We Love Being Part of Your Team

Last year, one of our clients went through a significant leadership change. We had enjoyed a great relationship with this client, and we felt trusted and effective, providing strategic and operational support regularly and easily. When our primary senior contact informed us he was leaving the organization, we wondered if our work with this client would continue, or if the new leader would be looking to make their mark by handling these pieces differently. We focused on ensuring a smooth transition from one leader to another, making ourselves available to bridge processes and systems, and support continuity.

After this initial transition period, once the new leader had an opportunity to assess their own goals and priorities and set their own tone with the team, he reached out to us. Happily we were asked to step even further into the organization, to spend more time 1:1 with employees, and to make ourselves known and trusted members of the team.

Months later, we are still spending regular time in this client’s office, dipping in more often when there’s a big project to deliver.  We are able to support them in a way that is effective and positive for us as well as the team, sharing our expertise and learning from each other.  When a challenge looms, we can head it off at the pass, or lend our extra muscle in the moment, before it gets too big to handle neatly.  We can help support and nurture the team culture as it evolves.

When this client grows to a size where they need to hire full-time employees to take over some of our services, we may shift into a more traditional consulting role where we lend a hand occasionally in areas where we can add value.  It will be great at that stage to already know and understand the business and to have developed trust with the team.  We will be able to provide training and support, and know that we’ve made a positive impact on the business at its various stages.

We love getting calls from clients who have a big challenge that needs tackling.  By giving us an opportunity to work closely with your team early on, we can help you mitigate risk and solve small problems before they escalate.  We can get to know your employees at every level and we can see your culture in action We can share our skills and experience, earn your trust, and become a valuable member of your organization.  All without breaking the bank or working more than you need.

Project Spotlight: Catherine Falkner’s New Website

This month’s project spotlight focuses on the new website of Catherine Falkner, a local performance artist and good friend. We collaborated with Catherine to bring her unique style to life, using our “Basic” web package. Catherine Falkner is a multi-disciplined artist who predominantly works in performance with a bent toward camp and absurdism, and specializes in theatre, film, video and photography.

Working on the project was so much fun! The idea behind every creative decision was to show off Catherine’s personality and creativity: we incorporated many unique elements such as using her handwritten signature as a logo, bright and unique retro-style patterns and colour schemes, and a performance-based photoshoot that produced some amazing shots of Catherine to show off her personality on every page of her site.  Catherine was a pleasure to work with – her blend of creativity, collaboration, theatricality, sense of humour, and trust in our process really brought out the best in each of us, and resulted in an original and effective site.

Catherine’s goal for her website was to showcase her personality and her work, as well as to provide a point of contact for potential collaborations and opportunities for work.  We needed to turn her desires into reality and stick within a pre-set budget. Catherine Falkner’s site is a great example of how much customization our “Basic” package offers and how you don’t need to break the bank to make it really special.

We are so lucky to have a talented and generous photographer who always adds his talent and expertise to all of our client and Project House shoots, and manages to get the absolute best photo of each person by creating an atmosphere of kindness, trust, and fun. Thank you Kevin Shoesmith!

If you are looking to bring your business onto the web, or to take your existing site to the next level, you’ve come to the right place! Please send us an email at hello@projecthouse.ca and let’s talk about how we can help.

Project Spotlight: the RNFBC launches their new brand!

We are so excited as we have just launched a whole new brand and website for the Registered Nurses Association of BC.  It was a really great process working alongside a positive and collaborative group of people at the RNFBC, and we couldn’t be more proud of the results.

The Registered Nurses Foundation of BC helps address some of the financial costs associated with nursing education through the provision of bursaries. They help alleviate some of the pressures on nurses and the health care system.

The demand for nurses is rising. Currently, on any given day in BC there are at least 1,000 nursing vacancies. These shortages mean the needed care that requires nursing support – such as surgical procedures, homecare, and mental health care services – get delayed or postponed.

With the aging of both the population and of nurses themselves, more new nurses will be needed to fill this gap as a person’s health care needs generally increase with age and as nurses reach retirement age.

The need to help educate new nurses and provide a higher level of education for current nurses has arguably never been greater.

The RNFBC’s website and logo were out of date and they needed something new and fresh that would acknowledge the history of the foundation, while at the same time demonstrate the forward-thinking and innovative nature of the nursing profession.

We started with a creative “charrette” style process where we brought in a group of stakeholders to dive into the message and story the RNFBC wanted their brand to convey…who were they, who are they now, how is their organization evolving, how do they want to be perceived.  Through discussion, visioning, and tough questions we were able to come away with a great understanding of the overall design direction we needed to consider. Then we retreated to our offices to continue our research and continue the creative process.

After pursuing a few brand options, we kept coming back to the idea of the nightingale.  We just loved the symbolism:  it’s active and alive, its body and shape represent movement, and it has a wonderful and fitting historical significance.  We combined the nightingale image with unique, fresh, and beautiful colours to really make it stand apart.

With our branding solution in hand, we could move into the creation of a beautiful and responsive new website. It needed to be easy to navigate, bright and colourful, modern yet professional. It had to appeal to a wide range of users, as visitors to the site might be young nurses applying for a bursary, or older donors looking to make a contribution.  We are so pleased with the overall results and we look forward to continuing to help the RNFBC grow its brand recognition through their website and additional print materials.  We have already created donation forms, posters, and some exciting materials for an upcoming event.

The process of working with the RNFBC is very rewarding.  They are a client who understands where they need help and values the external services of a company like us.  Not only can we provide them with graphics and web design, but we also support them with online donation systems, event planning, hiring, and more.  Combining our expertise and services to help clients grow their business to the next level is what Project House is all about.

