We were again recognized as a top employer, being named one of BC’s Top 100 Employers for the fourth year. This means a lot to us as we evolve how we work, what we offer to our teams through perks and benefits, and how we prioritize their well-being. We were also recognized as the largest PR Firm in the west by Business in Vancouver earlier in the year.
External recognitions are great, and we are proud of these accomplishments, but nothing makes us prouder than being able to acknowledge our very own team through our annual awards, The Talkies. This year, we recognized 10 Talk Shoppers across both offices who exemplified our values, as nominated by their peers. Congrats again to all the winners and honourable mentions!
With our continued expansion into Toronto this past year, we made it even more official with a new office and launch party. Our team, clients and extended guest list were treated to an evening of refreshments and great company in our new location on Adelaide Street West in the Fashion District.
The team did a great job bringing our west coast vibes to our new Toronto space, where we have seen unprecedented growth so far in the team, with a 71% increase over the last two years and a client base which grew by 22% over the past year.
This past year, we saw a resurgence of in-person events and were more than happy to bring them to life for our clients. From product launches, collaborations and openings to on-site activations and community gatherings, we were busy creating engaging and impactful in-person interactions.
We also hosted our own events, including the Collision After Party, where we brought together conference attendees, clients and other members of the tech community to mix and mingle, and our Holiday Gift Guide Showcase, which featured a number of our clients’ products and had people thinking about the holidays in July.
As many companies started to mandate in-office days, we continued to allow our team the option of working from home, remotely, or in the office. Providing this choice has allowed us to expand our options for new hires and has encouraged us to have even more meaningful and purposeful connections when we do get together in person.
Both our physical offices remain closed on Fridays to support our Flex Friday initiative. With the goal of no internal meetings and communication, unless absolutely necessary, this allows team-focused and flexed time every Friday throughout the year.
We also brought the team together in person for various celebrations and team-building activities throughout the year, including our version of the Amazing Race, a Halloween costume contest, wedding and baby showers, in-office Family Feud and bingo, and our annual retreat + holiday dinner, which we combined this year into a Festivus of activities.
At Talk Shop, we place a lot of value in giving back to the communities we operate in. Over the past year, we have donated to Canuck Place, the Shoebox Project, Pacific Autism Family Network, Westcoast Family Centres, Tech4SickKids, and The Forum. We have also supported the Black Opportunity Fund and a project with the Snuneymuxw First Nation by donating time towards PR efforts to support their initiatives.
In addition, we provide every team member with up to 5 business days of volunteer time to support charities or organizations they feel personally connected to.
Our pivot during the height of COVID and the continued prevalence of digital gave rise to a new host of services to complement our core PR offerings. As communication channels evolve, we’ve seen more clients turn to us for an integrated mix of services, with over 20% of accounts falling into this category. Digital and social media led this growth, focusing on paid, followed by brand strategy and creative services, and we have big plans to expand further in 2023.
To celebrate National Dog Day and acknowledge the transition time required for pet owners to adjust to and focus on their new family members, we rolled out a Pawrental Leave Policy to all team members. This policy formally offers anyone adopting a new pet the chance to take some paid time off around the adoption.
And now we can officially say, “that’s a wrap” to 2022, as we take this time to reflect, recharge and prepare for the new year. 2023, we can’t wait to meet you!