havas Content printed form Havas - The Download - https://download.havas.com/posts/havas-chicago-an-agency-with-heart/
Agency Life

Havas Chicago, an Agency With Heart

Havas Chicago, an Agency With Heart

Natasha Smith

Natasha Smith

May 14, 2018

Because helping the community is simply the right thing to do

"Heart is a core value that cuts two ways."

Paul Marobella, Chairman & CEO of Havas Creative North America, talks about the Chicago team’s focus on giving back, making a difference, and creating a lasting impact in their community.

 

Would you say that Havas Chicago is an agency that cares about the community?

Without question. There are three core values for the Chicago team: all in, heart, and clever. Heart is a core value that cuts two ways. First, it’s important to hire good people who care about each other and seek to help others be successful. Second, giving back to our communities that give us so much is important. Chicago is one of the best cities in the world, but it really is a dichotomy, with some prospering while others live under fire—literally.

How did the team at Havas Chicago develop a genuine concern for the surrounding community?

We make it a priority and a centerpiece of the employee experience. To be honest, we only had to kick-start it, and the employees in Chicago took over offering ideas, organizing the people, and donating their time and talents to the many initiatives we have going there.

Since 2014, the agency has had more than 50 installations that focus on do-good initiatives. How does your team choose which causes to support?

The Havas way is the meaningful way. Having a company that focuses on contributing back to society in a meaningful way is a core tenet of our global organization. The installations in the lobby and the various events we’ve hosted, either at the main agency or The Annex, often come from employee ideas. Whether focused on a hot topic of the moment, like offering free attorney immigration advice, or an initiation like #BlackatWork, we believe it’s our responsibility to use our marketing abilities to bring awareness to important issues.

Which causes do you feel the most passionate about?

There’s an endless amount of causes to support and it can get away from you if there isn’t some sense of focus. While we always focus on the core mission of giving back, our passion revolves around helping kids under fire or in distressed situations. Both Jason Peterson [Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Havas North America] and I have a personal passion to helping kids in our own ways during our free time. Kids don’t choose their situations or environment, and it is very hard for them to break from their conditions. So we work to open up their minds to new ideas and opportunities.

"The more influence we have as a company, the more it is our duty to give back."

How do you infuse your passions—and those of your team—into the agency?

For most of our careers, we’ve given back to help kids under fire. I have been on the board of various United Way charities as well as Junior Achievement, and for the past eight years, I’ve been the Chairman of The Inner-City Education Program, a Chicago Blackhawks charity. We provide educational scholarships and opportunities to inner-city Chicago hockey players. We have some 30 kids under scholarship and have raised more than one million dollars on their behalf. Jason, clearly, has a passion for creativity and photography and works to show kids the power of creativity—which can open up opportunities for them in ways that they might not have been exposed to otherwise.

Why is it important to give back to the community?

It’s important because it’s the right thing to do—be a good human and help our fellow citizens who are in challenging situations. Our global core value of meaningfulness provides a nice focal point, a common goal, for our teams around the world to find topics that they’re genuinely passionate about. Havas Chicago is a platform that allows the team members to use their creativity and resources to raise money, create awareness—or just encourage someone when he is down.

What is it that Havas Chicago hasn’t done, yet, that you would eventually love to do for the community?

Chicago is a city plagued by gun violence. More than 1,000 people each year are killed—many more are wounded. It’s a result of isolated gang and drug violence. We have to find a way to use creativity for good—for change—and get many of these guns off the street. We have resources to help people tackle some of these challenging situations—the resources to help people make changes in their own communities.

Right now, we are working to create a gun swap program called SWAP. The idea came from our sound engineer, Todd Bee, in Chicago. The idea is that for every gun turned in to Chicago Police on the program’s behalf, the person gets an hour of time in our recording studio. Maybe, just maybe, their music will be recognized by a Universal Music Group label and they will get a deal. The possibilities are endless.

What advice do you have for other Villages who want to make an impact in their cities?

Find the give-back mission of that office. What is leadership passionate about? What are the people passionate about? What is the local community dealing with that needs help solving? Make that mission the core of the agency and engage the people to bring it to life. The more influence we have as a company, the more it is our duty to give back.

