Does Your Company Need A Brand Story? Absolutely.

  • Brand stories help the consumer to connect with your company on a deeper level
  • Brand stories aren’t about putting the company at the center, it’s about making the consumer the hero and the company the guide
  • Stories work on a deeper psychological level than fact-based marketing

Why Your Business Needs a Brand Story

Have you ever read something that connected with you? Maybe it made you laugh, think, or cry? Hit you right in the feels? About 10 years ago I read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I still remember reading it years ago and having to put it down multiple times because it was so powerful and so moving, and I was crying so much, I couldn’t see the words on the page. Here I am, many years later and if you ask me about that book I still remember that feeling.

Now let’s think about your company. When someone asks what you do, what do you say? Do you start listing out the problems you solve? The customers you serve? Riveting.

Ask that person what you do a few days later and I’m going to bet they don’t remember, or they misremember what you told them. That’s because when the brain senses that it’s being pitched or sold to, it has a natural cognitive reaction to resist. It pushes back.

Now if we were to relay what you do in a simple, but engaging story format something very different happens. Your brain actually takes that information and claims it as it’s own- as if they found it. That’s because your mind spends 30% of it’s waking time daydreaming– when you work, drive, etc. But when you are watching a movie, reading a great book, or listening to a great story, your brain doesn’t daydream: That story is doing the daydreaming for you. The story has literally taken over the brain.

Stories go beyond a product. They resonate because they’re human. They hit you in the feels.

It’s not a list of features. It’s not telling them how great your company is, all the great things you’ve done, or all the people who love you. It’s about the customer, your hero. Your company is merely the guide or the helper to get the hero to the finish line.

And you don’t have to take my word for it. A recent study shows that when you read stories that evoke emotion, it stimulates the brain and even changes how you act.

What’s a Brand Story?

A company’s brand story isn’t about throwing together a quick persona and then using it in your PowerPoints and explainer videos. It has a narrative that carries through your site, sales pitch, marketing campaigns, brand voice, logo, and branding. It’s using the best elements of writing to develop a storyline that creates a personality customers can connect with.

[Cue the obligatory Apple-Steve Jobs anecdote.]

When Apple re-emerged with the iPod Classic, it was a story. And it wasn’t a story that revolved around Apple or Steve Jobs. It was about the user and their connection to the music and how they made it easier for people to store, access and listen to the music they loved. And while Apple was part of the story, it was a guide, an assistant to get the hero – YOU – closer to your music. Apple has one of the most loyal, – almost to the point of illogical – fan bases. They are part of the fabric of the user’s everyday life. They are not just well-liked, they are BELOVED.

How Do You Create a Brand Story?

Your story should be built around your hero, and that hero isn’t your company. The hero is your customer. And just like in any good story the hero is a well-developed character who experiences a conflict that’s resolved with the help of a guide.

Creating a brand story is an art and a craft. It takes a lot of work, research, and editing. It makes knowing your target audience at a level that goes beyond just the demographics- it goes to psychographics. What does your ideal customer worry about? What are they struggling with? How does that struggle make them feel? Using the best practices from thousands of years of storytelling and creative writing ensures that you have a story that injects personality into your brand- and your personality and story are what your customer connects with.

The Intern Experience

Colin Dame: Advertising Major, Temple University, Class of 2019

Here at LevLane, helping students prepare for the corporate world through our intern program is something that, as a company, we pride ourselves on. We take their contributions seriously and we welcome the many innovative and fresh ideas they bring to the table. In fact, many of our best and hardest working team members began their careers with us as interns.

Colin Dame has had a similar journey and recently wrote an essay describing what his intern experience has been like with LevLane thus far. So, in his own words, and with his usual quirky spin on things, here is Colin’s intern experience…with a twist.

What Rihanna Taught Me About the Advertising Industry

By: Colin Dame

While earning my bachelor’s degree in Advertising at Temple University I participated in LevLane’s Intern program. For the past two semesters, I have been splitting my time between studying for my degree and learning everything I can about the inner workings of an ad agency.

