How to Inspire a Cooperative – Not Competitive – Agency Enviornment


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These days, a cohesive, cooperative and fun work environment is one of the most important factors for job seekers. In the PR industry alone, the landscape (for many firms) has evolved to prioritize team work and cooperation over competition, as “getting ahead” solo may actually become a setback.

While friendly competition can drive employees to constantly “one-up” themselves (and others), collaboration and team work can foster a workplace where employees are fiercely driven to succeed – as a cohesive, team-first unit. If competition works in your agency, that’s great! Every workplace is different. But, if you’re looking to switch things up and inspire more unity and cohesiveness across your firm, follow these simple steps to get started.

Inspire collaborative thinking – and reward it!

Oftentimes the best ideas come from a “seed” of an idea that snowballs into a central campaign concept through collaborative brainstorming – that’s when concerted, creative thinking works best. When your employees share their ideas – whether big or small, silly or strategic – acknowledge each person involved in the process and reward them for sharing their brainpower. Make sure that everyone involved sees their contribution as valuable, whether it’s the person who started the “seed” or the employee who turned that seed into a concept.  The more teams brainstorm together, the more impressive the work will be.

Set goals for your team

Sure, everyone has their individual goals – and they should! – but nothing beats working together toward a common goal as a unit. Whether it’s the beginning of the year or a refresh after the summer, work with your agency leaders to come up with a team goal that all agency members can be part of. Striving to reach the same goal will help to put all kinds of team members – whether they’re just starting out or seasoned pros – on the same level.

Reinforce positive vs. negative attitudes

As cliché as it sounds, positive workplace settings make for positive employees (and positive employees produce groundbreaking work!) If you’ve instilled an attitude of positivity within your workplace, employees are more willing to contribute ideas and creative thoughts because they know they have an inter-office safety net. Reward employee work, set a can-do workplace attitude, and find ways to reinforce that you’re all in it together. That’s a major mantra for us at LPR, and one that ensures employees never feel alone – and always feel rewarded. Conversely, if you opt for the negative attitude, employees might go the competitive route, choosing to make small personal successes as opposed to achieving goals for the company.

Set an example

Sometimes the best way to show others how you want the agency to run is by setting the example yourself – think talking the talk and walking the walk. New and younger employees will likely mirror the sentiment and work styles of upper management, so the more you can lead by example (and ask your agency leaders to follow), the more likely you are the have the positive, cooperative and incredibly successful workplace you desire!

Michele Litzky

Michele Litzky

Michele Litzky is a seasoned generalist and strategist who has driven top-notch PR results for a wide array of clients – from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. She founded award-winning boutique lifestyle and family entertainment PR firm Litzky Public Relations in 1988 with just one client, Matchbox Toys. Today, she’s grown the Hoboken-based agency to nearly 25 employees with a full client roster, ranging in categories from toys and baby gear to lifestyle brands and social good campaigns. The agency’s primary objective -- bringing clients strategically into the spotlight – is accomplished through traditional and digital marketing and publicity initiatives that reach media, influencers and strategic partners. While her agency has experienced exciting growth, so has her family. Her three adult nieces, Rachel, Alison and Samantha, prepared her well for the newest jewels in her crown, her grandchildren, Emma, Jack and Henry. To connect with Michele, follow LPR on Instagram (@litzkypr) and Facebook, or visit