Walker Sands PROI Exchange Recap: My Week in Oslo

 

Walker Sands offers an awesome exchange program, which gives veteran employees the opportunity to visit an agency within the Public Relations Organisation International (PROI). The goal of the program is to immerse ourselves within different cultures to gain new ideas and inspiration for our work at Walker Sands.

I was chosen to visit a highly creative, award-winning agency called Slaeger Communications in Norway. So, in early October I ventured over to Oslo with a thick jacket and an open mind. Here’s a closer look at my week:

Learnings

Slaeger works with a several large consumer brands such as Sony Mobile, Netflix and Nivea. The company conducts traditional media relations on top of large-scale creative campaigns. While our niche at Walker Sands is B2B tech, it was refreshing to watch some of the world’s most creative PR professionals at work, regardless of the industry at hand.

I sat in on several brainstorming meetings each day to learn about how Sleager approaches new projects and challenges. I was put to work during these meetings! I conducted research to help inform campaigns and offered my perspective on their ideas and processes.

Here are my three biggest takeaways from my daily meetings with Slaeger:

  1. Think big: The Slaeger team really impressed me with their ability to come up with out-of-the-box ideas for client projects. They never hold back their thinking and work together to narrow down highly creative ideas into actionable proposals for clients. It’s important to always consider ideas you have in your head, even if you think they’re too big to work. With the right attitude and plan, anything is possible.
  2. Don’t let previous work limit your ideas: It can be easy to limit our thinking to ideas that are similar to what we’ve done in the past for clients. While it’s smart to stick with what works for a particular client or industry, bringing fresh ideas to the table will keep clients happy and on their toes.
  3. Success doesn’t happen by chance: Slaeger has executed many award-winning, large-scale campaigns. But this level of success doesn’t just come by chance. The Slaeger team is meticulous, detail-oriented and passionate. They go above and beyond each day and truly care about the work they do.

Culture

I also met some wonderful people over the course of my week in Oslo. I quickly learned that there are very few differences in the way Slaeger and Walker Sands operate. Everyone is friendly and casual, but incredibly hard-working. I can say from my experience at Walker Sands and Sleager, that this type of environment makes each day more enjoyable and productive.

Here’s a photo of me and my new Norwegian pals:

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Each night a different group of Slaeger employees took me out in Oslo. I went to a restaurant at a sculpture garden at the top of a hill overlooking the city, a classic burger joint along the harbor and many other places with wonderful fish, cheeses and wine. I even ate reindeer!

Over the weekend I had free time to explore the city a bit more. I went on a boat tour of the Oslofjord, walked on the rooftop of the Oslo opera building and just enjoyed the gorgeous scenery.

Here are some more photos of my trip:

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So, would I recommend the PROI exchange program for Walker Sands employees? One hundred percent, yes.

It’s refreshing and eye-opening to immerse yourself in the daily lives of an agency within a different culture. I am confident that everything I learned and experienced in Oslo can be applied to my daily work and long-term career at Walker Sands.

 

Kelsey Gunderson

Kelsey is a senior content strategist and specializes in developing strategic and integrated content programs for ..read more

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