3Points’ Year in Review, 2018
3Points turned eight this year, but even as we’ve become an established presence in the Chicago PR space, 2018 was still a year defined by what was new for us. We expanded into new industries; we added important new services; we implemented a completely new intern structure. This type of evolution inevitably involves growing pains, but it’s made for what feels like the most important year in our history. Hear from 3Pointers on what most stands out for them from the past 12 months.
Chris Brendza — Digital Specialist
The biggest highlight of 2018 for me was becoming a part of the 3Points team back at the beginning of the summer. Joining a company that puts out exceptional work for exceptional clients has been exciting in and of itself, but it’s wrapped up in a fun environment with great people. Even as I’ve returned to Notre Dame to finish up my senior year, keeping up with the team both in a work setting and on a personal level is something I’ve greatly appreciated. Whether it’s Sam and Will stopping by campus to watch Sam’s alma mater get crushed by the Fighting Irish [Editor’s note: Sam will happily take seven out of the last 10 matchups], heading back into the city to take part in my first T4Youth, or staying connected on Slack threads to aid our client work, it’s been a memorable year.
Lorna Kiewert — Account Director
Instead of a specific moment or event, my highlight of 2018 is a general theme of growth. In the past 12 months, I’ve experienced growth as an account director for my clients, growth internally as a manager, and growth overall as a company. Never before have I had the responsibility that I do in my role today, and 2018 was a year of many firsts for me. I felt like I took a big step forward this year with my various clients, and I proved to myself just how much my account management skills have grown — we even received equity options with a client, which is a sign of being a trusted partner. I’ve also had the pleasure of being a manager of other 3Pointers — I now have direct reports whom I’ve enjoyed coaching and helping mold into the best versions of themselves. Finally, we’ve had a record year at 3Points as well, in terms of clients, staff, philanthropy, you name it. 2018 has surely been an unforgettable year and I’m looking forward to all that 2019 has to offer.
Jessica Livingston — Content & Design Strategist
2018 was a year full of change, and let me tell you, it was quite the whirlwind. I spent the first half of the year living in the Czech Republic, teaching English and working on a computer science initiative as part of the Fulbright Program. When I moved back to the U.S. I joined the 3Points team and embraced the challenge of designing for the fintech industry. I have learned a lot in my six months here, and I look forward to starting 2019 off with new insights and goals. I am also excited to welcome our first design intern next year! You can never have too many creative minds in an office, and I’m looking forward to bringing in new, fresh design perspectives.
Drew Mauck — Principal
There are a few things I want to highlight from this year:
More than a pleasant surprise, our summer interns (we had a record three of them!) were equal parts hungry, humble, and hysterical. Representing some of the finest institutions of higher education, each brought their own approach to helping us succeed.
- Chris Brendza (Notre Dame) brought a thunderous dunk on Day One to signal that he came to play. His writing skills are that of a seasoned professional, and his level-headed temperament allowed him to press forward even when presented with challenges.
- Anna Jennings (Yale) had an infectiously positive attitude and was routinely the first one at the office even though she dedicated the early morning hours to her personal well-being and training at the gym.
- I spent the most time with Christine Marella (Northwestern), and while she personified optimism, she was always well-prepared for client meetings and didn’t leave much to chance.
They also acted as my personal coolness coaches, “encouraging” me to drop dated terms from my lexicon, including, but not limited to, “yolo,” “cash me outside,” and “cray.”
We’ve learned a great deal about client service and what it takes to help a client stand out in a crowded field, but we had a new challenge with Otus, our first ever edtech client. They tasked us with generating a tagline that could articulate what they are trying to accomplish — when they selected “Learning, Together” it signaled that 3Points could go outside the box to serve all clients well, even those that are in industries in which we don’t have extensive experience.
PR can play an important role in corporate acquisitions, and we were proud to once again play a part in a client’s acquisition with the successful sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange to the owner of the New York Stock Exchange. It’s always rewarding to see positive business outcomes at the end of years of work.
Finally, I want to give a quick shout out to our new designer, Jessica — visuals are so important in today’s world, and we couldn’t continue on just hacking things together when it came to design. We needed to get serious about it, and Jessica has made an enormous difference in how our work and our clients’ work is visually presented.
Katie O’Shea — Content Manager
2018 was an exciting year all around at 3Points, with lots of memorable moments, big and small. Some small ones: learning how to throw axes with the team, printing new company t-shirts (thanks to Jessica and her design skills!), and witnessing a truly spectacular dunk [Editor’s note: this is actually a different dunk than the one linked to above]. One big one, for me, was starting to work with and becoming the account lead for Johnson Moore, a tax boutique run by awesome women lawyers. I’ve really enjoyed helping them polish their owned media materials and gain media traction this year — and I’ve definitely learned a lot about tax law in the process (tax season sounds a little less scary now!).
Outside of work, I’ve had the privilege of becoming part of the leadership of Chi Hack Night, a weekly civic tech event in Chicago that I’ve been participating in for three years now, helping with the process of turning the organization into a nonprofit. (If you’re free on a Tuesday night next year, come join me!) Given that 3Points operates in the Chicago tech industry, it’s been cool to have my work life and volunteer life inform each other.
Jacob Rowlands — PR Intern
It really is a credit to the team at 3Points that despite only having been here a short time, it is difficult to pinpoint a single highlight. A new start can often be tricky, especially in another country, but at 3Points it was an absolute breeze with everybody not only making me feel so welcome but also allowing me to get stuck in straight away.
It’s almost impossible to summarise my time here without mentioning T4Youth — being involved in executing the event was not only rewarding in experience, but also in perspective, seeing the impact it can have on the community, all whilst having a great time. More recently, I have been involved with Predata, one of our newer clients. I have always had a curious mind regarding world affairs, so the opportunity to work with a company focusing on geopolitical predictions is both captivating and exciting. I come from a mainly data-based background, so it really has been valuable to me to work on more creative content pieces and pitches; not once have I been told to hold back and refrain from taking on a new project or challenge — a very refreshing approach for training young professionals.
The dynamic nature of my role here always keeps me on my toes, and I am very much looking forward to what is to come.
Will Ruben — Account Director
This year, as with every year, I’ve felt most rewarded when I’ve seen my work positively impacting our clients’ businesses. As we know, it’s difficult in PR to draw a direct line from a placement or article to the fulfillment of a client’s business goal. However, over the course of 2018, there were a number of times when my media relations work correlated directly to client success — here is a sampling:
- YCharts — an article in InvestmentNews led to a multi-user deal with a financial advisory firm.
- QuantConnect — eFinancialCareers covered the firm’s Alpha Streams project, generating increased interest from quants and funds.
- CMT Digital — landing an interview for Colleen Sullivan, partner and CEO of the firm, on the Futures Radio podcast prompted a contact to reach out regarding a deal for its venture capital arm.
It’s moments like those that allow me to look back on the year and recognize how we’re helping our clients.
Sam Svoboda — Content & Analytics Director
As with every year, I’ve got a few highlights I want to share from 2018. Externally, it was cool to see video become a bigger part of our client service offering after a few years of building our portfolio with T4Youth videos. Of course, we’re still doing T4Youth videos as well — the trick shot video is an idea I’ve had for a couple years, and it was fun to get creative in filming and editing and finally put it together.
Internally, I enjoyed taking the lead on our new and improved intern program, which saw us go from one intern a year to six. Our “intern army” has been a huge help to us this year, not only with their hard work but with their positive attitudes as well. They’ve also helped us organize our new quarterly team outings, such as axe throwing and shuffleboard, which have been a lot of fun and a nice way to build our growing company culture.