PRspectives BLOG

Good News Partners: All Points PR Builds Up Community for Positive Impact

Good News Partners: All Points PR Builds Up Community for Positive Impact

In continuing our agency’s mission to make a positive impact on the communities where we live and work, our team assisted Good News Partners in remodeling tasks for their facilities as part of our Q3 Positive Impact event.

Good News Partners is a non-profit organization committed to ending homelessness in Chicago. As the #1 champion for quality of life, Good News Partners elevates those in need through dignified housing. They provide otherwise homeless families with a step-by-step transition from interim housing to true independent living, ensuring they have the support and tools needed to jump-start their lives.

Our agency broke into teams to work on dismantling old bunk beds and play area in the New Life Interim Housing shelter, as well as constructing new bunk beds and additional cleaning in the Jonquil Hotel single room residency. We left inspired by their passionate staff and grateful to have made a small impact in the great work they are doing.

Making a difference in the Chicagoland community is a core principle for All Points PR, and we strive to make a positive contribution through our quarterly Positive Impact program.

Check out All Points PR on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the office, and click here to learn more about the Positive Impact program.

COO’s Corner: Support Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace

COO’s Corner: Support Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace

It’s a new era for mental health. Never before have mental health challenges been more prevalent across the country. One study reported 76% of workers experienced at least one symptom of a mental health condition in the last year, supporting the notion that mental health challenges impact nearly all of us on a regular basis.

Our agency continuously promotes the physical and mental wellbeing of our staff by creating a culture of acceptance and access to resources. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Day, I want to share my thoughts on the importance of creating a supportive company culture that promotes mental health.

Understand how mental health impacts our employees

Understandably, poor mental health and stress can have a negative impact on employees. It can impact their productivity, engagement and communication. Strengthening overall mental health is critical to help support our employees to be happy, self-actualized individuals. It’s important that employees feel safe and satisfied at work as they do in other areas of their lives for their personal wellbeing.

Our agency strives to foster a company culture based on trust and compassion. I have an open-door policy and encourage my staff to come to talk about any concerns or personal implications that impact their work lives. There is no stigma and no judgment in regards to mental health.

Prioritizing mental health coverage in our health care plan

The most vital action an employer can take is to offer resources for mental health. Healthcare is part of mental health, so when choosing a healthcare plan, we prioritized one that offered higher coverage, including mental health services.

Additionally, mental health is strongly linked to physical health, and as an agency, we want to support our team’s healthy lifestyle. That’s why our office reimburses for gym memberships, to encourage our staff to get active and clear their mind.

Offer Tips and Strategies 

Since the start of the pandemic, I incorporated weekly staff emails sharing important updates, resources and tips. In my latest email, I shared a piece of inspiration that I recently learned in a yoga class.

Like many, I often feel like I am running out of time, but that is not true. I just need to take a deep breath and relax. I was taught to say “I have” while breathing in and on the breath out say “time.” Again, breathe in “I have” and exhale “time.” Since learning this technique, I have used it frequently and find it helpful and calming. Try it out and see if it does the same for you.

Sustainable Ways of Working 

A critical component in promoting positive mental health practices is providing flexibility and sustainable measures to set employees up for long-term success. A saying that we live by at the agency is, “This is PR, not ER.” Our agency promotes a positive work-life balance where we don’t encourage working nights or on the weekends. Additionally, we offer generous PTO for a much-needed break.

We’ve permanently implemented a hybrid structure, with team members splitting their time working in the office and at home, which provides an adaptable environment and enables staff to be the most effective.

All Points PR prioritizes the health and wellbeing of our staff. We’re committed to doing our part to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health. My door is always open if you have any questions or concerns.

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.

AP University Hosts Illinois State Students for Agency Visit

AP University Hosts Illinois State Students for Agency Visit

Following the agency’s first summer internship program, we’re thrilled to continue nurturing our relationships with new talent through AP University.

AP University serves to establish meaningful partnerships with universities through on-site classroom and student organization visits, speaking engagements and agency tours.

We recently hosted Illinois State’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) to give an inside look into a day in the life at All Points PR. The group met with fellow ISU alums, Director JoeyLauren Jiracek, and Public Relations Associates Alana Guggenheim and Sarah Lisewski, along with Creative & Digital Account Lead Jonathan Bazar.

After introducing our integrated approach and franchise growth-driven client base, Alana and Sarah shared their look into the public relations associate role. Our agency schedules days with morning and afternoon threes, prioritizing three main goals in the morning and afternoon.

To test their skillset, our team put together a pitching activity for our PRo Community Project client, Erika’s Lighthouse. The students paired up to draft a media pitch targeted at Chicago-based and national reporters and producers in the TV, print and podcast space. With preliminary information provided, the pairs were given creative freedom to do their own research and draft a note specifically to a reporter. The group then came back together to read their pitches to the group and receive feedback from professionals in the field.

As upperclassmen begin applying to summer internships and entry-level jobs, our COO and Executive Vice President Lauren Izaks shared interview tips and what she looks for in APPR candidates. Being successful at All Points—and in public relations in general—requires excellent time management skills, strong writing abilities, people skills, persistence and passion for news. With plans to add to our team and expand our internship program next summer, this workshop shared future opportunities available down the road.

Director’s Digest: Writing a Winning Award Submission

Director’s Digest: Writing a Winning Award Submission

Winning awards as an organization earns widespread exposure, enhances brand awareness and validates your market position. However, earning these recognitions is a highly competitive process, so your application makes or breaks your opportunity to earn these benefits.

We frequently use our industry and client-specific knowledge to craft stellar award submissions on our clients’ behalf. With our assistance, clients have earned first-time recognition or have climbed significantly on key rankings such as the Entrepreneur Franchise 500, Franchise Times Top 200+, Fast Casual Top Movers and Shakers and more.

Here’s how you can stand out from the crowd and submit an award-winning award application.

Research Opportunities

To take home the gold, so to speak, you’ll spend a great deal of time and resources writing and collecting the information needed for submission. For this reason, you should think critically about your chances of being considered, the exposure the award will bring and the necessary materials needed for submission.

Begin by researching the award and previous winners. Does this award carry weight in your industry? For example, each year, we nominate several clients to Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list, considered the world’s first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking. This list validates our clients as a prime franchise opportunity.

Have a Story Worth Telling

The fundamental part of any application is answering the why—why does your brand stand out among the other applicants? Many of our clients leverage systemwide growth, brand innovation, corporate support and strength to support their application.

If you truly believe your brand has what it takes, gather your team and brainstorm what you should include. What are you doing that your competitors are not? How can you quantify your success and communicate results? Once you determine what information you need, go out and source it.

Put Yourself in the Judges’ Mindset

When drafting a submission, always keep your audience in mind. Read the criteria thoroughly to determine what the judges are considering. With thousands of submissions to weed through, stick to the facts and to the point with snappy examples demonstrating why your brand should win. Keep in mind your existing brand awareness with the judges in particular and start with the basics if necessary.

Getting your award application just right can equate to a valuable third-party endorsement that differentiates you from your competitors.

JoeyLauren Jiracek is a Director at All Points Public Relations, a franchise-focused PR agency based in the Chicagoland area, www.allpointspr.com.

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