At PUSH, We Love Technology

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At PUSH Agency headquarters in a small yet palatial office, just next to the accounting team, sits our robotic overlord who forces us to do his bidding. Also, he has an army of smaller robots, preparing to enslave humanity.

We just thought you should know.

Anyway, speaking of technology, here at PUSH, we have embraced it like crazy people who aren’t even aware that they are being enslaved by a robotic dictator, and are playing into his technological hands.

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We love our clients, but we don’t want them to be forced to call us every time they need to make a minor change to their booking – they should be able to push a button and move on! Client Console is a communications hub where our account and booking managers interact with clients, all under the watchful eye of our malevolent robotic ruler.

Also, until the robot army is complete we are stuck with these humans to staff our events. Selecting human talent can be difficult, unless you’re using our talent selection tool which allows our clients to view talent in real-time, including photos and stats. (Our human models are significantly more attractive than the clunky intimidating robots.) This is also important from an environmental standpoint because it means we don’t have to create portfolios and promotional material for each model, and the machines want a nice green earth when they eventually take over.

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Once talent has been selected, and if the logistics are challenging -highly technical product description, large campaign- we can train them online. Our video training has high production values… for a training video, I mean this isn’t Hollywood, and when combined with our robust screening process, it allows fast, efficient and effective training.

Once they’re all trained up, we inject all our models with a tracking dart, which slowly morphs them into a member of the robot army. Not really, but we do use GPS check-in technology so that we can make sure our team is safe, and on time. We also use sophisticated data analysis programs, and live-event recapping technologies to gauge demographics, potential foot traffic and other numbers that may be relevant to the client. Afterward, we compile data on the engagement, and this, when combined with the pre-event check-in materials, presents a broad picture for the client to use as part of their strategy. It also enables our robot masters to track humans.

*PUSH has no robot overlord, apart perhaps the head of finance.

CES – Robots, Wallpaper TV’s & Smart Everything!

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One of our core values is to ‘Be Zen.’Usually, this means being calm under pressure, and adapting to unexpected circumstances as and when they arise. This requires balance, self-awareness and the ability to calmly move from one task to another.

Then, there’s the consumer electronic show, or as you may know it, CES. Held in Las Vegas, Nevada each January, CES attracts the largest brands, the most innovative technology businesses, and a ridiculous amount of people who love incredible gadgets. It’s a chance for businesses to showcase their wares and demonstrate how forward thinking and revolutionary their latest products will be.

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Our job was to assist legendary electronics brand LG by presenting extraordinarily advanced technology to a highly sophisticated audience of thousands. Simple.

An event of this size is more of a logistical activation than traditional assignments. First, we assigned responsibility to our two most experienced project managers, who would coordinate the training, rostering and management of the 110 PUSH team members required…that’s required each day. That’s 440 total shifts over a four day period, and they all needed to be up-skilled in technology, some of which has only existed in theory until LG decided to unleash it on the world.

Planning, Planning, Planning

Our robust project management structures are nothing without efficient humans to ensure they are adhered to. Our project management team in Arizona, worked with our leadership group to create rigorous structures, combined with limitless fail-safes to ensure the best chance of a perfect outcome. Then, just when they thought their work was done, we told the projects team they had to go to Las Vegas and oversee the activation- because trips to America’s tourist mecca, with free tickets to the largest electronics trade show in the world, are just a few of the painful requirements of working for PUSH.

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Training, Training, Training

LG brought a massive amount of products to CES, and every one of our team had to understand how each product worked, and why it worked that way. This included The Hub Robot, which uses Amazon’s Alexa and connects with appliances around your home. Speaking of smart, LG’s smart home solutions were amazing – from the smart fridge that becomes transparent when knocked on, to the oven that learns your recipes and manages the cooking process, and the vacuum cleaner with a built-in video camera that doubles as a security guard.

The highlight, however, was the ridiculously thin, extraordinarily light and generally awesome, SIGNATURE OLED TV W – the W stands for wallpaper. This television attaches to the wall via magnets and uses a soundbar to produce an experience that will redefine the televisions. Or, as Richard Lawler, the senior editor at CES put it when awarding the best TV product to LG –

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LG’s flagship OLED is our Best TV winner for the third consecutive CES. Even as the technology is popping up across other brands, as and LCDs continue to improve, this is still the best display we’ve seen during this show. Shifting its smarts and inputs to its Dolby Atmos soundbar enabled the “wallpaper-thin” design that makes it seem more like a window into another world than any TV we’ve seen before. With that, LG once again remains a step ahead of the competition. — Richard Lawler, senior editor.”

