PRWeek Best Place to Work 2012: Lansons Communications

Who we are.....

24a St John Street, London, EC1M 4AY

020 7490 8828



Number of employees: 90

Describe your office

Lansons’ home is a spacious converted warehouse right by the meat market in Smithfield, a diverse, creative area of London with a phenomenal choice of independent shops, bars, restaurants and cafes.  Our cobbled courtyard is ‘listed’ and the original stairs, going up four long flights, keep us extremely fit.  And we’ve just finished refurbishing inside.  It’s a modern, clean, bright feel with great use of mirror, glass and light.  Original art, from our founders’ collection, hangs everywhere and gives a unique feel to each of the meeting rooms. TVs keep us up to date with news (and sport!) and open plan seating means Board members take their turn making tea for the teams around them.  

What benefits do you offer to staff?

We always share a third of our profits with all staff in twice yearly bonuses and benefits, and our Health and Wealth benefits include life insurance, critical illness insurance, dental insurance and choice of savings scheme, pension scheme, store vouchers and gym vouchers.  Healthy Living means there’s subsidised massage and reflexology,  breakfast provided, a Ride2Work scheme and active support for football and netball teams, flu jabs, eye tests and more.   

How do you provide a good work/life balance for staff?

PR is a hardworking career and people tend to stay at Lansons for quite a while so, on top of great holiday entitlement, we give people extra ‘milestone’ time off every five years so they can take a really good long holiday.  We also let people have tiny bite-size bits of holidays for those little things that don’t need even a half day.  Working from home while the boiler is mended or the sofa delivered is all right by us.  Leave Early Fridays, time off for Christmas shopping and a dry cleaning service help everybody juggle their busy lives.  There are Family Friendly policies too, from enhanced maternity and paternity pay to a Christmas party for employees’ children and time off for school plays and sports days.     

Culture Club looks after the fun side of things – with a budget and pretty much free reign to organise anything we’ll enjoy (from theatre outings to visits from the fish and chip van).  And there are two staff parties a year – unusually one is in January when everybody welcomes a New Year pick-me-up.   

How do you ensure you engage your employees?

We’re a partnership.  A third of our staff owns a part of Lansons and we have no outside shareholders.  That’s amazing.  

We let people know what’s going on.  We share our plans and strategy every year and there’s a very honest view of how things are going from the Chief Executive at our monthly all staff Forum, as well as updates on all parts of life at Lansons from great work to the drawing of our own Lansons Lottery.

There’s a broad learning spectrum – not just our core skills, but social media, research and consumer expertise from our sister agencies and public affairs, live media and film making skills from our own specialist teams.

There’s a collective belief in citizenship.  This not only involves committing 1% of our profits to charity, and then finding fun ways to raise a lot more, but forming pioneering and Gold Award winning partnerships, like our support for High Tide.  This is a charity which seeks out new and emerging playwriting talent and brings it to the stage.  They share our offices and we all benefit from the additional creative input as well of course as the chance to see some great new cutting edge theatre. BBC arts editor Will Gompertz has declared himself a 'huge fan' of our collaboration!
Describe your internships policy
We offer work experience and paid placements and for periods of a just a week up to a couple of months, to suit the individual needs of aspiring PR consultants.  We like to make sure we have the time and attention to devote to our interns and we helped six graduate interns and 12 more junior work experience hopefuls this year.   

Why do you think your organisation is a great place to work?
Everyone has opportunity … to be a shareholder and for career progression.   Two of our current Board Directors started Lansons at our most junior level, as did five of our Associates.  Importantly, our management team reflects the gender balance of the wider agency at 75% female, so progression right to the top is an attainable goal for everybody.  

We have fun … jumping out of aeroplanes for our charity, dressing up for staff parties, tucking into cream teas to celebrate good news, competing for flights to faraway places in our photography competition.  

We give something back … staff really get behind our belief in citizenship and give something back – to charity, to our local area, to the environment, to the arts.  

The people … I can’t imagine working with 89 nicer, more enthusiastic, fun, hardworking, funny, dedicated, creative people.

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