As you may know, advertising agencies are high-pressure incubators for marketing and creative professionals. What you might not know is that Rihanna totally interned at an ad agency before she started singing. In fact, one of her most popular songs gives deep insight into what it’s like at an agency…well, kind of. I’ve broken down some of those lyrics into lessons any aspiring intern can use in the day-to-day.

The Lyric: You see me I be work, work, work, work, work, work

The Lesson: Ask For More Work

Rihanna gets it! Agency life is about putting in the work, work, work, work, work, work. But even in the slow moments, you need to get the most out of your time as an intern. Tasks run dry? Ask the media department if they need help with some reporting. Recently, I stepped in to help our SEO director with some keyword research, a vital skill for any aspiring content marketer, web developer or social media strategist; not to mention an easy resume builder!

The Lyric: You see me do me dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt

The Lesson: Ask For Help

What you do isn’t dirt! Everything you do is to help your client’s business. But you’re not a seasoned adperson…yet – there’s no reason you should know everything. There have been times when a manager has given me an assignment, and 10 minutes into it, I had no idea what was going on. It’s crucial to ask for clarification. Your supervisors completely understand that agency-talk can be a foreign language to you.

The Lyric: There’s something ’bout that work, work, work, work, work, work

The Lesson: Get Involved Wherever You Can

Agency life includes a lot of different interactions with clients – they are the folks paying you after all! Sitting in on meetings is a great way to better understand business communications in an agency. In meetings, you will learn when to talk, to whom to talk, how to talk, and what to say. Incorporating those fundamentals will take you far in this client-centric world.

The Lyric: When you a gon’ learn, learn, learn, learn, learn, learn

The Lesson: Go Outside Your Department

If you’re lucky enough to work at a full-service agency, you’ll quickly realize that the people there all do very different things. Introduce yourself to someone new every day. Chat with an art director about what their process looks like. Introduce yourself to someone you haven’t met before. If people in the office know your name and know what work you’ve contributed to, you lay the groundwork to making great network connections or a chance to join the agency full-time.

The Lyric: Me na care if me tired, tired, tired, tired, tired, tired

The Lesson: Self-Care is Key

You’re driven. That’s why you’re an intern, right? You want the best possible job out of college because you want to produce the best work. Well, you can’t do that if you’re running on empty with a flat tire. Nix going out 5 nights a week, and go get some sleep! Your future self and career will thank you.

Attach the Attachment

Ok, not a lyric, but it’s so important to be present during this experience. Take each moment one step at a time, and don’t think 6 steps ahead. If you’re sending your supervisor a deliverable, she’s never going to know how beautifully thought out it is if you forget to actually attach the attachment. Proof and edit each assignment with superb detail, and your supervisors will love you for what little work they will need to do to anything you turn in. Trust me, the easier you make their job the happier they’ll be!

Yes, being an intern is a requirement for graduating but if you do it right it can most certainly work to your advantage. A few reminders: do your research, find an internship that is the right fit for you and immerse yourself in any way you can within the company and you will get the most out of your intern program! Hopefully, these tips help you in your journey to become the next top CCO, CMO (or agency intern turned superstar if you decide to follow in Rihanna’s footsteps instead).

The Local’s Guide To The Best Of Philadelphia


The amazing cannoli cream donut from Frangelli's on W. Ritner Street in Philadelphia. This is a donut filled with a lightly-sweetened cannoli cream with chocolate chips mixed in.

Photo: The life-changing canolli cream donut from Frangelli’s Bakery at 847 W. Ritner Street in Philadelphia. 

Google the “Best spots to visit in Philadelphia,” and you will be inundated with articles, posts, reviews, and cheesesteaks, lots and lots of cheesesteaks. You’ll also notice that most of the sites are telling you to go to the same places over and over. Why not get the lowdown from those who call Philadelphia home? We’ve pounded the cobblestone in search of all the places you won’t typically read about in Trip Advisor or Yelp. Sure Vedge, Buddakan, and Vetriare fantastic, but everyone knows that. As a naturally curious bunch, we take pride in finding those hidden gems. At LevLane, we love our city, we love our people, and after you check out our hand-curated First Annual LevLane Locals Guide to Philly we think you’ll be glad you skipped Google for these hidden gems.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all that the city has to offer, so to help you along we’ve broken it down into a few different categories from places to eat, to live music, art, interactive museums, and the downright creepy.



