Words From Our Team Members
It’s Not The Secret Sauce, It’s Just Smart Work.
For decades, as PR professionals, we have been known for developing sophisticated models and proprietary tools that help us arrive at “big ideas.” The secret in this “sausage making” differed agency to agency. But, this one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t garner the same results anymore. Why? Because today we are communicating as much to millennials as we are to members of the greatest generation. So being beholden to a “model” isn’t the best thing. To be successful, we need to do some very “un-agency” things. No, we aren’t talking about the wild, wild west. Clearly strategic approaches still stand, but the tenets of a successful campaign are constantly changing. Take for example the memorable and highly viral ice bucket challenge…yes, people are still talking about it and want to replicated it. The campaign went against many of the principles of a solid communications initiative, but it worked brilliantly because it was authentic to the audience it wanted to attract.
In this influx environment, Y&R PR strives to be our clients’ natural explorers, willing to go down less traveled paths to arrive at programming that increases awareness; but most importantly, makes a difference. To do so we adhere to the following principles:
- Go off the beaten path, but always with a GPS
- Don’t just create unique ideas, create unique ways to deliver them
- Never settle for good enough
- Stay focused on making every client dollar count
- And… always bring it!
We believe these principles make us stand out in the sea of sameness. So prepare to be refreshed!↑ Return to Top
“Hey, What’s The Big Idea?”
The concept of the “big idea” is dying. One-off tactics, knee-jerk reactions to market shifts coupled with constant demand for immediate return on investment are leading to its extinction. My suspicion is a key factor driving its demise is the association people have with the phrase “big idea” itself. “Big” sounds expensive. “We’re going big,” portends breaking the bank. What’s more, the “big idea” can often be overkill when all that may be needed is just a smart, strategic solution to achieve your communication goals.
We need rethink our quest for the “big idea” to better serve client needs. There’s an old agency saying that goes, “you can have it cheap, fast or good. Pick any two.” This saying was rooted in the belief that for communications firms to turn a profit, they needed to deliver for clients without giving away the store. Parlay this notion into today’s PR environment and it still has relevance. Bigger isn’t always better. So here’s an idea: how about replacing the “big idea” with the “BRIGHT Idea” instead? Dissect the word bright and it looks like this: Broad in the media channels which it can be delivered; Relevant to those whom it reaches; Informed by sound market insights; Grounded in real brand truth; Heartfelt to audiences, regardless of how rational you want to be; and finally Tangible in the results it delivers. Aren’t these the tenets of what every successful marketer wants?
So the next time someone tries to sell you a “big idea,” ask instead “what’s the bright idea?”↑ Return to Top
Agency Culture – Keeping It Real
If you asked a group of people what makes their PR agency great, I think you’d hear a lot of the same things. Amazing culture. A unique approach. The best and brightest minds.
I’ll be the first to admit it—but when I started my career a few years ago at Y&R PR, my first job out of college; those were the clichés that to me represented a great agency. But after just a short time working with my colleagues, I realized that I had found much more than I had ever expected.
I was quickly immersed in situations that made me realize I found the real deal. For one, I witnessed how great ideas are born. I saw how these ideas often come from the most unexpected places; like the mind of someone new like me for example. My teams have the amazing ability to create an environment that not only encourages great thinking, but also embraces that it can come from anywhere.
A great agency is not only about having the best and brightest minds or other familiar phrases. It’s also about recognizing the best in each other, or knowing how to bring out peoples’ individual talents.
In the short few years I have been at Y&R PR, I have come to realize that a great culture doesn’t come from happy hours and parties. Great culture can happen by just having fun at work every day because you actually like spending time with the people who sit around you, even on Monday mornings. An agency without a real culture is just a workplace, which is much different from a great place to work. And if you love where you work, you create work that sings!↑ Return to Top
Buzzwords Aren’t Always Best For Business
“Starting a movement…Going viral…Creating disruption.” These are some of the buzzwords that captivate our industry, fuel strategic programming and drive our efforts. Not at Y&R PR.
But while these may be communication goals that every PR agency aspires to achieve, the one thing I have learned in my over 10 years of developing and implementing large-scale marketing communications programs is this: The underpinning of success always starts with flawless execution.
