Posts Tagged ‘Kathleen Alder’
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“Wellness”, “wellbeing”, “work-life balance” – these buzzwords have been entering the business world more regularly over the past few years. As we as a society begin to focus more on our health, our time, our personal development, so have the companies that we work for. Especially in PR companies and creative agencies, where working over-time is almost expected and in the arts where there are concerts, launches, and networking events to attend, it’s important to ensure that you are able to enjoy your personal life wherever possible.

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WildKat began to explore techniques to reward colleagues and staff back in 2011, when Kat brought her yoga instructor into the office. We began having weekly classes for 1 hour on a Wednesday afternoon. Berlin’s Victoria Mattinson says, “Taking an hour out to do yoga is a really effective way of clearing the mind and stretching out.  I always come back to my desk feeling refreshed and with new ideas.”

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In 2014, we also cemented the annual WildKat ski trip for the team who have been in the company for over 1 year. This is the perfect retreat for our colleagues to relax and unwind (off the slopes, of course!), spend time with the full global team, and try some new experiences together. London’s Victoria Cappelletti went on her first trip this year, explaining, “The annual WildKat PR ski trip is a great way to get to know the members of the team better and actually become friends, so that we are all like a little family. It totally lines up with the general company mood, ethic and atmosphere, giving people the opportunity to have fun and discuss topics beyond work.”

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Our perks continued to build in 2015, when Sweden began to initiate 6-hour working days to create a balance between work and personal life, Kat decided to trial the scheme in our Berlin office. We were quite skeptical at first that 2 hours would make a huge difference to our work-life balance, and that it wouldn’t compromise our work, but we were ready for the challenge. After a transitional phase, our Berlin team was working more efficiently – so much that our clients did not notice! – completing tasks and moving on without procrastination, feeling more happy and healthy at work, and also attending more events out-of-hours without free time or energy being compromised.  You can read our full feedback here.

However, one journalist asked: if we love our jobs why would we want to work less? Although this was not the point of our experiment, the hardest aspect was the need to be constantly productive. There was less time to read articles and be active on social media – two activities which are crucial to PR. We also lost out on occasional small talk, which does help to break up the day. Therefore, from now on, instead of a full-blown overhaul of our working day, every employee has ten six-hour days per month at their disposal.

Last year, we decided that we would fully integrate our perks into WildKat’s ethos and policy. Our in-house design team at Classical Music Design created a poster for us, that would have a central place in our office and would remind us that being happy in our lives and at work will allow us to live a more balanced life.

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Kat explains, “I felt that my staff deserve the best that my company could possibly offer. I divided the benefits up into monetary, educational, and well-being. Mostly, I am weary that money is a big deciding factor so of course we wanted to increase perks and financial rewards but actually focusing on well-being and one’s own personal development is a hot topic that almost comes equal to financial gain. 

“We want to feel valued on many levels and that our development is encouraged along the way so I wanted to offer training funds, 6 hour working days, yoga sessions, sabbatical, etc. Rewarding my staff doesn’t always have to cost the company a lot but it does mean that the teams are better balanced. Quite frankly, the older I get, the more I think that time is the most valuable commodity, so I want to enhance my staff’s time when at work but also give them more off time out of the office.” 

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Director of the Berlin office, Carolin Denz, was one of the first to utilise her training fund, purchasing a few books on leadership and communication: “As the Berlin team has grown a lot and we all know how important it is to build up a great and solid working team, we are always focusing on improving the team spirit and motivation. I began to learn some tips and advice from a few books about different ways to lead groups, so we can build on it with individual and more intense workshops during 2017. The books give an insight into how groups of different characters and opinions work, how to lead them best and motivate them to build up the team we need for our campaigns – creative thinking, responsibility and being a good team-player.”

