PRspectives BLOG

5 Ways to Prioritize Your Employee’s Experience in a Hybrid Workplace

5 Ways to Prioritize Your Employee’s Experience in a Hybrid Workplace

Happy people are productive people. When it comes to boosting morale and participation in the workplace, our agency prioritizes engagement across all fronts. Proactively managing morale is just as important for remote or hybrid environments as it is in person.

From quarterly contests to care packages, there are many ways we increase engagement, even in our hybrid structure. Here’s how we keep our agency motivated virtually:

1. Encourage Virtual Meetings and Team Outings

 Even when it was impossible to be together in person, we still made it a priority to host virtual pod outings, including happy hours and game nights, where teams could interact outside the office environment.

2. Introduce Office-Wide Contests

There’s nothing like a little competition to bring the team together. With some creativity, contests can be done from the comfort of an employee’s home. Just don’t forget the prizes!

Our agency hosts quarterly contests, with the anticipated Super Bowl contest set to begin in the coming weeks. We look forward to this every year and track our progress on our social media.

3. Send a Care Package

Unexpected presents are the best. Care packages are a great way to make WFH remote employees feel appreciated, even when you can’t be together in person.

These care packages can be as simple as sending a snack to your employees’ doors. Recently, we sweetened our staff’s day by sending them Caroo snack packages to enjoy at home.

4. Virtual Mentorship

Employees are more likely to serve organizations that offer meaningful opportunities to learn and develop. That’s why some of the most successful companies invest in mentorship programs for employees – like Caterpillar, Fidelity Investments, Google, and General Electric.

Our agency mentorship program, Point Pals, offers a great way for newer employees to connect with, and get advice from, other members of the agency. Pairs meet twice a month, virtually or in person, to catch up on how the week is going, share any positive outcomes, or answer any questions.

5. Quality Communication Tools

To drive engagement in a remote or hybrid structure, it’s important to encourage strong communication practices.

As an agency, we use texts, mass communication platforms like Remind, Zoom and FaceTime to stay in constant communication on projects and client work while working from home. We’re currently testing out morning announcements in video form as another way to be more personal.

Virtual work, whether it’s remote or hybrid, is here to stay for the long haul. Continue to get creative and find new ways to shake up your regular meetings.

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.

January Seminar Recap: Building Reporter Relationships

January Seminar Recap: Building Reporter Relationships

Our agency encourages the professional development and growth of our staff through ongoing education. Several of our team members have had opportunities to attend conferences and conventions to better their skillset and network with industry professionals.

Senior Account Lead Nicole Odziewa and PR Associate Maddie Darling recently attended the PRNEWS conference in Washington D.C. Together, they led this month’s agency seminar to share their takeaways when it comes to interacting with reporters and building relationships.

Relationship Building

Journalists receive hundreds of pitches a day, leaving many pitches to go unopened or deleted. The best way to make sure your pitch gets read is to have a preexisting relationship with the journalist you’re pitching.

To foster those relationships, set up an introductory call with a reporter to learn a bit more about them and what stories they’re interested in covering. Continue nurturing those relationships, and the reporter may think of your client the next time they need a source.

Crafting Your Pitch

Securing earned media is more challenging than ever. In fact, for every journalist, there are six PR professionals. Strong pitches are key to cutting through the clutter. As PR professionals, we need to break through the noise and create tailored pitches that match the reporters’ beat and medium.

Before sending your next pitch, consider the following:

  • Make It Easy: Provide summaries, background, sources and quotes
  • Be Targeted: Customize each pitch based on the medium, reporter and market.
  • Think in Headlines: Provide clever framing to get more attention
  • Connect the Dots: Why should your audience care?

Media Training

 Interacting with the media can be a stressful experience for our clients. Media training is the best way to ensure that our clients positively represent their company and are well versed in the media frame.

When media training for interviews, think of phrases that deliver a headline on a silver platter. Reporters say they look for something controversial, unexpected, that strikes emotion, pulls at heartstrings, and offers perspective– not just the facts.

Crisis Communications

With negative stories, try calling the reporter first to learn more about the direction of the story. Talk with them to learn their concerns to see if you can provide info to sway the story to be more neutral/positive.

When it comes to crisis communication, there are several steps to take for reactive statements:

  1. Flag for internal stakeholders
  2. Call reporter to ask questions on story’s direction
  3. Craft statement with background point
  4. Keep statement to 2-3 sentences
  5. Run for internal approvals

Takeaways

With many in-person and virtual learning opportunities in the year ahead, we encourage all of our staff members to be proactively searching for ongoing educational experiences that can better their knowledge and our clients.

Be sure to check out All Points PR on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the office.

5 Franchise Marketing Trends for 2022

5 Franchise Marketing Trends for 2022

Marketing trends are always changing, and it can be hard to keep up. As we head into 2022, we’re tackling these trends using the proven methods our team mastered over our 10 years in business in new, innovative ways.

Here are five marketing trends that franchises should take note of as we move into 2022.

  1. All Ears for UGC

    User-generated content (UGC) and postings from micro and nano influencers—staples of our own agency’s influencer outreach strategies—reign supreme in a social media landscape where more users than ever take an active role in content creation. Platforms like TikTok have lowered barriers for content to go viral and for users to monetize content, and other platforms have followed suit. Do not discount organic brand validation even in a franchise development capacity—where can you find ready-to-use brand testimonials from a third party? Tools like Hootsuite provide helpful social listening and mention monitoring to find positive client sentiment to repurpose.

  2. KISS (Keep it simple… and short)

    Attention spans continue to shrink across all demographics, and busy multi-unit franchise investors are no exception. Bite-sized, shareable and informational content means more of your audience is likely to consume and disseminate your message to their networks. We’ve implemented short-form video content like Q&As or live tours in content marketing and social media pieces to communicate more with less.

  3. Alexa, What is SEO?

    95% percent of searchers only view the first page of online search results and voice searching via AI like Alexa is also on the rise, meaning ranking highly within search algorithms is more important than ever. SEO is deeper than backlinking and interlinking processes—it requires a comprehensive content strategy to develop useful site content that many businesses don’t have the expertise to create. When drafting content marketing pieces, we always provide detailed rationale for the keywords and corresponding copy that we use to further business goals via organic search.

  4. Show Me the Numbers

    Concrete systemwide data, consumer reports and industry statistics are necessary to support brand claims. Press outlets and audience members alike react positively to specificity in your data. How can you mine the stats to find golden nuggets of sales data? We assist our clients in finding the best numbers to tell the story of their brand growth in new ways.

  1. Privacy, Please

    Apple’s latest update, iOS 15, provides enhanced privacy controls, including Mail Privacy Protection. Facebook has also acquiesced to users’ calls for less invasive tracking for advertising purposes. These updates require all marketers to scrutinize data differently and devote their content to a highly researched audience. For example, our agency has implemented innovative strategies across the board to not rely solely on data provided by digital platforms and to incorporate detailed profiles to reach the best target audience.

COO’s Corner: Be Present in 2022

COO’s Corner: Be Present in 2022

It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. After overcoming the triumphs and tribulations of the pandemic, 2021 truly embodied resilience. With a renewed feeling of hope, brought by vaccines, I’m challenging my staff to live mindfully and be present in the year ahead.

Even in our structured hybrid, we still need to show up – and we need to show up more than ever. In our latest agency seminar, I encouraged my staff to take a moment and reflect on their practices and how they can be more mindful in the year ahead. Here are some tips:

1. Turn Off Notifications

Between my Apple watch, email alerts and text messages, I constantly feel like someone is tapping me on the shoulder.

You may have emails, texts and meetings to deal with, and of course, your own work. To balance all these needs, pausing your notifications for specific periods of time is a happy medium. In the middle of it all, you can apply principles of mindfulness to feel alive and present and even more productive.

2. Talk Less, Listen More

We all like to think we’re good listeners, but there’s a big difference between nodding as you wait for your turn to speak and actually being present.

People do not learn new things when they talk; they learn by actively listening. In today’s busy world it can be hard to shut out distractions that draw us away from the conversation.

Practice mindful listening to eliminate internal and external distractions, so you can absorb and understand fully what is being communicated to you.

3. Get Into a Flow

You may have heard about multi-tasking, but how about single-tasking — doing one thing at a time. Nobody can multi-task, in reality, the brain cannot perform two tasks that require high brain function at one time.

To get into a productive workflow, protect yourself from interruptions and take one task at a time. Be mindful of your deadlines and set chunks of uninterrupted time to get that task done. That goes for respecting your colleagues’ time as well. Schedule a meeting to go over a project or brainstorm new ideas, rather than interrupting their workflow.

4. Stop Working Like Everything’s an Emergency,

Mindfulness at work may seem counterintuitive. You’re slowing down to become more efficient and productive.

Working in a panicky rush leads to bad decisions. As an agency, we live by the saying “this is PR, not the ER,” to keep our staff from constantly working in 911 mode. It’s hard to be present if you’re constantly working in crisis mode.

By purposely managing your technology notifications, listening skills and workflow, mindfulness at work is possible.

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.

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