La Colombe: Java lovers and caffeine addicts rejoice! La Colombe is a Philly tradition and they brew a smoother cup than that other chain.

Rival Bros.: This Philly-grown coffee roaster was started in a truck by two life-long friends who wanted to bring great coffee to Philly, and they’ve succeeded. Rival Bros. has grown to three locations in just a few years. If you love coffee, it’s worth the visit.


Termini Brothers: A Philadelphia staple since 1921 Termini Bros. will satisfy your sweet tooth in ways you never knew possible. Order a hand-piped cannoli, and watch as it’s filled with cream on the spot for freshness that leaves you wanting a second…and a third. Not that we would ever do that…

Frangeli’s: Enjoy a taste of the past with homemade doughnuts that are made to order. Their famous Franolli is a gift from the pastry gods- a cannoli cream filled doughnut with chocolate chips and sprinkled with powdered sugar. The Franolli is a must try, but their sticky buns are as equally yummy. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything you order here.

Stock’s Bakery: Two words: Pound Cake. They’re famous for it, and there’s a reason why. Go find out! You can thank us later.


Green Eggs Café: Try the red velvet pancakes or cookie dough stuffed French toast. Bring your own prosecco and wash it all down with a tangerine-juice mimosa.

Down Home Diner: A local favorite located inside Reading Terminal Market. Don’t miss the scratch-made blueberry pancakes!


Pub & Kitchen: Not an early riser? Grab brunch here and try the Jonah Crab Toast and the P & K Wrangler Bloody Mary and kick-start your day in the city!

The Dandelion: Contemporary British cuisine comes to the city of brotherly love. Start with scones and jam and their English style cheese board, then round out your brunch with their succulent lamb shepherd’s pie.

Bud & Marilyn’s: Share a warm pecan-cinnamon roll with cardamom cream cheese, bourbon caramel, and raisins. Then order the lemon ricotta pancakes served with mixed berries and mint. It’s as inventive as it is delicious!

Talula’s Garden: Try the fried chicken & waffle served with roasted pear, spiced maple, scallion butter, and pickled butternut squash, have you ever heard of a better combination?


Dixie Picnic: Don’t let the outside fool you- this little breakfast/lunch spot is a hands-down LevLane favorite. In fact, we’re pretty sure we’ve worn a path from our building to their Chestnut Street location. Their boxed lunches give you an enourmous amount of food for just $10. We love their sandwiches. Our favorites are the build-your-own turkey, veggie, and the nutty chicken salad, but their grilled cheese and tomato soup is also the stuff of legends in our office. And the best part? Each boxed lunch comes with a deviled egg, a side (we love their potato salad), and an upcake of your choice. What’s an upcake you ask? It’s a cupcake turned upside-down and frosted so you get frosting with each and every bite. Why didn’t anyone else think of that sooner?

Reading Terminal Market/DiNic’s Roast Pork: Reading Terminal Market is famous for a reason. You can find anything you are craving, but our favorite for lunch is DiNic’s Roast Pork. The original comes with provolone cheese and garlicky broccoli rabe. Travel channel voted this the “Best Sandwich in America,” and we have to agree. Try it once, and you’ll understand why the line is always so long.

Village Whiskey: The Whiskey King burger and Duck Fat Fries will have you eating here every time you’re in town!

MeltKraft: A farm-to-table restaurant that takes the classic grilled cheese sandwich up a notch. Try the brie and cranberry chutney sandwich and enjoy a fresh approach to a classic.

Talula’s Daily: The bright and sunny neighbor of Talula’s Garden isn’t your typical café. Stop in for freshly baked bread and delicious take-out meals and enjoy your lunch across the street in the beautiful Washington Square Park.

*LevLane Insider Tip: You cannot visit Philly without stopping by the South 9th Street Italian Market.As the oldest continuous open-air market in the country, the food options are truly endless and include everything from fresh fish and produce to still-warm-from-the-oven baked goods.



Vetri: Reservations here can be hard to come by so plan ahead. Vetri has been at the top of the Best Restaurants in Philly for years and for good reason. Their seasonal menu that features both classic and contemporary Italian dishes is always excellent. The whole roasted branzino is a must-try.

