Here in Boston, we like our sports. And this past weekend was one to celebrate. The Patriots trampled the Bills, 41-25 (or so my Globe update said). No surprise – and I don’t mean the Pats winning – that a PR pro would be informed of a contested regional event by the leading newspaper. That’s expected. What’s unusual is that I didn’t know the score, or even which team was leading, though I was at a game day party.

In truth, I don’t really care about football. That’s not why I was there. And no, it wasn’t just about day drinking and buffalo dip, though that alone would have been a draw. I was there for the company. And what company it was…Hollywood Public Relations, in fact! SAE Kim and hubby Brandon graciously offered their home for an off-work get-together. With spouses, significant others and kids, about thirty of us encroached to enjoy their hospitality.

While we didn’t really talk about it, the day likely marked HPR’s fifth year anniversary (the verdict is still out as to the exact day – yes, I should probably know this!). As a business, Sunday exemplified why we win. It’s because we like being together, even beyond the mandatory forty hours a week. It’s because we have each other’s backs and share the burden of work when our peers need a hand. It’s because we respect each other and come to work each day looking forward to both teaching and learning from those more senior and junior. Together, as a team, I really believe we’re unstoppable.

But sometimes we also lose. Thankfully, never a defining defeat, but the kind of setback that makes you take pause, re-evaluate the players and the positions, and re-strategize how you’re going to again win. The loss we’re currently suffering is Meg Parker’s upcoming departure. Meg, a senior account director at the agency, has been with us for more than four years. And, in those formative years Meg’s presence has made an indelible mark on me and the business. Yes, the business will survive and thrive, in part due to her dedication and hard work, but I’ll miss my colleague and friend. She’ll go on to win for another great organization, and we’ll be cheering for her along the way.

As for Hollywood PR, as the coach of this amazing team, I can’t wait to see where the next five years takes us (in the short term, we’re headed to the Hingham Shipyard, but we’ll cover that in another post). Peter Drucker said it well: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” And we’re hungry.

Oh, and happy birthday, HPR.

 – Darlene Hollywood

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