Come Sail Away: Felicity’s 4th Annual Urban Retreat

Posted on: June 15th, 2016 by Amy Laski

Wednesday June 1 marked our fourth annual Felicity Urban retreat. This year the Felicity team boarded a small boat and sailed away to Toronto’s Island Yacht Club on Mugg’s Island where the stunning scenery and lakeside views inspired creativity and engaged our senses. This day-long retreat, a tradition we’ve all come to look forward to, gave us the opportunity to reconnect as a team, brainstorm around a number of growth initiatives we’re launching this year, and gather insights and advice from a few impressive guest speakers.

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As a virtual team with Associates  across the country and the globe, our annual retreat is one of many touch-points throughout the year that gives us an opportunity to connect and collaborate IRL (in real life). And, while we may be masters of Google Hangouts, nothing beats an in-person pow-wow to get the ideas flowing.

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An exciting launch on the horizon

Following our annual “look back and look ahead” at all the accomplishments Felicity has celebrated this past year and looks forward to in the coming year, we dove right into refining and finalizing our new signature service offering—The Content Collective—which has just launched on our new, re-designed website www.felicitypr.com. (Let us know what you think of our new look!) The product of much analysis, research, and experience in the field, The Content Collective reflects the evolution in the relationship between how brands and media/creators work together. Stay tuned for more news around this exciting service offering!

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To believe and to breathe

After a busy morning of collaboration, brainstorming, planning, and analysis, we welcomed three incredible guest speakers, each of whom brought something completely different to the table.

Thanks to League—the start-up from Kobo founder Mike Serbinis aiming to modernize employee health benefits—our spirits were reinvigorated and relaxed all in the span of an hour. Like Felicity, League has taken a traditional model and turned it on it’s ear, focusing on wellness and preventative medicine.

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First up was Canadian hurdler and Olympian, Sarah Wells, who reminded us that resilience is essential to achieving your goals, that challenges can be used to your advantage, and that no matter how difficult things get, there’s always a way to move past that and achieve what you set out to. While her message may have been straightforward, her story of persistence in the face of injury and going after — and achieving — her dreams at such a young age, moved all of us to think about our own lives, the challenges we face, and the choices we make in order to achieve success.

A welcome moment of calm came next, as the aptly named, Felicity Bannister led us through a 20 minute mindfulness meditation body scan. A palpable peace could be felt over the room, as we all took the time to be silent amidst a day filled with deep thought, conversation, and high energy.

Setting sail and learning to love sales

Our final speaker, Jennifer Mason, provided an eye-opening presentation entitled “Strategic Business Growth for the Reluctant Salesperson.” Essentially, her talk hinged on the notion that the best way to build business is by building relationships. She emphasized what an important role relationships and networks play in achieving success and growing business. While many on our team would readily claim to “hate sales,” Jennifer illustrated just how much of the work in this business actually involves selling: from ‘selling’ story ideas to the media to ‘selling’ new concepts or ideas to clients and their audiences, and everything in between. Jennifer left us all re-thinking our perceptions of what it means to “sell.”

The Big Picture!

Celebrating accomplishments and recognizing Associates who exemplify Felicity’s values is what the Felicity Big Picture Award is all about. The award is given to individuals who make Felicity a place Associates love to work, demonstrate “best business partner” practices for our clients, contribute to our whole person culture, and exemplify transparency, simplicity, and big-picture thinking, with an eye to growth. We were excited to present this award to two highly-deserving Associates: Hailey Eisen, a content strategist and writer, whose role leading Felicity’s own social media, marketing, and blog efforts has given her the opportunity to dive more deeply into many aspects of our business, coming to understand and apply her learnings not only internally, but to client successes as well. And, Suzanne Rappaport-Cho (photo to come),  an account lead, who was able to work her magic to transform a challenging client request with a very tight timeline into a successful and very well-received program. Congratulations ladies!

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After a full day of collaboration, conversation, and creation, we set sail back to the mainland, full of new inspiration and energy which will fuel the very busy and exciting year ahead. As with all Felicity gatherings, new connections were forged, new ideas blossomed, and there was just enough time to leave everyone wanting more!

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