An Indianapolis Music and Technology Festival to Benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

My father broke the news to me in December 2012 that my Grandfather had been diagnosed with Leukemia. I had no idea what that meant for me or for us as a family. Growing up the only granddaughter, it’s safe to say my Grandfather and I had a bond that nobody in the world could comprehend or come between.

The doctors told us it would be months. Months quickly turned into weeks, and soon days. My grandfather was the strongest man I knew. He served 30+ years in the navy and continued to work until he wasn’t physically able. There is no feeling in the world like seeing the strongest person you know be torn down mentally, physically and emotionally by an illness… and not being able to help.

My grandfather was a blood donor his entire life. Near the end of the battle he was blood transfusion dependant. He would receive a blood transfusion every two weeks to hopefully give him a couple days of life. When the doctors gave word that he had three weeks left to live, I was on a plane to say my “see you later.” I was lucky enough to be in town during one of the transfusions. After eight or so hours in the hospital, the following day he was able to go swimming and out to eat with the family. A thousand words could never explain how thankful I am for that day with him. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart to everyone that has given blood or plans to in the future. Thank you.

Now, I can’t go a day without hearing the word cancer. Seven months since his funeral and I still cringe every time someone says the word. I had heard of Leukemia before but had never met anybody suffering from the disease itself. I am so incredibly thankful that my Grandfather lived to see 72 successful, happy years. Leukemia typically strikes much younger – very young children often suffer. Studies show that one in every five people know a person who has died or is suffering from a blood cancer: mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandchildren, grandparents, husbands, wives, friends, co-workers.

LLSWe’re close to a cure, though. Leukemia cases that had a 10 percent chance of survival now have in the 90s. It’s too late for my grandfather, but we’re close to saving many, many more people.

Since 2009, 55 candidates in the Indianapolis Man & Woman of the Year have raised nearly $1.8 million. Candidates are chosen each year to participate in a 10-week fundraising competition to earn the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s ‘Man & Woman of the Year’ titles by raising funds for blood cancer research.

This year, my father, Douglas Karr has been chosen as a 2014 candidate. My dad is the Chief Marketing Officer of Circupress, the CEO of DK New Media, founder of The Marketing Technology blog, and author of Corporate Blogging for Dummies. With my father’s technology background and large network throughout the city, he has decided to put on a Music and Technology Festival here in Indianapolis. On April 27, 2014, music will be played throughout the day in the Beer Garden of the Rathskellar and a technology conference will be held downstairs where you can see and experience the best marketing and technology the state has to offer.

2014-MTinMW-signThank you so much, to the Rathskeller for opening their hearts and venue to this upcoming event. The night will be filled with live, local musical talent while raising awareness for local marketing and technology companies. All proceeds from ticketing, sponsorships, and donations at the event will be benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma society – going directly to research, support and information programs for blood cancer patients.

Go to to pledge, volunteer or sponsor the event. Be sure to RSVP and share the event on Facebook.

While my grandfather can’t attend, I’m sure his spirit will fill the air. Come join us!

Dittoe PR Gives Thanks

Before the Dittoe PR crew enters into a four-day food coma over the Thanksgiving holiday, we wanted to be sure to highlight the many things we’re thankful for this year.  There are several tools and resources out there that make our job easier and all the more fun. Here are just a few:
  1. Social Media – It’s safe to say that social media is one of the newer additions to the day-to-day tasks of a PR pro. As we continue to utilize the power of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and the like, we’re now able to make a name for our clients and agency in an entirely new space and share content with an entirely new audience.
  2. Technology – Our job doesn’t start at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Instead, when you work in PR, you are at work when your clients need you.  Thanks to smartphones, laptops, etc., PR pros are always accessible and able to nail down front-page stories from just about anywhere.
  3. Media databases – Talk about a lifesaver. Subscription-based media databases are the butter to our bread. With endless media contacts at our fingertips, we are truly unstoppable and capable of landing awesome coverage across all forms of media.
  4. Internet – Yes, it seems obvious, but let’s just take a second to think about how it positively impacts the work we do. Thanks to the internet, we are able to do our research and stay informed on all our clients’ industries, among the million other things. Oh internet, how we love you!
  5. Each other – Let’s face it. We work day in and day out to come up with creative and engaging ideas, whether it be for pitches, press releases, etc.  Sometimes, the creative juices just stop flowing – especially if you’re caffeine deprived. That’s why all PR pros should take a minute to thank their co-workers. I know when I’m banging my head against a brick wall, mine are always there, willing and ready to offer up all their fresh ideas.
Happy Thanksgiving to all from everyone here at Dittoe PR!