Hold the PRess: SourceCode Communications

At SourceCode, near and dear to our hearts is the value of diversity of our team, the way we think, and the experiences we all have. We are also incredibly passionate about doing our role to confront the racial injustice that continues to plague us

Today, we added our voice to the conversation at the forefront of the PR / communications industry: Hold the PRess, an initiative “calling for action, accountability, and transparency in the Public Relations and Communications industry for Black people.” We strongly value transparency and honesty at the center of every relationship. We prioritize these values with our employees, clients, and partners, and we think it’s imperative that we are transparent with our industry peers. 

Our workforce comes from all walks of life – pageant queens and former athletes; parents and non-parents; immigrants; Millennials, Gen Z, and Gen X. We believe bringing different backgrounds and perspectives to the table results in unique ideas and a more creative place to work. We know, like most, our diversity numbers aren’t where they should be and we’re committed to making it better.

Here’s where we stand today:

  • 23% of our staff identify as POC; 9% identify as Black
  • We lack any racial diversity at the senior leadership level and are working hard to rectify that with our commitments over the next year
  • Of our senior team members, 50% identify as POC; 17% identify as Black
  • Of our mid-level team members, 14% identify as POC; 14% identify as Black
  • Of our entry-level team members, 50% identify as POC; 0% identify as Black
  • Looking across our clients, 40% are currently POC-led; 3% are currently Black-led; and 13% are currently women-led

We know what it means to be a leader in the PR and communications industry, and we understand our responsibility to be part of the solution. This movement is not just about donating money or publicly sharing words of solidarity, but rather how we can improve ourselves, our business, and the industry at large. As a team, we have already committed to evaluating our recruiting practices and policies, evolving training programs, and partnering with POC-led businesses to ensure transformational change takes place at SourceCode and beyond.

As leaders we want to do what’s right, and we hope this encourages other agencies to share their own insights and be transparent in support of a solution for all.


Greg Mondshein, SourceCode Communication's Managing Partner, named to PRWeek’s 2020 40 Under 40 List

We’re so proud to share that SourceCode Communications Managing Partner, Greg Mondshein, has been named in PRWeek’s 2020 40 Under 40 list of the "stellar communications pros" "steering the PR industry through its next generation of evolution and disruption."

What has made SourceCode so “formidable,” says M Booth CEO Dale Bornstein, is its mission to inject humanity back into tech communications while leveraging the data of modern PR. That humanity is reflected in the agency itself. With a six-month parental leave, profit-sharing program for all employees and unlimited vacation policy, Mondshein has created a business that aims to improve the lives of its employees. They are also encouraged to volunteer and give back. Mondshein leads by example: He and Honeyman donated $1,500 to the American Civil Liberties Union and agreed to match employee donations.

This 40 Under 40 recognition comes almost one year after Greg was named as a Top 25 Innovator in PR by the Holmes Report in 2019. We would like to thank PRWeek for the recognition and congratulate the other communications professionals recognized who are making a difference in the industry everyday!

You can read the full piece on PRWeek.

Interested in connecting with SourceCode Communications? Please contact us here, we’d love to hear from you.


Jane Names SourceCode Communications as its PR Agency of Record

NEW YORKJuly 15, 2020SourceCode Communications today announced that it has been selected as the communications agency of record for Jane, a Utah-based boutique e-commerce marketplace that provides a platform for small businesses to grow. From the beginning of the partnership in February, SourceCode has been tasked with boosting Jane’s recognition in the e-commerce space, and supporting announcements around notable hirings for the company as well as a planned expansion of the sites’ category offerings. This is Jane’s first agency of record appointed in recent years. 

“Given our growth plans as a company and the expansion of our category offerings, we needed a partner with varied experience across the consumer marketplace,” said Meagen Johnson, VP of Marketing at Jane. “SourceCode’s retail know-how and experience in e-commerce, combined with their personal touch throughout the selection process, confirmed that they were the right agency for us.”

Ranked #28 on Utah Business’ 2019 Fast 50 Honorees, Jane is an innovative company taking the retail world by storm. The online boutique marketplace gives small businesses a platform for their products, while helping customers stay on trend and on budget -- both factors which have caused increased interest in the site since the pandemic, as shoppers look to support small businesses without hurting their wallet. 

