Archive | September, 2010

Ferb, I know what we’re going to do today!

29 Sep

My kids, ages 5 and 10, are avid viewers of the Disney Channel cartoon Phineas and Ferb.  If you’ve never watched it, you’re missing out.  A great kids show featuring two curious and imaginative brothers, Phineas and Ferb, their high-strung teenage sister, Candace, their secret-agent platypus, Perry, and Perry’s arch-enemy, the evil Dr. Heinz Doofenschmirtz.  Incorporating humor, encouraging creativity, and relaying life-lessons, Phineas and Ferb teaches children and reminds the rest of us that nothing good happens just by sitting around and waiting for it to happen.

You have to make it happen.  And, then, don’t be de-railed when things do not go according to your ever-so perfect plans.

For Phineas and Ferb, their extreme creations are always inadvertently wiped out by Dr. Doofenschmirtz (unbeknownst to them) by the end of the show, but the very next day they are creating and building something bigger and better – their enthusiasm unwavering.

“Ferb, I know what we’re going to do today!” Almost always exclaimed by Phineas within the first five minutes of the show.   How nice to be so excited about what the day is going to bring!  Unfortunately, most of us are not quite so enthusiastic.

Every morning (and often during the middle of the night when the rest of the world sleeps), I make a mental checklist of what I’m going to do today.  It is a rare day that goes exactly as I planned.  Someone always needs something that I didn’t expect – right now.  The website is down.  The webinar software will not upload a PDF file.  Or, the decision was postponed until tomorrow.  And, before you know it, the simple act of opening and email or answering the phone has totally changed the course of the next hour, day or week.  That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have a plan.  Quite the opposite.  Having a plan helps keep things on track, even when you’ve taken a slight detour.  And, who knows?  Maybe the detour will lead you to a bigger, better, more fabulous plan in the end.

I’m striving to be more like Phineas and Ferb.  Challenging my abilities.  Maintaining perspective.  Keeping my humor.  And, not letting others or unforeseen events alter my enthusiasm for tackling the challenge, learning something new, and seeing the results of all of my work.  Not always easy.  But, I’m convinced that keeping your enthusiasm results in great things.

– Jenn Connor

Saying Goodbye (and hoping for a boomerang!)

24 Sep

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

– Robert Frost

This has been my mantra for the week. Change has come fast and furious, as it tends to do. Some good, some not so good and not so comfortable. And Frost’s words, though simple, have been a reassuring touchstone.

One of the biggest changes (outside of an employee welcoming her first child into the world, two new national accounts, a great new Idaho account and the loss of another account ) happening this week is the departure of one of our key employees. I say she is a key employee because I truly believe she is – just like I consider every one of the dozen people we now call Red Skyers ‘key’.

They all bring value, they all bring personality, they all bring something that someone else doesn’t. That’s why we hire them – they are smarter than us 🙂 and they bring a great quirk, vibe and set of skills to the table that enhance our team and capabilities. So when one leaves, it does feel like we’re losing a part of our personality, our soul, our vibe. It’s not the first time we’ve experienced turnover, and I know it won’t be the last. But can someone tell me if it ever gets any easier???

Instead of focusing on feeling hurt, betrayed, rejected – this week has been focused on funneling energies into something else. Here’s what I’m taking away from our latest team member departure.

