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The All Points PR Team Writes Letters to Healthcare Workers and COVID-19 Patients

The All Points PR Team Writes Letters to Healthcare Workers and COVID-19 Patients

While we remain socially distant in the All Points office, we stand together in our mission to support our community through our quarterly Positive Impact program. Our Lead Office Manager Kate Leve spearheaded the project, connecting us with an organization that allowed us to make a positive impact on healthcare heroes and COVID-19 patients.

Due to social distancing restrictions, our team explored digital opportunities to extend our philanthropic efforts. In Q1, we wrote letters to healthcare workers and COVID patients through Notes for Support to send thoughtful and encouraging messages to those most deeply affected by COVID-19.

Notes for Support, a student-run non-profit, helps encourage personal connections through the power of words, sent the old-fashioned way—and yes, that means snail mail. On Friday, January 19, we took some time to write heartfelt letters to be distributed to hospitals across the country. The APPR team wrote 98 letters in total.

Through this quarter’s Positive Impact program, we aim to thank those who have been tirelessly working on the frontlines and send words of encouragement to patients fighting the virus. Your organization can join us in our mission and send a message here.

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.

APPR Seminar: The Guide to UTM Codes

APPR Seminar: The Guide to UTM Codes

The All Points PR team held our monthly seminar, hosted by digital marketing lead Katie Rada, on integrating UTM codes into our social and content tactics. Katie is one of our expert sources of all things analytics and will be leading the charge with transitioning clients over to this tactic.

Hear more from Katie about why we are integrating UTM links with our clients:

As an integrated agency, there’s a lot of moving parts that come together to produce positive results for our clients. Marketing analytics help us to maximize our strategy’s effectiveness and optimize content and paid social efficiency.

A UTM code is a simple string of values that you can attach to the end of a custom URL to track a source, medium or campaign name. As a visitor clicks a link, data is captured, providing details on how a person landed on the webpage.

The most popular UTM builder is Google Analytics. To build a tag, simply fill in your values to generate the link to include in your campaign. Once created, it’s helpful to convert to a short link such as bit.ly for ease of use and sharing.

UTM Best Practices:

  • Use consistent naming conventions. From capital letters to spacing, consistency is critical.
  • Keep a list of all UTM values used to share internally or with the client.
  • Use Google Analytics to see where your traffic is coming from, how your channels and campaigns are performing, and even which links your visitors are clicking to land on your site.

Implementing UTM codes ensures we can properly attribute strong points of each campaign or initiative to their source. This practice will only create more value for our clients as we plan to utilize UTM links across social and content tactics.

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

President’s Point: How to Get the Most Out of Virtual Conferences

President’s Point: How to Get the Most Out of Virtual Conferences

With conferences shifting to a virtual format, there are new ways to branch out and connect with industry leaders from across the country.

Of course, attending a conference from your couch is much different than a large conference hall surrounded by your peers. But that doesn’t mean they’re any less valuable. Here are 5 ways to get the most out of virtual conferences.

1. Turn Off All Distractions

While you may think you’re an expert multitasker, try to limit disruptions. In order to get the most out of a virtual event, you have to give your undivided attention. Set your phone on silent, move to a quiet space and consider taking notes by hand.

2. Make a Game Plan

Just as you would before a big game, go in with a solid strategy to accomplish your goal of attending. Maximize your time and learning by selecting topics and sessions in advance. The point being: do your homework.

One advantage of a virtual conference is sessions are typically recorded and available for later viewing. You no longer have to decide between two sessions scheduled for the same time, and instead attend both at your own convenience.

3. Network Virtually

A large part of attending conferences are the networking opportunities. While we aren’t physically together, virtual conferences still offer opportunities to network.

If you attend a seminar where a speaker captures your attention, follow up with a message on LinkedIn. Utilize the Zoom or Google Meet chat functions to ask questions and connect with other attendees during the presentation. Post about your attendance on social media and engage with others using the conference hashtag. Since you aren’t physically seen, you have to be proactive to be heard.

4. Participate in Roundtables

Virtual roundtables are a great way to learn, share and network within the industry. When opportunities arise to voice your thoughts, make sure you’re not muted and are ready to share something educational, but not promotional. This isn’t time to be a company salesperson but a time to act as an industry leader.

5. Recharge In-between Sessions

Let’s face it—staring at a screen for extended periods of time is tough. Make time in between sessions to recharge by going for a walk, grab a snack or follow up with someone you just met. Taking 5 minutes to refuel can set the rest of the day up for success.

We’ll be physically back at conferences soon enough, but for now, we can appreciate the convenience of a lower cost and time spent traveling.

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

APPR Seminar: New Organizational Practices to Set Your Team Up for Success

APPR Seminar: New Organizational Practices to Set Your Team Up for Success

The All Points PR team kicked off the new year with our January seminar discussing clear processes and systems to set us up for success. This topic truly excites Senior Director Bailey Hewitt and COO & Executive Vice President Lauren Izaks, who led the charge.

Both Lauren and Bailey highlighted how these organizational changes allow for more transparency across the agency. Collectively, there are many moving parts, and having easy access to information boosts our productivity and benefits our clients.

Here are the ways our agency freshened up organizational methods for the new year:

  • Continuing monthly computer checks as a proactive approach to avoid major computer malfunctions
  • Transitioning file storage to Dropbox Smart Sync, so the entire agency has access to files without taking up too much hard drive space
  • Reviewing Monday.com dashboards for an all-encompassing view of daily tasks, deadlines and upcoming priorities
  • Reporting improvements for lead ad tracking and email performance
  • Maintaining “Inbox 0,” a reminder to immediately file emails away rather than storing them in your inbox

Now more than ever, technology is how we are interconnected. It’s important to take the time to familiarize your staff with both new and old procedures to ease the transition and avoid confusion. This seminar was crucial to starting the new year off on the right foot.

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

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NIFA Q4 Recap: Navigating the New Year

NIFA Q4 Recap: Navigating the New Year

On Tuesday, December 15, the Northern Illinois Franchise Association (NIFA) hosted its Q4 virtual event, “Navigating the New Year,” sponsored by All Points Public Relations and Marks & Klein. It was an informative event, and we’d like to thank all those who could attend for their thoughtful participation.

The event kicked off with insights from U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), a local congressman with deep connections to the franchising industry. Representing Chicago’s west and northwest suburbs that comprise Illinois’ 8th Congressional District, Rep. Krishnamoorthi discussed the business forecast for the region amid recovery, touching specifically on franchising in 2021.

Managing Partners Tom Wells and Scott Pressly with 10 Point Capital then took the virtual stage to offer their perspectives on the state of the franchising industry and what’s to come. The 10 Point Capital team brings over 75 years of experience in the franchise industry, including experience in investing in and operating both franchisors and franchisees. The team has invested in over 40 franchise transactions, has been franchisees for seven concepts and has worked for four franchisors. Its brand portfolio includes Phenix Salon Suites, Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux and Slim Chickens.

If  you would like to view the discussion from the NIFA Q4 event, click here to download the video recording, and click here to download the presentation deck.

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Rep. Krishnamoorthi, Tom Wells and Scott Pressly for making this event possible. Your insights, strong connections and extensive knowledge of the franchising community fueled a valuable discussion as we set the stage for franchising in 2021 and beyond.

It’s important that we continue to foster these connections and share best practices in the new year. We encourage anyone who would like to stay connected to check out our NIFA LinkedIn group.

Looking ahead, we are planning several wonderful 2021 events and hope to see everyone in person in the near future. We encourage anyone with topic ideas and sponsorship questions for future events to reach out to Lauren Izaks directly by clicking here.

The NIFA wishes you a safe and healthy holiday season! 

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

Developing Your PR Plan for the New Year in 4 Steps

Developing Your PR Plan for the New Year in 4 Steps

It’s that time again – planning season is here, and at All Points, we’re leading the charge with our clients to generate fresh ideas and strategies for 2021. Whether you’re planning within an agency setting for multiple clients or fleshing out ideas for a single business, there are four key steps that are essential to any PR plan.

