The PR industry is in a state of change. PR agencies are much more than the old “PR = Press Release” maxim.
These days, many PR agencies cover all facets of marketing, sometimes even crossing over into the realm of creative development.
Jumping on the creative and work for good bandwagon, PR agency opr recently created its first ever Young Leadership Team (YLT). The YLT is a cohort of five junior members of opr who were selected to support the agency’s executive leadership team on specific briefs.
The YLT work to engage the agency’s younger members in key agency initiatives while also contributing to agency culture and important social good programs.
As a first project, the YLT was given the opportunity to revamp opr’s corporate social responsibility program (CSR). The YLT selected Mission Australia as its first partner organisation.
B&T chatted with the opr YLT team to get a better idea of the social responsibility work they’re doing, and why it’s important for the broader advertising, media, and marketing industry.
Why are social good programs like opr’s YLT important for the industry?
Like most companies, corporate social responsibility is important to our business as we need to be socially conscious of the impact we are making on the world. It is important that all businesses are looking beyond profits and giving back to society. We need to put action to our words and work together to make sure we are giving a voice to those who don’t have a platform to speak.
We are in a special place in the media comms industry in the sense that we have the ability to broadcast important issues to a wider audience. By partnering with charities such as Mission Australia, we hope to use our social media and media industry knowledge and expertise to inspire, promote and appeal to the public to help out with social causes such as homelessness, disability and inclusion, mental health, alcohol, and drug addiction, to name a few.
What was the YLT’s involvement in Mission Australia’s Sounds of the Streets?
opr was briefed to support one of the projects that Mission Australia runs called the Creative Youth Initiative. It is a unique service that provides free creative programs for young adults who are facing many and varied challenges in their lives, such as homelessness, mental health issues and substance abuse, amongst other challenges. Bi-annually, students from the program perform in front of family and friends in an evening called ‘Sounds of the Street’.
Our involvement included outreaching to journalists to build awareness of the program, as well as supporting on the evening with photography. These photographs were then shared with Mission Australia for further promotion of the program, but also shared with the students who performed at the event. Some of these students are pursuing their passion for music and are using these photographs to promote themselves.
How is the YLT going about developing a social strategy for Charcoal Lane?
We are looking at working with the wider opr team, specifically our colleagues at opr Melbourne who are based in the same state as Charcoal Lane. Charcoal Lane has been set up as a catering supplier by the team and is used for client meetings. We are also looking at opportunities to expand our relationship with Charcoal Lane, including the development of a social audit to help expand awareness and reach of the program.
What are the broader reaching impact CSR programs have on the media/advertising industry?
By implementing these kinds of CSR programs within the workplace, there is an increased understanding and awareness for issues that are sometimes forgotten. In turn, media and advertising companies are becoming more aware of social issues and are willing to invest more time and our expertise into these programs – which can only be a good thing.
How is each of the YLT members using their specific skillsets across Sounds of the Streets and Charcoal Lane programs?
With our work supporting the Mission Australia Sounds of the Streets and Charcoal Lane programs to date, the members of the YLT have each used their skills in media relations, outreaching to journalists to raise awareness of the Sounds of the Streets program. As for our work with Charcoal Lane, the team is looking forward to using their skills in social and digital to conduct an audit of the restaurant’s channels to help build awareness of the program online.
opr’s YLT team
Anastassia Keltchina, account manager, Howorth
Caitlin Falls, senior account executive, Pulse
Christine Yangoyan, senior account executive, opr agency
Yat Shum, senior account executive, opr corporate
Fergus Buncle, account manager, Pulse