All posts by All Points Public Relations

All Points Partners with Kidz Express for Q4 Positive Impact Program

The All Points PR team is back with another activity booklet for our Q4 Positive Impact program!

This time around, the team is partnering with Kidz Express, an education, mentorship and youth employment organization in Chicago’s South Austin neighborhood, to create a branded activity booklet. The winner of our second annual PRo Community Project, the All Points team is thrilled to be working with Kidz Express this holiday season and help give back to the local community.

Similar to the All Points Positive Impact Activity Booklet created in Q2, the Kidz Express Activity Booklet will be packed with tons of fun games and activities. We know these challenging times have hit especially hard for our nation’s youth. As we put the pages of the booklets together, from brain games and coloring pages to “how to” crafts, we hope to put smiles on the kids’ faces and encourage some much-needed fun.

Stay tuned for more of our work with Kidz Express by following along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Click here to learn more about the All Points PRo Community Project.

What the All Points PR Team is Thankful for This Holiday Season

While the holiday season looks quite different this time around, the All Points PR team took some time to reflect on what we’re truly thankful for during such an unexpected and challenging year. Whether personal or professional, our team has plenty of things to give thanks for. Check it out below:

Marin: I’m thankful for YouTube tutorials for teaching me every new hobby I’ve wanted to learn throughout quarantine.

Anastasia: I’m thankful for my All Points work family. After graduating at home this past May, things were looking pretty uncertain and dark for many graduates like me in the class of 2020. Having the privilege of working with this amazing team every day is what gets me up in the morning. Being able to do what I’m most passionate about and having so many other people support and inspire me daily has been the biggest gift in 2020.

The other thing that I’m grateful for is having time to sit down and enjoy dinner together with my family. Before the pandemic, my family would rarely be on a similar schedule so that we could coordinate eating dinner together. Now that things have altered a bit in our schedules and social lives, we are making more time for each other and enjoying quality time almost every evening. It’s been our silver lining throughout this crazy year.

Lauren: I’m thankful for the swerve. The swerve that my journey took in 2020 brought two dogs into our home and also gave my family a lot of time to be together.  

Gautier: I’m thankful for friends, family and colleagues who have been a great resource and support system through a challenging and whirlwind year! 

Alex H: I’m thankful for my friends, family and coworkers who support me through even the most sleep-deprived days!

Katie Lynn: I’m most thankful for a healthy family and good friends to lean on (even virtually) during tough times. Also, I’m very thankful for my new role at All Points and for joining such a kind and welcoming team. During quarantine, and now as we approach winter, I’m super thankful for good books and new shows to watch!

Amanda: I’m thankful for the health of my family and friends, my rediscovered passion for running, my car, amazing coworkers, fantastic music releases and shows that have helped distract from such a crazy year, and the technology that keeps me connected to my loved ones every day.

Kate: I’m thankful for all the time I got to spend with my family (socially distant and mask covered of course) and having them live so close. My health and the health of my loved ones continues to be something I’m incredibly grateful for. This year has been filled with ups and downs, leaving me especially thankful for the little things.

Maddy: I’m thankful for my family and friends. They have been a wonderful support system as we all learn to stay connected virtually during the turbulence of 2020.

Cole: I’m thankful for my loving family and friends. Their support has helped so much throughout my life. I’m also thankful for my coworkers. They help turn any bad day into a good one and are the reason I’m able to be successful at my job.

Jamie: In a year when we could all have faced greater challenges, I’m thankful for the health of my entire family, friends, the All Points team and our clients. I’m also thankful for the resilience of the human spirit – it’s been a roller coaster, but we’ve all found places inside us to persist.  

Emily S: I’m most thankful for my family. Although this past year has been challenging, I could always count on my family to be there for me and be supportive of the decisions I made. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them!

Jonathan: Although 2020 wasn’t exactly the year we imagined, I’m extremely thankful for the year our agency has had. I’m proud of us for all that we have overcome and for coming out stronger on the other side! I’m beyond thankful for my family and friends. Lastly, I’m thankful that sports are back in action.

Rachel: I’m thankful for supportive friends, family and coworkers.