Step #1: Brainstorming

Great ideas start with a good old brainstorming session. Zero in on what the company or client objectives are and think of creative ways to get to that point. In the spirit of collaboration, don’t limit yourselves to one small brainstorming group. Bring other members across departments into your sessions – whether or not they’re tied to the specific work or client, they will have great ideas to share. Brainstorming requires more than only grouping up with those you commonly work with, so take the initiative to open up the group to fresh perspectives. 

Step #2: Paper Edits

Next comes the paper edit phase. This is an important time to take a step back, reflect on your ideas and put them onto paper. Add context and build out your thoughts into complete sentences and paragraphs so you can start to form more concrete plans. Your ideas should be original, unique to the year (not recycled) and catered to the objectives of your company or client. 

Step #3: Strategy Design

This is where you bring your ideas to life through carefully-selected words and images. It’s all about putting together a strategy for a presentation that you believe in. When you firmly believe and are confident in your plan, it becomes much easier to earn the buy-in from key stakeholders. In PR, words alone don’t do your plan justice – you need to have visuals to support the direction that you’re headed in. Take the ideas you’ve formed and create something you can show your stakeholders, so they can visualize what your plan will look like. This is especially important in integrated planning.

Step #4: Presentation

Now that you’ve solidified your ideas within a visual presentation – it’s time to show them off. At All Points, many of our presentations carry a theme. This planning season, we’re thrilled to share with our clients a Blueprint theme as we lay the foundation for the first half of the year. Better known as idea generators in our agency, we shared a custom Blueprint, or fresh set of ideas, with our clients. These collaborative discussions with our clients included a thorough presentation of ideas that we outlined specifically for their franchise brands during the first six months of 2021.  However you’ve decided to design your presentation, the critical component is that it’s well thought-out, practiced, and that you have the energy to knock it out of the park. You’ve put time into the brainstorm, writing it out and coordinating the ideas, so now is not the time to phone it in. Back your ideas with energy and excitement to earn the trust of top company management or your clients. Most importantly, keep it a two-way street that’s open for feedback and collaboration.

The stage is set, and here at All Points, we’re ready to start the new year off stronger than ever before.

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

All Points Partners with Kidz Express for Q4 Positive Impact Program

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

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. 

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President’s Point: Beware of Blunders

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

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

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

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.

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NIFA Q3 Recap and Next Steps: Franchising in Underserved Communities

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.

 

Celebrate “National Read a Book Day” with Picks from The APPR Book Club

Celebrate “National Read a Book Day” with Picks from The APPR Book Club

National Read a Book Day is this Sunday, September 6. To help you get into the reading spirit, the All Points PR team has some page-turners to share from our office book club!

The All Points Book Club was started in June 2018, and since then, we’ve read:

  • The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
  • Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
  • Educated by Tara Westover
  • The Incendiaries by R. O. Kwon
  • Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  • A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
  • The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

Our current book is The Guest List by Lucy Foley. Read on to learn more about a few of our team members’ favorites and why they enjoy being a part of our office book club:

Tracey: I was a bit weary to join the book club at first because although I enjoy reading, I’m not always great with a time limit or a book chosen for me. But, I LOVE being part of APPR’s book club. I’ve really enjoyed each book we’ve read and it’s gotten me reading a lot more often and branching out into different genres. I’ve particularly enjoyed The Silent Patient and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

Maddy: My favorite part of book club is the selection – the variety of books is second to none. We went from a historical snapshot of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s rock ’n roll lifestyle (Daisy Jones and The Six) to a thriller (The Silent Patient), and haven’t turned away from books with heavier topics (A Spark of Light). All of these books led to great discussions that helped us understand the books better, get a chance to gush about how great they were and ask questions.

Marin: I joined book club to accomplish my goal of reading more for fun. I love having a fun lunch with my coworkers and hearing everyone’s very diverse opinions. My favorite books so far are Daisy Jones and The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, both by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I loved that each of these books created a compelling narrative inspired by bits and pieces of so many historical pop culture characters that we all know. I started The Guest List and finished it within a day – it’s a real page turner!

