The one tool that can optimize your intern project workflow

Managing the part-time schedules, varying skill levels and alternating projects for multiple interns can be hard, but adding a single visual management tool to your office can make it simpler.

Enter: the Kanban board.

The board gets its genius from the Kanban system, which communicates the status, nature and context of work all in one physical space. This type of tool is especially valuable for efficiency and workflow because it plays on the natural practice of the brain, which processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text.

Creating a Kanban board in your office serves as a way for interns to map their individual workflow as well as—at a glance—show the team who is working on what and when.

How it started

Although the method has been popularized by Silicon Valley startups in recent years, the Kanban technique stems from a Toyota production system developed in the 1940s. Assembly line workers displayed colored cards to notify workers downstream about demand for parts. Kanban is the Japanese word for “visual signal” or “card.”

Because of the highly visual nature of the method, workers were able to see what work needed to be done and when, as well as take measures to maximize efficiency and minimize waste on the line.

What it is

To create a Kanban board to manage intern projects in your space, hang up a physical whiteboard, get some dry erase markers and stockpile sticky notes. If you work remotely, consider building an online Kanban board using an online platform like Trello.

At its simplest, the board can be divided into three columns: “waiting,” “in progress” and “completed.” The type and number of sections can be changed depending on the project needs of your company. The board at Dittoe Public Relations includes an urgent column to signify projects that need the immediate attention of interns. There are also rows that divide projects up by the day of the week for further organization.

After the Kanban grid is laid out, start by having employees stick color-coded sticky notes with projects for interns in the first column. Each one should include the name of the employee who placed the project on the board, the date assigned, the deadline and a brief description of the project at hand.

To break it down even further, use various colors to signify different types of projects, such as blue notes for writing and red ones for research.

When beginning a new project, interns should write their name on the note selected and meet with the employee who placed the sticky on the board to get complete project details. Interns can then move the sticky into the proceeding sections as they move through the project until complete.

Why your office needs one

This type of workflow management is especially effective for interns and new employees because it allows them to visualize their projects, notice the pace of their work and grow their sense of accountability within the company. A Kanban also creates a sense of transparency — out in the open, the board holds interns accountable for the projects they choose and the deadlines associated with each project.

On the flip side, those who manage interns can use the board to gain valuable insight into their interns’ work. Are employees assigning too many or too few projects to interns? Are there too many writing projects and not enough research projects? Is an intern gravitating towards a certain type of project, and what work can be placed on the board to strengthen their skills in that area?

By creating and utilizing a Kanban board, companies will create a new, visual standard of work not only for your interns – but the entire company.

And besides, finally moving a sticky into the “complete” column after many status updates gives your interns even more satisfaction than crossing a task off their to-do list. Is there anything better than that?

 

We’re Hiring! Talented Account Executive Needed

Calling all PR pros! We have an immediate opening for an Account Executive position.

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Dittoe Public Relations seeks a stellar Account Executive to join its team. Account Executives are responsible for developing and executing strategic public relations initiatives on behalf of the firm’s clients. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication skills (both verbal and written), strong creativity, high energy and an outgoing personality. A strong emphasis is placed on media relations, strategic account management and client communication. We need self-starters and team players who enjoy spreading the word for the firm’s clients.

Limited travel is required for press tours, trade shows and client meetings. Preference will go toward those with at least two years of experience in public relations/media relations (agency experience is a plus). Salary will reflect level of experience and includes a great benefits package. Other perks include a gym membership, breakfast on Fridays, a weekly half-day work from home policy, summer flex hours, Wine Wednesdays, the “Wheel of Celebration” to celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries, breakfast/lunch & learns, unlimited vacation time and paid maternity/paternity leave.

blog-pic

Responsibilities:

  • Manage proactive media relations efforts for target media (national, local and trade)
  • Work closely with senior account team members to implement objectives and strategies to achieve clients’ defined goals
  • Assist in content creation, such as press releases and advisories, thought leadership bylines, brand messaging, website content and more
  • Conduct and synthesize research, including media landscape and competitor analyses
  • Compile comprehensive measurement reports detailing public relations and media relations efforts and outcomes
  • Identify new opportunities to solve clients’ business problems and assist in the development of integrated, strategic public relations and social media campaigns
  • Guide clients through the execution of public relations strategy and maintain constant communication as a primary point of contact
  • Research industry trends, press lists and more
  • Assess and provide crisis communication expertise when necessary
  • Assist in event planning and coordination when needed
  • Commit to continuous learning and training opportunities
  • Supervise staff junior to you on projects, including Account Coordinators and seasonal interns
  • Contribute to the well-being, development and growth of the agency

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, marketing, English or a related field
  • At least two years of full-time, relevant experience in public relations or a related field (agency experience is a plus)
  • Smart, creative, assertive and innovative individual who thrives in an extremely fast-paced environment
  • Flexibility and willingness to collaborate with teams
  • Must be a talented and versatile writer with both creative and technical writing experience
  • Media relations experience with a successful track record of pitching and securing opportunities
  • Successful track record of developing strategic public relations and social media campaigns
  • Proven ability to manage multiple client accounts in a variety of industries
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Knowledge in social media, design, photography/videography are a plus

To apply, send your cover letter, resume with references, and writing samples to Greta Snell, Senior Account Manager, at greta[at]dittoepr.com. 

Pete Dye still swinging at 90: Opens Westfield’s Chatham Hills

Famed golf architect, Pete Dye spent five years and hundreds of hours crafting a championship course at Chatham Hills. The private course, expected to be among the best in the Midwest, is part of an upscale residential community that recently opened in Westfield.

chatham-blog-2

In addition to generating earned media coverage for the course, Dittoe PR was responsible for shooting and editing a promotional video that would be shown at the course’s soft opening where Pete and Alice Dye were slated to speak and hit a ceremonial tee shot.

It was essential that our video paid proper tribute to the Dyes so that Chatham Hills could use it in their marketing mix for years to come.

Once we held a strategy meeting with the Chatham Hills team to determine goals and key messaging for the video, Dittoe PR set up two separate video shoots. First, we went out to Chatham Hills and shot scenic views and were lucky enough to have Pete Dye himself give us an exclusive tour of the course! We rode on golf carts with Pete and got some great shots of him walking the course and taking a few swings. Our second day of shooting consisted of sit-down interviews with Chatham Hills executives talking about the development of the course and the years of hard work Pete and Alice put into turning their vision into a reality. After two days of filming, our team had everything we needed to create a visual story for Chatham Hills.

slack_for_ios_upload_720

Turning around the video in just over a week’s time allowed us to pitch it local and regional media in order to generate interest for the event.

By using the promotional video in our media outreach, our team was able to coordinate six interviews on the day of the soft opening including live shots by WISH-TV’s Anthony Calhoun and WRTV’s Dave Furst. In total, our team secured 56 media placements and generated a buzz on social media that resulted in 260 posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Interested in learning more about Dittoe PR’s work in video, sports and events? Request a consultation to learn more about how we can spark a conversation about your business.

Page 1 of 1312345...10...Last »