It’s no secret that exceptional work stems from the power of collaboration. So in addition to featuring notable young professionals and entrepreneurs every single day, we’ll be chatting with some of Canada’s best teams every Thursday to get an inside look at how they combine talents to stand out in their industry. Today we’re talking to the team behind rock-it promotions in Toronto…
1. Describe what you and your team focus on in less than 140 characters. Go.
rock-it promotions is a Toronto-based agency that executes full-service public relation campaigns for a variety of local, national & international brands.
2. What kick ass projects / programs have you been working on recently?
September just passed and is one of the busiest and most exciting times of the year for us. During the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), we worked with a vast array of clients, from personal publicity for actors (Kari Matchett and the TIFF Rising Stars), to festival sponsors and parties (Hudson’s Bay and Festival Music House), as well as our gifting lounge Tastemakers.
We are also ramping up on programming for the JUNO Awards – it will be hosted in Ottawa next year and will be one of the Ottawa2017’s anchor events, it’s going to be a big one! We’ve also recently launched the hotly anticipated adidas Athletics line with a VIP gifting suite that was open during the World Cup of Hockey, executed the opening of Leña at Saks Fifth Avenue by Oliver & Bonacini, supported the third annual Etsy: Made in Canada event (largest one-day pop-up in the country), opened the brand new Mackage store in Toronto’s Eaton Centre and so much more.
3. What are some of the benefits of working on a team?
Everyone on the rock-it team is invaluable as everyone has different experiences and backgrounds. Having a broad network is so important in PR, and with more team members comes more connections you can tap into. Plus having a tight-knit yet diverse team means you always have someone to bounce ideas off of or ask for their expertise.
4. What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced?
We try to view challenges as opportunities to get creative. A recent stand-out would be having an opening event for a client during an epic storm with freezing rain and hail. We feared no one would show up – but people still came out to party with us and our client. Disaster averted!
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals working within a team?
Always strive to improve and build upon your skills. A team is only as strong as its weakest link, and with our industry being so fluid, keeping up with the changes ensures that we continue to deliver the highest quality service to our clients. A thick skin and a good sense of humour go a long way, too.
6. Does your team have a designated leader?
Everyone at rock-it is a #girlboss in their own right, but our designated leader is rock-it’s founder and president Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski. Deb is a true PR maven and is the number one advocate for all our clients and our team.
7. Within your organization are teams switched up every once in a while or do they maintain the same? What are some of the benefits and cons of that?
Our teams are structured as account teams who work on specific client portfolios based on their expertise and areas of interest. This ensures that clients are always assigned the best teams suited for their requirements and goals. That said, the rock-it teams are very collaborative, so there’s always a cross-pollination of ideas and expertise among the different teams.
8. What does the word collaboration mean to you?
Collaboration occurs when everyone actively participates and contributes to all aspects of the company. These contributions can be large or small and are more about making the time and putting in the effort to work together. In such a fast-paced industry, it can be hard to carve out time that isn’t directly related to your own to-do list, but we try to always remember that two (or three) heads are better than one! Debra encourages a non-competitive agency and that really shines through.
9. What has been you and your team’s favorite project/campaign/ initiative to work on and why?
We’ve had the honor of working with so many local and international clients. As a Canadian based agency, it’s amazing and inspiring to be able to see local brands grow and evolve as a result of our PR efforts. Contributing to the growth of Toronto-based brands such as Consonant skincare and jewelry designer Jenny Bird has been incredibly rewarding. Working on large international brands like TOMS, adidas and Tommy Hilfiger and helping to create awareness for them in the Canadian market is also super rewarding… especially when we get to support collaborations with big names like TOMMY X Gigi Hadid and TOMS X Prabal Gurung.
1. Where is your teams’ favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Our office is nestled between King St. W and Queen St. West on Richmond St. so there are so many great options for a working lunch or after work drinks. In the summer, for a good pint of beer on a patio – Belfast Love and Fresh are regular stops for many of us.
2. Do you and your team go out together? Where and why?
We live by the motto ‘work hard, play hard’. After working our butts off and rocking it, we like to let loose and bond as a team. Whether that means a champagne toast in the office, having an epic summer party including a soccer baseball game and picnic at Trinity Bellwoods park, or playing ping pong together at SPiN Toronto, it’s important to make sure you always celebrate your successes together.
3. What’s the best thing that has happened to you and your team recently?
This year has been a big year for rock-it! We’ve signed on some great international clients including adidas and GUESS?. Most recently, we became the AOR for the JUNO Awards. We’re very excited to help elevate the beloved awards show and bring attention to Canadian musicians. Debra also recently won the Profit 100 award for being one of Canada’s top female entrepreneurs, and the agency just won the Profit 500 which is given to Canada’s fastest growing companies.
4. Are there any other teams within your company or any company that you know of that are killing it?
This year, rock-it introduced a new division of the company, Fourth Floor Management. Fourth Floor Management represents some of the most renowned and respected creative minds in the Canadian influencer community. Fourth Floor Management is spearheaded by Alice Buckley, a former Notable Young Professional.
5. And finally, what does success look like to you and your team? Work, play, or otherwise…
Success for us means continued growth and an ongoing sense of fulfillment in everything we do. Our best work reflects our teams’ passion for their work and our clients. We try to promote a culture of learning, hard work and balance because we believe, those combined can unlock the full potential of everyone on our team.