Alex H: I joined book club when I first started working at All Points. Not only did it push me to start reading again, but it was also a great way to connect with the team and have conversations unrelated to work. Of the books we’ve read so far, my favorite is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – I read it in about three days because I couldn’t put it down. Plus, it was one of the few books that everyone in book club loved, so it made for a really fun conversation.

Kate: Before starting at All Points, I definitely was not a “reader.” I hardly ever read books for fun and never understood when people would talk about the “power of reading” or how much they enjoyed reading as their leisure activity. After joining book club I have a new found love for books and reading! With one of our book clubs in particular, I didn’t think I would finish the reading in time, so I decided to finish it via audiobook instead. Ever since then, you can catch me listening to a book in the morning as I get ready for work, on my drive to and from and during lunch breaks. Now I’m listening to and finishing a new book every one or two weeks!

Bailey: As much as I enjoy reading a good book, it can often fall off my priority list. Our office book club helps to “force” the issue. So far, my favorite book we’ve read together is Educated. I’ve started our next book, The Guest List—so far so good. I like how each chapter offers a perspective from a different character and the switch between past and present. Looking forward to reading what happens at the wedding!

Amanda: I joined the APPR book club because I’m an avid reader and wanted to be exposed to more authors and genres. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every book we’ve read and discussed together. My top three picks are Educated, Daisy Jones and The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – I read this last book in one night and my mom tore through it in about three. It’s currently being passed around my family, from my aunts to my grandma – everyone loves it.

Happy reading!

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

APPR Seminar: Content Marketing Lead Amanda Goecke Shares Updated SEO Systems and Processes

APPR Seminar: Content Marketing Lead Amanda Goecke Shares Updated SEO Systems and Processes

On Thursday, August 20, Content Marketing Lead Amanda Goecke led our August team seminar and shared several exciting updates from the content marketing department.

Amanda kicked off her presentation with an overview of updated systems and processes regarding SEO, or “search engine optimization.” SEO involves the process of increasing the quantity and quality of website traffic, as well as improving site visibility, for organic searches. This is primarily achieved through tactics including keyword usage and inbound/outbound linking.

The seminar also touched on how Google Analytics and its tracking tools can be used to enhance SEO and reporting efforts and drive results for our clients. Whether through content marketing, digital strategies or press releases, SEO is a strong component that can be applied across departments at All Points PR to optimize our writing. Amanda closed out the sessions by sharing a new strategy for developing future content plans.

This month’s seminar served as a great time for the team to learn about new developments within the content marketing department and how they can be integrated throughout the agency.

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.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The All Points PR Team Writes Letters to Local Senior Community

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The All Points PR Team Writes Letters to Local Senior Community

While we remain socially distant in the All Points office, we stand together in our mission to support local communities through our quarterly Positive Impact program.

Due to pandemic-related restrictions and additional safety measures, our team has explored new avenues to extend our philanthropic efforts. In Q2, for example, we printed and donated 125 copies of the All Points Positive Impact Activity Booklet to Elevate Care nursing home and 150 copies to the Weinberg Community for Senior Living.

We recently partnered again with the Weinberg Community for Senior Living for our Q3 program, and each All Points team member received one resident as a “pen pal.” On Monday, August 10, we took some time to write to our pen pals and share more about our hobbies, families, pets and other introductory topics. We also printed and included photos of ourselves and our families with the letters.

Through this quarter’s Positive Impact program, we aim to put a smile on the faces our pen pals and serve as a ray of sunshine during these difficult and uncertain times. We also hope to continue with our pen pals and exchange regular letters in the weeks and months ahead.

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.

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All Points Public Relations PRo Community Project to Provide Much Needed Support for Chicago Area Nonprofits

All Points Public Relations PRo Community Project to Provide Much Needed Support for Chicago Area Nonprofits

Chicagoland Integrated Public Relations Agency Awards PR Campaign to Deserving Philanthropic Organization

 DEERFIELD, Ill. – To elevate the impact of Chicagoland nonprofits through powerful communication and activation, All Points Public Relations, a leading integrated public relations agency, is launching its 2020 PRo Community Project.

