03 Jul Spotlight on Switchboard Public Relations
In this week’s Spotlight, we are featuring Switchboard Public Relations. Switchboard is a full-service agency that uses communications to help innovators and impact-makers create positive change, both within their organizations and within the community. Switchboard is energized by what motivates their clients—the reasons they get up in the morning and do what they do. In marketing speak, their “why.” The Switchboard team spends their days listening to business problems (over coffee and sometimes pizza) and solving them using communications strategies that get real results. They may be small in size, but with their scrappy attitudes and creative edge, they’re more than equipped to get a job done well – and to get it done fast, to boot. 1. Describe your company and your primary product(s) and/or service(s). At Switchboard, we’re a full-service PR team that works with innovators and changemakers to create communication strategies that drive real results. We focus on the technology, community development and impact areas to solve problems and connect people with each other. In short, we get sh*t done and we get it done well. 2. How many employees currently work at your company? We’re a small but mighty team of eight, including our canine member, Hogan. We have some members on contracts and others that are full-time, but we remain a close-knit community. 3. Where are you located? We’re normally in a shared warehouse office in East Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood, but we’re currently under renovations. For the next few months, we’ve moved in next-door to our friends, Patio, a digital marketing agency located in the character-loaded Dominion building in Gastown. We miss the East Van neighbourhood (especially, Bomber Brewing), but we don’t mind being a quick walk away from coffee shops that are quickly becoming favourites (Revolver, anyone?). 4. Describe the culture at your company. We’re transparent and share what we do and where we’re stuck. Our work environment is both flexible and accessible, with work-from-home options — we understand that “work/life” balance is different for everyone. And we love to celebrate. Personal and professional accomplishments, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries—you name it. And those big media wins. 5. What does your leadership team (and company as a whole) do to support/grow that culture? We encourage the team to share what more they want to learn in their role, whether that’s attending industry events or taking professional development courses, which Switchboard offers to cover half the cost. For example, our Communications Specialist & Media Strategist is taking an InDesign course to grow her skills and speed up copyediting.
6. When your employees talk about your company, what do they brag about?
- We’re a women-led business and we think that’s something to brag about. We share our experiences and perspectives on issues that resonate with what we stand for. For example, on International Women’s Day, we put together a video to show gratitude to all the women before us who’ve fought for equality and to show our commitment to keep fighting for the women who come after us.
- We have a team that knows how to have fun and how to collaborate to produce great work. We hold each other accountable to provide clients with impeccable work.
- And the biggest brag of all, we get to work with companies that make a meaningful difference for people. For example, one of our clients, Starling Minds, strives to improve mental well-being in the workplace through developing educational tools and community support.
7. Describe your most recent achievement/milestone as a company. Watching our clients grow has been incredibly rewarding for us. Grow, a leader in the enterprise Fintech space, was nominated for and won the 2015 Startup-of-the-year award through Techvibes. We’ve also been pitching to some of our dream clients and attracting international clients to work with, like Global Mobile. 8. Who is the ideal employee for your company? We look for people who are smart, unafraid to speak their minds and natural doers and learners. We don’t micromanage and we’re not hand holders—everyone is here for a reason, be it their ability to flesh out great copy on the fly, create beautiful design in their sleep or have a personality that makes people feel heard. 9. Tell us an interesting fact/memorable moment/funny story about your company. We originally started as Kathleen Reid Consulting (KRC) in 2014 as a one-woman venture. Our Founder, Kathleen, left the corporate PR life to follow her entrepreneurial drive and started her own consulting business. With a mission to help companies create positive change in the world through communications strategies, KRC grew in demand and team size. As a result, Switchboard PR was born in 2016 and is now a small and mighty full-service PR agency of content creators, media strategists and communications specialists.