Creating Change, our probono marathon helping DC-area nonprofits with creative needs, is only 8 days away! So far, we’ve introduced you to Maia Kotlus-Gates and Sheila Hayes, who will be providing social media and creative campaign support. Today, we invite you to get to know Communications’ Dave Schaefer, who will be working with Thanks USA.
Tell us about your current position at Discovery Communications.
As Director of Communications for Emerging Networks, I work to publicize programming and initiatives for Investigation Discovery, Military Channel and Planet Green. It has been an exciting role because I have had the opportunity to watch Investigation Discovery’s growth, from launching a new brand to becoming the fastest-growing network in television. Being able to work directly with talent and pitch their passion for justice, like Keith Beauchamp from The Injustice Files, has been especially rewarding.
What is your proudest creative moment?
Sometimes, if the project lends itself to a creative premium, our team will send tchotchkes to media to bring extra attention to a new program. We especially had fun with Prison Wives, which we launched on Valentine’s Day on Investigation Discovery. We had custom boxes of chocolates (actually chocolate-covered Oreos) sent in creative boxes branded for the new show.
What do you do to get the creative juices flowing?
You never know when a creative idea will come to mind. So, when one does, I usually try to whip out my BlackBerry and send myself an email with the idea no matter what time it is or where I am. I also find my walk to and from work generates some creative ideas – some good, but many that are terrible.
What inspires you to create change in the world?
Having the opportunity to give back to our community is one of the great aspects of working at Discovery Communications. While attending Penn State, I got heavily involved in Dance Marathon, which is the world’s largest student-run philanthropy. Ever since that experience, I have appreciated opportunities to volunteer, and Creating Change is a fantastic program where I can not only invest my time and energy, but hopefully some of my PR skills I have developed while working at Discovery.
When I’m not at work, you’ll find me…
…walking my dog, Wiley, with my wife, Linda — either through Downtown Silver Spring or Rock Creek Park.
What are you most looking forward to during the Creating Change probono marathon event?
The organization I am working with during Creating Change is Thanks USA, and they are also a new partner for Military Channel. So it is exciting to be able to assist this organization directly by helping create a public service announcement that will be used well beyond Military Channel.