Finding a good publicist is difficult. Business owner Monique Tatum of Beautiful Planning Marketing & PR calls it finding a “unicorn.” Tatum deeply values her employees; she values the hard work, loyalty, and individuality they contribute to the business’ success. As such, after a simple conversation with two employees, she rewarded the staff with an entirely new benefits package, which included 30 paid vacation days a year and a slew of other perks designed to achieve a work-life balance throughout the company. And she’s finding that it’s increasing productivity within the firm.
Tatum opened Beautiful Planning Marketing & PR in 2005, and for a decade, she’s witnessed how the demands of the industry and work can contribute to burnout. “We’re all about reactive news,” says Tatum. “Work can be exceptionally stressful; that really just goes for the PR industry in general, because things change so fast and our client demands move so quickly.”
As a result, Tatum firmly believes that allowing employees the option to take reasonable time from work prevents burnout. A conversation with two employees provided insight into their experiences as young publicists, and their desire to travel the world and focus on self-care. One employee, back from a work related trip in Paris, fell in love with a young Australian man, and they were trying to figure out how to make it work long distance. “Honestly, my heart sank at even the thought of her leaving,” says Tatum. “After we find this unicorn of an employee, and they fit beautifully into our team and with our clients, I don’t want to lose them.”
The Ultimate Investment in Her Team
From that point, Tatum decided to make the ultimate investment in her PR firm by investing in her team. She wanted to give her employees the time to actually do the things they like to do. After working out the details with her HR rep, Tatum decided to implement a new policy and encourage her employees to take the time they need. Originally, employees were allotted two weeks (14 days) as vacation time, but she bumped it up to 30 days. Some of BPM-PR’s progressive policies also include monthly team breakfasts, regular spa massages (coming soon), a true open door policy, and discounted gym memberships, among other benefits.
She highly encourages her team to experience what the world has to offer outside of the workplace. “If something happens in the news, we need to be able to say, ‘I’ve traveled and saw this, and it can apply to this client,’” says Tatum. “So, for me, giving them that time was kind of a no-brainer. The more they actually have life experiences, the better publicists they will be, and won’t leave.”
Better Connections, Better Performance
Tatum finds better connections forming internally and better performance for clients. “If breaking news happens, my team members will rush in, even if they live in Long Island,” she laughs. “Because, we have that balance for them.” Tatum sees an internal shift in dynamic around the office, as well. “They really watch out for each other.”
Employee retention is remaining steady at Beautiful Planning Marketing & PR. Tatum has seen a tremendous drop in turnover rate since implementing a full benefits package two years ago, and it appears that her current team is pleased with the evolution. “Since we’ve implemented this, there’s no talk of unhappiness in this firm.”