We are humbled to announce Walker Sands has been shortlisted for Crain’s Best Places to Work in Chicago! We are honored to be recognized among some of Chicago’s best companies.
This is a testament to how we have maintained a great work culture despite rapid growth over the last several years. In 2016, we expanded Walker Sands by adding 21 new employees to our Chicago team and venturing out West with a new office in San Francisco.
Through all this growth, we continue to recognize the importance of a work culture where people feel at home and comfortable, but also empowered to do great work for our clients. Whether our employees are duking it out in our annual Lip Sync competition or giving each other company-wide shoutouts in the weekly newsletter, they embody our core values every day: learn, support, do.
Crain’s Chicago will announce its top 25 best companies to work on Thursday, April 6.. The winners will then be unveiled publicly in the Best Places to Work editorial feature of Crain’s Chicago on April 10.
Interested in learning more about our award-winning work culture? Check out the current job opportunities at Walker Sands here.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Lauren Gilyard, Walker Sands’ sales manager, to learn more about her role and get her perspective on what she enjoys about working here (and to figure out if she’s a cat or dog person).
As part of the sales team, Lauren is responsible for building out the traditional and digital presence across the full sales cycle. She works across teams to execute projects and has been focusing a lot on the digital side of Walker Sands in the past several months.
Lauren is excited to see the company continue to grow and develop over the next several years! Here’s what she had to say:
1. What is your role at Walker Sands? What is your day to day?
I am the sales manager, so I’m responsible for supporting all things sales-related.
I’ve been focusing a lot on digital lately, specifically with outbound reach. We’re focusing on building awareness for companies that do not know about us, as well as others that might have needs in the future. It is all about getting in front of people so when they do have a need we are included in the conversation. One of my main tasks is to push our digital offerings, especially to prospects who might think of us more along the lines of PR.
2. What is your day-to-day?
It’s very different. Today, I’ve been in a pitch meeting, sent a bunch of prospect emails and looked at prospects. Sometimes it’s prospecting all day or participating in internal meetings or calls.
Meet Tim Morral, director of editorial content for digital and PR at Walker Sands. Tim began his career at Walker Sands as a freelance copywriter and now brings over a decade of content experience to the company as our fearless content leader, working remotely from New York!
I sat down with Tim to learn more about content at Walker Sands. Here’s what he had to say:
1. Tell me about yourself. Where are you from and when did you start working at Walker Sands?
I’m originally from rural Pennsylvania and took a nontraditional approach to a career in this industry. After graduating with a B.A. in Economics, I spent time doing a variety of nonprofit, technology and publishing work. I started working for Walker Sands as a freelance copywriter and have been full time for about six years.
2. What is your current role at Walker Sands? What does your day-to-day look like?
No two days are ever the same for me, which I think is true for most of us at Walker Sands. I’m directly involved in content development and creation for many of our clients. I also spend a lot of time coaching and working with our other content experts, both on the PR and digital teams.
3. How has Walker Sands changed since you first started at the company?
The biggest change I’ve experienced is our growth. When I joined Walker Sands, I was the only content person on staff. When I visited the office, I could walk around and talk to the entire company in just a few minutes. Now, we have an entire team dedicated to content, and I see new faces every time I visit.
The past several years have been an exciting time at Walker Sands. It’s been great to be part of the development of our content team and our growth has enabled us to deliver high-quality work for our clients. We’ve really become trusted partners to our clients and are committed to continuing to grow our teams across all creative service practices to meet client needs.
Our content team wrapped up Ann Handley’s critically acclaimed book, “Everybody Writes,” just before Thanksgiving. The first two sections of the book offer plenty of tips to be thankful for, from advice on how to write more effectively to a deep dive on grammar and word usage.
Handley goes on to talk about a whole host of topics in the remaining pages, including rules on publishing, writing for social media and tools that can take your writing to the next level.
Here are some of the lessons the content team found particularly helpful:
1. Cite as you write
It has never been easier to research a topic you want to write about. With just a few clicks, you can gain instant access to millions of online sources that cover almost everything under the sun. But with convenience comes the responsibility to credit others for their work. Handley recommends citing any source that helps you along the creative process.
Expert tip: Be sure to find primary, not secondary sources. Writers too often link to a secondary source instead of the original. As Handley puts it, “The credibility you gain is worth the extra click or two to track down the primary source.”
Our content team is well into Ann Handley’s “Everybody Writes.” The book, which promises to be a guide for ridiculously good content, is proving good on its word.
Handley explores tips for smarter, more efficient writing in the first chapters of her book, and then delves into writing rules like grammar and word usage in the second part. Missed our blog post on the first section? Check it out here!
No matter how well you’ve mastered grammar and usage, it’s always good to refresh your skills. Some of Handley’s best tips include: