Knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch. It’s a quote from American poet and author Ivern Ball in case you’re wondering. We love to study at Little Red Rooster, which is why every quarter we hold a PR summit empowering our employees to present to the company on a topic of their choice and teach us something new.
It’s a bit like going back to school minus the uniform, packed lunch and band names scrawled across the front of your bag… well except maybe in Victoria’s case (Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails for your information).
The summits started back in January 2017, but have evolved into something greater than the sum of its parts. They now help mould a programme of modules designed to aid the development of new additions to the team. More on that in a moment.
Every employee is encouraged (occasionally cajoled) to present publically. While some agencies shy away from teaching junior staff the skills to talk openly and confidently with clients and the media, we think it’s essential to equip them at an early age so their confidence soars over time. It’s just one example of how important we believe it is to invest in people.
There’s no way of hiding the fact it can be a touch intimidating at times, but choosing a subject that seriously interests you is one way of getting through the nerves and the audience (that’s us) are always on hand to encourage whoever has taken to the stage.
The adrenaline and elation from completing a presentation cannot be underestimated and that’s before we’ve made it to the pub and ordered the espresso martinis.
Picking a topic is a two-way street. Sometimes you float an idea for the rest of the team to run the rule over, other times they will spot a particular interest, talent or project a colleague has accomplished and flag the fact they could learn more from it.
It could be something as simple as discussing the tech sector, how to work with fashion stylists or how to harness the power of Google Analytics. These become more like workshops and are intrinsic to mastering our mission statement ‘The Way of the Rooster’.
Or they can be something more esoteric. For example, Victoria once gave a talk on decades since the turn of the 20th century, highlighting historical peaks in art, culture and more. Meanwhile, Henry will be giving a talk on how a love of music is central to everything we do at LRR at the next summit. Also on the agenda at that session you’ll find talks from newbies telling us a bit about themselves, how to kick-start a new client with style, good design vs. cheap design and 10 iconic examples of industrial design.
The purpose of the PR summits is to educate and empower the team to help them grow, develop and mature in every area of their careers and also expand their cultural horizons. That might sound grandiose, but it’s our equivalent to listening to a TED talk, watching a YouTube tutorial or reading an encyclopaedia entry, with the added confidence that comes from knowing they curated the content themselves.
The problem is this only benefits the current rooster roster, so when someone new joins the team they’ve missed out on a heap of wholesome knowledge. Not so. Just like someone joining half way through the school term would have to catch up on their work, the summit talks are stored in a growing vault of information as a lasting resource for new joiners.
This has helped us initiate a new inductee-training programme with carefully planned modules that new roosters can work their way through over a period of time. At present count there are 37 chunky morsels of mind matter for them to mull over.
As alluded to earlier, espresso martinis are never far away once the day’s proceedings have come to an end and any team building exercise isn’t really complete without bundling into a bar afterwards.
Seriously though, bonding over a tipple or two can be vitally important as not only can we properly congratulate those brave enough to have presented, but it’s a chance to discuss what we’ve just witnessed in a more relaxed and open manner.
That reminds us… must add a cocktail making masterclass to the summit agenda.