BOCA team members came together for our “2019 Annual State of the Union,” where we discussed our continued evolution as an agency. We unveiled progress we’ve made over the past several months and brainstormed new initiatives to take us through the remainder of 2019 and into 2020. We use these meetings to take a pause and reflect, “How can BOCA become a better agency for its fabulous employees and great clients? How can we take our teams and clients to new heights?”
To frame our meetings, BOCA turns to its four cornerstones that we’ve implemented across the agency – Staff Nurturing, Outstanding Client Service, Quality Product, and Rapid and Measured Growth. We also ensure that our cornerstones are supported by our values – to be authentic, creative, to act like a family, have passion and, one of my personal favorites, to be savvy. We use our cornerstones and our values to guide the company and keep us moving in the right direction.
The Theme of Our State of the Union: Virtual Success
We chose the theme “virtual success” as the company is finding itself more geographically distributed. We have a wonderful office in downtown San Francisco overlooking Union Square with a great group of people. We also have team members peppered all throughout the United States – in Boston, Chicago, Michigan, Minnesota, and New York.
We also find that our clients are located throughout the United States – East Coast, Midwest, Southern California, and of course, the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley. We now live in a world where our clients and employees are no longer centered around one area of the US.
To ensure we are a cohesive team for employees and clients regardless of location, we need to ensure business continuity and we do this through collaboration and communication tools. BOCA is obsessed with Slack and Zoom. I am personally totally in love with Zoom. The ability to easily connect with your clients on video is fabulous. Seeing facial expressions and body language is important to improve communication and understanding that extends beyond a voice on a conference line. Our clients love to use Slack too – it helps cut through the clutter of email when you need a quick response.
Throughout the meeting, we discussed what we’ve successfully implemented across our “cornerstones,” what we needed to keep working on, and what we wanted to add to the list.
- Staff Nurturing Wins: In this highly competitive employee market, it is very important to recruit and retain top talent while having fun and learning. After taking a hiatus from our intern program, we decided to put it back into action. We’ve brought in some fabulous interns recently that have rolled over to full-time employees – it’s very exciting. We also introduced what we are calling “micro-training” sessions across the agency. These are very focused and hands-on training to support our staff and better service our clients.
- Outstanding Client Service: Our goal is to retain our clients long-term, deliver great results, and build trust with them. Client churn is inevitable due to acquisitions, however a point of emphasis at BOCA is never to have our performance lead to a client loss. We want to earn client kudos and we want to make sure our day-to-day client contact looks great in front of his or her boss. We want to deliver the kind of results where the CEO or CMO presents to the board and the board asks, “Who is your PR agency? Because they are doing a great job!” BOCA executed its first-ever annual report card in which we asked our clients on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) how we rated for client service, creativity, best practices, and a variety of other areas. We are proud to come in at a rating of 4.5. This exercise was amazing as we were able to uncover where we are doing great and where we can improve. I want to say thank you to our clients for participating, as this will make us a better agency. I also want to announce that we will continue to do this year after year.
- Quality Product: In regard to quality, we want to know we are providing a top-notch product which means creative campaigns that drive results, great content, killer media relations and all sorts of fabulous PR programs. We also want to roll out new products to our clients to remain on the cutting edge. Here, I want to call out our influencer and social media programs. Yes, media relations is our “bread and butter,” however we are seeing more and more of our clients tapping social media to get their brand in front of nontraditional influencers – CxO decision-makers within organizations, university professors with a large following, or up-and-coming tech superstars.
- Rapid and Measured Growth: As a PR agency, BOCA has grown organically – thanks to word of mouth, repeat clients and VCs. Our brand is established in the San Francisco Bay Area. We love our San Francisco Bay Area clients and we also love that the company is growing within new geographies such as the Midwest and Southern California. BOCA is actively looking to establish its brand across the United States. We are also proud that we’ve been diversifying. BOCA has successfully established clients in the digital health and healthcare world, and we are very proud of this. Most recently, we hired a consumer guru who is working to establish our brand within consumer markets. I am proud to report we are the agency of record for Hooked on Phonics, a very well known consumer reading program for children. This is very exciting and we are eager to see more consumer wins.
Our 2019 State of the Union was a fantastic success. We brought our team together to discuss the focus of the company, and how we can continue to grow and be one of the best PR agencies in the United States. I am very proud of BOCA, our employees, and our clients. #BOCAlife is here to stay and it is events like this that allow us to embody BOCA.
Here’s to a great year!