Yakkety Yak Looks Back on 2020

Here’s to celebrating our biggest accomplishments, client projects and takeaways from the past year

2020 has been a rollercoaster of a year. Yet throughout the ups and downs, the uncertainty and strangeness, the Yak Pak worked together to adapt to new challenges in innovative ways.  Now, only weeks away from ringing in the new year, we’re taking a moment to reflect on all that we’ve learned and achieved in 2020. From refining our core values to growing our team to speaking on the value of being a purpose-driven business, here’s a recap of a year in the life at Yakkety Yak in 2020—and a sneak peek into what we have planned for 2021. 

Ashley in the News

It’s no secret that our CEO Ashley Logan is an awe-inspiring business leader. This year, not only did she have a new baby—welcome, Sammy!—but she also offered her expert marketing and business insight on a number of platforms. In March, she served as a mentor at Bizwomen Mentoring Monday, a networking event for women in business sponsored by the Girl Scouts of the USA and hosted by the Chicago Business Journal. The women of Yakkety Yak remember this fondly as one of the last in-person events we attended this year—and a moment in time where we celebrated and gained insights from businesswomen around Chicago.

In July, Ashley also loaned her voice to Fox 32 News Chicago to highlight the benefit of having a great headshot and to promote the 10,000 Headshots campaign. This campaign supported those unemployed and underemployed during the pandemic by coordinating 10,000 free headshot photoshoots across the country. Then, in September, the women of the Yak Pak participated in the 37th Annual Celebration of Achievement by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). At this virtual event, Ashley spoke on the value of being purpose-driven in business, an essential aspect of how Yakkety Yak operates.

Core Values Refresh

Speaking of our values, Yakkety Yak took a step back and refreshed our company’s core values. We got the conversation started at the beginning of the year and continued to reflect until we landed on five traits that described our team best: curious, accountable, authentic, committed and kind. By taking the time to articulate what drives our work and sets the Yak Pak apart, we’re ready to center these values in all that we endeavor in 2021.

Successful Projects 

Work-wise, this year was a whirlwind! We launched several huge initiatives, including the American Headache Society’s First Contact, which aims to educate and inform about diagnosing and treating headache and migraine in primary care. This project brought a wealth of incredible free resources to primary care doctors with the goal of improving patient care. 

We also planned and hosted a number of incredible virtual events, including the American Brain Foundation’s Commitment to Cures and Cara Chicago’s Summer Social. Being in quarantine gave our team the opportunity to branch out into developing and producing live virtual events, a skillset we hope to continue exercising and refining throughout 2021. 

Additionally, we came up with a whole new process for putting together blogs that makes the most of SEO and keyword targeting. This was a great start to a larger website overhaul project that we plan to launch in 2021. Be on the lookout for more about our blog writing process in the upcoming year. 

Team Growth 

One of the major highlights of 2020 has been expanding the Yak Pak. In January, we welcomed Content Editor Heather Hobbs. Nicknamed the “Queen of Grammar,” her eagle eyes have been an essential part of keeping our content in tip-top shape. Then, days before Chicago went on official lockdown in mid-March, Sean Brady joined us as a digital analyst. He was the first team member to be onboarded almost entirely remotely and adapted quickly to give us analytics insights to improve website performance.

In May, Gaby FeBland became our new content strategist. With a keen creative eye, this graphics wizard added more magic to our content and strategy. At the end of August, Andi Summers moved from account manager to content director and Bryana Holcomb took on the account manager mantle. Bryana brought her keen sense of strategy and optimistic attitude to increase creativity and strengthen processes across the team. 

In early September, Abby Callard joined us to bring another content editor to the team. As a former journalist with a passion for the written word and a distinct interest in analytics, she’s brought a fine-tuned edge to all of our creative content. Finally, we welcomed Web Developer Alex Tarasiewicz in November. He’s a certified code master, allowing us to bring more of our web development work in-house. 

We’d also like to give a special shout out to intern Tessa Kauppila, a Medill School of Journalism student who was a member of the Yak Pak from September through November. Thank you for all of the hard work, Tessa! Interested in a Yakkety Yak internship? Check out our career page to see how you can contribute to our team.

Looking Forward to 2021

Let’s take a peek into the future. Of course, we don’t know for sure what it holds: We don’t know when this global pandemic will finally come to an end or what new projects may come our way. Nonetheless, we’re optimistic. What we do know is that you can look forward to a whole new, revamped YY Gives Back program that promises to bring more resources and awareness to small businesses across Chicago. We’re also refreshing our social strategy, onboarding new clients and turning the page to the new year with open minds. Get excited with us! Subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn for more Yakkety Yak. 

Thank you for being a part of our journey throughout 2020. Let us be a part of yours in 2021. Get in touch to see how we can make this coming year of marketing your most strategic and successful yet. 

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