La Viola West: When weather permits, dine al fresco at this family-owned BYOB. Start by sharing the Zuppetta Di Cozze; farm-raised mussels in a white wine and garlic sauce, and then enjoy the Pollo Alla Fontina; chicken breast topped with asparagus, prosciutto di parma and fontina cheese in a light marinara sauce. It’s the perfect place to end your night enjoying great food as you watch the city pass you by.

The Saloon: The Saloon has been a Philadelphia tradition for 50 years. Its unique setting fits their name and makes every meal feel like a special occasion. It’s classic Italian comfort food that feels special but never fussy. You won’t be disappointed no matter what you order.

Little Nonna’s:If you go on a Sunday, you must get the Sunday Gravy. It’s slow-cooked all day, and if you’ve never had real Italian gravy, this is the one you want to start with.

La Locanda Del Ghiottone: This tiny hidden gem is a classic Italian BYOB. Grab a bottle of your favorite red and enjoy home-cooked Italian food, just like our own Nonna’s used to make.


Zama: Try the crispy brussels sprouts with truffle essence and cashews–it’s divine.

1225 Raw: An excellent place for sharing! Order the Tuna Tartare, Tempura Rock Shrimp and Takeshi Nachos and wash it all down with the “Tour of Japan” sake flight.

Bing Bing: You dim-sum, you lose some…with Bing Bing you definitely Dim Sum. New to the Philly restaurant scene but their flavors feel old world, and you will not be disappointed with their Pork Soup Dumplings and Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts.

Double-Knot: A fairly new restaurant to the Philly scene, this unique concept restaurant brings you coffee and cocktails upstairs and sushi and robatayaki down. It’s quickly become a favorite among LevLane staff for their $7 lunch special!


Harp & Crown: Share the Roasted Olives or Shrimp Toast and then cap off your meal with the Blueberry Whoopie Pie as you make your way downstairs to the bowling alley (yes, bowling alley) and bar known as Elbow Lane.

Lucky’s Last Chance: Their “incomparable burger,” the burger that named them Burger Battle Royale Champions, is hands-down the best bacon burger in the entire state!

Rex 1516: This speakeasy-esque restaurant and bar on the famous South Street is known for its Southern comfort food and vintage movie screenings.

South:If you are craving good southern food north of the Mason-Dixon, we highly recommend South for its classic southern dishes, great jazz bar, and lounge.


Barclay Prime: Barclay Prime takes steak to a whole other level. It is a place for the most special of special occasions. Try the 40-day dry-aged prime bone-in New York strip.

Chima Steakhouse: A Brazilian steakhouse that’s all about hospitality. Servers roam the dining room with 15 different meats. We like to be sure we plan ahead and wear stretchy pants.


Lolita: The crispy fish tacos are the best in the city, and right around the corner from our offices, so BONUS!

Los Caballitos Cantina: With a happy hour menu that includes $15 margarita pitchers, $5 nachos and tequila flights happy is undoubtedly an understatement.

El Vez:El Vez is just plain fun. From its funky décor and high-backed booths, to its solid food and expansive tequila selection, you simply can’t help but smile when you’re there.

Las Bugambilias:Classic and authentic Mexican highlighting cuisine from three different regions. Don’t miss their Sunday Brunch buffet.


Barbuzzo:Seating is a little cramped, and it can get loud, but don’t let that discourage you. Do not leave Philly without getting your hands on their whipped ricotta or famous salted caramel budino! Your taste buds will thank you.

Tredici Enoteca: This Mediterranean restaurant creates classic dishes with fresh flavors. The bacon wrapped dates stuffed with manchego and blue cheese and the Raw Bar Sampler are an excellent introduction to your meal here. For an entrée, the braised duck fettuccine is a crowd favorite.


The Good King Tavern: If you like French inspired food, but don’t want to head to Parc, this is one of our favorite little spots.

*LevLane Insider Tip:East Passyunk Ave: Arguably the heart of South Philly, East Passyunk Ave. has restaurants for every craving, mood, and budget, and all within the span of just five blocks! If you can’t decide where to eat in Philly take a stroll down East Passyunk and see what catches your eye.

