I planned Our First Half-Day Training Event and Here’s What I Learned
BLASTmedia recently hosted our very first Elevate Day — a half-day training event that gave our employees the opportunity to learn about new strategies in the world of PR and content development, tap into their creative side, and learn about the SaaS investing landscape from VCs themselves.
Think somewhere between Dreamforce and a The Office-style whiteboard presentation.
We used Elevate Day to hone in on topics that we identified a need for extended training around due to market changes and evolving best practices, as well as trends we saw in a recent training benchmark survey that asked employees to self-report on their confidence level around certain skills. Each employee could choose their Elevate Day track from a number of session options in each training category to personalize the day to their individual interests.
Here are the top three things I learned (outside of making plans for unexpected weather!) at our very first Elevate Day training event:
The media landscape is changing more rapidly than we could have imagined even five years ago.
Who and how I pitched last quarter could completely differ from who and how someone else at the agency is pitching this quarter. That’s why it’s so important to knowledge share across your agency — and Elevate Day made that glaringly clear. As I listened to various sessions, I saw so many people sharing tips and tricks about new approaches they’re taking due to shifts in how reporters like to be pitched or shrinking newsroom staff. Let’s just say…Elevate Day motivated me to keep this knowledge-sharing alive and well in our agency.
The need for SaaS PR ain’t goin’ anywhere
It could be easy to think that the turbulent SaaS market means the demise of SaaS PR. But we think quite the opposite…and so do some of our favorite VC friends. In our fireside chat with Allos Ventures Managing Director David Kerr and Elevate Ventures Principal Sara Omohundro, CFA, we talked about the value of SaaS PR when it comes to a founder’s brand, building trust when times get tough, and more. Long live SaaS PR!
This conversation also reinforced the importance of tapping outside experts for their perspectives and advice. Outside of the investment landscape, we also talked about why PR sometimes gets a bad rap and ideas on how to position what we do to potentially skeptical execs or VCs (from VCs themselves!) — a conversation we face head-on regularly.
It pays to make time to learn
It’s easy to say that you want to make time to learn, but hard to actually set that time aside. Elevate Day showed me firsthand how important it is to not only create an environment of continual learning, but also to design opportunities for individuals to step outside of their norm to learn. That’s why we strategically planned the day during our regularly scheduled “No Meetings Week.”
Clearing our schedules and walking through the doors with our minds focused on soaking in everything the day had to offer made it so much easier to absorb new information and ask probing questions. I also noticed that stepping outside of our norm for a half day of learning helped boost the energy at the office and encouraged more creative thinking across the board!
Have a favorite learning event you’ve participated in that you’d like to share ideas from or want to speak at BLAST? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!