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As well as the “official” #WildKatPerks, we still encourage our team to network in the industry, and step into the wider world to gain knowledge and make introductions on behalf of the company. For example, Junior Account Manager & Office Manager James Hardie attended #ABO17. He said, “I was very excited to have the chance to attend the Association of British Orchestras conference in Bournemouth, especially at such an early stage in my career.  The focus this year was Disruption, and I had the privilege of listening to some of the industry’s leading figures, including Hannah Kendall, Mel Larsen, James Murphy, and Chi-Chi Nwanoku talk about what this meant to them.  A strong feeling of community pervaded every session, and it was heartening to be surrounded by so many like-minded people, all of whom want to see classical music engage with new and diverse audiences.”

As civil servants face curbs on office ‘cake culture’, here at WildKat we know that everything works well in moderation and with plenty of balance. Are you considering some new perks for your company? How do you manage to balance work and life as a freelance? Feel free to send us your thoughts at @WildKatPR or comment below!

(Written on January 31, 2017 )

WildKat PR is very happy to announce that Matt Brinkworth is our newest Account Manager to join the team in the London office.

Matt’s career within the Music PR industry has been as varied as his own personal tastes, working on projects that have ranged from electronic music giants such as Claptone and Axwell & Ingrosso to South Korea’s largest rock band YB, taking him from the front rows of London Fashion Week to the backstage of Reading Festival.

At WildKat, Matt will join the already talented team of London Account Managers, working closely with the Berlin and New York offices, bringing with him his unique brand of creative and engaging press relations.

Kathleen Alder, Founder and Director of WildKat PR commented:

“WildKat is known to push the boundaries in both our approach and our results for our clients. We are so excited to have Matt join us and his experience in mainstream and celebrity PR bring a whole new perspective to our team.”

Matt Brinkworth commented:

“When it came to looking for a new challenge to inspire me, after meeting with Founder Kathleen and Head of Creative Strategy & Marketing Olivia Brown, WildKat stood out immediately. The company’s culture and ethos of forward thinking, outside of the box, promotional campaigns coupled with the office’s organically exciting energy is in complete synergy with my own style. Add in the quality of their client roster and it was impossible to see myself joining anywhere else. I couldn’t be more excited to join a team that has already carved its own lane in this industry and contribute to that further with our clients.”

Very happy to have you on board!

(Written on October 31, 2016 )

The world is a big place with lots of exciting things to experience, especially in the classical music world. In the spirit of our New Year’s resolutions blog to try new things and set new goals, we were inspired to begin thinking about our classical music ambitions: orchestras we would love to see live, concert halls we want to visit, instruments we aspire to learn. As well as having a think ourselves, we asked you over on our Facebook and Twitter pages to send yours in too. Here they are:

Prom at the BBC Proms

As one of the best classical music festivals in the world, showcasing the best talent, Promming at the Proms is a longstanding tradition and therefore is a musical must. Standing in the arena or galleries offers an atmosphere unrivaled by buying a ticket and sitting. For only £5, you can experience some of the world’s greatest artists. We recommend joining the queue before 16:30 to ensure you get in.

Last night of the Proms

The Last Night of the BBC Proms 2014. Photo: (c) newarktwinning.com

The Last Night of the BBC Proms

Equally, the Last Night of the Proms is a spectacular, patriotic finale to a summer’s worth of music. The first half is a traditional concert whilst, during the second half, the Royal Albert Hall transforms into a sea of flag waving, national anthem singing extravaganza. With favourites such as Rule Britannia, Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem sung every year, it’s no wonder tickets are highly sought after and distributed via a ballot each year. Thankfully, Promming is still an option on the Last Night although you will need to get there much earlier than on a regular night!

The 2015 BBC Proms is announced on 23rd April

Go to an Opera or Ballet

Although the prospect of going to an opera or ballet for the first time can seem scary, The Telegraph have written a handy guide to etiquette at such events so you can enjoy the concert and look like a seasoned pro.

Sitting in an orchestra whilst they are playing

Carolin in our Berlin office suggested this great idea. Just imagine watching a pianist’s hands whiz over the keys or feeling the vibrations of the timpani!

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Go to Carols at Kings

One of our interns, Ruth, said she would like to go to the traditional Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College Cambridge one Christmas rather than just watching it on television. Guaranteed to get you in the festive mood.