Katie: I’m thankful for my health, the ability to still spend time with friends and family and the technology that keeps us together even when we’re not able to be with each other.

Nicole: I owe everything to my friends for keeping me sane this year. Our FaceTimes with one another are some of my more memorable moments from this year. I’ve also been lucky enough to start a podcast with a few of my friends this year which has helped me grow creatively by honing my graphic design and video editing skills. I’m also thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to grow professionally at All Points which wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my coworkers and Lauren and Jamie.

Alex S: I’m thankful for finding a positive support system in my family, my friends and my colleagues. This year has been full of ups and downs, but having people who are consistently cheering me on through the roller coaster is something I’m especially grateful for!

Spencer: I’m thankful that when Netflix releases a new series, they drop all the episodes at once. HBO Max, Hulu and Amazon Prime can all learn something from the OG streaming service.

Emily M: I’m thankful for my family, my home, my car and all of my crafting supplies!

Joey: I’m thankful to be surrounded by optimistic friends, family and coworkers who encourage me to look on the bright side of life. Their positive affirmations and energy always resonate with me, but having a positive circle was especially important this year. 

Bailey: As we’ve all been limited in our ability to socialize this year, I’m extra thankful to live so close to my family and to work with a team of people I enjoy talking to and being around.

Morgan: I’m thankful for my friends and family, my big comfy couch in the living room and Uber Eats.

Jessica: I’m thankful for my family, friends and good health.  

Tess: I’m thankful for my coworkers. When I relocated from Michigan to Illinois, I didn’t know anyone. From my first day at work, I felt welcomed and accepted by my colleagues, which I’m forever grateful for.

Tracey: In a year that has been unlike any other, I’m thankful for my amazing husband, my two pups and having family who lives so close by. I’m also incredibly thankful for the baby boy I have growing inside me who we will get to meet at the end of this year. We will never forget 2020 and I’m thankful that my main reason for that will be our little boy.

Sandy: Though this year has been difficult, I’m thankful for the all of the positives that came from it. I’m thankful it led me to All Points where I have amazing colleagues who have been very welcoming and supportive. I’m excited to continue to grow with All Points! 

Mackenzie: I’m thankful for my family (especially my adorable baby nephew, Cohen!), lifelong friends, my job and for the technology that’s kept our world connected over the past year. 

President’s Point: Beware of Blunders

PR doesn’t always go according to plan. This is especially true if your team doesn’t put enough time into weighing all of the potential outcomes.

With careful preparation and consideration to the execution of a campaign, it becomes much easier to anticipate the outcome. Even if you couldn’t possibly imagine a poor response, you must be prepared for any situation – otherwise, you just might end up with a PR nightmare on your hands.

Fortunately for us, unfortunately for those who suffered through them, there are plenty of well-meaning campaigns that we can learn from. Here are a few with important learnings for us all.

Blunder #1: Build-A-Bear Workshop’s “Pay Your Age” Day

In July 2018, Build-A-Bear Workshop held a special Pay Your Age event to kick off its new celebration of birthdays. The concept is as simple as it sounds – the sale for a plush toy equals the age of your child. The event created a frenzy at American malls when more people showed up than expected, leading to massively long lines and tons of media attention. Eventually, the retailer had to start distributing vouchers, closing stores and turning disappointed customers away. 

The Lesson

Don’t underestimate the traction of an event, especially one with a heavily discounted offer. While the idea of the event was good, it lacked the proper forethought and operational execution, which resulted in unhappy customers. Always have a backup plan, consider as many contingencies as possible and create a way to make it up to stakeholders in the event things go south.

Blunder #2: Neymar and Messi Mastercard Campaign to Feed Starving Children

In 2018, Mastercard announced on Twitter that it would donate 10,000 meals to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) for children in Latin America and the Caribbean each time professional soccer players Lionel Messi or Neymar scored a goal. While the company likely expected a universally positive reaction, the pledge quickly backfired on social media. Some branded the event as a “horrible” and “morally wrong” PR stunt that meant the fate of starving children rested in the performance of two soccer stars.

The Lesson

As one Twitter user put it, “Don’t let the fate of starving children rest on multimillionaire footballers.” If your company has the means to donate money or contribute to a good cause, don’t create any fancy hoops or stipulations for publicity – especially when child hunger is involved.

