Done right, company away days can be an opportunity to plan strategy, foster innovative thinking, encourage reflection and build esprit de corps amongst colleagues. It’s a unique and rare opportunity: the entire team in one place, away from the hustle and bustle of the office for a couple of days. Even better when your company away day is in the stunning city of Paris with its uniform sandstone of the Haussmann buildings, abundance of gilded historic monuments, elegance and glimmering Seine – a perfect location for a combination of bonding and brainstorming.
Like a stampede of elephants, the PRO team jumped onto the Eurostar to Paris at 07:10 in celebration of 15 years of The PR Office. This was to be two days of reflection on the incredible work that we do, the loyal clients that we serve and how we can continue to stay on top of a fast-changing communications landscape and achieve our ambitions in future.
Upon our arrival and following brief refreshment at our beautiful hotel, we assembled at the Louvre for the first team activity where we were divided into groups and tasked with finding a selection of artworks. This, at times, involved replicating the humorous poses displayed by some of the paintings and Romanesque statues – a fun teambuilding activity that encouraged communication, generated energy and most certainly was a giggle for all.
Another highlight was having The Guardian’s European Affairs Editor, Jon Henley, give an insight into the workings of the newspaper, share his top tips about how to work effectively with journalists, as well as how to ensure that our clients’ stories are reported. Jon injected some fresh perspectives on the future of the media and generated passionate debate amongst the team. Over coffee and croissants, we also had presentations from other members of the PRO team on topics from digital innovation to the use of data in PR.
We also had the opportunity to explore some of Paris’ finest gems, including the iconic Eiffel Tower, breath-taking Arc de triomphe, ornate Notre-Dame, stunning Jardin du Luxembourg, narrow streets of Île Saint-Louis, amongst numerous others.
Then, before we knew it, it was time go home. It felt like no sooner had we arrived that we were on the train back to London – a sign of just how much fun we had had. Revitalised and inspired, we returned to the office even more determined to build on PRO’s success and take the firm to the next level. That’s what makes PRO stand out from the crowd: we love what we do and shall do our utmost to get our clients’ message out to the people who need to hear them. Here’s to the next 15 years!
Drew Salisbury is a Senior Account Executive at The PR Office.