Learn to play an unusual musical instrument

The world is full of violinists, why not take up the Chinese Yangqin?!

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A Chinese Yangqin. Photo found at Sonic Adventures

Visit the Philharmonie de Paris

Extremely topical at the moment as it only just opened this week (14th January 2015). Sarah, one of our Account Managers who suggested this, and others interested, should take a look at their upcoming season programme for more details.

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Go to an open air concert

Our founder, Kathleen Alder, suggested this one: going to an open air concert in a beautiful setting such as Scandinavia or somewhere in Iceland. Beethoven under the Northern Lights? Yes please!

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We’ve clearly got a lot to tick off our list! Keep tweeting us @WildKatPR with your suggestions-see you in Paris!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Written on January 16, 2015 )

WildKat PR are delighted to announce the launch of an exciting and innovative new scheme heralded by our founder Kathleen Alder. The Noted Innovation Fellowship focuses on providing support to talented 22-35 year olds with original ideas in the area of arts administration which will shake up, progress and lead the classical music industry and culture sector into the future; it needs more than just artists.

Whilst there are many funding opportunities dedicated to discovering and supporting new performing talent, Kathleen has recognised a clear need in the industry for financial support to be awarded to young professionals keen to make their mark behind-the-scenes. Currently, aspiring arts prodigies are most likely to be supported by those who have had over 20 years’ experience and although their experience is vital and appreciated, Kathleen believes there is much more untapped potential to attract fresh new talent.

As well as offering £3,500 to help implement the recipient’s idea, the Fellowship will provide industry opportunities and mentorship by some of the most high profile names working for prestigious organisations such as Executive Producer of Opus Arte/Royal Opera House Ben Pateman; Grammy award winning music producer Christopher Alder; and Suzanne Davidson, the Executive Director of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The list continues to grow. Alongside the standard prize winnings, the Fellowship will be customized around the individual and their idea in order to maximize their full potential.  With this Fellowship, Kathleen aims to educate and inspire a new generation of diverse and creative cultural leaders.

WildKat PR are excited for the talent that will emerge from this venture.

For application details, click here. The deadline is midnight (GMT) on 15th February 2015.

Kat1-11-590x260 Kathleen Alder. Photo: International Arts Manager 

 

(Written on January 13, 2015 )

Marc Shelkin
The Social Shop

Kathleen Alder
WildKat PR

Katy Howell
Immediate Future

Last night’s Noted event hosted by WildKat PR and Sane & Able took a creative look at the world of social media, with three professionals from the industry. These speakers were Marc Shelkin – founding director of The Social Shop – Kathleen Alder – founding director of WildKat PR – and Katy Howell – CEO of Immediate Future.

As with previous Noted events, last night the WildKat PR and Sane & Able offices were full of people from a variety of professions, students and enterprising individuals hoping to learn from the experience of the speakers and meet like-minded people. This event was particularly helpful to those aspiring to or already working in social media – whether they were managing the social media for a company, a charity, an artist or another individual. The speakers shared their experience of leading social media and communications agencies and gave advice relevant to people just beginning to use social media and those already seasoned in the area.

All of the speakers agreed that the results of social media can be long term and difficult to monitor. For businesses, good social media does not necessarily translate into monetary value, at least not in an immediate sense. The behaviour pattern of using different sources before making a purchase decision and the increasing rarity of a ‘direct sale’ was discussed – with Katy Howell providing the example of discovering a book in a high street book shop, reading the reviews online and then buying it for her kindle. Given that this is typical of this day and age, the speakers agreed that it is vital for brands to embed their social media into their sales system to help ensure that consumers turn to them when it is time to make a purchase. Kathleen Adler described a problem with integration of social media into classical music PR campaigns – the classical music industry tends to regard a social media campaign as a separate entity to a press or ticket sales campaign and artists could do with embedding their social media as much as brands and businesses.

