Archive for the ‘Mentorship’ Category

#Influential – because that’s what we are

Monday, January 14th, 2019

Katie Temple, Account Executive

Last year, Brookline Public Relations celebrated its Year of Influence. Summed up perfectly by our girl, Shama Walji, 2018 saw a number of influential moments that kept Brookline on top of PR trends and allowed us to continue influencing the industry, our clients and each other.

But behind these influential moments was a team of talented PR professionals that work hard day in and day out to make it all happen. The cornerstone to why Brookline is able to be so influential lies solely in our people and the incredible culture that exists within these four walls.

 

 

 

 

As one of the newest Brookliners, I am constantly amazed by the team of strong women who all bring unique skills and a diverse background to the table in order to deliver stellar results for our clients. And let’s get real for a second, when you talk about an all-female workplace, the first thing that probably comes to mind is to run for the hills. Google has even solidified this theory by auto populating the end of my search for ‘all female workplace’ with the word ‘disaster’.

After all, us gals grouped together are known to be catty or competitive but what no one ever talks about is how supportive, encouraging and inspiring we can be for each other and the environment that positivity creates, particularly in the workplace. And that is exactly what I’ve found here at Brookline – a positive culture fostered by women.

We have a team of incredible women that – hold the phone – actually all get along, work together seamlessly AND have a lot of fun while doing it.  We take the time to celebrate each other and our wins, we’ve always got our teammate’s back and are always there to support one another and help each other grow.

It really is a team of badass babes who can do it all. From collaborating in a boardroom and putting pen to paper to picking up the kids from school or making time for a daily sweat session, we get things done. The best parts of our individual styles and personalities rub off on each other, we care for and nurture one another and there is always someone around to lend a hand when it is needed. We’re a little crazy and loud and we love to laugh but we also love what we do and who we do it with, which creates a pretty fantastic place to spend our nine-to-five.

 

 

I think it is a rarity to find this kind of environment, not because they don’t exist, but because people automatically assume the worst, put their guard up and in-fact, run for the hills. But before you do, I’d encourage you to challenge this bias and look through a different lens because at the end of the day, women really are better together. I think our all-female cast is one of the things that makes us the brilliant, influential team that we are.

 

 

Katie is an Account Executive at Brookline Public Relations. She brings national and international communications experience to the team with a background in corporate communications, community investment and strategic communication planning.

Generation Z: Forget Everything You’ve Learned About Millennials

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Amanda Kemsley, Account Manager 

 

Move over Millennials, we have a new target market in town: Generation Z (A.K.A Gen Z). The marketing stream has been hyper-focused on millennials for awhile, but now enters the next generation to be in the spotlight, and not one to be ignored. Born in the mid-nineties, Gen Z has grown up in the digital age, with ubiquitous internet access and bred to navigate the world with ease. Making up approximately 17 per cent of Canada’s population, it is a generation worth watching and brands are noticing.

For many, especially marketers, it seems obvious that digital would be the only channel worth connecting with this generation. But, do we have it all wrong? If you were to guess the generation that prefers print books over digital ones, enjoys shopping at brick-and-mortar stores and as few as 14 per cent own a smartwatch, you probably wouldn’t associate this with Gen Z. But those are Gen Z preferences, including characteristics of being more inclusive, accepting and risk-adverse.

There’s a fine balance with this generation between digital and traditional. Even though their lives revolve around a digital sphere, they tend to ignore the constant stream of ads and messaging and turn away from the digital noise. Information consumption for Gen Z is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Engaging with them digitally isn’t enough. To help accurately market to Gen Z, it is important to differentiate this generation from others. Here are a few things we know that sets them apart from their millennial predecessors:

 

They are digital AND non-digital.  

They haven’t forgotten traditional mediums such as TV and paperback books and they easily straddle between digital and non-digital. While, Gen Z does receive most of its information from social media, it’s not solely digital for their means of information.

Key takeaway: e-commerce strategies are important for marketers, but don’t exclude in-store service – focus on the shopping experience.

 

 

Instant gratification is everything.

Thanks to social media and technology, the retrieval of information can happen whenever and wherever, making immediate gratification a must. Convenience is important here, more than any generation before. With same-day shipping, Google at your fingertips and apps to keep you from having to stand in line, patience is not a virtue.

Key take-away: this is not to be mistaken as laziness, but rather efficiency and simplicity – there’s no need to overcomplicate a message or product.

 

 

Gen Z is realistic and cautious about finances.

They grew up alongside the recession and were taught to be mindful with their money, even more so than millennials. Being internet-savvy, this generation knows how to find a great deal and get the most out of their money. They can find hundreds of similar products, so what makes yours stand out?

Key takeaway: it’s not enough to be price conscious, this generation is also looking for the value add.

 

 

Gen Z is not just an exaggerated version of millennials. They are unique, open-minded, money-conscious and resourceful. It is an important group of potential customers, clients, employees and employers who can help influence the future. As a brand or company, understanding these characteristics will help to accurately deliver products, services and experiences to this up-and-coming generation.  Welcome Gen Z, we’re glad you’re here!

 

Amanda is an Account Manger at Brookline Public Relations. She has an insatiable appetite for exploring – ironically since she doesn’t like getting lost. She flourishes on bringing broad-minded, creative ideas to the table and trying things outside of the norm – perhaps these are millennial traits?

 

When Your Employees Go Rogue – How employees can do more damage than your competition

Monday, May 28th, 2018

Lisa Libin, Vice President

An employee can be a company’s strongest asset.  However, when an employee goes “rogue” – going against company policies and values, a PR crisis can ensue, reflecting and ultimately damaging a company’s brand.

From Starbucks employees choosing to have some loitering customers arrested to Tim Horton’s franchisees publicly lashing out over cuts to their benefits – although these issues are caused by rogue employees – it is still the responsibility of the brand to respond and clean up the mess.

What can a brand or company do when its reputation is tarnished by others? Below are some response recommendations for brands to follow when handling a PR issue not of their doing:

 

  1. Move quickly

With the power of social media, an incident is likely to go public, and potentially viral, like rapid fire. Gone are the days of having the luxury of sitting around a boardroom table for days to discuss a response – companies need to respond now. And fast. However, before distributing a response, ensure you are also following recommendation #2:

 

  1. Don’t be generic

Too often, companies are quick to respond with a generic statement – which can often cause additional frustration among consumers and the public who are looking for a more specific response or a call to action. Create a response that speaks to the problem – something as simple as “this isn’t acceptable, we are looking into it” can at least show the public you are taking the issue seriously.

 

  1. Tailor your reaction to the incident

There is no formulaic approach to a PR incident. Each crisis requires its own tailored response and outside counsel can often assist with creating a crisis communications path specific to the incident at hand.

 

  1. Go above and beyond when you can

This lesson can go all the way back to the Tylenol incident of the 1980’s where Johnson & Johnson recalled all of its products from the shelves, not just Tylenol products. An expensive business decision? Absolutely. But what it showed consumers is that Johnson & Johnson was willing to put customer safety ahead of profit margins to ensure all products were safe. When a brand goes beyond the simple response to an issue, it shows its audience that it truly cares and values their business.

 

While a number of recent incidents in the media have involved only one or two employees who made questionable or downright wrong decisions, it is always important to remember that all employees are representatives of the brand and it is important for the organization to act swiftly but act smartly.

 

 

Lisa Libin is Vice President at Brookline Public Relations. Lisa loves a good crisis (as long as it’s not a personal one!) and has vast experience in issues management and brand reputation issues, working with local and global communications teams to handle ongoing and current industry issues.