The annual initiative, geared toward organizations in need of additional communications and marketing support, invites nonprofit leaders to submit their application to enter and potentially win the PRo Community Project. From August 3-31, Chicagoland-based nonprofits can share why their organization is deserving of the support and how it would benefit from media exposure, social media and graphic design. All Points PR will be evaluating entries based on how the integrated PR services awarded will positively increase awareness, membership/donors and/or drive fundraising for a specific campaign.

If chosen, All Points Public Relations will provide the nonprofit organization with pro bono services for the remainder of the year. Services may include: media relations (press release development, media outreach); graphic design (flyer/brochure creation); social media (content creation); and landing page (content creation). The winner will be announced by Monday, September 14.

“Our world has been shaken, but Chicago communities have voices that need a boost to truly be heard,” said Lauren Izaks, COO of All Points Public Relations. “We want to amplify these voices of community leaders, take action and help advocate for issues that are important to us all. With the PRo Community Project, we’re giving back by doing what we do best—public relations, social media and content marketing. It’s important now more than ever to share our resources in support of others.”

Culinary Care, the agency’s 2019 PRo Community Project winner, received free PR, social media and content marketing support for its annual Gourmand Gala. The gala raised $250,000 for the organization’s efforts to provide free, nourishing meals from local restaurants to cancer patients and their families.

In conjunction with the PRo Community Project, All Points Public Relations is also celebrating its 9th anniversary this month. Deerfield natives Lauren and Jamie Izaks launched the company in August of 2011 in pursuit of their own entrepreneurial dream, using the power of integrated campaigns to help franchise brands achieve their goals. The agency’s expertise in the well-defined franchising niche comes from 20-plus years of work in the industry with brands that vary from well-known, national concepts to small franchise systems with less than 100 units, as well as start-ups.

“Nonprofits play a crucial role in representing underserved communities’ needs, but how often does someone help represent their organization?,” said All Points Senior Account Lead JoeyLauren Jiracek, who played an integral role in founding the agency’s PRo Community Project. “At All Points, social responsibility is engrained in our culture—we’re passionate about using our skills to do good for others, and that especially holds true now.”

Nonprofit organizations interested in the All Points PRo Community Project can submit an application at: https://bit.ly/PRoCommunityProject. Submissions will be accepted until Monday, August 31, and the winner will be announced through All Points’ social media channels, as well as contacted directly via email by Monday, September 14.

For rules, terms and conditions, please visit: https://bit.ly/PRoCommunityProject.

About All Points Public Relations

All Points Public Relations is a Chicagoland-based franchise PR firm that offers clients one agency to cover all the points — publicity, social media, content marketing and lead generation strategy. From seasoned serial entrepreneurs and startups to big name franchise brands, All Points PR digs in deep with its clients to tell the stories that generate top quality publicity and drive awareness with a targeted audience. For more information about All Points Public Relations and its services, please visit www.AllPointsPR.com or call (847) 897-7470.

APPR Seminar: Digital Advertising 201 with Sr. Creative & Digital Account Lead Spencer Abbott

APPR Seminar: Digital Advertising 201 with Sr. Creative & Digital Account Lead Spencer Abbott

Sr. Creative & Digital Account Lead Spencer Abbott recently led an All Points PR team seminar, “Digital Advertising 201,” to share best practices for launching digital work and providing our clients with ongoing advertising support.

As an integrated agency, the All Points team consistently shares new procedures, best practices and the latest trends across the agency to ensure each team member stays up-to-date. From setting up ads and adjusting targeting to monitoring and sharing results, Spencer covered all of the essential steps to ensure ads are running, and effectively reaching and engaging targeted audiences.

With a wide range of digital advertising capabilities on platforms including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google, this seminar served as a helpful touch-base to align on best practices, and for the Creative & Digital team to share their learnings with the other departments across the agency.

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.

All Points PR Prepares for Safe Return to the Office During June Seminar

All Points PR Prepares for Safe Return to the Office During June Seminar

All Points PR is back in office!

As a world and as an office, we’re all learning how to embrace change. Our June seminar, led virtually via Zoom by COO & Executive Vice President Lauren Izaks on Friday, June 5, provided in-depth information to our team on reopening procedures and in-office safety measures.