Jane has also been recognized for its work toward social good with its #JaneforGood initiative. The company donated 10,000 masks to the Utah Department of Health, and has donated a portion of the proceeds for every mask sold – so far, more than 1 million masks have been sold on Jane.com since the start of the pandemic. In line with the recent social justice efforts, the company also partnered with one of its sellers to create a tee around Juneteenth. All profits were donated to the Loveland Foundation, an organization committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways, with a particular focus on Black women and girls and continuing their efforts to advance social responsibility.

“Jane sits in a unique space right now as a result of the pandemic, with stores closed and shopping only available online – a space Jane has been in for much longer than traditional brick-and-mortar stores who are only now recognizing the power of a digital presence,” said Sara Ajemian, Vice President of Insights & Engagement at SourceCode. “Jane has been able to quickly adapt to meet consumer demand, and, like us, they understand the power of being agile and forward thinking. We’re excited to work with them and introduce the brand to a broader audience.”

SourceCode, founded in 2017, has a legacy of bringing disruptive brands like Everlast and Elvie to the forefront of the retail industry, as well as building strong B2B thought leaders in the space having worked with companies like Blis, Channel Bakers, and Yotpo. The agency has been recognized for its notable work with consumer and B2B clients, taking home best consumer campaign of the year for Everlast Worldwide’s “Be First” Campaign at PRovoke Media's 2020 SABREAwards North America, and coming in second place nationally and fourth globally in PRovoke Media's Global PR Agency Rankings 2020. SourceCode is currently a contender for PRWeek's 2020 US Outstanding Boutique Agency.

 


SourceCode commits to PR Council’s diversity pledge

As we continue our commitment to making the industry equal, diverse and inclusive, we’ve joined forces with agency leaders and public relations firms by signing The PR Council’s Diversity Action Alliance rooted in “ACTion.” The alliance calls for industry leaders to Adopt best practices, Champion cause, and Track progress. 

By signing this commitment, we agree to share key representation metrics that will help push our industry forward and maintain transparency in our business efforts. We are proud to contribute to the larger initiatives of the Diversity Action Alliance and help create objectives to support the goal of reflecting diversity in the US by 2025. 

While this is only one step we can take as an agency to push the needle forward within our industry, we are committed to continue doing our part and becoming involved in all the ways available to us. You can read more about the PR Council’s coalition here.


Creating a workplace culture while working from home

COVID-19 has certainly stressed many companies’ policies and procedures, and as a company founded on flexibility, we have really leaned into our support of employees working wherever they feel most creative, and most secure during this turbulent time. We’ve all done our best to adapt to the changes COVID-19 brought to our day-to-day activities, both personally and professionally. However, knowing stress levels were increasing, people were feeling isolated, and burnout was beginning, we realized our increasing responsibility to keep morale high and make sure everyone at SourceCode still felt connected. Throughout the last few weeks and months of remote working we’ve focused heavily on team building activities, open dialogue, and supporting employee wellness.

With remote working, team members lose the chance to bump into each other and strike up conversations naturally. We implemented our own best practices to intentionally connect throughout the day and have added weekly team-building activities for employees to participate in. We launched a number of Slack channels (#TBT and #OOTD), have shown off our new “office” mates (kids, pets, roommates, partners, spouses, you name it!), hosted trivia happy hours, celebrated the secret chefs of SourceCode, and even learned TikTok dances. In the time of social distancing, initiatives like these have helped us all feel a bit more connected and helped to ensure that, although the world is changing, we are here for each other.

Managing a distributed workforce is undeniably different from managing a concentrated one. Effective and open communication is absolutely crucial for a remote team. Tools like Slack and Google Hangouts have been integral to SourceCode, before and during the pandemic, to ensure timely, productive communication. Providing a deep level of transparency across the business has fortunately been ingrained into our ethos pre-COVID. To help keep employees feeling informed while remote, we have hosted weekly all-team town hall meetings as an opportunity to share company news, client updates, give shout-outs, and allow employees to ask questions.

We also understand that disruptions to routines can bring on strain and anxiety, and stressful times like these are precisely when people need wellness practices the most. We’ve ensured employees have access to resources to help take care of their mental health and physical wellness. From investing in corporate wellness benefit platform, Gympass, to surfacing free resources available such as online counseling platform, Talkspace, and Peloton Digital for on-demand fitness classes, and even encouraging PTO time, we are committed to talking about, and supporting employee wellness and work life balance.

We are in a time where uncertainty lingers on everyone’s minds. There are endless options for remote team building activities, but the key is to find or develop initiatives that will be most effective and appreciated by your team. The team building activities introduced during quarantine have reinforced our company culture, helping to build a sense of camaraderie during these difficult times.


How SourceCode helped Blis build US credibility in the location data market

Blis, a UK-based data location provider that maps human behavior to help brands understand, reach, and engage consumers, came to SourceCode with the goal of building credibility and brand awareness in an oversaturated location data market. SourceCode was tasked with highlighting Blis’ global insight capabilities and establishing the company as a dominant US player.

WHAT WE DID

SourceCode established a PR program centered around media relations through data-driven storytelling. With no access to Blis’ internal data scientists or analysts, SourceCode had to find creative ways to elevate the company’s messaging while continuing to highlight executives in an ever-changing news cycle. SourceCode turned to consumer surveys as a way to outsource data about the industry on a quarterly basis. The goal was to position Blis as a trusted advisor in the marketing and advertising industry, as well as key trade verticals including retail, travel, automotive, and food and beverage sectors that would ultimately drive sales and traffic to the website.

SourceCode conducted market research to uncover retail trends so when considering consumer data within retail, it was imperative that Blis look at traditional brick and mortar shifts highlighting the importance of a seamless omnichannel experience and how DTC brands were making headway in the industry that was ripe for major disruption. When it came to QSR competition, SourceCode advised Blis to track footfall in major QSR chains as an opportunity to highlight the expected growth of the industry globally. The consumer surveys led to quarterly whitepapers and seasonal infographics providing visual content to fuel earned and owned media.

RESULTS

1733% SOV increase in six months

75 pieces of coverage

15 media/executive briefings

450+ content downloads

$250,000+ in new RFP opportunities

Within the first two months of working with Blis, SourceCode increased the company’s share of voice from 3% to 55%, an amazing 1,733% boost. The strategy generated 75 earned pieces of coverage with exposure to more than 130MM unique visitors. Additionally, Blis saw 450+ content downloads and $250,000+ in new RFP opportunities.


What We’re Reading: SourceCode Version

Due to COVID-19, summer plans have been halted for almost everyone. In addition to managing work, rethinking childcare, and processing what’s going on, many people have also had more time on their hands to take on new projects, read new books or even learn new skills.

Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, our team has compiled a list of book recommendations to read this summer that range from fiction and memoirs to short stories that can take your mind off of the stress of everyday life. No matter what your plan for the long weekend is, here are a few books we recommend:

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 9.59.09 PM.png

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother.

“After a friend recommended the book, I started reading it and was immediately drawn to the characters and storytelling. But then, I found out Tom Hanks narrated it on Audible and picked up listening to the book and fell even more in love!” - Cori Cagide, Senior Account Manager 

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 9.51.20 PM.png

Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York by Sari Botton 

In this captivating collection, 28 writers take up Joan Didion's literary legacy - an essay called Goodbye to All That, a work of such candid and penetrating prose that it soon became the gold standard for personal essays - by sharing their own New York stories.

“If you are a NYC lover like me, this is an absolute must read. It's based on Joan Didion's prolific personal essay from 1967 called Goodbye to All That, detailing her story of loving and leaving New York. In this book, 28 writers share their own New York stories through this bundle of essays, and it's really touching and beautifully written. One writer wrote about New York: "I noticed that you could cry in public and people carefully ignored you-not maliciously, but because it’s understood that privacy is in short supply."

As someone who has lived here for 6 years and has been through it all with this city - the best nights of my life filled with dancing and laughter and good wine, to the days crying in the middle of the street after a tough conversation, to meeting strangers that change everything and become people you don't know how you ever lived without, etc., this book nailed the true love story that is at the heart of this city for those who have lived here and adored it.”  - Allie Novak, Senior Media Strategist 

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 9.52.52 PM.png

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante 

A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila.

“If you’re looking for a lazy summer read that transports you somewhere outside of your house (and off your couch), quarantine might be the perfect time to finally tackle Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels. Translated from her native Italian and taking place in her hometown of Naples, the series follows the complicated friendship of two women over the course of fifty years.

