NEW YORK, NY — Ad agency Adrenalina has tapped former veteran journalist Della de Lafuente to lead the agency’s internal and external public relations, reputation strategy and multimedia initiatives.
Says Manuel Wernicky, president, chief ideas officer and managing partner of Adrenalina: “She gets it. I’ve been in this industry for 18 years, and one of the things I know is: there are people who get it and people who don’t. Della is a rare gem. She’s razor-sharp and multidimensional. She understands today’s business and is a progressive, fast-forward thinker who can identify trends and sees well beyond what’s in front of her.”
At Adrenalina, de Lafuente will direct and execute the agency’s communications and reputation strategy in culture, among consumers and media and will do the same for clients, Wernicky said. Her appointment is effective immediately, reporting to Wernicky.
De Lafuente also will collaborate with teams in house and co-lead a soon-to-be announced cultural studies advisory board of experts from outside the realm of advertising that will lead the agency’s clients on future cultural trends. She also will promote the agency via relevant media platforms and as a leading Latina journalist via digital programs including social networks, hosted chat sessions and public events such as panel discussions, forums and industry conferences, per Wernicky.
The agency chief recognized de Lafuente was a perfect fit for Adrenalina largely because of “her access to an enormous range of contacts and her passion for reaching out to people, getting around barriers and closing deals,” he said, noting, “She has such a broad and vast expertise across a full range of disciplines: business, marketing, multicultural, Latina issues, and so much more. She’s a natural communicator who commands just about any issue you can think of which makes her brilliant, amazing and unique.”
Wernicky met de Lafuente when she interviewed him and wrote the first published news article via Adweek Media about Adrenalina, which is part of the MDC Partners network. She was among the first reporters to recognize the exceptional talent, focus and passion at the ad shop.
For the Adweek story, de Lafuente interviewed Wernicky about his team’s now legendary pitch to Heineken USA during an agency shootout that resulted in a win of Tecate and Tecate Light’s Hispanic business, the formal creation of the ad shop and the groundbreaking campaign in 2008 for Tecate.
“Their creative work and style is so fresh and distinctive to everything else you’ll see in the marketplace,” de Lafuente said. “Their work is bold, in-your-face, humorously spot on in terms of cultural relevance and speaks to the emotions of the consumers for whom the messages are intended.”
De Lafuente joins Adrenalina from Adweek Media where she served as senior editor of the “Hispanic Marketing Report,” which appeared in print editions of Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek, and of the former Web portal MarketingYMedios.com.
For de Lafuente, the new post is an opportunity to work with Adrenalina’s partners to create a voice for the agency and to showcase its talent and expertise. “I knew I liked the agency’s philosophy. I knew that if I’d ever entertain the idea of a ‘next step’ in my career, I knew this is where I wanted to be,” de Lafuente said.
Her own career as a reporter, writer and editor spans daily newspapers, national women’s consumer magazines, industry publications and other work in print and online, including serving as senior editor, Latina magazine; deputy editor, Working Mother magazine; and staff reporter of the Chicago Sun-Times.
De Lafuente also has served as a contributor to the features and lifestyle department of the Associated Press, New York, BusinessWeek’s Small Biz and the women’s business and career title Pink, in a solid career that includes a stint as a reporting intern at Advertising Age, Chicago. She is a journalism graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.