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My Oscar Moment

Sarah Block

Sarah Block, Director of Public Relations at DiMassimo Goldstein

When I started as head of public relations at DiMassimo Goldstein just five short months ago, my first order of business was to map out a plan to help elevate the agency’s profile. At the top of my list, amid scheduling reporter meetings, mapping out speaking engagements and planning agency announcements, was a submission to Advertising Age’s upcoming Small Agency Award.

DiMassimo Goldstein had never submitted for this award, considered one of the preeminent awards for small agencies in the advertising industry, and I knew this was the type of recognition we needed. Throughout my career, I had helped other agencies take home this industry distinction and knew the potential positive impact it could have on our business.

But I’d only ever submitted my clients for these awards. I’d never submitted one for an agency for which I’d worked. This added a whole new level of pressure… and potential reward. When I learned that we’d been selected as a finalist, ensuring a silver or gold recognition, I was overwhelmed with pride. Gold or Silver!? A Small Agency of the Year!? What?

We wouldn’t know exactly what we’d won until the night of the award ceremony, so for the next few weeks, I basked in the glory of the win, whatever it was, and began to make arrangements to send someone to represent the agency at the award ceremony in Austin. Naturally I suggested that either Mark DiMassimo or Lee Goldstein attend, but scheduling conflicts and client priorities prevented either from traveling. So I valiantly volunteered myself to forfeit two days in the office to head to Austin. Hard life, I know.

Would I need to give remarks upon accepting? I had no idea! Would I be photographed with the award? Unsure! Like any New Yorker with her priorities straight, I sprang into action, mentally laying out my acceptance outfit and thinking about what I might say if given the chance. This may be the closest I’ll ever come to winning an Oscar, people! Outfits must be planned and words must be prepared!

Although I traveled to Austin solo, the rest of my team was there with me in spirit, texting and emailing me throughout the evening, requesting updates. “Have you heard yet? How’s it going? What did we win?”

Gold, Northeast Region!!!

Of all the small advertising agencies in the Northeast, a region with highest density of deserving advertising agencies, DiMassimo Goldstein, my new family, was selected as the best. And I was the person chosen to accept on their behalf. A proud moment indeed. Certainly the proudest moment of my tenure at DiMassimo Goldstein, and likely the proudest moment of my career.

The ceremony itself was quick. No time for remarks (phew, I was a little nervous about that anyway!), but I was asked to snap a picture with the managing editor of the publication after I’d accepted our recognition (my outfit shined!).

I was beyond thrilled to share the good news with my colleagues holding down the fort at home, and quickly shot off a few texts before embarking on the rest of the night’s festivities – with the award in tow of course. Like I said, this was my Oscar moment, and I wasn’t going to hide it!

But then the unthinkable happened. Not even a half hour after laying my sweaty palms on the crystal statue, I chipped it! And then I cut myself on the chipped crystal! Oh. My. God. How would I tell Mark and Lee that I broke the award they’d sent me to retrieve?

In the end they were good sports about it, since the recognition is what really matters anyway. And, I’m sure it didn’t hurt that, by the time I got back to New York, I’d already arranged for a new statue to be delivered.

I’m beyond proud to be part of such a talented team that gives me the freedom to do great work on their behalf. And I’m even more proud that that work is achieving tangible results for the agency. But mostly, I’m proud of myself, for finding a renewed sense of inspiration for my industry. Thanks, DiMassimo Goldstein.