[Insert Obligatory Cheesesteaks Suggestions]

Delassandro’s– The clear favorite among LevLaner’s.

Jim’s Steaks

Steve’s Prince of Steaks

Tony Luke’s

John’s Roast Pork

Carmen’s Famous Italian Hoagies & Cheesesteaks

Cleavers Philadelphia

*LevLane Insider Tip:Everyone knows Philly is home to the cheesesteak but if you want a fun spin on an old classic try the truffled cheesesteak empanadas at Good Dog.


R2L: Sip on their Sunset Punch while watching the actual sunset as Philly goes from day to night. High atop the 37th Floor of 2 Liberty Place, R2L gives you unparalleled, unobstructed panoramic views of the city.This place is a Happy Hour must!

Downstairs at Harp & Crown: Great vibe for drinks and the downstairs, known as Elbow Lane, you can even go bowling!

The Library: On a chilly night there is nothing quite like having a drink at The Library, located inside The Rittenhouse Hotel. As its name implies, The Library is cozy elegance and pure Center City.

Frankford Hall– Not only do they have the best warm soft pretzels and cheese, and great drinks and overall great vibe, they have JENGA!

Charlie Was a Sinner: As their tagline says, CWAS is all about small plates and strong drinks. It’s a unique and quirky place that makes perfect classic drinks and some lovely signature drinks.

Assembly: Located on the rooftop of The Logan Hotel, Assembly is one of the gems of the Philadelphia bar scene. With a solid selection of wines and bubbly by the glass along with excellent signature cocktails, it’s a great place to take in the beauty of the city from high above the Ben Franklin Parkway.

McGillin’s Old Ale House:Try their famous beer sampler which includes their own McGillin’s 1860 IPA and enjoys it inside the oldest bar in the country!

The Twisted Tail:With over 120 different whiskeys on the menu you’ll never run out of options to wet your whistle. Become a member of their Bourbon Club and receive exclusive discounts while listening to live blues music and entertainment six nights a week.

Irish Pub: For casual Irish-American dining and a lively nightlife Irish Pub is the place to be! With drink specials every night, over 20 beers on tap and outside seating there’s no reason not to make this one of your stops while in Philly.

Varga Bar: This pin-up themed bar inspired by the colorful imagery of artist Alberto.Varga Bar features All-American craft beers and comfort food for the soul.



MütterMuseum: One of the weirdest museums you’ve ever seen. It’s a collection of medical oddities that you can only see here- from the biggest tumor to body parts in jars- you’ll be grossed out and intrigued all at the same time.

The Barnes Foundation:An incredible collection of impressionists, post-impressionist, and early modern paintings with a surrounding landscape that is almost as breathtaking as the art inside.

Rodin Museum: In this tranquil oasis you’ll find one of the world’s great collections of works by Auguste Rodin as well as the only dedicated Rodin Museum outside of Paris, France.

Philadelphia Museum of Art: With a world-renowned collection inside a landmark building the Philadelphia Museum of Art inspires its visitors through scholarly study and creative play. Run up the “Rocky Steps” and step inside the museum for a lively and memorable experience that introduces you to something new with every visit.

Franklin Institute: With attractions like a giant walk-through heart, a Space Command center, SportsZone, and The Franklin Air Show, science comes to life at one of the oldest and premier centers for science education and development in the country. As an added bonus, it’s just as fun for adults as it is for kids!

PA Academy of the Fine Arts: Known for its collections of 19th and 20th-century American paintings, sculptures, and works on paper and offers open hours in their historical Cast Hall where guests can get a look at the rarely seen collection of celebrated casts. Be sure to look at the cast of Michelangelo and see “The Gross Clinic,” a painting by Eakins that has been named as one of America’s Greatest Paintings.

*LevLane Insider Tip: Take a stroll through The Magic Gardens, a 3,000 square foot urban oasis glittered with trash mosaics, shattered mirrors, and tiles. A LevLane favorite!


Elfreth’s Alley: Follow in the footsteps of some of Philly’s most prominent figures, like Benjamin Franklin or good ole’ Billy Penn, when you walk down the oldest street in the country.

