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All Points Team Gives Back with Positive Impact

All Points Team Gives Back with Positive Impact

All Points Team Photo_GardeningAt All Points, we take great pride in our Positive Impact program, which comprises quarterly initiatives to engage philanthropically with the Chicagoland community. Social responsibility – on both a personal and business level – is an important component of our All Points values.

In the last few months, the All Points team has participated in two officewide Positive Impact days, including an afternoon at Whitehall of Deerfield, a local nursing home, as well as North Chicago Community Health Center.

At Whitehall, the team assisted the staff by plating food and handing it out to residents, as well as engaging them in conversation and helping wherever we could. Jamie and Lauren Izaks’ daughter Abby even brought her violin and serenaded the residents!

During our time at the North Chicago Community Health Center, All Points came together to participate in weeding, watering and harvesting the Center’s community garden. We spent an afternoon in the sunshine cleaning up the garden for the people who get to take home fresh vegetables and herbs that they plant and largely maintain themselves.

As the year progresses, the All Points team looks forward to these opportunities to give back through different initiatives. Check out our Facebook page for more photos of our days giving back!

Account Lead Allyson Otey Shares Tips for Leveraging Today’s News in Pitches

Account Lead Allyson Otey Shares Tips for Leveraging Today’s News in Pitches

Led by Account Lead Allyson Otey, the All Points team lunched and learned together earlier this month, gathering as a group to hear how to leverage the news of the day in pitch development.

As Allyson pointed out in her seminar, we’re in the midst of a headline-driven news cycle at the moment – between the Olympics, the election and global economic issues that are constantly localized to the U.S., it can be difficult to break into these big conversations on behalf of our clients.

Using relevant case studies from our clients, Allyson demonstrated the importance of research, timeliness and flexibility when it comes to news-centric pitching. Not every pitch is a home run, but the relationships we build with reporters during the pitching process can often turn a “no” into a future “yes.”

For example, Allyson shared a pitch she wrote about head lice in schools, positioning our client, an educational childcare provider, as an expert. While the pitch wasn’t successful, Allyson went back to the reporter with a different topic and ended up getting a story on how to establish a proper sleep pattern during back-to-school time. This is a great example of how a little flexibility goes a long way when it comes to pitching.

Comprised of news junkies and media addicts, our team enjoyed the opportunity to think creatively about the ways we can break into the news cycle on behalf of our clients, whose valuable opinions and perspectives can easily act as expert sources for media of all varieties. Allyson reminded us to think outside the box and remain flexible during pitching for the most success.

Plagiarism vs. Paraphrasing: A Cautionary Tale

Plagiarism vs. Paraphrasing: A Cautionary Tale

shutterstock_351840518The first night of the Republican National Convention, Melania Trump delivered a speech to the audience that was later proven to closely resemble an address that first lady Michelle Obama gave to the Democratic National Convention eight years earlier. The effect was instantaneous – the entire country was talking about the alleged plagiarism. Videos were widely circulated that played the two speeches side by side, leaving no doubt in anyone’s minds that they were just a little too close to be entirely accidental. While the convention was about the Republican nominee, the conversation had shifted in one evening.

Plagiarism isn’t just a political problem. Academic institutions have put in place strict rules to find and punish plagiarism. But with so many people employed as web writers and content creators, and with content so readily available online, the line between plagiarism and paraphrasing can be very blurry. So how can we find that line?

Proper attribution

When you’re writing anything – be it an article for a website, a press release, a blog post or even a social media status, be sure to give credit where credit is due. Simply cite your sources, and there’s no problem. With web writing, it’s easy to hyperlink your source directly into a story so there’s no continuity issues. This is the easiest way to avoid plagiarism. 

Use of quotation marks

If an attribution doesn’t fit into the style of writing you’re doing, consider using a direct quote – in quotation marks. But be sure to cite your source – whether it’s a person, publication or website – after you end the quote. 

Outline it first

Paraphrasing can sometimes make good writing look like it’s been put through the thesaurus machine, stripping your writing of any authenticity and degrading the quality altogether. Before you write, make an outline. Not only will this help you keep your thoughts on track, you’re more likely to come up with good, original ideas if you think ahead.

In a world where we consume writing and media almost constantly, it’s easy to feel like there are no original ideas anymore. Avoid a sticky situation at work or school and cite your sources, use quotation marks and plan out your writing.

Office Education Encourages All Points Team to be Lifelong Learners

Office Education Encourages All Points Team to be Lifelong Learners

Team ImageThe typical employee spends at least 40 hours a week in the office – that’s a third of the entire workweek – which is a considerable amount of time. At All Points, we do everything we can to cultivate an office culture that promotes ongoing learning and education. We feel that every member of our team has valuable strengths that enrich the office atmosphere, helping us all to learn and grow as a group.

One major component to our office environment is learning. We emphasize ongoing learning from day one, letting team members at every level know that abundant opportunities exist to amplify existing skillsets. From monthly seminars run by different team members on a variety of topics – think writing skills, phone pitching, research, current events, organization and professional development – to industry convention, we do everything in our power to make sure our team is enriched and engaged.

In addition to the seminars, we also enhance our culture of learning with in-office brainstorming sessions, collaborative account analyses and a review process that prioritizes individualized professional goals.

Check out the pictures from All Points’ most recent seminar here, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates!

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