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Transatlantic training sessions pay off for clients of our integrated communications agency

By Deirdre Campbell
Tuesday, August 28 2018

One of our newest recruits is just back from a transatlantic training session at our integrated communications agency’s offices in Glasgow, Scotland.

Jenna Hickman spent a week at what we call the Beattie Bootcamp, picking up a few of the tricks of the trade as practiced by our PR and marketing colleagues in the UK.

Jenna’s journey – all 4421 miles, and three flights each way – wasn’t needed because there is a problem with her performance. However all talent can be honed and improved. We always set out to unleash our colleagues’ true potential. If they’re performing at their best everybody wins, worker, agency and client.

And her trip exposes the depth of resource our business in Canada can call on. Sure, we’re specialists in media relations in Canada. But we have that link back to the UK, where Beattie employs more than 100 people at offices around the country, and that gives us access to a different way of thinking – and vice versa.

Techniques that might be novel in Nottingham could be obvious in Ontario. As I say, ideas differ but there’s a commonality of purpose in PR and marketing that are international. Ideas, after all, don’t recognize borders.

Local knowledge, worldwide player

For Beattie Tartan as a marketing and PR agency, Canada is our neighbourhood. But the world is our home. We have local knowledge, but we’re a worldwide player, with clients stretching from the Middle East to the shores of the Pacific.

Maximizing those opportunities means looking in new places and finding new ways and that was the purpose of Jenna’s trip – to expose her to something different.

In our work as a marketing and PR agency, Canada is very much at the centre of our thinking. But the inspiration for our media relations can come from anywhere, which is why that transatlantic link is so important.

Jenna, a former journalist, spent time putting together UK-style press releases, which have to be written to take account of the punchy writing synonymous with its vociferous tabloid press. Then she sold-in those stories to publications, talking to reporters to convince them to use the story.

She shadow-wrote a newspaper column and worked on client blogs, picking up tips from our in-house team of content writers.

Inspire future coverage

Ideas got booted around in a brainstorming session and she flagged up stories of interest in the daily huddle, where the day’s news is dissected to find trends that could inspire future coverage for clients.

She attended a photo call, got to pick the brains of CEO Laurna Woods over a one-to-one lunch and spent time finding out about the online side of our integrated communications agency – discovering how our UK web design team put together clients’ websites and how our digital marketers extract the maximum ROI on that investment.

Along the way, she compared notes on finding and activating social media influencers, got some lessons in social media marketing, and got to know people she’d only ever encountered as names on a round-robin email until taking those three flights to cross the Atlantic.

She also acquired a taste of Scottish culture – and discovered the potato scone, a breakfast item she’s become a real fan of. Irn-Bru, Scotland’s bubblegum-flavoured “other national drink”, she wasn’t so sure about.

Oh, and she found herself a film star, appearing in this video about the Beattie Bootcamp.

I’ve got to say that we only employ passionate and enthusiastic people at Beattie Tartan – it’s what sets our integrated communications agency apart – and Jenna got off that 20-hour trip enthused by what she’d learned.

Those five days in Scotland will stick in her memory and help shape her career in PR and marketing. The investment in terms of time and money is worth it to see a colleague develop as a media relations professional, with all the benefits that brings to the businesses we are employed by.

That’s why training, no matter age or ability, is a keystone of the Beattie Tartan culture.

Beattie Tartan is the integrated communications specialist. Call 800 400 3831 to learn how we can boost your brand.