The books are hefty - all together, the four books clock in around 1500 pages - and they’re slow moving in a poetic kind of way, but what else are you doing? Bonus: the first two books were recently adapted into an HBO series that gives you all of the Italian landscape shots you need to get you through a sheltered-in-place summer.” - Naomi Sabbah, Senior Account Executive

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 9.54.39 PM.png

The Island at the Center of the World by Russel Shorto 

Drawing on this remarkable archive, Russell Shorto has created a gripping narrative–a story of global sweep centered on a wilderness called Manhattan–that transforms our understanding of early America. The Island at the Center of the World uncovers a lost world and offers a surprising new perspective on our own.

“For anyone looking for perspective on our current situation this story charts the forgotten (or previously hidden) Dutch origins and history of Manhattan and is a good reminder that New York has been through a lot and has always overcome challenges.” - Becky Honeyman, Managing Partner

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 9.56.06 PM.png

Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff 

Team Human is a manifesto—a fiery distillation of preeminent digital theorist Douglas Rushkoff’s most urgent thoughts on civilization and human nature. In one hundred lean and incisive statements, he argues that we are essentially social creatures, and that we achieve our greatest aspirations when we work together—not as individuals.

“For tech lovers thinking about all the changes that might be accelerated as a result of COVID, Team Human is a manifesto of how we rebuild and reframe our community with tech bringing us together rather than dividing us.” - Becky Honeyman, Managing Partner 

 

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 9.58.00 PM.png

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson 

In A Sunburned Country is Bill Bryson’s report on Australia, the country that doubles as a continent, and a place with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet.

“I found this story hysterical and the way Bryson describes his travels in Australia is so fun to read at a time when we’re all at home an


National Small Business Week: Supporting Small Businesses through COVID-19 (Part III)

COVID-19 has significantly impacted companies of all sizes across the country, and none have perhaps been more shaken by the pandemic than America’s small businesses. According to the Main Street America organization’s Small Business Survey, about 37% of small businesses are at risk of shutting down within the next few months.

Continuing our series celebrating what would have been National Small Business Week [part one]: National Small Business Week: Supporting Small Businesses through COVID-19 [Part One]; part two: National Small Business Week: Supporting Small Businesses through COVID-19 [Part Two], today we hear from SOCi, the leading platform for “next-level” multi-location marketers. SOCi’s associate director of marketing, Olivia Starr, tells us how the localized marketing partner has jumped into action to support the local economy.

How are you supporting small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic?

In the early stages of the pandemic breaking, we made a commitment to help any company, even those that aren’t currently our clients, with their localized marketing. We’re doing this at no cose simply because it’s the right thing to do. Our CEO said it best: “As a leader in this space, we feel a responsibility to help any franchise or multi-location brand do everything it can do to keep up the local economy.”

We’re also offering bi-weekly webinars focused on COVID-related issues, we're doing 2x weekly blog content that has been dedicated to COVID, and we just launched a library of assets for our customers to help jumpstart a crisis communication strategy.

What advice would you give to the industry about how to support customers right now?

Communications need to be empathetic during this time – for both internal and external, social content needs to be helpful and on-brand. Rethink your daily operations to see if anything can be done digitally, and don't neglect your engagement and reviews. The world has gone digital so your strategy needs to align to this behavior – update all local listings and ensure you're utilizing all features provided by the top search and social sites to engage with consumers.

Are there any fun things your company is doing to maintain company culture working remotely?

As a company, we made it a huge priority in-quarter to increase the surprise and delight for our team. With everyone working remotely, we tried to get creative with different ways to motivate and incentivize our team. We're bringing the excitement, and marketing has out rolled a few internal contests to help keep the team motivated as we're all working remotely.

SOCi hosted a Bingo night for the entire company. We are hosting monthly digital lunch and learns with key SOCi execs, and outside thought leaders to continually help our team learn and grow - plus UberEats on us. We have weekly coffee check-ins - every Friday, and we have hosted a few Zoom team happy hours. It's extremely important for our marketing team to remain connected and find different ways of collaborating (digitally) to help keep the morale high.


National Small Business Week: Supporting Small Businesses through COVID-19 (Part II)

COVID-19 has significantly impacted companies of all sizes across the country, and none have perhaps been more shaken by the pandemic than America’s small businesses. According to the Main Street America organization’s Small Business Survey, about 37% of small businesses are at risk of shutting down within the next few months.

