2018 BCA PROFILES: REFORMATION, BEST BOUTIQUE AGENCY TO WORK FOR

Founded in 2012 by Amanda Haines, Reformation, now a two-time BCA winner, designs powerful modern public relations strategies that inspire brand engagement and influence with integrity. Their cultivation of a “team of Reformers that are genuinely committed to our brand and the success of our business” made them a standout among our BCA judges.

The Best Boutique Agency to Work for award celebrates the communications agencies that have demonstrated a commitment to building a positive work culture and place an emphasis on the power of storytelling.

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO WIN THE BEST BOUTIQUE AGENCY TO WORK FOR AWARD? HOW IS YOUR TEAM GOING TO CELEBRATE?

It’s exciting! This is our second year in a row that we’ve won a Bespoke Communications Award. Our celebrations will definitely include wine – we work with seven different wine brands, so we’ll be mixing business with pleasure.

WHAT IS YOUR TEAM MOST EXCITED ABOUT RIGHT NOW IN TERMS OF INDUSTRY TRENDS, CAMPAIGNS YOU ARE WORKING ON, ETC.?

It’s been really cool watching brands start to ‘get’ how impactful social media and influencer marketing can be for their businesses and bottom line. We used to have to convince clients to let us handle their social media; now we have more opportunities than we know what to do with! The influencer landscape is similar. Brands are getting smarter and more familiar. They’re starting to recognize that quality of engagement doesn’t always mean quantity of followers. We love working with micro- and nano-influencers and our brands are seeing it pay off.

DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW OR EXCITING CHANGES HAPPENING AT REFORMATION?

We moved into a new office in February. It’s around twice the size of our previous location, so it’s been exciting to expand! We also just hired two new team members and we’re on the hunt for more. This is a big time of growth and transition.

Burnout is such a real threat to our business – my feeling is that if we can communicate better about our needs, we can avoid the potential for frustration and fatigue that come hand-in-hand with working in PR.

HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE PROPER BALANCE FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES? HAVE YOU SEEN A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE IN RETENTION BY IMPLEMENTING THE OFFERINGS YOU PROVIDE TO YOUR EMPLOYEES?

It all comes down to communication. We work in an industry where it’s easy to think, “if I just put in a few more hours…” or “I’d love help with this, but everyone else is so busy…” I am constantly encouraging my team to communicate with me, and with each other, about balance and any potential for overwhelm. If they’re choosing to work overtime, I want to know about it. If they’re choosing to work a weekend to get a task or project done, I want them to talk to their teammates about support and assistance so that doesn’t have to happen. Burnout is such a real threat to our business – my feeling is that if we can communicate better about our needs, we can avoid the potential for frustration and fatigue that come hand-in-hand with working in PR.

We also have a lot of systems in place – from our lifestyle spending account to bankable time off for overtime to our annual office closure at Christmas and Flex Day Fridays – that encourage balance. We not only think our team members deserve it, but it’s also beneficial to our business. When our employees are fresh, so is the work.

WHAT THREE PERKS WOULD YOU SUGGEST OTHER AGENCIES OFFER IF THEY DON’T ALREADY HAVE MUCH OF A WORK-BALANCE PROGRAM? WHERE SHOULD THEY START?

I wholeheartedly recommend consulting a human resources company to provide insight on everything from salaries and compensation structure to benefits and perks. I did that a few years ago and it was incredibly beneficial! Millennials are a different type of employee, and they helped me learn how to attract and retain them. They want flexibility, they want recognition, and more than anything else, they want to grow – so consider perks like flex time, rewards and bonuses, and a training + development allowance. We offer all those things at Reformation.

IF WE LOOKED INSIDE YOUR PURSE/WORK BAG RIGHT NOW, WHAT PR SURVIVAL MUST-HAVES WOULD WE FIND?

I just switched over to the iPhone X and I’m obsessed – the camera is amazing! Other than that, I keep things pretty simple – I’m a minimalist at heart. My bag doesn’t carry much more than my laptop, my wallet, and my phone!

About This Author

Known as the “fashion publicist’s most powerful accessory,” (San Diego Union-Tribune) and the “West Coast ‘It’ girl of fashion PR,” (YFS Magazine) Crosby Noricks put fashion public relations on the digital map when she launched PR Couture in 2006. She is the author of Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR, available on Amazon. A decade later, Crosby is a successful fashion marketing strategist who spends her time championing PR Couture's growth and mentoring fashion publicists through her signature online course PRISM. Learn more about opportunities to work directly with Crosby at her website crosbynoricks.com