Independence Hall: Home to the creation of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Independence Hall is rich with history that will definitely make you feel a bit closer to our forefathers. Fun Fact: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were both out of the city on business when the document was signed!

Masonic Temple: Called one of the “great wonders” of the Masonic world, here you’ll find some of the finest artifacts of Freemasonry as well as strikingly beautiful lodge rooms based on themes of the ancient architectural world.

Music & Entertainment

Frankford Hall: A beer garden with an edge. Play a round of (free) table tennis, sip on a one-liter stein of your favorite ale and treat yourself to a traditional German bratwurst.

Johnny Brenda’s: If you’re into good music and a great venue, with food and beer options that support the local community then this is the place for you!

Helium Comedy Club: Need a laugh after a long day? Helium Comedy Club has you covered! No matter what night you choose you’re sure to leave in tears from laughing so hard!

Fergie’s Pub: With everything from weekly Quizo and comedy open mic night to live band karaoke, Fergie’s is the TV-free venue you need to visit to unwind after a long day of sight-seeing. Once there you’ll feel right at home.

World Café Live: With events like The Ultimate 80’s Prom and Havana Nights: A Celebration of Cuban Music & Food, in addition to the dozens of talented musicians who perform here, World Café Live is just the kind of place to kick back, grab dinner and a drink, and enjoy the music.

Bury the Hatchet: Jump on the axe throwing bandwagon and relieve some stress at Bury the Hatchet. Bring your friends and some beverages, and make a night of it!

Lucky Strike: With 24 bowling lanes, ping pong and pool tables, 2 full bars, a DJ and VIP and lounge seating the entertaining options are endless and the fun never stops!

McGillin’s Olde Ale House: If you love karaoke, don’t miss McGillin’s on Wednesday nights!


Blue Cross River Rink/Winterfest: Ice skate with friends then grab a hot cup of cocoa and warm up next to one of the fire pits or get cozy inside one of the warming cabins as you breathe in the crisp cool air of Philly and relax.

Spruce Street Harbor Park: Cold beers, hot food, relaxing hammocks and a view of the city that can’t be beaten! Sit back, relax and enjoy!

Seasonal (Fall)

Eastern State Penitentiary: Take a haunted tour through one of America’s oldest (and definitely haunted) prisons. It’s seriously scary even when it’s not Halloween. An experience that is sure to turn your hair as white as Ben Franklin’s!

Ghost Tours:Discover what lies in the shadows of America’s most historic and haunted city. Take a candlelight walking tour along the back streets of Independence Park, Society Hill, and Old City where the ghosts of Philly’s past lurk around every corner.

Sea Monster at The Navy Yard: The Philadelphia Navy Yardhas been invaded by a gigantic and highly aggressive sea monster. Rush to go see it but be careful it doesn’t swallow you up in the process! Don’t forget to snap a picture- it’s only temporary.

No matter your absolute “musts” when visiting a new city, you can be sure that at LevLane we’re going to do what we do best, and show you places that are a little out of the box and a lotmore interesting than your standard tourist traps. So, when you hit one of our favorite spots, be sure to tag us using the hashtag #LevLaneLovesPhilly. We hope you love our city as much as we do.

Bruce Lev and David Lane, named “Movers and Shakers by Philly AD Club

LevLane Wins Five Trophies from Art Directors Club of Philadelphia’s 2016 Louix Awards

The Hub of the LevLane Wheel: Donna Pangione, Director of Production

Donna Pangione, Director of Production

Donna Pangione, Director of Production

Since she joined LevLane in 2010, Donna Pangione has often been referred to as the “hub” that keeps the agency’s projects in motion, from concept to completion. Here’s why:


How does your position fit into the functions of the rest of the agency?

Our department brings the project to life. Whether that’s a brochure, an outdoor billboard, print advertising, t-shirts – we handle it from start to finish and deliver the final product.


What led you to LevLane?

I had worked at LevLane years ago, and remembered the friendly people. I was glad to find that a lot of the people were actually still here!  In this ever-changing world of advertising, it is rare to find so many familiar faces so many years later.


How did you know this was the right position/career path for you?

I loved the subjects of art and English growing up. Penn State University had an advertising major at the time, so I thought that would be a good mix of both!  Now, I am one of the few Penn State Alumni with an actual advertising degree.