The engagement was an unmitigated success, with LG being the deserved focal point, and PUSH assisting through our project management team pulling out all the stops, and the promotional staff going above and beyond. There were a few standout performers who deserve additional recognition –

Edgar, who came in early and stayed late, while maintaining his flexibility. This was an incredibly strenuous engagement, and Edgar’s and professionalism made him an invaluable member of the team.

Viviana, took on the mantle of brand ambassador for LG and made it her own. Her trainers pointed out how committed she was to representing the brand, and making sure she understood every facet of complex products.

Be Better: Excellence is not optional

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As The PUSH Agency has evolved, we’ve always looked for ways to improve, whether it’s our customer experience, service offerings, software, or the vibe of our office. We believe striving for continual improvement leads to growth, and that’s why one of our core values is “Be Better.”

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Ashlee Fisher, accounting specialist at PUSH, has been with the company for three years, serving in several different roles ––and each transition has given her the opportunity to “be better” as an individual and contribute to the betterment of the team. We chatted with Ashlee about what it means to her to be better and how keeping this core value top of mind has helped her blossom in her various positions.

“One of the greatest things about the culture here at PUSH is that Jonathan, our CEO, leads by example,” Ashlee said. “We see him working every day to be better, continuously looking for ways to improve upon the day before, and it trickles down. We can’t help but be inspired.”

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And this is key. When the leadership exemplifies the core values, it helps lift the entire team and instill the company culture until it becomes second nature to all involved. When all are brought into the core values, everyone holds each other accountable.

As Ashlee put it, “we all feel comfortable putting each other in check when needed.” Everyone has moments when they’re challenged but the support our team is able to offer one another on a daily basis helps us all build each other up and ensure we’re all giving our best effort every single day. It becomes something we don’t even have to think about.

Be Better – it’s a way of life here at PUSH. As the saying goes, “A rising tide lifts all boats,” and we believe when all are striving to be better, we all grow.

Culture Breeds Growth

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A message from our CEO, Jonathan Sacks

At PUSH, our company culture forms the basis of everything we do; from the way we interact with clients, to how we work with our diverse regional teams, right through to what is acceptable behavior in the office.

You see, to us, culture is more than just our dog park, or monthly rockstar awards; it’s a series of values that dictate the way we operate, and why we do what we do. We will be talking more about those values in future articles, but in the meantime, I wanted to discuss the importance of defining a culture to us, and what we have experienced as a result.

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Like most businesses, we didn’t start out with clearly designed culture. To a certain extent, a company’s culture is dictated by those within the organization itself, and something I’ve learned is the importance of owners and managers being the guardians of that culture, and adhering to something larger than themselves through apportioning responsibility to the business. Put another way, at Push, we have a way of doing things, and it’s my job as the primary guardian of the business, to ensure that actions taken by everyone in the organization, reflect our values and culture. That means, empowering managers to make decisions based on what PUSH-as a hypothetical entity-would do. In a sense, the business itself has become a personification for how we should act, and interact with each other, our clients and our prospects; our look and feel, if you like.

The best example I can offer is the way we choose new staff members. In the beginning, recruitment was fairly reactive; we would hire based on requirement, and whoever ticked most of the boxes was offered a job. The thing is, while our retention rate was good, we found ourselves in a position where we were ending up with people that ticked most of the boxes, but not all of them. For example, we would hire people who could technically do a role, but weren’t proactive, and didn’t like to take the initiative – which is very important to us. Now, we can interview based on this, but asking questions like that flat out, just encourages candidates to embellish facts.

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The answer lay in our company culture. Instead of asking more questions, we told the story of PUSH; from its origins, through to how we became the largest supplier of promotional talent in North America. Through this narrative, we were demonstrating who could thrive in our environment, and equally, those who would be better served elsewhere.  We encouraged candidates to talk about how they would see themselves in an environment like ours – highly energetic, diverse and perhaps at times annoyingly loud. We have heaps of fun in the office, but there is a lot of pressure, which comes as a result of each person setting high expectations for themselves and others.

When interviewing based on culture, we discovered that candidates would eliminate themselves, if not literally, it will become apparent quickly who was excited about working in a culture like ours, and who would become frustrated.

We have echoed this approach through to other parts of our business, allowing the core narrative to be the dominant force in promotion, internal rewards, and our management ethos.

A big part of our success in establishing our culture has been clarity around what it is. Paying attention to who we are, and, importantly, who we aspire to be, has been crucial as we continue to develop and grow. Reaching the point where we could confidently ask the question, “is this who we are?” made decision-making far easier, almost as if there is another person in the room, reminding us of our original vision.

While our culture will continue to develop, and we will remain fluid as it does, our fundamental values and vision will remain the same. Through defining, and understanding who we are, we have put ourselves in a position where we can move more quickly, do more things properly, and have more fun.