There was a discussion about how social media has changed over time. Smart phones have had a tremendous impact on patterns of posting and have helped to make social media truly 24/7. The profile of social media users has widened – with the number of users aged 40 to 65 increasing faster than any other age bracket. Katy Howell and Marc Shelkin disagreed about the future of social media: Marc believes that social media does not have a long lifespan as it currently stands whereas Katy thinks that although the platforms of social media may change, social media won’t disappear at all as we have fundamentally changed as people because of it.

There was an interesting audience-lead discussion on individuals, such as celebrities, who do not want to promote themselves on social media but take negative content concerning them off social media. There was a consensus that it is very difficult to control what is said about an individual on social media, but the law is catching up, in terms of libel, concerning what people write on twitter. Katy Howell said that every individual’s priorities are different, but she suggests it is a good idea for celebrities to have a platform to respond to comments made on social media.

Take a look at the next events Noted events on their website.  You can follow Noted on twitter or like their facebook page for more information.Check back soon for a video blog from last night’s guests & speakers!

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(Written on March 27, 2014 )

This week our Founder and Director, Kathleen Alder was a guest speaker at the New Entrepreneur Foundation networking event. Speaking to the next generation of young, female entrepreneurs, Kathleen spoke of how and why she set up WildKat PR at such a young age, as well as the highs and lows of her journey along the way. Her first question was: ‘What gets you out of bed in morning?’ to which Kathleen told the audience that she jumps at the chance to change the industries she works in, hoping to change the world in which ever way she can.

Inspiring her audience, Kathleen spoke of the importance of ‘surrounding yourself with happy people to create a happy successful environment’ and advocated employing the young and enthusiastic. Noting the gender of her keen audience, Kathleen really advocated that being a great businesswoman and having a family and relationships do not have to be separate entities, and that you can make possibilities out of what it is you want, if you truly go for it; with her top tip of the night being: ‘never stop taking risks as an entrepreneur’.

The evening was a great success, and WildKat PR spoke to some really inspirational young people who will truly be bright stars of the future. Read a round-up of the event and more information on the other panelists here.

 

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Bright Network
WildKat PR

(Written on December 12, 2012 )

Kathleen Alder, WildKat PR’s Founder-Director, will be appearing at the global classical music conference, Classical:NEXT in Munich at the end of May. She has been selected to be one of four specialist mentors discussing different aspects of the classical music industry. Kathleen will be discussing PR and social media tools with her mentorees in pre-booked fifteen-minute sessions. Other mentors will include Penny King, of Arts Council England, Philip Krippendorff of Artefakt Classica and Michaela Ludyk of Monogenuss Records / Andy K. Productions oHG.

For more information on Classical:NEXT and its mentoring program, please click here

 

(Written on May 16, 2012 )

Kathleen Alder, WildKatPR’s founder and director was interviewed in FeaturesExec’s Media Bulletin. She talks about WildKat’s strategy and techniques and the relationship between PRs and journalists, as well as her ‘dream list’ of clients and her view on social networking sights.

You can read the interview here.

(Written on December 20, 2011 )

Kathleen Alder is featured in today’s RSA Fellowship newsletter talking about what inspires her and why she is passionate about being an advocate for the arts. You can read her profile on the RSA’s website here: In Your Network – Kat Alder FRSA.

 

(Written on December 13, 2011 )

Kathleen Alder, founder and Managing Director of WildKat PR, has been named in PR Week‘s prestigious “29 under 29”. The award highlights her as being amongst the brightest and most inspirational young talent in the UK PR industry today.

The judging panel for the award included Facebook’s head of PR and comms Sophy Tobias, Everything Everywhere’s brand comms director Stuart Jackson, Ketchum Pleon’s CEO Avril Lee and Tom Watson, professor of PR at Bournemouth University’s Media School.

Kathleen formed WildKat PR to bring fresh insight to the promotion of the performing arts, applying commercial strategies and utlising online developments and social media to create unique and engaging campaigns. WildKat PR Berlin opened in 2009 to offer its services across Europe.

Kathleen is also a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts.

(Written on November 11, 2011 )