Tag Archives: lauren izaks

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.

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.

COO’s Corner: Hiring & Retaining Gen Z

COO’s Corner: Hiring & Retaining Gen Z

Move over, Millennials. On the cusp of their professional careers, Generation Z (born between 1996 and 2012) is joining the workforce at an opportune time. As businesses continue to rebound following the pandemic, this presents a large array of opportunities for the next generation of employees.

Who exactly is Gen Z?

Don’t get confused; while Gen Z shares a number of characteristics with Millennials, their formative years have shaped different attitudes and outlooks on the world today.

Here’s a rundown of Gen Z characteristics:

  • Digital Natives
  • Visually Oriented
  • Financially-Minded
  • Shrewd Consumers
  • Increase in Mental Health Awareness
  • Politically Progressive
  • Diverse

Gen Z has the unique experience as the first generation to grow up with technology at their fingertips. They don’t recall a world without the internet, smartphones or social media. But tapping into this new generation of digital natives has become more strategic than ever before, even platforms like TikTok are piloting their own job site.

As our agency continues to grow, we’re thrilled to open our recruiting efforts to persistent, creative individuals with strong critical thinking abilities. We’re currently growing across all departments with opportunities in PR, content marketing, social media and digital marketing.

So, as businesses push to hire Gen Z, how can we attract them? To draw and retain this new generation, employers need to be more strategically personal, get social and promote opportunities for advancement.

1. Double-Down on Campus Recruitment

Gen Z is on track to be the best-educated generation yet, according to the Pew Research Center. Among 18 to 21-year-olds no longer in high school, 57% enrolled in a two-year or four-year college compared to 52% of Millennials in 2003 and 43% of Gen X in 1987.

For companies looking to recruit this demographic, establishing strong relationships with colleges and universities is a great pathway for referrals and connecting with up-and-coming talent.

At All Points, we’re committed to building connections with nearby universities through our AP University Initiative. This program is designed to strengthen partnerships with on-sight visits, speaking engagements and agency tours. Despite COVID, we’ve upheld our mission and hosted virtual tours and Q&As with our staff to educate the next generation of the public relations industry.

2. Use social media to enhance corporate culture

Considering their connection to the digital world, social media is the most ideal way to attract and engage Gen Z. Use this opportunity to your advantage by promoting your company across social channels, raising your awareness and showing off your company’s unique culture.

According to a survey by Tallo, 87% of Gen Z respondents feel it’s important to build a professional brand online. Take a page from their book and make sure that your culture is accurately reflected across all channels.

If you look at our social platforms, you’ll get a glimpse into the life at APPR. From employee Instagram takeovers to agency seminars, and appearances from our office dogs, Cubby and Ivy, we give a well-rounded perception of what our agency life is like. I always encourage all applicants throughout the interview process to take a look at our blogs, social media and website to fully understand the ins and outs of the agency and our clients.

3. Promote Learning and Development

Gen Z is highly motivated to grow their careers, with 76% seeing learning as the key to their advancement, according to a LinkedIn workplace study. As newcomers to the professional world, emphasizing growth opportunities is key to Gen Z retention.

We offer several programs across the agency for development, including our mentorship program and employee development courses. We see education as an opportunity to invest in our employees’ careers while adding value to our clients.

In reality, there’s no secret to success when it comes to hiring Gen Z professionals. This a dynamic and highly skilled generation of workers, and the best thing businesses can do is understand their needs and be ready to adapt to meet them.

Check out our current job 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.

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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COO’s Corner: Spring Clean Your Workspace and Routine

COO’s Corner: Spring Clean Your Workspace and Routine

Spring is quickly approaching, so you know what that means. It’s time for some spring cleaning! Organization and tidiness are essential for a clear mind and increased productivity, so I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping a clean environment at work. Here are three ways to spring clean your workspace and routine:

Strive for inbox zero

A cluttered inbox = a cluttered mind. It’s important to stay on top of your emails to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Utilize your filing system and flags to organize, label and prioritize your emails. Treat your inbox as a version of your to do’s by putting the quickest and most important tasks at the top of your list. Don’t need it? Delete it. Done with your task? File it away! Everyone should strive for inbox zero at the end of each day using these tips.

Keep your workflow organized

We continue to refine the processes and systems related to our workflow, which includes the use of online filing systems and programs. All of these tools are highly collaborative, so in order for them to be the most effective, everyone must do their part in keeping their areas up to date. Ensure you’re properly naming and saving documents, images, etc. in the appropriate shared files – none of these items should ever be left saved on your desktop! In terms of workflow and to do’s, ensure you and your team are on the same page by consistently sharing updates. Take some time throughout and at the end of each day to note the status on your current projects.

Sanitize your desk

Did you know that the average desk contains 400 times more germs than a toilet seat? Recent research reveals that more than two thirds of office workers are at risk of sickness due to dirty desks. Think about the items you touch most often that probably aren’t being cleaned enough, such as your keyboard, telephone and mouse. When was the last time you wiped them down? In the spirit of spring cleaning and keeping everyone healthy, it’s important to regularly sanitize high-traffic areas in the office such as your desk.

With collaboration and effort, we can all work together to keep a cleaner and more organized office.

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.