  • Feel pride, not betrayal: Whether it is business appropriate or not I consider all of my colleagues part of my family. That makes change feel personal – because it is. But instead of feeling betrayed I’m choosing to feel proud. Proud of employees who have started their careers with us and grown to a point where they are recruited into new opportunities. Proud that they are confident and capable and driven to succeed beyond our walls.
  • The sky’s the limit, not the sky is falling: Yes, I’ll fully admit that when I first heard ‘I’m giving my two weeks” my stomach sank. You’ve hired the wrong person in the first place if those words make you happy. But after my 14 allowed hours of being upset (I try to put limits on those things!) I chose to move away from being freaked. CHANGE HAPPENS. Change happens a lot more when you are in the first three years of your company’s life. Expect the unexpected and embrace the challenge of picking yourself up and figuring out the next person smarter than you to bring into the fold.
  • Everyone brings value, but the team is what counts: This is what has been the hardest part. We so value the individual it seems crass to think that no individual should be able to break apart a strong company. But it should be what we aspire to. Building a culture and company that can withstand turnover and change. We are a more mobile professional society than ever before. I’m on my 4th career and 7th gig and I’m in my mid-30’s. People roam – but the essence of who your business is should remain strong with departures and new arrivals.
  • Work to make sure it doesn’t happen again…but know that it will: It can be painful, it can be uncomfortable – but always take the time to do an exit interview with whomever is leaving. Mistakes alone don’t bring down a company or ruin a culture. Mistakes that no one realizes, acknowledges or doesn’t put forth the effort to fix or improve upon do. Learn what you could have done better. Make adjustments. Work on your culture. Improve your hiring practice. Improve your performance path to new opportunities. Do the work, but always realize that you could have the best work environment and it just may not be what that individual happens to be looking for at that moment. And that is OK.

This post is probably more cathartic for me than for anyone reading it. So thanks for giving me the forum 🙂

(P.S Best of luck to Ms Alena Shea – aka Rockstar. You will be missed dearly by all of your colleagues and clients But we fully expect you to still socialize and acknowledge us though you’ve moved off to corporate world. And just a word of warning to the folks at Scentsy…. I fully intend to entice her back to Red Sky in the future. I’m planning on a boomerang. We’re proud to loan her and her fantastic PR skills to you for a bit – but she’s family. And heck, she’s in my business plan so that makes it so, right? 🙂

– Jess

Things We Love: Growing Our Team!

17 Sep

Red Sky Public Relations Grows Client Service Team

BOISE, Idaho – September 17, 2010 – Red Sky Public Relations, Idaho’s largest PR agency, has enhanced its client service capabilities with the addition of three new members to its account team  – Gloria Miller, Anna Gamel and Ben Rosenthal.

Assistant Account Executive Gloria Miller is a Boise State University Communication graduate who proved herself through an agency internship supporting multiple accounts including Albertsons, the Idaho Transportation Department, the Idaho State Historical Society and the ‘Go On’ campaign. She currently supports tactical campaign execution for all agency clients, with a focus on public information and community outreach, and managed Red Sky’s pro bono PR efforts for the Boise Rec Fest and Boise Curb Cup.

Assistant Account Executive Anna Gamel joins Red Sky after leading public relations at a privately funded startup company in Portland, Oregon. There she coordinated large-scale public relations, branding and marketing strategies in order to launch the company’s stealth-mode ideas into a global market. At the University of Idaho, Anna received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Outdoor Recreation Leadership. At Red Sky she works with the agency’s regional and national consumer and retail clients.

Account Coordinator Ben Rosenthal is a graduate of Boise State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. Most recently, Ben worked as a remote broadcast technician and traffic assistant at Journal Broadcast Group, where he was part of a team responsible for executing promotional events for a wide variety of local businesses. At Red Sky, Ben provides tactical support to a broad range of Idaho clients, primarily focused on public involvement/education, economic development, real estate and cause marketing.

“One of the toughest – but most important – parts of growing a strong company is building your team. We’re proud that we’re continuing to grow through additional client work nationwide and by finding talented professionals at all stages of their careers to bring into our agency,” said Red Sky President Jessica Flynn. “We look forward to future success and thank our clients and peers for their partnership in the growth of Red Sky.”

About Red Sky
Headquartered in Boise, Red Sky is Idaho’s largest public relations agency as measured by number of employees and fee income. We believe there is a dual nature at the heart of public relations – you need strategic communication minds in times of both crisis and calm to protect and promote your brand. Our experience spans practice areas of Corporate, Healthcare, Economic Development, Higher Education, Hospitality, Public Affairs, Retail and Technology. Representative clients include Avery Dennison, Balihoo, Boise Centre, Brighton Corporation, Concordia University School of Law, CradlePoint Technology, J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, Meridian Development Corporation, PacificSource, SUPERVALU and Western States Equipment Company. For more information, visit http://www.RedSkyPR.com or call 208.287.2199.