Earlier this summer some PR swag went horribly wrong. Intended to help get the attention of reporters, a press kit unintentionally caused the evacuation of Quartz. But it was not that long ago, at least for those of us who qualify as early Millennials or Gen Xers, that press kits were not only an acceptable way to attract attention, but they could make or break a pitch.
In today's fast-paced world, how do communications professionals not only stay current but get ahead of the trend?
At Hawthorne Strategy Group, we've placed great value, and therefore human and financial resources, in making sure our team has the tools available to do more than tread water; we want them to be able to stay ahead.
Some steps we have taken:
Learn from each other. Our team brings diverse experiences, and we want to maximize that. Once a month we host our "HSG Salon", where we take turns with leading a conversation about issues of interest to our clients and industry.
Learn from those around us. We routinely bring in guest speakers so that we are not working in an echo chamber, but also learning from those around us and those who may have different perspectives.
Bring in the experts. For the past few years, we've brought in outside experts to conduct training sessions for our team. All of the team participates and it helps establish a culture of learning.
Put our money where our mouth is. Each employee has access to up to $2,000 annually to use for professional development. Employees have used these funds for a week-long university seminar, an online course, or to attend events and activities.
Most importantly, we've strived to create a culture of learning and curiosity. As an agency, we are lucky to work with a wide variety of clients. And, as communicators, our world is changing fast; we want to change with it to continue to provide our clients with the best possible service.