It's About the Work



Reflections on an Important Day

If you hang around long enough, life will undoubtedly give you the chance to gain some valuable perspective. It will also reveal some humbling experiences that can affect a positive change on how you go about your business and life — as long as you’re paying attention.

One such opportunity arose recently in Allison+Partners’ acquisition of the talented team and great clients at Frause, the Northwest’s top regional agency. With the acquisition, Allison+Partners immediately expands our already growing local footprint and becomes a formidable player in both Seattle and Portland. The acquisition also brings new and expanded expertise to Allison+Partners in the form of advertising, creative services, research, digital strategies and crisis communications. Frause’s portfolio of clients is diverse, too, spanning real estate, government, economic development, healthcare, hospitality and tourism, among others.

But this isn’t just any agency. It’s where I grew up as a professional. Previous to joining Allison+Partners in 2012 as the general manager of the San Diego office, I spent 13 years at Frause, helping to grow the agency to where it stands today. Frause is also where I learned the value of collaboration, entrepreneurialism, creative-thinking and empowerment. If these core values sound familiar, they should — they’re the hallmarks to how Allison+Partners goes about its business. They’re the foundations that enable us to exceed our clients’ expectations and create an environment where talented people — at all levels — can do great work and thrive without the politics of a larger firm.

So, what are the lessons to be learned from this acquisition? There are many, in fact, and the list grows longer every time I think about it. But the ones that keep rising to the surface are the value of patience, timing and fit.

In today’s fast-paced work environment, especially in the agency realm, patience is far too often undervalued and overlooked. We and our clients want and expect immediate results. But patience is paramount to success — whether it’s a national media campaign that needs finessing or a game-changing business opportunity like the one we’re experiencing today here in the Northwest.

Two years ago, after joining the fabulously talented Allison+Partners team, I would have never anticipated acquiring the clients and team at Frause. But I’ve learned that when you stay open-minded and try to remove barriers to possibilities, great things can happen, and it almost always manifests in ways we never could have imagined. Timing can indeed be serendipitous, but I also believe we create our own fortune through patience, hard work and determination.

Lastly, and perhaps most important, there’s fit — and the idea that square pegs don’t work with round holes. Our acquisition of Frause’s team and clients represents perhaps the best fit we could have ever imagined. Our cultures are strikingly similar and our expertise and capabilities are highly complementary which will enable Allison+Partners to provide even deeper resources to companies and organizations in the Pacific Northwest and around the world.

So, starting Aug. 1, the Allison+Partners and Frause team will officially come together as one, in Seattle and Portland, under the Allison+Partners umbrella. There will no doubt be other important lessons learned and new perspectives gained as long as we take time to reflect and observe.



A Day At The Races

Last week, the San Diego team donned our fancy hats and best vintage-inspired dresses and enjoyed a true San Diego tradition: Opening Day at the Del Mar Races. If there is one thing these beach bums can agree on, it’s that maximum sunshine exposure is a must-have for a truly memorable summer outing. As our post-outing tans (see: sunburns) prove, this outing was a success.

For those unfamiliar with San Diego traditions, Opening Day is widely regarded as the most important summer holiday after Fourth of July. Our team spent the afternoon trying to educate ourselves on gambling (plus one for professional development!) and placing bets on our favorite horses. We had minimal luck during the ten races throughout the day, but won a few dollars here and there, which was promptly spent on beer and margaritas.

Beyond the betting, drinking and hat wearing, we had an opportunity to spend most of the day outside the office on a beautiful sunny day, bonding with each other and rejuvenating after what has been an incredibly busy summer.

At the end of an exhausting day of fun, there was unanimous agreement that Opening Day should become our annual summer outing. We’re counting down (350-something days!) until Opening Day 2015!

Members of the San Diego team pose in front of the race track in Del Mar



It’s About The Community

It’s About The Community recounts volunteer efforts by members of the Allison+Partners team.

Nichole Hetchkop works with DOROT, a Manhattan nonprofit organization that provides services to help seniors live independently. This past March, for Purim, a Jewish festival held each spring, Nichole baked hamentashen to donate to the elderly as part of her volunteer work with DOROT. But that’s not all! She also volunteers for the Jewish Enrichment Center, where she has baked challah for Shabbat and even attends dancing lessons with seniors.

Thanks for sharing Nichole. I am sure we’d all love to try your hamentashen!

Fresh off completing a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Oregon, I excitedly accepted an internship with Allison+Partners only to realize that I didn’t know nearly as much as I thought I did. Sure, I had all the textbook knowledge from my college courses and some helpful (albeit limited) experience from prior work, but what I hadn’t experienced is what is arguably the most crucial component of a public relations agency: culture.

Culturally, Allison+Partners is unlike anything I’ve experienced. I am by nature a very quiet and reserved person. However, in my five months with Allison+Partners, I have never felt isolated or excluded. I can attribute this to the Allison+Partners culture, which places an extraordinary emphasis on the people.

An internship is an incredible opportunity for professional growth, and an agency’s culture plays a crucial role in providing you with the tools to shape your career.

Embrace your company’s culture. Allison+Partners fosters a supportive environment, which immediately made me feel comfortable and excited for my future. I realized that just because it isn’t in my nature to be extroverted, that didn’t mean I wouldn’t be accepted and appreciated by my peers.

Always be willing to learn. My coworkers teach me things on a daily basis. I learn so much from simply observing and absorbing as much as I can. Receiving feedback on mistakes are steps in the learning process.

Speak Up. It took me about two months to feel comfortable contributing to group discussions or internal team meetings. I’ve learned that it’s essential to be known not only for the great work you do, but also for the great and original ideas you bring to the table. Even if your idea isn’t the winning idea, it may spark the one the client loves.

These are the best practices I will draw on throughout my career. To quote Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project, “The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.”

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