2014 PR News Agency Elite Awards: Best Education and Training

Winner: Eastwick – 2013 GAP Year Initiative

To kick off 2013, Eastwick set out to achieve their goals as an agency using a plan that focused on progress and measurement. That project was dubbed GAP Year, and each initiative tied into an aspect of the GAP focus–bridging the “GAP” between work and play, widening the “GAP” between Eastwick and its competitors, closing the “GAP” between knowing and doing. In other words, converting ideas into achievable goals and actions.

Using the company’s method of crowdsourcing new ideas from their own employees, GAP Year was born through a BarCamp-style conference which invited all employees from every level in the organization to provide input and set goals for themselves and the company, forming an action plan for the year that covered everything from technology use to media list management and a lot of ideas in between.

The GAP year plan helped to engage employees at all levels within the company to get involved in change-making goals in 2013 for both Eastwick and for their individual career. Eastwick’s commitment to the GAP year helped the company stay true to their own vision, commitment and skill as an agency and for their clients. The program ultimately helped Eastwick to expand its practice areas, strengthen media relationships, and increase the skill set of their employees: having each team member commit to writing a blog post with an internal monthly contest for the best written content served to sharpen employees’ writing skills.

Over the GAP year, Eastwick gained 10 new clients, saw 25% year-over year revenue growth, and a 20% increase in staff, including a new social media staff, which yielded a 44% increase in engagement on Facebook and a 75% increase on LinkedIn.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Cone Communications – Best in Class Community Manager Immersion Program
  • Phillips & Company – Leadership Academy
  • Ruder Finn – Executive Training Program