To “borrow” a line, offices don’t work with each other. People work with each other.
With this in mind, the Agency has taken steps in its operation and implemented several programs all in the name of helping staff members get to know their colleagues in other offices around the world.
One of these programs is called “HAnywhere.” It encourages staff members who travel to a country with an Agency office by subsidizing their stay to spend an extra day working out of the destination office.
Daijiro Takashina, a.k.a. DJ, from our Japan office worked out of our Silicon Valley office last week. His timing was impeccable, giving him an opportunity to experience a coffee crawl, national margarita day, San Pedro Square, an American weekend brunch, an art studio and a craft brewery.
It should be noted that DJ brought a wide array of Japanese snacks for the Silicon Valley staff.
The Coffee Crawl
It’s of course no secret that the Hoffman Silicon Valley office thrives on strong coffee, and we took DJ along on one of our regular Coffee Crawls, meant to discover the various coffee vendors throughout San Jose. The shop of choice for this excursion was Chromatic Coffee in downtown, which describes itself as “painfully hipster.” The coffee (and tea), luckily, were far from painful, though the brisk wintery air was probably a touch removed from the warmer Californian temperatures that folks might expect.
National Margarita Day
DJ’s visit to Silicon Valley was exceptionally well-timed, as February 22 happens to mark National Margarita Day. DJ joined a small group from the San Jose office to celebrate the spirited holiday (pun fully intended), who headed to Olla Cocina for their margarita flights and nachos. Here, DJ and Account Executive Pal Hollywood are taking in some of the more unusual flavored margaritas — strawberry and a yellow-colored margarita we’re pretty sure was pineapple, but were never quite able to place.
San Pedro Square
Just a block away from Olla Cocina is San Pedro Square Market, which offers a true sampling of cuisines, everything from Italian to Mexican to sandwiches and crepes, right next to each other. Indoor table seating proved to be a challenge, but we were able to introduce DJ to the joys of Margherita pizza. (The irony not lost on us that Margherita sounds like the beverages enjoyed earlier that evening.) Over the meal, we discussed the finer points of PR in both of our markets, discovering some common ground (journalists in Japan love taking to Twitter to voice their opinions, too!) We also discussed the finer points of burgers died black with squid ink (DJ confirmed for us they’re quite delicious), and some of the other highlights in the Bay Area — with both the Oakland and San Francisco Zoos being named “must visits.”
The Art Studio
Heather is an artist in residence at an art studio called Visual Philosophy.
She showed DJ around the studio covering art in its many different forms, welding, printing, painting, papier-mâché and charcoal, among others.
Heather and Lou’s youngest son Elliot is a brewmaster at Camino Brewing, a few minute trek by scooter from the Agency’s office.
While the taproom is obviously closed on Saturday morning, Elliot slipped DJ in the back door for a look at there the magic happens for brews like “Heart of Dankness.”
DJ thought the process was nothing short of miraculous as expressed between Elliot and Lou.
Back to the Topic of Collaboration
We had a good time hosting DJ.
And the mission of HAnywere was served.
People got to know each other. Relationships were advanced.
Can we quantify this from the perspective of a communications campaign that cuts across multiple markets?
That would be tough.
Still, there’s no question in our mind that it makes for a better product.