Finn Partners – Inspired

We at Finn Partners are Inspired by many things: A photo, a song, a news story, our clients - and each other. This blog is an opportunity to tell our story and to share our challenges, successes and motivations with you.


A Season of New Beginnings: 5 Things PR Taught Me about Puppies

Arlo the PuppyI’m Emily Shirden, a managing associate in our Chicago office. It comes as no surprise we’ve been talking a lot about new beginnings of late.  The launch of Finn Partners is just a start!  It’s also that magical time of year when creative minds come together in conference rooms to brainstorm strategic plans for the year ahead.  As I sat with brainstorming notes and a fresh PowerPoint deck in front of me the other night, I couldn’t help but think of the unsolicited advice I’ve been given about another fresh start in my life.   I’m getting my first puppy in a few short weeks.  The more I thought about it, everything I need to know about raising a puppy, I already learned at Finn Partners.

1.  Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. I was told to teach the puppy to sit when greeting people. Don’t just yell at him for jumping up.  Here at Finn Partners, we want to aim high and focus on the end goals and objectives, especially when brainstorming a new program.  What would be a key win for the client – a hit on CNBC? An exclusive in USA Today?  Growing Facebook “likes” by 300 percent?  Focusing in on how we get to those wins and how we can all work together to deliver positive results is something I’ve already been trained to do.

2.  Make sure everyone is on the same page. Discuss the puppy rules with family and friends who will play a significant role in his life. At Finn Partners, this relates back to the importance of making sure everyone comes to the table with the background they need and is up-to-date on anticipated deadlines and results.  Ongoing communications with internal teams, clients and vendors assure that everyone is working towards the same goal and delivering on expectations.  While I don’t believe the vet was referring to status calls and frequent chats with the client, that’s how I assure all my teams are going to deliver anticipated results.  What do you do?

3.  Baby gates are your friend. Physical baby gates may save my rugs, but mental ones can work wonders if brainstorming conversations keep circling back on one topic or focusing on a “can’t” instead of a “how can we?” Here at Finn Partners, we’re all firm believers in focusing in on what we can change and keeping out the second-guessing, especially when coming up with big ideas for the year ahead.

4.  Set a routine. Potty training, apparently, proceeds more smoothly if the puppy knows what to expect every day. I’ve got this one under control, too.  My teams will tell you I’m a sucker for schedules.  One of the first things we teach junior staff at Finn Partners is the simplest, easiest way to build trust with media and clients is to deliver promises on time and of course, produce project trackers to clients like clockwork on the agreed-upon schedule.

5. Supervise, supervise, supervise. If you cannot watch the puppy like a hawk, he needs to be in his crate or in his “room,” they say.  PR and social media programs need to be watched constantly, too.   We live in a fast-paced world.  Checking in on metrics quarterly no longer works.  If engagement isn’t as high as you’d like it to be on a social media program, you need to know in week two, not week 10.  If media aren’t responding to a pitch, it’s better to re-strategize after a day, instead of a week.  Keeping a close eye on all programs, and being ready to change the course as needed, once again, is a nod to account management at Finn Partners.

You see – everything I need to know about being a puppy parent, I already learned from the partnership of professionals I have the honor of working with daily.  What else can you add to this list?


Just Imagine…

Artist sketch of the Dole Rose Parade float

Artist sketch of the Dole Rose Parade float, "Preserving Paradise"

I’m Brenda Lynch, from Rogers Finn Partners. I live in the city of Pasadena, California and love everything about my home town: the beautiful weather (except for our recent Wind Storm!), the shops and dining in Old Town, and of course the great neighbors on my street. Most of all, I love that we put on a parade and invite the world to join us as we celebrate the new year. The Rose Parade is the grand daddy of all parades, and this year we will have 43 amazing flower-covered floats, 21 marching bands, and 18 equestrians groups or over 400 horses!

This year’s Rose Parade theme is “Just Imagine,” and our client Dole took the theme to new heights by offering the chance for one very lucky person to not only imagine but actually be on a Rose Parade float. Yes, we helped Dole create and promote a Facebook contest with the ultimate grand prize — a once in a lifetime experience to be a rider on the Dole Rose Parade float. Making the experience all the more magical, three guests of the grand prize winner will be given seats in the grandstands on Colorado Boulevard to watch alongside the thousands of parade attendees and millions of viewers at home as the Dole Float makes it way down the parade route.


A Bright 2012 on the Horizon

Today, after months of planning, Finn Partners officially opened its doors for business. Having worked with the team that comprises Finn Partners for many years, it’s exciting to witness firsthand the emergence of this new company. We are looking forward to a bright future, with a firm grasp on the heritage that has brought us to this place.