"Heart is a core value that cuts two ways."

Paul Marobella, Chairman & CEO of Havas Creative North America, talks about the Chicago team’s focus on giving back, making a difference, and creating a lasting impact in their community.

 

Would you say that Havas Chicago is an agency that cares about the community?

Without question. There are three core values for the Chicago team: all in, heart, and clever. Heart is a core value that cuts two ways. First, it’s important to hire good people who care about each other and seek to help others be successful. Second, giving back to our communities that give us so much is important. Chicago is one of the best cities in the world, but it really is a dichotomy, with some prospering while others live under fire—literally.

How did the team at Havas Chicago develop a genuine concern for the surrounding community?

We make it a priority and a centerpiece of the employee experience. To be honest, we only had to kick-start it, and the employees in Chicago took over offering ideas, organizing the people, and donating their time and talents to the many initiatives we have going there.

Since 2014, the agency has had more than 50 installations that focus on do-good initiatives. How does your team choose which causes to support?

The Havas way is the meaningful way. Having a company that focuses on contributing back to society in a meaningful way is a core tenet of our global organization. The installations in the lobby and the various events we’ve hosted, either at the main agency or The Annex, often come from employee ideas. Whether focused on a hot topic of the moment, like offering free attorney immigration advice, or an initiation like #BlackatWork, we believe it’s our responsibility to use our marketing abilities to bring awareness to important issues.

Which causes do you feel the most passionate about?

There’s an endless amount of causes to support and it can get away from you if there isn’t some sense of focus. While we always focus on the core mission of giving back, our passion revolves around helping kids under fire or in distressed situations. Both Jason Peterson [Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Havas North America] and I have a personal passion to helping kids in our own ways during our free time. Kids don’t choose their situations or environment, and it is very hard for them to break from their conditions. So we work to open up their minds to new ideas and opportunities.

"The more influence we have as a company, the more it is our duty to give back."

How do you infuse your passions—and those of your team—into the agency?

For most of our careers, we’ve given back to help kids under fire. I have been on the board of various United Way charities as well as Junior Achievement, and for the past eight years, I’ve been the Chairman of The Inner-City Education Program, a Chicago Blackhawks charity. We provide educational scholarships and opportunities to inner-city Chicago hockey players. We have some 30 kids under scholarship and have raised more than one million dollars on their behalf. Jason, clearly, has a passion for creativity and photography and works to show kids the power of creativity—which can open up opportunities for them in ways that they might not have been exposed to otherwise.

Why is it important to give back to the community?

It’s important because it’s the right thing to do—be a good human and help our fellow citizens who are in challenging situations. Our global core value of meaningfulness provides a nice focal point, a common goal, for our teams around the world to find topics that they’re genuinely passionate about. Havas Chicago is a platform that allows the team members to use their creativity and resources to raise money, create awareness—or just encourage someone when he is down.

What is it that Havas Chicago hasn’t done, yet, that you would eventually love to do for the community?

Chicago is a city plagued by gun violence. More than 1,000 people each year are killed—many more are wounded. It’s a result of isolated gang and drug violence. We have to find a way to use creativity for good—for change—and get many of these guns off the street. We have resources to help people tackle some of these challenging situations—the resources to help people make changes in their own communities.

Right now, we are working to create a gun swap program called SWAP. The idea came from our sound engineer, Todd Bee, in Chicago. The idea is that for every gun turned in to Chicago Police on the program’s behalf, the person gets an hour of time in our recording studio. Maybe, just maybe, their music will be recognized by a Universal Music Group label and they will get a deal. The possibilities are endless.

What advice do you have for other Villages who want to make an impact in their cities?

Find the give-back mission of that office. What is leadership passionate about? What are the people passionate about? What is the local community dealing with that needs help solving? Make that mission the core of the agency and engage the people to bring it to life. The more influence we have as a company, the more it is our duty to give back.

Natasha Smith is the strategic communications manager for Havas Group. She happily represents 404 in the 212.

contact our office

Call:

Stop by:

Connect: