As a member of The ECCO Network – an international network of public relations agencies – IMPACT is connected to PR agencies in over 40 countries across the globe.

ECCO gives independent PR agencies the opportunity to gain a global perspective, collaborate and connect within the worldwide PR environment. This year, IMPACT’s Account Director and Head of Insights Candi, ventured to Switzerland to attend one of the Network’s bi-annual conferences; while more recently IMPACT hosted Maureen from St Louis, Missouri for an “office exchange”.

Both Candi and Maureen took some time to reflect on their time abroad – read on to read more about their experiences.

Candi’s European escapade

For those of you that don’t know (because of my now very Aussie accent), I’m English; so any excuse to head back to Europe is always greatly appreciated.

On this occasion, I was fortunate enough to line-up two weeks working from the ECCO Network’s London agency, Pagefield, before heading to Zurich for the conference.

Here are my three key takeaways from the conference:

  1. Learning – While the fundamentals of PR and Communications remain the same around the world, attending the conference was a great way to hear about new industry trends, what initiatives are working in different geographic locations and listen to new perspectives on topics both old and new. We also had a chance to deep-dive into topical issues such as the impact of GDPR, blockchain and crypto currency.
  2. Networking – Good relationships are an essential part of our job as communicators, and this was a good opportunity to build on my international network of peers. It was also great to finally put some faces to names and voices I’ve been speaking to over the years!
  3. Visiting a new place – I’d never been to Switzerland, and although it was pouring with rain when I arrived, I still had some time to explore the beautiful city of Zurich. The conference organisers offered some great ideas for places to discover, and hosted activities in places that allowed me to make the most of my trip.

While the learning stopped after the conference, the fun didn’t. I had three long weeks to catch up with family and friends… and even returned back to Sydney with some serious bling on my left hand.

Maureen’s Australiana adventure

For the past two weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to do a work exchange here at The IMPACT Agency. It’s funny, even though our two agencies work on different accounts; there are a lot of similarities that allowed for an easy working transition.

In the states, one of my clients involves talking about animals, a lot…and pitching animal-focused stories to media almost weekly; coming to IMPACT, they happened to be preparing for a new dog food product launch with similar subject matter, so it made sense to plug me in as an extra resource as they geared up for the launch!

Regardless of similar clients, we have found a lot of common ground and key learnings to share with each other about PR; for example, best practices for working with influencers, and techniques for brainstorming before new business pitches.

It’s wonderful to be members of an organisation like The ECCO Network. Meeting and working with the women of IMPACT has been truly extraordinary – now, I’m just trying to convince one of them to come Meet Me in St. Louis!