It is undeniable that no creative idea can be successful without grounded implementation, and no strategy can make an impact without effective execution. Realizing this is the easy part; doing it, not so easy.
At Y&R PR, we pride ourselves on taking a more refined approach to our work, day after day. We possess a mastery of the basics, never taking any of them for granted; and are passionately vigilant about delivering efficient, top-notch work.
The benefits of this approach show in a number of ways — and here’s how we do it:
- In our strategy, we thoughtfully blend avant-garde thinking with reality checks. Can we get the results we want? In the timeframe we need? All within the allotted budget? Experience has taught us that these questions crucially separate success from failure.
- In our work, we are exceedingly dependable, results-driven and solutions-oriented. Time after time, we are the first to get a call when our clients are in a pickle.
- And with each other, we share a common work ethic to get things done, have each other’s backs when times get tough. This bond not only makes us great stewards of Y&R PR values of teamwork and mutual respect, but also shows our clients that we’re not just the individuals – but also the team – that will partner with them through thick and thin.
To us, flawless execution is not a buzzword – it’s a way of life – because we know in the end, it’s not just what you did, but how you did it that counts.↑ Return to Top
“We’re all connected”
For those who remember, “we’re all connected” is a tagline from an old telephone company ad. But, today it is more relevant than ever. With the proliferation of technology, the world is at our fingertips, quite literally.
But being connected and making rewarding connections are not synonymous. As public relations professionals, our fundamental responsibility is to make connections with the clients we represent, the communities they serve, media influencers on deadline and the influencers that share messages. It’s the part of our profession that drives the team here at Y&R PR.
Relationships are currency and partnerships are how we measure success. The most important thing we earn from our clients isn’t necessarily bigger budgets. It’s their trust. Trust is what drives us as professionals and trust is what allows our team to go beyond the expected to produce innovative, compelling and actionable ideas.
Establishing trust doesn’t happen overnight. It’s earned. And, although the click of a mouse or the tap of a screen may be the fastest way to communicate, it is rarely the most effective. We appreciate the art of conversation. Not being afraid to challenge and compromise. Making a commitment rather than a concession. And, providing a voice with value.
Whether it’s building a campaign in the boardroom, articulating a narrative, overcoming an issue or working a story with a reporter, we understand that people are at the center of everything we do. We’re not selling products…we’re helping people. People with challenges to solve, a thirst to understand, deadlines to meet, goals to achieve and metrics to fulfill. To us, it’s more than the award winning work we produce, it’s about the lives that we impact, the people we touch and those rewarding connections we create.
It’s time for us to make a connection.↑ Return to Top
The Swedes are a crafty bunch. I am not just talking about Ikea. Six years ago, a small group of friends in Sweden decided to host dance parties during their lunch breaks. Their parties, called “Lunch Beat,” were a smash success. As rumors of the mini-raves multiplied, the once intimate dance party in a garage turned into full-scale events catering to 600 people per pop. In 2011, “lunch disco” was officially recognized as a new word by the Swedish Language Council. These parties went beyond a fad. They were meant to be a true sojourn from the tyranny of office stress. They helped people return to their desks refreshed. It seemed to work. It turns out that dance jogs creativity and runs over self-consciousness. It washes the mind clean of stale thinking. By leaning into our rambunctiousness, we can transform ourselves into forces of focus.
Can the spirit of unencumbered rambunctiousness live within the walls of today’s PR agencies? Why yes indeed, it can. As a rule at Y&R PR we foster a rambunctiousness spirit into our culture. A few examples:
- We take it to the streets: Ideas are not always born in conference rooms. They can present themselves at any time – from your morning shower to the middle of the night. So we practice roving brainstorms, where we get out of the building and walk the colorful and spirited streets the Flatiron district in New York to find inspiration.
- We think that vacation is as important as work: The first things Y&R PR employees get are desks, computers, and push pins. The desk is to house important papers. Computers are to house files. But push pins, perhaps the most valuable tool, are for our Y&R PR Wall Map where we commemorate and celebrate our collective vacations. It’s the place where we share our stories and adventures. So far, we have been to five continents, nearly all of the U.S. States and the list keeps growing.
Even though we do things differently, we don’t corner the market on rambunctiousness. We want to hear from you too.
So let’s dance.↑ Return to Top