Continuing our series celebrating what would have been National Small Business Week [see part one here: National Small Business Week: Supporting Small Businesses through COVID-19 [Part One], today we hear from Kangaroo, the leader in affordable, easy-to-use home security products. Bob Stohrer, Kangaroo’s Chief Marketing Officer, shares how the company is handling COVID-19 as a resource for many of the small businesses that have had to close their doors at least temporarily due to the current crisis.

How are you supporting small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic?

As a NYC-based start-up, we witnessed the early and profound impact of COVID-19 as small businesses went dark all around us. While our DIY security solutions were designed for homes, we knew they could also be very useful and effective for small businesses. We quickly stood up a “free use and return” offer directed at small businesses, allowing them to safeguard their storefronts at no cost and with no long-term obligation.

What advice would you give to the industry about how to support customers right now?

As a marketer, COVID-19 effectively unfragmented our country and immediately put most everyone on the same page in terms of concerns, needs, and behaviors. In just months, it seemed as though we had turned back the clock by decades to a time when people were oriented around a handful of issues, institutions, and media outlets. The opportunity and mandate right now is to do things fit into this shared narrative, and where feasible to pivot your focus, marketing, and activities accordingly. It’s also a good reminder that creativity loves constraints and not to give up realizing new applications of your business and people.

Are there any fun things your company is doing to maintain company culture working remotely?

A member of our team instituted Friday Happy-Video Hour, which has been a fun way to exhale and stay connected to colleagues outside of the day-to-day pressures of work and what’s going on around us. As a company that operates across three countries, we’re also doing all-company meetings once a week just to ensure everyone is pacing with the business and has a good handle on how COVID-19 is influencing our actions. While not the most innovative and fun thing, it has kept the team informed and inspired.


National Small Business Week: Supporting Small Businesses through COVID-19 (Part I)

COVID-19 has significantly impacted companies of all sizes across the country, and none have perhaps been more shaken by the pandemic than America’s small businesses. According to the Main Street America organization’s Small Business Survey, about 37% of small businesses are at risk of shutting down within the next few months.

In celebration of what would have been National Small Business Week, we are spotlighting three clients that work closely with small businesses. Up today is MakeSpace, a full-service storage company that is redefining the storage experience as we know it by creating storage without the struggle – picking up, hauling, and storing your stuff, then delivering it back to you.

How are you supporting small businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

We are offering free storage to small businesses affected by COVID-19. This pandemic has unfortunately forced many businesses to close down, and we know that some extra flexibility may help them re-open successfully when this is all over. For a limited time, small business owners can bring their items to one of our facilities for three free months of storage.

What advice would you give to the industry about how to support your customers?

While customers are spending more conservatively, they’re also looking for new products to fit their radically altered lifestyles. It’s important to offer your service or product in the safest and most convenient way possible. We updated our policies to offer no-contact appointments, making it more secure for our teams to serve customers while maintaining social distance. Businesses need to evaluate their entire customer experience to accommodate the new reality.

What has MakeSpace been doing to maintain company culture working remotely?

A big part of building a positive (work)space is the frequent gatherings, events, and traditions that make the office feel more like a community. But it can be challenging to preserve workplace culture when everyone is working remotely. In an initiative led by Office Manager Laura Iskaros, VP of People Megan Lyons, and the MakeSpace Culture Committee, we’re using Slack, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and other online tools to preserve culture while maintaining social distance.

  • Happy Hour Hangouts from Home → a daily 5-6pm happy hour open to all employees to have a beer, show off their homes/children/pets, and just socialize and wind down after a day of work.

  • Pet Parade → weekly on Tuesdays, a Google hangout open to all pet owners and pet lovers to show off their fur friends!

  • Remote #Brew-Crew → took a MakeSpace culture staple and made it remote! Rather than going out for a coffee with members from different teams, this time you make yourself a coffee at home and have a video chat with them. Small groups of five, twice a week. It’s a fun and easy way to be social from home.

  • Remote QOTD → using a free Web Whiteboard service, we ask a daily QOTD ranging from “What album do you recommend for WFH isolation?” to “What’s the best meal you’ve made since working remotely?” and everything in between!

  • Simple Habit partnership → partnered with Simple Habits for a 45-day unlimited access to Simple Habit’s wellness professionals, guided meditations, therapy, coaching, motivational talks and much more.