What is a typical day at LevLane like for Donna Pangione?

I manage the creative workflow, answer A LOT of questions, answer a lot of phone calls, double-check, double-check, double-check, review proofs, and most importantly ensure that everything is produced on time and within budget.


What is the most challenging aspect of your role at LevLane?

I interact with everyone on a daily basis and each department has its own idiosyncrasies. It can be challenging handling multiple personality types in the appropriate manner. It is also difficult to partake in the multiple steps involved in the successful completion of a project. My anticipation is always to exceed clients’ expectations, so there is a lot of back and forth and verifying to ensure that all parties are satisfied and that the final product looks as close to perfect as possible.


What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?

It is so satisfying to see the finished product and working collaboratively with others to develop the best possible creation.  And I love when I come in under budget!


What types of projects do you most enjoy, and why?

I love utilizing unique printing techniques that just add the final, special touches to a design. Embossing, UV coating, varnishing techniques, foil-stamping, die cuts…it’s fun!


What’s your favorite thing about LevLane?

Everyone works really hard and at the same time the atmosphere is laid back, fun, and friendly.  I also thrive on the fast pace of the agency. The ever-changing environment allows the day to go by quickly and there is always something to do.


How do you handle the constant pressure of working on multiple deadlines?

Jogging!! Also, remembering that we are all working toward the same goal and that the deadlines always end in a beautifully-executed design.


As the head of your team, what plans or goals do you have for Production over the next year?

I’m really excited for the new software that we recently began using. It is a system that enhances project management tools. The goal is to further explore how it can facilitate our workload and make managing and interpreting creative needs more feasible and efficient.


Do you have any advice for someone trying to enter/advance in your area?

Follow your heart!! You’ll be successful…whatever success means for you. But above all, only you know how to make yourself happy. Follow your heart and you’ll get there.


What are some personal qualities that help you do your job efficiently?

My ability to “see the forest for the trees” has brought me a long way in this industry – sometimes it just takes common sense. My job requires careful consideration to budgets and timing, which are essential when it comes to producing projects as directed. I also try my best to be a good listener – that’s very important! Whether it’s filing each project into a “job jacket” or organizing the various folders on my desktop, my ability to organize has been a great help. It is extremely important to pay attention to detail and stay one step ahead of the game.


Some people describe you as “the glue” here at LevLane. Why do you think that is?

My department is kind of like the quarterback of a football team.  Our job is to throw the ball and to set the play in motion for the rest of the agency. Without direction, it is hard to know where to begin and how to proceed. The glue is unseen, right?!  Another way to put it is that we are like the hub of a wheel – everything starts and ends here and turns all around the central location. We are able to take note of the details and note any inconsistencies to bring the project up to par.


If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

To Key West to paint sweatshirts on Sunset Pier….yup, that’s where I’d like to be right now. (She showed me pictures. It’s awesome!)


By Gena Bushnell, LevLane Spring 2015 PR Intern and marketing major at Saint Joseph’s University


LevLaners Show Love to Adoptions From The Heart

Each November, the walls and doorways of LevLane’s offices start to fill up with purple paper hearts – each one representing a dollar donation made to Adoptions From the Heart during National Adoption Month by a LevLane employee. Eventually, they form a sea of purple, and represent a sizable annual donation to AFTH from the LevLane staffers who donate. This annual tradition was started and is continued each year by VP, Digital Media Director Dan Hall, who’s been with LevLane for 13 years.

1. How and when did you first become aware of or get involved with Adoptions From the Heart?

We became involved through our son Matthew. We adopted Matthew through Adoptions From The Heart in 2010. When we decided to adopt, we looked at a few difference adoption agencies. Adoptions From the Heart seemed the most welcoming…the most open. Unlike some of the other agencies we met with Adoptions From The Heart didn’t care about your religion or your sexual preference. They just want you to provide a happy, healthy homes for children…to be a family. They also stressed the importance of openness between the adoptive parents and the birthmother, which can be scary for new adoptive parents. But we quickly learned how important openness and the adoption story is to the child. We selected Adoptions From the Heart and had a flawless experience. We were very fortunate. Now we have a family.

