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Does Your Company Have a Soul?

March 18, 2019

Written by Laura Davidson, President

LDPR is a team of dynamic public relations professionals with expertise in travel and lifestyle. Based in NYC with staff in Chicago, Los Angeles & San Francisco.

When you ask a CEO about his/her company, you typically get the elevator pitch. Press further and you get the mission statement and/or the company philosophy but, chances are, you will learn nothing about its soul.

Soul, otherwise known as “company culture,” it’s what defines a company as a place to work, its personality. And that, of course, dictates a range of outcomes from employee attraction and retention to productivity and, ultimately, profitability.

According to a recent article by Deloitte Insights, “Culture and engagement is the most important issue companies face around the world.” Or, as Greg Besner puts it on, “a positive company culture is quickly proving to be a must-have rather than a nice-to-have.”

As the founder and president of LDPR, I understand the importance of “soul” better than most. Public relations is a people business. Relationships are its only assets. And, for over 25 years, I have measured the success of my agency by how well we have been able to attract and retain the best PR professionals. Over that time, I have learned that competitive salaries, skill training, careful hires, and an aesthetically-pleasing office environment are just the building blocks of company culture.

To have “soul” you also need to:

1. MAKE THEM BELIEVE. Much is made these days about millennials’ need to believe in their work on a quasi-religious level. But it’s not just a generational tic; we all perform better if we think what we’re doing has a benefit beyond simply making money.

A company with soul has values beyond the bottom line. It exists to give its employees fun and fulfilling lives. It supports philanthropic causes, encourages out-of-office engagement, and always prioritizes people over profit.

2. BE A FAMILY. I know it sounds trite but strong companies and strong families are not so dissimilar. Both allow room for disagreement and individuality but always on the understanding that all conflict is temporary and that nothing can shake its bedrock of shared goals, love and respect. Just as family members support each other at times of need, so companies must show themselves to be flexible and support their employees when life’s curve balls (the non-show nanny, the compassionate leave, the snowstorm-work-from-home days, the irrational client) come zinging in over home plate.

3. TALK. All healthy relationships, whether they are in a family or corporate setting, rely on clear, long lines of say-what-you-think communication. Good managers encourage open and honest feedback. Small resentments only grow bigger in the dark. To let the sunlight in, everyone, all the way down to the most junior members of staff, must know that all opinions are valid and that their voice can be heard even in the executive suite.

4. INSPIRE. It comes down to the old “show don’t tell” rule. Don’t “tell” your employees to go the extra mile. “Show” them that you’re prepared to go even further. If you want creativity, share your personal idea process. If you want your employees to be polite, happy and upbeat, you need to be their model. Keep in mind that 50% of American workers have quit their jobs because they hate their boss.

5. REWARD. It doesn’t have to be monetary. In fact, studies show that verbal recognition, small gifts and promotions are more powerful rewards for a job well done.

We are all human and we all want to be appreciated and reminded we are doing something well.

Are you ready for a more rewarding partnership?

While many PR firms are mere vendors, LDPR is your strategic advisor. We will work with you to create a specialized, integrated approach to your PR needs. There’s a reason our clients stay with us year after year. If you're ready to take your PR game to the next level, reach out to us.

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Agencies 2021”
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