Blunder #3: McDonald’s #MeetTheFarmers Campaign

In 2012, McDonald’s rolled out a 24-hour Twitter campaign to share positive supplier stories. The campaign used the hashtag #MeetThe Farmers and was intended to focus on the brand’s organic potato farmers so that people would think “healthy” when they thought of McDonald’s. As the campaign failed to gain traction, McDonald’s introduced a second hashtag, #McDStories, which caused the campaign to blow up and turn into a channel for customers to share negative stories about the brand. 

The Lesson

Any social media campaign, especially one that encourages the use of hashtags, opens two-way communication between a brand and its customers. Social media can be very unpredictable, so don’t underestimate its reach and have a crisis plan to anticipate negative feedback, especially in the event that your hashtags get hijacked.

Jamie Izaks is the president of All Points Public Relations, a franchise-focused PR agency based in the Chicagoland area, www.allpointspr.com.

 

Account Lead Nicole Odziewa Shares National Pitching Tips During APPR’s Monthly Seminar

It’s that time again – another All Points PR monthly seminar has come and gone, and we’re here to share some highlights! Account Lead Nicole Odziewa led our recent October seminar, “A Guide to Pitching National Reporters,” which also included additional presentations from COO & Executive Vice President Lauren Izaks and Senior Director Bailey Hewitt.

Before launching into Nicole’s helpful guide to national pitching, Lauren and Bailey delivered timely updates to the team regarding Zoom best practices and 2021 agency planning. At All Points, we pride ourselves on our continuous efforts to improve our craft, as well as our thorough approach to planning with purpose. We’re gearing up for some exciting changes as we work to unveil our brand new 2021 agency campaign – but those plans are under wraps for now!

Following the updates from Lauren and Bailey, Nicole took the stage to cover all angles of national pitching, from finding the right contacts to customizing your pitch to the reporter. One of the biggest takeaways Nicole shared is the importance of using our resources. Social media is a key tool for national pitching and provides a wealth of opportunities to learn more about the reporter, what subjects they’re tackling and to find out if they’re looking for sources.

Our agency covers all the points when it comes to elevating our clients’ brand recognition and including them in national conversations. Nicole’s savvy approach to national pitching serves as a great example for the agency as we ramp up our efforts to align with today’s fast-moving news cycle.

Be sure to check out All Points PR on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the office and stay up-to-date on our latest seminars.

COO’s Corner: National Emotional Wellness Month

October is Emotional Wellness Month, and in a year like 2020, it’s more important than ever to take stock of our stress levels and attend to our emotional health. Not to mention, as the days become shorter (and seasonal affective disorder can set in), the election grows closer and the news cycle churns out one unsettling story after another, many of us are feeling unsure about what the future holds.

While emotional health and mental health are terms often used interchangeably, emotional health “focuses on being in tune with our emotions, vulnerability and authenticity” according to licensed psychologist Juli Fraga, PsyD. We must remember that emotional health is a vital aspect of our overall health. People who focus on improving their emotional health can feel more in control of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and how they’re able to cope with life’s challenges.

There are plenty ways to improve or maintain good emotional health – many are small adjustments you can incorporate into your daily routine. Here are a few to consider:

Pause and reflect

Whether you’re feeling like you’re in a slump or running a mile a minute, it’s important to take some time to align with your emotions. Pause, take a deep breath, and evaluate how you’ve been feeling. Then, write it all down. Think about why you’re feeling this way – are there any external factors that you can address? While there will always be things out of your control that will impact how you feel, you have the power to choose how you react – and to focus on the things you can change.

Strive for balance

Without a healthy balance between work, play, activity and rest, you’ll soon find yourself running on empty. And, with many individuals working remotely at home during the pandemic, those lines can become blurred real fast. Set yourself up with the appropriate boundaries to ensure you’re striving for balance each and every day. Start by taking a walk during your lunch break or settling in for bed 30 minutes earlier than you normally would (no phones or screens allowed!).

