Core Values: Connected

(2) Catherine AllenIn this seven-part series, we’ll talk with Catherine Allen, Senior Vice President in our Boston office, and look in-depth at what each of the 7 core values means and how they affect our work, our clients, our employees, and our community. In this post, we look at what it means to be connected at SHIFT.

When it comes to finding people to work on the team, what I’m looking for is someone who’s connected to journalists, publishers, and media. Perhaps the person is linked on LinkedIn or is being followed by these media personalities on Twitter, so that when we have good story ideas, our team members can get the ideas placed in great outlets, from traditional to social and more.

Beyond that, connected means that team members are connected in a business sense and community sense. They help to generate new business opportunities for the agency by going out and being a part of the community, attending networking events, participating in the community as a whole. One of the top questions I ask during the interview process is, “What was the last networking event you went to?” and I look for strong answers. It’s not just new business, either. Being connected means knowing your peers and helping us find the best possible recruits, the best possible hires in the community. We want people to help us build an even better team – great minds think alike and we want them working at SHIFT.

Once they’re here I absolutely want team members to be connected internally, inside the agency. Are they on Chatter and involved in answering people’s questions or requests? Are they getting to know people? Are they participating in social events? It’s actually a job requirement for account managers and above to meet and talk to their counterparts in the Boston, New York, and San Francisco offices, to make friendships and partnerships throughout the agency. Once they’ve made these connections to their fellow team members, they can reach out to them for more great ideas to help serve clients even better. They also have to be giving and helping just as much to other teams, too.

Being connected means you attend brainstorms, you review documents, you proofread, you participate, you do what you can to help other agency teams. We want to see you involved in as much of the agency as you can. There’s one other job requirement that’s mandatory on the teams that I manage, and that is that you have to get involved in one agency initiative beyond your job.

Maybe you’re running the publication library, setting up or running the training program, or managing the networking and events calendar. You pick something that you want to do. You have to have one additional thing you do outside of your normal duties so that you’re deeply connected to the agency as a whole. As a side benefit, the people who are connected like this, the people who are doing something beyond their day job… it’s exciting for them. They get to work outside of their normal team. It makes everyone happier, because you learn that at SHIFT, if there’s something you’re passionate about, you don’t have to leave SHIFT to go do it. That’s what is so wonderful about being connected – so much opportunity inside SHIFT to do all kinds of exciting projects.

Catherine H. Allen
Executive Vice President


Posted on May 10, 2013 in Agency Life, Values

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About the Author

Catherine serves as the Executive Vice President, East Coast Account Services at SHIFT Communications, Inc. She has been with the firm since its opening day and currently manages SHIFT’s Boston and NYC based VPs and SVPs, ensuring the highest caliber of client service. Catherine partners with these team leads to provide trusted strategic PR and social media counsel to a variety of brands. Clients turn to her to find quick thinking, dedicated support and a true communications partnership. She takes existing PR programs for national brands and brings them to the next level with fierce messaging, creative pitch angles and aggressive tactics, and she listens to start-ups to develop the right value prop and game plan to debut them to market. These programs have won her team recognition from the Society for New Communications Research, the SABRE Awards, Bulldog Media Relations Awards, PR Daily Awards and the New England Publicity Club’s Bell Ringer Awards program.
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