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Get comms fit, says Launch PR’s Barbara Watson

In our fast-changing industry, PR professionals have always needed to be flexible. Over the course of any one day we are writers, marketers, creatives, influencers, techies, customer service experts, project managers and leaders. The demands on our time and the expectations on our delivery are high – and if we are to perform at the peak of our abilities we need to keep ourselves in peak condition.

Step up
At Launch we refuse to be deskbound and ensure we get our daily steps in. We kicked off the year by launching our ‘Creative Crawl’ – a whistle-stop walking tour of the most creative hotspots and historic sites in Soho – which colleagues and clients are free to go on at any time to regenerate, rejuvenate and get the creative juices flowing.

Working in Soho and working for some pretty health-centric and health-conscious clients, we also need to ensure we’re up to speed with the latest fitness fads and foods. Unsurprisingly, we’re as likely to be taking clients, media and influencers to Sweaty Betty’s café on Carnaby Street or to a new gym class as we are to the pub – call it ‘research’.

Be active (and proactive)
We actively encourage our team to prioritise their health and wellbeing. Two of us have been clocking up the miles before work as we train for the London marathon, one colleague cycles 15 miles a day on his commute and others swim and spin daily on their lunch break. Just as well we provide shower facilities here.  And it’s not just the gym bunnies. One Rockstar colleague rehearses with a band after work and just had his first single released. 

Take time out
Running a creative business isn’t about standing still.  We need fresh thinking and fresh staff. We need time to think, to ponder, to dwell on a nugget or an insight to crack the ‘big idea’. And that isn’t going to come to us sat behind our PCs. So once a month we reward our nominated employee of the month with a budget to spend on something that creatively inspires them – be it a gallery visit, a craft course, a mindfulness session or a music event.

Go home!
Although we ensure we are available to our clients, we are big believers in home time and support our colleagues to ensure sensible finishing hours.  We look at everyone’s capacity weekly to make sure our teams aren’t overloaded, chase them if they haven’t taken their holiday and offer a sabbatical scheme after five years of service. 

Be kind
Wellbeing is also at the core of our agency values. We have actively written Kindness into our job descriptions, appraisal forms and it is how we approach co-working and collaborating with clients and other agencies (‘one team one dream’). Respect, decency and honesty are qualities we hold dear. 

If you encourage a ‘friendly, generous and considerate’ culture – how the dictionary defines the K word –  people should have all the space they need to flourish.

Written by Barbara Watson, director of brand and content at integrated agency Launch

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