Our first group of summer interns has hit the halfway mark! Over the past six weeks, they’ve been perfecting their media relationships, learning all about digital marketing and improving their research and writing skills. It hasn’t taken long for our summer interns to adapt to Walker Sands’ fast-paced environment and to understand their respective clients. Not to mention they’ve done a great job of immersing themselves in the Walker Sands culture!
Check out their thoughts on their internships so far:
Reading is key. B2B tech is not as intimidating as I first thought, and I have my inner bookworm to thank for that. Where I go to for news hasn’t changed too much. I definitely find myself heading towards the business and tech section more, but I’ve seen significant changes in why I read certain articles and how much I’m reading. Watching TV has actually also helped me understand the tech side of our clients! This may be my personal rationalization for binge watching “Silicon Valley,” but explaining words like ‘Saas’ and ‘enterprise solution’ to friends helps me learn, too. So, in the next six weeks I’m going to continue to read, read, read! And finish watching “Silicon Valley” – for learning purposes, of course.
The six weeks of this internship under my belt have taught me a ton, but one of my favorites is the importance of proactiveness. Walker Sands’ “learn, support, do” model was evident from my first day here, and I really appreciate that interns are also given the opportunity to embrace that standard. As I learn more about the clients and the daily work of PR, thinking beyond the present has become much easier and more automatic, and so has speaking up in meetings and contributing pitch ideas. Thanks for a great first half!
As the first social media intern, the internship program is still a work in progress. There’s quite an upside to that though, in that the program’s training can be tailored according to what I’d find useful. Building upon this, the open office culture is hugely beneficial to my learning: everyone is willing to sit down and talk about the challenges and responsibilities they face in their role, what drew them to working in B2B tech PR and other things an intern figuring out their next career move would want to know. In addition to that, informational presentations and lunch-and-learns help interns get a broader knowledge of the tech PR world as a whole. Over the next few weeks, I’m looking forward to working on a long-term business development project and engaging my research skills in a real-world context.
At Walker Sands, we talk a lot about why our agency is such a great place to work. I suppose that’s not unusual. Unless they work on a cubicle farm or clean Porta Potties for a living, most employees are proud of their workplaces and the company cultures they have helped create.
But over the past three decades, I’ve worked a lot of jobs in a lot of industries, and I can honestly say that Walker Sands is unlike any other place I’ve worked.
Why? Because of things like the five-year trip.
What Is the Five-Year Trip?
We all know what it’s like to burn the midnight oil and feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. In today’s world, becoming a workaholic happens more often than we would like (and unfortunately it’s nothing like what they show on Comedy Central). We love working hard for our clients and producing industry leading results, but here at Walker Sands we also pride ourselves on creating a strong work-life balance for our employees. So in (dis)honor of National Workaholics Day, check out some of the ways we like to stay sane at Walker Sands!
When you live and work in a place with winters as bitter as the Windy City’s, there are only a few months to enjoy the sunshine before negative degree weather returns. To say “congrats” for enduring yet another chilly Chicago winter, Walker Sands employees are able to occasionally leave the office early on Friday afternoons. Whether we’re headed to the beach, a local patio or simply catching up on sleep, our whole team looks forward to summer hours. Early Friday exits in the summer keep us happy and productive all year long.
TGIF! Before you head out for the Fourth of July weekend, catch our weekly roundup of tech news.
Facebook to Change News Feed to Focus on Friends and Family – The New York Times
Facebook is changing its algorithm – again. Much to the chagrin of publishers, the new algorithm will emphasize posts by friends and family over content from media brands. This will result in significantly less traffic for hundreds of publishers on Facebook, and could jeopardize smaller brands that rely on the social network for readers.
BMW Announces Self-Driving Car, Day After Tesla Fatality Is Confirmed – The New York Times
BMW announced that it would begin mass-producing self-driving cars by 2021, just after a fatality involved a Tesla self-driving car was confirmed. The driver was killed when his self-driving car failed to break when a tractor-trailer made a left turn in front of it. Many predict this may stunt the production of new self-driving cars.
Over the past few years, the annual Walker Sands Future of Retail study has been one of my favorite projects to work on. While we always keep a steady pulse on all things retail tech, it’s great to have the opportunity to be forward-thinking and ask some of the questions keeping us, our clients and other industry leaders awake at night and better understand what’s to come in this exciting industry.
Our previous Walker Sands Future of Retail studies have analyzed the rise and adoption of emerging retail technologies. We’ve placed a heavy focus on gauging consumer reactions to potential game-changers and the increased traction of online and mobile shopping. We’ve also explored changing habits of today’s shoppers as e-commerce itself becomes more popular.
It’s safe to say the last couple of years in retail technology have been a whirlwind. We’ve seen the growth of technologies such as drones and virtual reality. We’ve benefited from the evolution of personalization and real-time features thanks to the advancement of headline-grabbing mobile commerce technologies. We’ve watched the success and failures of major players like Apple Pay and Alibaba’s IPO.
Still, it’s really only been recently that these exciting emerging technologies have seen much real-life use or case for retail experiences.
This year’s study of more than 1,400 U.S. consumers indicates that the rise of online shopping has reached a saturation point and that the real success of brands and retailers will now come from the combined, omnichannel experience. Our 2016 study reveals major areas for growth within the omnichannel ecosystem and focuses on key strategies for brands and retailers to capitalize on the increased frequency of online purchases. Our findings also tackles how brands and retailers can boost market share through an improved customer experience.
In particular, our study highlights four very pragmatic areas of focus for retailers in 2016: