Engaging An Outside Agency to Meet Internal Goals

Christina Rehkop, director of community relations for Devon Energy, shares why outsourcing work — especially when it comes to a milestone event — is one of the best decisions company leadership can make.

It’s not every day an organization celebrates its 50th anniversary — and when Devon Energy hit this milestone in May 2021, the company turned to Candor. While Devon focused on organizing internal events and bringing executives together, Candor managed event scripting, advertising and video production. By joining forces, the two teams accomplished much more together than was possible separately.

 

The following is an excerpt from a recent conversation with Christina Rehkop, Devon’s director of community relations.

Why did you turn to an agency like Candor to help plan and implement Devon’s 50th anniversary celebration?

 

Christina: We have great internal skills and resources, but we also have limited people and time. Working with Candor allows us to focus on our strengths while they handle other nuances of planning such a big event. The firm is essentially an extension of the Devon team.

 

How can working with outside resources be helpful in viewing one’s organization or brand in a different light?

 

Christina: Two heads are better than one. An agency has many people who can bring ideas on improvements to make and overcoming obstacles. I also know where my team’s strengths lie and where an outside partner is best suited to provide help and support. Utilizing a firm allows us to have better work/life balance, be more creative and do more while in the office.

 

What are the benefits of using an agency to brainstorm different approaches and ideas?

 

Christina: We’re good at coming to the table with a big idea, but Candor helps us boil it down and outlines each task we need to accomplish to achieve success. An agency can present a comprehensive package and plan, which prevents me from spending hours figuring things out. The minute I ask for something, I know I can check it off my list and trust it will get done well.

 

What’s the biggest misconception company leaders have about outsourcing projects to external partners?

 

Christina: They might worry it means their internal team can’t do something — but really, it means we understand our strengths and weaknesses. In planning any event, there are always several details, and an agency really helps manage the nuances of those details.

 

Also, in my company, we’re pulled into meetings all the time. So, while Candor is working on one project, I still have 10 other things on my “to do” list. Outsourcing helps me take on a larger case load and accomplish more projects.

 

If an organization has never worked with a firm, what questions should they ask to help guide their decision making?

 

Christina: Talk to other people who have worked with the agency. Ask about their event’s success, as well as about the relationship and communication process. The only way to truly know an agency will meet my standards is to ask these questions upfront and meet with other people who have worked with them.

 

To be successful in any relationship, clear expectations are vital. I explain my vision, what I want and expect, and then the firm knows exactly the endgame. If we have to change the target, then we have really good conversations about it and figure it out along the way.

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