At Chicago-based O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul, “Have Soul” is one of the agency’s four founding principles—and it defines its brand voice as “whiskey and bananas” with cool swagger mixed with funny. Its agency culture fits those vibes well. The agency works to create an environment where its employees feel part of something authentic and always heard. At in-office bars, employees sit down with agency leaders for Bar Talks. During the pandemic, the agency mandated employees take an extra “renewal day” off every month and sent mixology kits home for virtual happy hours. Employees also get bourbon with their welcome kits.
With a six-member executive team made up of four people of color and three women, diversity and inclusion initiatives are part of the agency’s core mission. This year, OKRP led 12 independent agencies to launch BLAC, an internship program now sponsored by Procter & Gamble dedicated to integrating BIPOC talent into the industry. OKRP also launched the pro bono effort Black Shop Friday that highlighted Black-owned businesses in Chicago. An employee group called Putney also works to amplify Black voices and culture.