 

What sets us apart: Combined Creative Services

Illustration by Jeremy Enecio for Fortune

One of the most unique and exciting aspects of our company is that we can combine our services in order to expand our offeringsWe love innovating within our projects to discover creative solutions that integrate HR, Design, and Web.

Many businesses have an ongoing and serious challenge to hire senior staff with hard-to-find skills, as industry competition for candidate attention can be intense.  In tech, this type of employee is often referred to as a unicorn.  “…unicorn: …staff who possess a unique set of qualities that make them extremely rare and valuable. They’re hard to find, but once hired, they offer up enormous benefits in the workplace and can take your business to the next level”. (Ryan Holmes | October 5, 2016, Financial Post)

Traditional HR solutions for this problem can include setting up recruiting programs, sourcing candidates from other companies, advertising for the role, reaching out into employee networks, or hiring recruiters.  Sometimes this just isn’t enough.  What else can you do in order to make your voice heard?  Our clients need our help:  what will make a Unicorn notice them and poke their head in the door to learn more about the job?

Because Project House has HR, Branding, Design, and Web expertise, we are able to seamlessly pull these elements together for our clients, and design a business solution that maximizes our skills.

Most recently we were asked to solve the Unicorn Problem for a new client:  after struggling to attract and hire senior, experienced, high calibre engineers, they needed a solution that would target this very specific candidate and get their attention.  This was going to be much more than an HR solution; it would require the creative brains of a Marketing campaign in combination with elements of design, as well some deep-dive discovery – exciting!  We would need to dig into the qualities and common elements of this particular candidate and find out what would most attract them to our client’s business.  We would also need to find out why current star employees had been attracted to the company, then ask why they stay and what matters to them.   We’d have to go into the industry and examine what competitors were doing well, and identify unique unicorn hunting opportunities.

From this discovery phase, we typically move into a design phase, coming up with a few options for look + feel, message + tone, and we make recommendations about where to launch the campaign in order to maximize its impact and reach:  is this a print ad in an industry magazine, a polished conference booth, a unique industry event, or a billboard beside a competitor’s office?

When we meet with clients who are struggling to attract the right candidates, we dive into a number of areas of their business to see what might be going on.  Often we arrive at Employer Brand, which is a way to describe the outside world’s experience and opinion of your company as a place to work – this consists of a combination of your company’s website, social media presence, current and past employee reviews, manager skills, reputation, and more.  Ultimately we try to determine if what your company says matches how it behaves, and identify areas where we can help you bring up your game.  A recruiting campaign could be an ongoing branded effort across all of these platforms, or it could be a special one-off project to fill a critical gap.

Are you struggling to recruit and hire?  Are you hoping to land a unicorn?  We can help!

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy Day of Awesomness!

Heidi Eaves and Erin Brandt Speak at Pacific Dental Conference (Mar 2017)

Dentists as Employers: Rooting Out Workplace Problems Before They Happen

At this year’s Pacific Dental Conference in Vancouver,  Heidi Eaves and Erin Brandt, Lawyer at Kent Employment Law, will speak about the legal and human resources issues that dentists face as employers.

Topics will include contracts, leaves, buying/selling a business, and engagement from a Canadian perspective, and help dentists create a healthy, engaging, and legally compliant workplace.

To learn more about this event and to register, click here.

 

PH Team Member Spotlight: Christina Shorthouse

Christina got her first byline in high school, writing a monthly column for the esteemed Manotick Messenger. Since then, she’s been creating copy for everything from newsletters, annual reports, and websites to parenting magazines and frozen lasagna packaging. A self-described bookworm and grammar nerd, Christina translated her degree in English Literature into a viable career through additional professional writing and editing courses. As an account manager in both advertising and public relations firms, she worked with senior level staff to develop media and communications plans and a variety of publications. She later moved in-house to work as a Communications Specialist at Children’s & Women’s Health Centre and Manager of Communications for BC Women’s Hospital Foundation.

 

After her children were born, Christina became an independent communications consultant, working on projects in the hospitality and not-for-profit sectors. Her four-year volunteer labour of love resulted in one of the Vancouver School Board’s first Outdoor Classrooms. When not walking her dog or hanging out with her family, Christina might be spotted stand up paddle boarding, Nordic skiing, playing the flute, or scouting kitchen stores for the latest gadget.

 

Best advice from mom: 1. Always give back to your community. 2. Yellow and purple only go together at Easter.

 

Chris delivers copywriting services to Project House clients, and has helped Project House with internal projects, including Our Story on the PH website.

 

Please reach out to us at hello@projecthouse.ca if you need some support with writing for your website, marketing materials, or professional bio.

 

For Our Story and to read other Project House Team Member bios, please click here.

Project Spotlight: Little Mountain Neighbourhood House

LMNH is an active community hub that provides inclusive programming for children, families, youth, immigrants, and seniors living in and around the Little Mountain/Riley Park neighbourhood of Vancouver.  Their diverse clientele and community members include refugees and immigrants, seniors, single parents, families with young children, and children and youth.

Project House is committed to providing expertise, energy, and time to organizations in our community.  Our team has partnered with LMNH on a variety of projects on a volunteer basis, including performance review and feedback materials, an orientation manual update, paperless office training, and ongoing general HR and operational support. Heidi is a volunteer LMNH Board member and HR Committee Chair.  We just finished a huge office revamp project for them in February which included rallying a crew of volunteers to help paint, put together new furniture, dispose of old furniture and overall just make the space more visually pleasing, functional and organized.  It was a lot of hard work but with our amazing crew of volunteers we were able to achieve an amazing result in just a few short days.