Focus on the positives

It can be easier said than done, but there’s nothing like the power of positivity. Focus on the good things in your life – one way to do this is by keeping a gratitude journal. Write down three to five things you’re thankful for, or reflect on some good things that occurred during your day. These can be as simple as waking up without hitting snooze or seeing a dog on your walk.

Connect with others

Social distancing has left many people starved for human interaction, but thanks to technology, we’re never truly “alone.” Though it can be difficult to avoid “Zoom fatigue” as we navigate this new normal, there are other ways to connect with your loved ones if you want to save the video chats for work. Even a simple phone call to catch up and talk about how you’re feeling with a friend can serve as a better alternative if you find video chats to be overstimulating. Or, if you’re in need of a fun distraction, you can download a digital multi-player game to kill some time and still have that much-needed interaction.

Remember – being emotionally healthy doesn’t equate to feeling happy all the time. Your emotional wellness rests on being aware of your emotions and having the capability to deal with them, whether they are positive or negative. Most importantly, be gentle and forgiving with yourself, because all you can do is try your best. Consider the ways in which you can best approach good emotional health – you’re worth it!

Lauren Izaks is the COO and executive vice president of All Points Public Relations, a franchise-focused PR agency based in the Chicagoland area, www.allpointspr.com.

APPR September Seminar Led by Leadership Coach and Northwestern Professor Alyssa Dickman

The All Points PR team recently welcomed Alyssa Dickman, a leadership coach and Northwestern University professor, to lead our September seminar exploring the “Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” based on the work of Patrick Lencioni. Alyssa was introduced to the All Points team by COO & Executive Vice President Lauren Izaks and Senior Director Bailey Hewitt. Lauren and Bailey are working toward earning a Leadership Certificate from Northwestern’s Professional Development Program, and Alyssa is their professor.

With a passion for coaching and teaching, Alyssa describes her role as partnering with individuals and organizations to explore their strengths, challenges and opportunities. Alyssa will “tell it to you straight when something needs to be challenged and always believe that you have the creativity and resources to design and accomplish your goals.”

Ahead of Alyssa’s presentation, each team member was asked to complete a team assessment incorporating the five dysfunctions of a team. Alyssa then connected with the All Points team via Zoom and led an interactive discussion to help us recognize and overcome these five dysfunctions. Following Alyssa’s presentation, we entered break-out sessions within our Pods across the agency to discuss our evaluations while applying what we learned about trust, conflict, commitment, accountability and results.

This seminar came at a crucial time as many organizations and teams across the country are adapting to different communication and collaboration methods due to COVID-19 and social distancing. We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Alyssa for spending time with the APPR team, and we look forward to putting what we learned into practice.

Be sure to check out All Points PR on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the office and stay up-to-date on our latest seminars.

NIFA Q3 Recap and Next Steps: Franchising in Underserved Communities

The Northern Illinois Franchise Association (NIFA) recently hosted its Q3 virtual event, “Franchising in Underserved Communities,” sponsored by All Points Public Relations and Marks & Klein. It was an incredibly powerful presentation and discussion, and we’d like to thank all those who could attend for their thoughtful participation.

Chicago-based Entrepreneur and Motivator Kareem “K.W.O.E.” Wells along with Robin Robinson, Chicago’s Emmy-award winning television news anchor and reporter, tackled hard-hitting business topics focused on how to successfully overcome personal and professional obstacles in the face of adversity. Robin carried the conversation through a Q&A with Kareem, discussing his experience in growing businesses and his vision for franchising in underserved communities.

If you would like to view the discussion, click here to download the video recording.

We’d like to extend our gratitude to Kareem and Robin for making this event possible. Their experiences, insights and connections to Chicagoland fueled a valuable discussion that could not have come at a better time in today’s social and business climate.

The franchising community in Northern Illinois and beyond has the ability to make a real difference in advancing diversity within the industry and uplifting underserved communities. It’s important that we continue to share our knowledge, extend our resources and take action.

We encourage you to stay connected through the NIFA LinkedIn group and to review a list of additional next steps that you can take below as a result of this discussion:

As we look ahead to future gatherings, we will seek out opportunities to further this conversation. Anyone with topic ideas or sponsorship questions for future events may reach out to Lauren Izaks directly by clicking here.

 Visit www.northernilfranchise.org for more information about the organization.