2. What made you want to support AFTH?

After we adopted Matthew, Adoptions From the Heart sent out a request for volunteer board members. My wife suggested I apply. They helped give me the greatest gift I will ever have in my life, so volunteering was the least I could do.  I applied. They accepted. I help in anyway I can.

3. What do the employee donations for Adoptions From The Heart go towards? 

Donations go to the Adoptions From the Heart Birthmother Fund.  The fund helps women who have had an unplanned pregnancy and are trying to make a tough choice during a difficult time in their life. Adoptions From the Heart provides free advice, counseling and financial support for these women in need.

4. Is it true that the total amount of donations made by LevLane employees each year is among the largest that AFTH receives?

They have many organizations that graciously contribute.  I am proud to say that LevLane is among the top contributors for this fund drive.

5. How does it feel to be the steward for what has become such a large, annual collection effort?

I have personally benefited greatly from the work Adoptions From the Heart does, but most folks in the office have never or will never need or use their services. Yet, they come into my office in droves with their hard-earned cash in hand willing to help out. It always warms my cold, black heart.

Here’s how to get the most from your agency internship

Gina Turdo, Public Relations Major, Rowan University Class of 2015

Gina Turdo, Public Relations Major, Rowan University Class of 2015

Two-term LevLane intern offers five top tips

Six months ago, I walked into LevLane as a public relations intern with little office experience, and not a clue of what to expect. For two semesters, I sat at the front desk in LevLane’s lobby greeting clients, helping them to their meetings, and feeling my heart sink when I could not match a face to the name of the colleague that the client was in to see. The frantic feeling quickly faded and my confidence grew as I began to work and interact more with my new co-workers.

My internship at LevLane has taught me about the industry I’m pursuing, what to expect from PR life inside an advertising agency, and most importantly, what is expected from me. My activities ranged from checking in dozens of media members at a big event, to contributing to blog posts and press releases, to sitting in on client calls and brainstorming meetings.

As terrifying as my first few months may have been, I now see what a gratifying opportunity it has been to watch such a successful integrated agency operate. In my final days at LevLane, I have been asked to share my top five intern tips, so that they might benefit other interns to follow:


As an intern you’re not supposed to know what to expect, and with that will always come nerves and uncertainty. No matter how unsure you are of yourself or your surroundings, a confident smile will always be the best way to smooth over any uncertainties that you may be experiencing.

Be prepared

From having multiple copies of your resume available when you arrive for your interview (trust me, you never how many people you will end up interviewing with), to always having pen and paper handy in case of being called into a meeting, being ready means you have it together. A trustworthy intern is never scrambling or unorganized, and although none of us start out like this, it should be your goal to leave this way.

Prove yourself

You have landed an internship, and you are right where you want to be – now it’s time to work. Intern work may seem mundane and unimportant, but in the grand scheme of things, intern tasks are often foundational layers for the work that comes next. Completing these tasks in an efficient and timely manner will not only prove your worth, it will improve the work and outcome for the agency. These experiences will also serve as great practice for you as a PR professional. Landing an internship alone does not prepare you for what may lie ahead, but presents you with an opportunity to immerse yourself in every task and to learn as much as possible.

Open up

Feeling like the lowest man on the totem pole will never be fun, but it’s easier if you open up to the people around you. There is nothing wrong with asking for help if you don’t understand something, and there is great reward in having the courage to respectfully add your input once you’re comfortable. Getting involved and reaching out to others is the absolute best way to break out of your comfort zone and form professional relationships – and even new friendships – along the way.

Learn and grow

Your internship will give you the opportunity to dive head first into an industry that you love, and will serve as a way for you to gain valuable experience you can’t get in a classroom. How much you absorb while you’re immersed in this world is completely up to you. Within this learning period, you have a unique opportunity to learn about yourself; take advantage of it. The experience will allow you to figure out what you like and what you don’t, who you are as a worker among others, and the truth about your shortcomings juxtaposed directly against your strengths. An internship does not just fulfill a credit requirement, or hold a place on your resume; an internship rubs your rough edges smooth, instills a new air of confidence, and helps you evolve into a professional who’s ready for anything.

By Gina Turdo, Public Relations Major, Rowan University Class of 2015