In this issue of Converging News:
Meet Our New Dean: David D. Perlmutter, Ph.D.
video by Ben Jarvis
Ben Jarvis is a senior media strategies major. He is currently president of the CoMC Dean's Student Council and TASEM and works as a videographer for the college's marketing department. David Vaughn is a junior university studies major and works as a photographer for the college's marketing department.top
'Out of this World' Ambition
by Jonathan Gutierrez
Becky Arreaga, Founder and President at Mercury Mambo
How did the name “Mercury Mambo” come about? What kind of thinking went into deciding on the name?
“When we were brainstorming names, we definitely wanted to have something that connoted our Hispanic expertise, so that’s truly where the ‘Mambo’ came in. As an agency that specializes in what they call ‘below the line marketing,’ or things that drive sales, we kind of fell upon ‘Mercury,’ who was the Greek god of commerce. It denoted that we want to help your business drive sales. We put them together and we came up with this really, I think appropriate tagline, which is “Where commerce and culture collide.” So, that’s Mercury Mambo.
What can you say about the staff you have here at Mercury Mambo? Personalities, personal ambition, drive, etc.
“First and foremost, I think I have the best staff on the planet. One of the things that I’ve been really lucky with is not only to get folks that are young and hungry, but that truly have a passion for the Latino market and how we can better educate, better inform, and better engage these consumers because it’s a true opportunity. What’s really unique is that some of our staffers are Hispanic and some of them are Anglo. It’s a great mix. We have good diversity; we have males and females, young and old, and it just kind of works. It’s all really come together nicely.”
Would you say that you’re proud of the way your career has developed? Are you content with where you are right now? Do you have any future aspirations?
“Mercury Mambo has been around for 14 years now. Prior to that, my sister, who is also my business partner, and I were consulting. So, we consulted for probably about four years. Prior to that, I spent 10 years at an agency in San Antonio called Bromley Communications. I consider myself extremely lucky to have really fallen into Hispanic marketing as a career right out of college with my first job in San Antonio at Bromley. At that time, back in 1986, it was a great time to be in the industry because marketers were just discovering it.
“The ’90s census was coming out and everyone was kind of like 'Oh, what’s going to happen to the Hispanic population? It’s growing.' We said, 'Yeah, it’s growing, and this is why you have to invest in it as a company.' A lot of attention was coming into the Hispanic market, and they were looking for guidance.
“So, I feel most of my life I’ve been at the right place at the right time. I landed at that agency and had some great mentors that helped develop me professionally. After spending 10 years there, I decided I wanted to see what was next for me, but also what I could help create for myself based on what I had learned from Bromley. From there, I decided to go back and get my graduate degree at the University of Texas, which is what brought me to Austin. So, I did that and I’ve been really happy.
“What lies ahead? Sitting in your seat, I would have never imagined that I’d ever be sitting in this seat and doing what I’m doing and accomplishing what I’ve accomplished, experiencing the things I have. I can’t even imagine what the next 10 years will bring, but it’ll be exciting I think.”
Can you tell me a little bit about what your undergraduate years at Texas Tech were like for you? What interests did you have going into college, and as your undergraduate years went on, what made you go in the direction that you did?
"I started Tech with the interest of better understanding advertising and public relations, and finding a career between those two disciplines. I started with that understanding and really stayed focused on those two tracks. What I loved about advertising and public relations at the time was that after being exposed to both of them, I could kind of see the parallels. Once I came into Hispanic marketing, I was able to use both skill sets. In PR, it’s all about maximizing budgets and generating word-of-mouth conversations, and that’s really what the Hispanic community gravitates toward and relates to. Coming from Tech really gives you that great foundation, so I was extremely grateful for that experience.”
Which Texas Tech professors would you say really stuck out to you, maybe three professors you can say made an impact on you personally early on?
“I would say Dr. Billy I. Ross made such a tremendous impact on me because the attention that he gave students was phenomenal. He really made you feel that he had your best interest and would give you really solid advice. Just to see how he stays connected with his former students throughout their entire careers. It amazes me to this day that I could walk in a room and he even would know who I am, because I was in such awe of him. I really value the time that I’ve been able to spend with him, and of course, my class work with him was phenomenal.”
There is a new major being introduced at Texas Tech called Media Strategies. I think this discussion we are having would be great for students that are aspiring to follow a similar path that you’ve been on with public relations and advertising. What advice would you be able to give those interested to just get started and going in the direction they choose?
“I think it’s exciting that they’re creating the new major, especially with the evolution of media. Back in the day when I was in the system, media was really radio, TV and print. If you’re in PR, it’s all about getting print publications. Now, that line is completely blurred and you’re seeing media not only expand to those mediums, but also social media, mobile applications, and mobile networks. Two years from now, who knows what it’s going to be.
“The great thing about SXSW is that you’re seeing all these new media that emerge. Twitter was founded here and Foursquare was founded here. It’s kind of hard to say where media will go, but I do know that if you’re well-versed and in the purpose of media, which is to gain exposure, now, you not only want to gain exposure, but also gain engagement. It’s like 'How do you make that reciprocal experience or create that relationship with that consumer through a website, through a mobile app or whatever’s going to come next?' It’s an exciting time to be on the forefront and to be able to study it in school and gain all that learning. I think it’s phenomenal. It’s a huge opportunity.”
Jonathan Gutierrez is a senior journalism major from San Antonio.
The Junction Experience
video by Ben Jarvis