFTers bring a Thanksgiving dish…some traditional and some odd. One year we had a Turducken. Jim Joyal usually brings his hotdog broiler. At the end of this extended lunch hour, we’re all fat, full and happy.
5. Hanging with Theo Epstein. SHIFT managed the media outreach for an event at Brookline High School, which honored a distinguished alumnus. In 2005, that honoree was then Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein. Theo JUST announced his resignation from The Sox and the day of the Brookline High School gala, he snuck past the press wearing a gorilla suit. Those same sport reporters chomping at the bit to interview Theo about his decision to leave The Sox showed up at our event. It was stressful and exciting and my first taste of what it’s like to work as a celeb publicist…enough to know I never want to be a celeb publicist.
There have been many special moments—from birthday roasts to in-office marriage proposals to pink gorillas announcing promotions. We got to ten years with dirt under our nails and smiles on our faces. We’re later fast, but it’s fun to slow down once in a while and think of what we’ve built in just a decade.
Happy anniversary, SHIFT!