Tag Archives: coo corner

COO’s Corner: The Great Return to the Office

COO’s Corner: The Great Return to the Office

Ditch the sweatpants, and let’s get back in the office! After two years in work from home mode and perhaps not wearing traditional work-wear, offices across the country are calling their teams back to the office.

Our agency has been in our structured hybrid for the last year, with safety always being our top priority for our staff. Returning to the office was not a decision made lightly, and we are always evaluating what environment is best based on the current landscape.

An office space is often at the heart of your company culture. As workforces adjust to new working models, I’ve reflected on some of the benefits I’ve seen since returning to the office in a hybrid structure.

Cross Pod Pollination 🐝

One huge benefit of the office environment is that it enables more cross-department, or in our case, cross-pod interactions, and moments of serendipity to generate out-of-the-box ideas.

Not only does working side-by-side with our team members inspire working relationships, but I’ve also noticed a positive shift in the culture. Whether it’s eating lunch together in the kitchen, stopping by a friend’s desk to ask about their weekend, or taking our office pups, Cubby and Ivy, on a mid-day walk, this shift in workplace camaraderie has improved happiness and productivity in our office.

I’m thrilled to see collaboration and bonds amongst our team. You can catch a glimpse into the culture at All Points Public Relations on our TikTok!

Setting Boundaries Between Work and Home Life ⚖️

With the flexibility of being able to work from your kitchen table or couch, there has been blurred lines between work and home. I’ve noticed several of our staff struggle with “powering off” and continuously answering emails beyond the traditional work hours. 

As we commonly say, this is PR, not the ER, and you’re not expected to be on call 24/7. Stepping outside of your specified work from home space after hours creates a healthy balance, separating work mode from relaxation and recharge time.

Dress to Impress 👚

After two years of Zoom calls, you may be wondering, “What should I wear?” While we may not be ready to say goodbye to loungewear pieces, we’re saying hello to spring fashion.

The pandemic has loosened office dress codes to “business comfort,” the evolution of business casual. We’re now finding unique ways to incorporate athleisure in stylish, yet work-appropriate, ways.

Returning to the office doesn’t mean you have to get too dressed up – but it does allow you to dress for a purpose.

As our agency continues in our structured hybrid format, I’m happy to see the tremendous benefits and advantages of working in person.

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.

COO’s Corner: Filling Leadership Positions from Within

COO’s Corner: Filling Leadership Positions from Within

Nothing is more vital to a company’s long-term health than the cultivation of its future leaders. Not only does leadership development boost employee engagement, great leaders attract, hire and inspire great people.

This mission reigns true at All Points, where 100% of our senior staff started as an entry-level associate. We believe in fostering the development of our staff through educational opportunities, mentorship program and opportunities to develop within their careers.

Part of what I believe allows us to stand out from other public relations agencies is our non-competitive culture. At All Points, promotions and raises are earned based on merit. You don’t have to wait for someone to leave or a position to open to take on a larger role.

In fact, our Vice President of Sales & Strategy, Bailey Hewitt, began her All Points career seven years ago as a PR associate. Her continued desire to grow her skills, take on new challenges and demonstrate leadership on several levels, cementing her path in the agency.

Through continued education, our agency encourages the professional development and growth of our staff. Several team members have had the opportunity to attend conferences to better their skillset and network with industry professionals.

When an organization promotes from within, no matter the level, employees can see that their input and experience are truly valued. It’s a positive signal to entry-level employees interested in furthering their careers.

Did you know we’re hiring? Take a look at our current openings here.

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.

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.

COO’s Corner: Reflecting on This Year’s PRo Community Project

COO’s Corner: Reflecting on This Year’s PRo Community Project

This past spring, the All Points PR team proudly launched The PRo Community Project. Through this exciting initiative, we set on a journey to partner with a Chicagoland nonprofit and offer free public relations services centered on an upcoming event, as well as volunteer support with a special Positive Impact program.

The All Points team was thrilled to connect with Culinary Care, an organization dedicated to delivering “one less worry” by providing free, nourishing meals from local restaurants to cancer patients and their families. Leading up to the organization’s charity event, the Gourmand Gala, our office came together to provide public relations and media support, as well as social media content and influencer outreach, to help spread awareness of Culinary Care’s mission and the gala.

On Thursday, October 17, the entire All Points team saw the project come full circle with the opportunity to volunteer at Culinary Care’s Gourmand Gala for our quarterly Positive Impact program. Hosted at the beautiful Chicago History Museum, the Gourmand Gala welcomed hundreds of foodies, philanthropists and cancer survivors with one goal in mind: to help fill the plates of those fighting cancer. This year, the charity event raised $250,000 toward Culinary Care’s mission to support patients and families in need.

The pairing of the new PRo Community Project and our ongoing Positive Impact program stands as an incredible milestone in 2019 for All Points. Our Positive Impact program reflects our commitment to corporate social responsibility through passionate philanthropic efforts, and the launch of the PRo Community project further extends our ability to make a meaningful impact on community organizations that do good for others. We look forward to all that’s yet to come for the project and the organizations we serve.

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.