Earlier today we announced a significant increase in our revenue projections for 2012 – we currently expect $30 million in revenue next year. This is truly a testament to all the great work our team has been doing on behalf of our clients. Read more about our launch and subscribe to this blog via RSS or email for regular updates on our clients and partners, trends in the industry, and things that keep us Inspired.


Dress For Success and Finn Partners: Women Helping Women

Carol Edwards, partner, Finn Partners; Joi Gordon, CEO, Dress for Success; and Kristin Clifford, partner, Finn Partners.

I’m Carol Edwards, a partner based in our New York office. Probably like many of us, when I first heard of Dress for Success over a decade ago it was for their suit drives and the fantastic work they had done outfitting women to seek economic independence.   Fast forward to three years ago, when we first began working with CEO Joi Gordon and the rest of the amazing team at Dress for Success.  It was then that we saw first-hand how the organization was fulfilling its vision to be so much more beyond just the suit.

Since that time, we have worked closely with Dress for Success to raise awareness of their many initiatives and programs through which hundreds of thousands of women have been equipped with the tools and confidence to achieve success and self-sufficiency in their own lives, which in turn empowers those of their families and their communities.

On December 7, I had the honor of accepting Dress for Success’ prestigious “Model of Excellence” at their annual fundraising benefit Women Helping Women.  You can read more about the event in our press release here.   A career highlight for me personally, it also is a true testament to Finn Partners’ collaboration across offices and practice areas, as well as the extension of our philanthropic heritage and dedication to helping women’s organizations.

Dress for Success’ impact on the lives of disadvantaged women is immeasurable, and we are truly honored to be a part of helping Dress for Success share its story.


What Children’s Books Teach Us

I’m a big fan of children’s books.  I’d say this is a good thing, considering that I have a bunch of children (8) myself who want me to read to them all the time.  But quite often, when I read these 16- or 32-page books to them, I find a message that is relevant to the work we do.

For example, The Carrot Seed is all about the importance of diligence, believing in yourself and/or not listening to naysayers.  It may be about other things to other people as well.  The Monster At The End of This Book provides us with a simple illustration of the importance of self-awareness, and the dangers of being unclear about definitions.

These are valuable takeaways. And as much as my children laugh and smile when I read them these books, I do hope some of these lessons get through to them.

Because they certainly get through to me.

I’d like to discuss one additional book, in the context of the recent launch of Finn Partners, which has inspired us all.  “The Big Orange Splot.”  The Big Orange Splot is about a man, Mr. Plumbean, who lives on a street where all the houses look exactly the same.  One day, a seagull drops a can of orange paint on Mr. Plumbean’s house, resulting in a large splatter of paint on his red roof.

The neighbors go ballistic about the fact that Mr. Plumbean’s house now looks different and that the street is no longer “neat.”  But Mr. Plumbean uses the mishap as an opportunity to redesign the exterior of his house to reflect more of who he is.  As the book reads, ” My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all of my dreams.”

Mr. Plumbean feels stifled by everything having to look the same, so he expresses who he is … his way.

You know, we in the public relations world have a choice. We can do things the way they have been done for decades, with a dash of social media here and a sprinkle of search engine optimization there.  Or, we can take each client situation and ask ourselves the question: What would this look like in all of our dreams?  And then, with much enthusiasm and joy, we can try to build a reality for our client that matches those dreams.

That’s what this new company, Finn Partners, is all about … at least to me.


Welcome to the Partnership

When I first decided to move forward with the formation of Finn Partners, I was driven by the long held goal of leading an organization that was one of the best places to work in the industry, and therefore attracted the best talent the industry had to offer. I mentioned the key factors that attract that kind of talent – an entrepreneurial environment that maximizes potential, attractive compensation and benefits, best-in-class training, and an atmosphere in which every team member has a voice and is treated with respect. Such an environment requires a structure in which staff-members are not just employees, but stakeholders. It requires a partnership.

Our new company is a partnership. Our staff not only shares in the profits of the firm, but helps create its identity, define its priorities, and chart its strategic course. We are always on the lookout for great people to join our team. High intelligence and skill is a given, but we seek out other essential qualities as well – integrity, a sense of humor, the drive to excel, to achieve more than the job calls for, and the confidence to pursue one’s goals with unflinching effort. To attract them and keep them engaged we are committed to making Finn Partners an exceptional place to work, a place that encourages and rewards initiative, creativity and collaboration.  The benefits to our clients are tangible. Ours is an environment that fosters loyalty and dedication to both the company and its clients – in which every success on behalf of a client is a success for every member of our team.

In an industry in which our greatest asset is our people, our staff shares a passion for delivering great results for our clients, and a shared belief that in the end it is our actions that matter – the quality of service we provide, the ideas and principles we stand for, and ultimately, the people we touch.