Public Relations Tactics

How a PR Agency Can Maximize Company Culture

June 1, 2017

There isn’t a secret formula behind managing a top PR agency. The success of an agency relies on its employees and finding the right talent to grow the company. 

Hire the best cultural fit.

One of the easiest ways to maximize company culture is to hire based on personal culture rather than experience. A breakthrough study from the University of Rochester in the 1980s determined six factors that motivate employees to work: play, purpose, potential, emotional pressure, economic pressure and inertia.

Other studys have also indicated that an employee’s performance increases when the positive motives (play, purpose and potential) are maximized and the negative motives (emotional pressure, economic pressure and inertia) are minimized.

Agencies can find success in hiring a person who will add to the existing culture, rather than someone with a specific skill set who might not enhance the current environment. Maintaining a positive workplace fuels the way a company operates. Employees enjoy working for a company in which they feel appreciated.

Cultivate the best environment.

Here are several elements to creating a welcoming, nurturing culture:

Transparency: Being vocal with employees about internal strategy creates transparency, whether that means being open about new business, company spending or how the company plans to grow throughout the year.
Informed employees feel more connected to the company and invested in the agency’s success. Each company should decide the best level of transparency, as the enterprise’s size, composition, geographic reach and growth factors may affect what does and does not need to be communicated.

Organizational Design: The organizational design of a company’s space can increase productivity and maximize culture — or do the opposite. While employees might enjoy the work they do, they could feel uncomfortable with the office environment, which will ultimately impact the quality of their work. Finding employees who will work well with your office design is important.

Choosing an architecture and ambiance that fits your workflow is key. Uproar designed an open workplace environment that allows for frequent communication, enabling employees to share creative ideas in a collaborative team setting. The open-office space highlights Uproar’s commitment to creating a welcoming and comfortable environment to achieve consistent results for clients.

Creating a comfortable work setting involves more factors than just the physical layout of the office. The reporting structure and example set by leaders also have a significant impact on employee sentiment. Uproar operates with an open-door policy where all employees are encouraged to share ideas and concerns with upper management. Employees should feel confident when approaching a colleague.

• Engagement: A company with high engagement benefits from lower turnover rates and retention of stronger talent. The best way to measure the success of a PR agency’s culture is through assessing its employee engagement. Periodic enterprise-wide surveys have been successful in measuring success at Uproar. The company uses anonymous surveys to gain employee feedback and suggestions, allowing team members to share concerns or ideas without pointing fingers.

PR agencies can maximize company culture by determining what motivates their employees. Investing in an employee’s mind, body and soul ensures the best performance. Uproar has implemented several programs to help employees maintain physical, emotional and financial health. For example, the company promotes physical health by instituting flex wellness hours, so employees can leave early to attend group fitness classes.

In addition, Uproar offers quarterly reward days at the spa, half days on Fridays and one extra vacation day each year for employee birthdays. This extra time off illustrates that the company wants staff to recharge and build a work-life balance.

Overall, agencies that maximize their company culture achieve greater results. Uproar was founded with the realization that employee happiness directly correlates with the bottom line, which is one of the reasons Entrepreneur Magazine recognized the agency on its “Top Company Cultures Small Companies List” in 2017. This award reflects what is possible when employees are considered a top priority.

Catriona Harris

Catriona Harris is CEO at Uproar PR, a full-service PR agency with offices in Orlando, Fla., Chicago, New York and Toronto. She started Uproar PR in 2011 with her co-founder and husband, Mike Harris.

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