#FBF- KLC Amazing Day

They say we spend more time with our coworkers than we do with our families, our children and ourselves. Nearly all that time will be focused on working together to achieve the task at hand, whether that be building a tower to remake a city’s skyline, delivering a culinary experience that customers will gush over to friends and family (and Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and…) or conceptualizing, creating and executing a campaign designed to raise awareness for a cause, product or service that can benefit consumers.

While the task at hand is vital in keeping all of us coming back for more days with these coworkers, so too is it important to, every now and then, take a step back and celebrate all the hard work, collaboration and accomplishment of the past days, weeks and months.

You know – work hard, play hard.

Those that know KLC well know that once a year we lock up the office and venture out (phones tightly in hand, just in case) for an offsite day thoroughly planned to incorporate the best of professional development, team-building, and fun.  We call it KLC Amazing Day for a reason – because it’s just that. But even amazing days don’t always go as planned – no matter how meticulously planned they were.

As PR professionals you learn early in your career that flexibility is key. Things rarely go exactly as planned, and can have the potential to derail an entire day. BUT if you can roll with the punches and act quickly on your feet, these bumps can be quickly smoothed over.

This year we packed 20 people (and a dozen or so laptops) aboard a bus and headed due east to beautiful, sunny Prince Edward County.

We started off at Sandbanks Estates Winery,  snacking and sipped our way through an enlightening discussion about the tenacious entrepreneurs that started the vineyard. If you haven’t yet heard the story of Catherine Langlois , you must! Her story is quite an inspiration about following your passions and going against the grain to build a business that not only is profitable, but that is enjoyable.

Following a short trip to our lunch destination, the team descended upon the Drake Devonshire – the stunning shore-lined sister to Toronto’s Drake Hotel! While we waited for our table, the team lounged around in the sun and cooled off in the lake (just our feet of course).

True to Drake form, our lunch was incredible – but it was also where plans began to fall off the rails, falling more than an hour behind schedule. For anyone that has given painstaking thought to the development of a run of show, only to watch the host adlib their way to 15 extra minutes off the top, you know the panic that can easily ensue behind the scenes – and the herculean efforts needed to get things back on track.

And even when they do get back in track, the next derailment can always be just around the corner. In our case, that was a corner we saw multiple times, as our driver (a determined gentleman with absolutely no familiarity with Prince Edward County), made an increasingly amusing series of wrong turns – resulting in us arriving to an unplanned destination mere kilometers from where we began.  With a heavy storm moving through the city and directly towards us, it became clear that the highlight for the afternoon – a beachfront brainstorm on the world-renowned Sandbanks beach shores would be lost. We decided to cut our losses, set up the easel in the vehicle, and turn our beachside brainer into coach-side collaboration on the 401 back to Toronto.

And while the ideas that came forward from the 20 talented teammates on that trip may have lacked the sun-soaked hue we expected, they resulted in an AC-and-Spotify smattering of foundational thoughts that we can build on over the coming months

For a group of Type A, extreme planners, these detours away from the critical path could have easily ruined the day. But sometimes the roads less travelled result in the best journeys, so long as the destination remains the same. And after five full hours in the back of a bus, we had what we were after – not just a great experience and some strong ideas to build from, but critical collaboration/celebration with our team, an empty cooler of refreshments and a new 50 Cent playlist (per David’s request) to listen to in the office. We were all able to unwind and celebrate another successful year of dedication to our clients and each other at KLC.

As PR professionals – especially in an agency environment – our clients turn to us because they know that we’re committed to helping them and their cause in good times and bad, both when things go exactly according to plan – and more often, when they do not. And that’s what sets the best PR professionals apart – they’re not just adept at writing or talking, the best PR professionals are the ones that can be counted on to make sure the trains always make it to the station – no matter how many times they may jump the track on the way.

That’s what takes a PR pro from being good, to being amazing.  #KLCAmazing.