4 Ways to Leverage Training & Certifications: Lessons from the Award-Winning PCI Team

PCI is an integrated marketing communications firm known for going the extra mile for its clients. The agency extended this commitment to excellence into its Market Motive training program. As a result, it had a 100 percent completion and certification rate for its pilot group, placing the PCI team in the Top 10 Digital Marketing Teams for 2013

“We are always working to better ourselves, and really push that envelope for the benefit of our clients,” Beth Schlesinger, vice president at PCI, said. “We know that if we prioritize learning and experience new strategies and tactics, we’ll be better positioned to continue to innovate and provide creative ideas that help our clients meet their communication goals.”

The team’s highly successful program had four key components. If you take what they’ve done – and combine it with the culture of excellence, improvement, and achievement that’s already inherent to PCI – you’re one step closer to duplicating their results.

1. Get everyone (all skill levels and positions) on the same page.


At PCI, client teams are robust and include senior, and junior, level staff working together with the client to develop and execute successful programs. Having everyone, from PCI’s senior vice presidents to assistant account executives, on the same page, using the same language and being aware of the same digital marketing tools, streamlines the process and allows for better communication within the team and, thus, better results for the clients.

“It’s important that everyone working on the team understands the client’s social media strategy. The Market Motive training helped to ensure everyone understood the variety of digital capabilities, the tools that are available, and how those can be implemented to fit within our clients’ goals and strategies,” Schlesinger said.

2. Build camaraderie and train together.

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On the PCI team, everyone completed certification in Fundamentals and at least one other discipline. Because the training is self-paced, it can be difficult to train as a team when everyone is at a different spot in the program. But for PCI, members gathered regularly in the kitchen or conference room for study hours before or after work. Someone brought snacks, and the team gathered with laptops and headphones to study. These study groups were optional, and not everyone was able to make it; but those who joined enjoyed holding each other responsible to the training and experienced a sense of camaraderie.

3. Celebrate victories – big and small.



The PCI team celebrated milestones, whether it was finishing a discipline in Fundamentals, having success applying the materials to a client’s account or finishing the program as a whole. At the end of the training program, they even had a graduation ceremony – complete with “Pomp and Circumstance,” champagne, and pie representing the pie chart in the Fundamentals course. Because the PCI team made it fun, the participants enjoyed being a part of the winning, learning community.

4. Leverage your certification and distinguish your team as a leader.

Beth Schlesinger

PCI Home Page









Not only did PCI update its website to include its recognition as a Top 10 Digital Marketing Team, the whole team became OMCP Certified, updated their individual LinkedIn pages and added language into their agency bios, which are included in new business presentations.

“Being able to say that we’re officially certified demonstrates our commitment to excellence in digital marketing and social media. Our certification shows that we’re knowledgeable about these strategies and tactics and how we implement them for our clients,” Schlesinger said.

By announcing its accomplishments and certifications, PCI lends credibility and distinction to the agency among the sea of others in the PR industry.



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  1. deedok says

    By announcing its accomplishments and certifications, PCI lends credibility and distinction to the agency among the sea of others in the PR industry.

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