Though we’re all facing a new normal, this seminar was an important time for our team to gather and reinforce our mission of persistence. It offered space for us to ask and address questions, align on expectations and share each other’s excitement for a safe return. We’ve found a silver lining in all of the lessons learned over these past few weeks, from mastering our FaceTime and Zoom skills to the power of teamwork and perseverance during challenging times. These lessons will certainly be embraced as we all make this new transition.

It’s been great having members of the team return to the office over the past week, and we look forward to officially welcoming the full team back on Monday, June 22.

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.

APPR May Seminar Led by Professional Speaker Anne Bonney

APPR May Seminar Led by Professional Speaker Anne Bonney

The All Points PR team recently welcomed professional speaker Anne Bonney to lead our monthly seminar on Monday, May 18, entitled: “Ignite Your Team: Leadership and Collaboration Summit.”

Anne specializes in delivering “engaging, inspiring and educational programs igniting the courage in audiences to embrace the discomfort of change, effective communication and presenting.” She connected with the team over multiple sessions via Zoom and led interactive discussions on leadership, effective communication and conducting virtual meetings and presentations.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has certainly redefined the way in which we work and communicate with one another, a change that many professionals around the world needed to adapt to very quickly. Anne shared a variety of tips and tricks to consider as we work remotely and practice social distancing, many of which focused on leading team meetings, conference calls and presentations virtually. She demonstrated several functions we can leverage via Zoom, such as polls, chat messages and screen annotating. Anne also expanded on ways in which we can reframe our approach to communicating with one another to effectively convey our thoughts and ideas.

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Anne for spending the day with the APPR team and leading such a spirited discussion on leadership and collaboration. Our team looks forward to implementing these learnings through our work, remotely and when we’re back in action inside the office.

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.

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April APPR Seminar Led Virtually by COO & Executive Vice President Lauren Izaks and President Jamie Izaks

April APPR Seminar Led Virtually by COO & Executive Vice President Lauren Izaks and President Jamie Izaks

On Thursday, April 30, The All Points PR team hosted its first-ever virtual seminar via Zoom, led by COO and Executive Vice President Lauren Izaks and President Jamie Izaks.

Jamie kicked off the seminar by diving into some of the positives we’ve shared as a team so far this year. This reflection included our growth as an agency and the strategic planning we’ve implemented with our clients, from the beginning of Q1 to navigating the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Lauren then took the virtual stage to cover a variety of topics related to working from home, returning to the office and keeping our mental and physical health top of mind. While the uncertainty of this time can be overwhelming, Lauren offered a variety of tips and tricks addressing these areas, as well as ways to keep ourselves grounded. Complete with a demo of the “box breathing” technique, she provided plenty of thoughtful insights on managing our work, health and wellness. Ultimately, we were reminded of the importance of staying focused and channeling our energy toward situations that we can control.

Although the team couldn’t be together physically for the April seminar due to social distancing, it was an essential time for us all to gather and reflect on the impact of the current situation at hand. It’s critical that we remain positive, continue to work together as a team and keep pushing forward, both personally and professionally. Thank you to Lauren and Jamie for hosting such a great seminar, and we look forward to all that’s in store for the next one!

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

The NIFA Hosted Its First-Ever Virtual Event: How to Come Out of the Gate Strong and With the Right Approach

The NIFA Hosted Its First-Ever Virtual Event: How to Come Out of the Gate Strong and With the Right Approach

Due to circumstances regarding COVID-19 and social distancing, the Northern Illinois Franchise Association (NIFA) hosted its first-ever virtual event over Zoom on Wednesday, April 29: “How to Come Out of the Gate Strong and With the Right Approach.”

The virtual event, sponsored by All Points Public Relations and Marks & Klein, featured several presentations led by distinguished franchisee and franchisor leaders and vendor partners to encourage proactive planning for the future. An audience Q&A followed the presentations.

This event enabled professionals in the franchising industry throughout the Chicagoland area and beyond to share ideas and gain insight on how to recover, rebuild and reenergize in the wake of these global economic changes. There has never been a more important time to plan for success.

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to those who could attend and to all of our presenters who made this event possible. Their insights fueled a valuable discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the franchising industry amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see below to review the order of presenters, their roles and the topics covered:

  • Samuel Stanovich, Area Representative and Franchisee, Firehouse Subs: “Franchisee Support and Real Estate Opportunities”
  • Ken McAllister, President and Founder, MY SALON Suite: “How to Get the Customer Back”
  • Meg Schmitz, Senior Franchise Consultant: “Networking & Career Moves”
  • Patrick Lucas, Director, BMO Harris Bank: “Working with Your Banking Partner During the Pandemic”
  • Bailey Hewitt, Senior Director, and JoeyLauren Jiracek, Senior Account Lead, All Points Public Relations: “Lead Generation”
  • Peter Block, Executive Vice President, Colliers International: “How Has This Changed the Real Estate Market?”

If you didn’t get a chance to attend the virtual event, or you would like to listen to the presentations and Q&A again, click here to download the video recording. You can also download the presentation slide deck that was shared by clicking here.

We remain optimistic about the better days ahead, and will continue to share our knowledge and proactively plan for the future. We encourage you to stay connected through the NIFA LinkedIn group, and be on the lookout for future events.

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

President’s Point: The Four-Stage Integrated PR Strategy for Brands Maneuvering Social Distancing and Stay-At-Home Orders

President’s Point: The Four-Stage Integrated PR Strategy for Brands Maneuvering Social Distancing and Stay-At-Home Orders

We’ve all adjusted several aspects of our businesses due to COVID-19. However, we must remain proactive about planning for a return to normalcy. Yet, brands have several considerations to make along that journey to life as we knew it. At All Points PR, we’ve created a path for an integrated strategy that takes shape in four phases: 1. Stay-at-home strictly enforced; 2. The start of markets reopening; 3. A more consistent nationwide opening; 4. Life as normal. We’ve now entered a critical period where stay-at-home orders are either being extended, or plans are being set forth toward lifting them.

We’ve noted the four stages of integrated public relations execution in the guide below as stay-at-home orders progress toward ending, both on the consumer and the franchise development sides. Right now, many of us are between Stages 1 and 3. Whether stay-at-home orders are still effectively in place in your area or they’re beginning to lift, there’s no time like now to plan for what’s ahead.

While we’re all navigating uncharted waters, it’s clear that there are certain business practices we’ve developed and fine-tuned for years that are key in maintaining good relationships with customers and potential franchisees during this crisis. We’re looking forward to all of us entering Stage 4, but what we do now will set us up for success in the future.

Check out our four-stage guide to integrated PR through the end of stay-at-home orders and beyond. And, remember – we’re all in this together.

http://allpointspr.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Q2Newsletter.pdf

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

All Points PR Shares Positive Impact Activity Booklet with Local Nursing Homes and Community Members

All Points PR Shares Positive Impact Activity Booklet with Local Nursing Homes and Community Members

At All Points PR, we’re passionate about integrated public relations, but we’re also passionate about our commitment to corporate social responsibility. We strive to do our part to help the communities in which we live and work with our philanthropic and volunteer efforts, which is most noticeably achieved through our quarterly Positive Impact program.

In these unprecedented times, we looked for a unique way to keep our Positive Impact program going strong. We decided to create the All Points Positive Impact Activity Booklet to share with friends, family, neighbors and the community. Our team compiled our favorite kids activities, at home tips and checklists, recipes, exercises and brain games into one activity booklet for all ages to stay entertained and motivated during their time at home.

In total, we printed and donated 125 copies to Elevate Care nursing home and 150 copies to the Weinberg Community for Senior Living. Our team also hand delivered another 100 copies to families with small children and elderly neighbors. And, we’re pleased to share the digital version with you! Feel free to download your own copy of the booklet here, and be sure to check out some more photos from our team’s deliveries here.

We understand that these are difficult times, but we remain optimistic about the better days ahead. With these activities, our team hopes to put a smile on everyone’s faces and encourage some much-needed fun. Whether you’re looking for puzzles for your next game night or a recipe or workout that the whole family can enjoy together, the All Points Positive Impact Activity Booklet has you covered. Stay safe and enjoy!

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.