Archive for the ‘Mentorship’ Category

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.

The program for the next generation of PR pros

Monday, May 7th, 2018

Ottilie Coldbeck, Public Relations Intern

Throughout university, the terms ‘internship’ and ‘co-op’ are thrown around frequently, with advisors professing the importance of “real world” experience – it can be overwhelming. As a public relations student at Mount Royal University, internships are a key element of the program and are required for graduation. During a four-year course, PR students must complete two four-month internships to provide them with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.

During the application and interview frenzy, students are often told to embrace any opportunity as there are not many times in a person’s life to ‘trial run’ a job. However, the usual hesitations around starting a new job set in – will it be fulfilling? Will I gain the experience I am seeking? Will agency life be the right fit for me? These are valid concerns and ones that I had felt personally before starting my position at Brookline Public Relations. I have now been with the Brookline team for just over four months and I can definitively answer yes to the above questions.

 

 

Public relations agencies, specifically boutiques, offer new grads entering the workforce an opportunity to hone skills required in the communications world. Agencies provide opportunities for its employees to continually develop their skills while working with a diverse set of clients who require unique communications strategies. In agencies, a teamwork atmosphere is crucial, and this could not be more true at Brookline.

Working alongside some fearless and fabulous women, Brookline PR has introduced me to the wonderful world of agency. At Brookline, no day is ever the same – I am constantly learning from the team and from clients, and the one-of-a-kind work atmosphere has set the standard for what I want to accomplish in coming years.

 

 

However, it’s true that at Brookline, not only do we work hard, we play hard! Brookline acknowledges hard work and celebrates the team in many ways. From Thank Tanks and coffee runs to quarterly team workouts and fun days – Brookline goes above and beyond to recognize the team’s dedication to delivering quality work for clients.

 

 

Public relations agencies offer budding PR pros opportunities to grow as communications professionals and develop a range of skills from the get-go. The agency is a unique and rewarding start to a career in public relations and I am excited to grow as a communicator and work with the Brookline team.

 

– Ottilie Coldbeck is an Intern at Brookline Public Relations. As a self-proclaimed adventure seeker, Ottilie challenges herself to remain outside her comfort zone in all aspects of her life. Ottilie has a passion for story-telling – helping brands communicate their messages in an authentic manner.

The value of mentorship

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Bridgette Slater, Senior Intern

 

Mentorship programs have many benefits that extend to the mentee, the mentor and the organization as a whole. Some of these benefits include increased engagement, improved goal setting and enhanced knowledge sharing. For mentees, these programs provide the opportunity to learn and seek advice from people who hold the very positions they one-day hope to attain. For mentors, these programs provide an opportunity to develop a personal and effective leadership style and to gain insight into new ways of working within the industry.

At Brookline, new employees at all levels are provided with a mentor who holds a more senior position and who has a fulsome understanding of the agency’s processes and culture. At the intern level, employees become part of the BPR Apprentices program, which is specifically designed to provide students or recent graduates with the industry experience they need to become knowledgeable and well-rounded practitioners. The relationship usually starts with the practitioners getting to know each other on a personal and professional level and, as time passes, a mutually-beneficial bond is formed.

One such benefit is increased engagement from the mentee, which stems from having the support of a fellow colleague and a resource they can rely on for help. Additionally, as communication becomes increasingly digital, there is something to be said about developing a relationship face-to-face through mentorship. This method tends to lead to increased trust, which in turn makes individuals feel more comfortable participating in team settings.

An important component of Brookline’s culture is the standard of continuous professional development. Whether an individual is just getting started or is considered the agency’s veteran, all team members are expected to set goals. Mentees are first introduced to Brookline’s goal setting initiatives by their mentors and the pair work collaboratively to develop specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals. Many of Brookline’s mentors use this relationship as an opportunity to become more effective leaders by providing their mentees with guidance and insight into the steps they can take to enhance their skills as public relations practitioners.

Finally, things can change in the blink of an eye in the world of public relations, which is why it is important for colleagues to keep each other informed of industry developments. Mentorship is one such way that individuals come together to share information about standard procedures and new approaches. For example, a mentor may teach their mentee about commonly recognized industry practices, such as pitching etiquette or time management strategies, to help their co-worker achieve success. Conversely, when new employees enter an organization, they bring with them knowledge gained from previous experience or through education. This information is often shared through the mentor-mentee relationship, which helps all employees stay fresh and current as they progress in their careers.

Mentorship is a powerful thing and to have the opportunity to be on either end of the relationship is something that should be valued.

Denzel Washington fully encapsulated the idea of mentorship when he said, “show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.”

 

Bridgette Slater is the Senior Intern at Brookline Public Relations. Her experience lies within the realms of event planning, corporate and creative writing, and social media management.