Mentorship and Leadership In Atlanta

This blog was originally published by Johanna Ahlmark on the online blog of PROI partner Gullers Grupp. Johanna visited Jackson Spalding through PROI Worldwide, which JS has been a member of since 2004.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of spending three days at Jackson Spalding in Atlanta, Georgia. Jackson Spalding, like Gullers Grupp, is part of the Public Relations Organization International (PROI) network. The network gathers excellent, independent communications agencies from around the world to provide global services to our clients, like a global launch of a new product, or a crisis in a foreign country.

The purpose of my trip was to learn more about the Mentor Program that Jackson Spalding has had since they started in 1995. The program aims to keep the culture of meaningful, long-term relationships, creativity and integrity. By having mentors who strive to help their mentees thrive and develop, they bring out the best in every person. On a higher level, the focus is on building a strong team. As one of the founders, Glen Jackson, puts it: “We are an orchestra with many communications instruments at our firm, not a group of soloists.”

The Jackson Spalding mentor program is different from those in more traditional, hierarchical businesses, because each mentor manages the performance review of their mentee. That way, they solicit input from co-workers and supervisors and can serve as an advocate and career coach. The mentors rotate every three years to give mentees exposure to more people and leadership styles. It’s a program that not only preserves Jackson Spalding’s special culture, but also one that nurtures leaders within a company that prides itself on a flat organizational structure.

While at Jackson Spalding, I also noticed that many of the same trends we see in the Nordic Market are also prevalent in the U.S.:

  1. Professionalization – the people in the industry are better educated and the agencies more sought after by the top people than ever before.
  2. Integration – between the various forms of communications such as public relations, marketing and advertising.
  3. Digitalization – which is quickly transforming our society and way of life, as we know it.
  4. Sustainability – a strong focus on long-term sustainability from the clients’ customers and the community.

Jackson Spalding and Gullers Grupp share many common values and practices. One area where Jackson Spalding stands out is their experience of working for the headquarters of very large, global companies such as Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines. I am positive many of our clients at Gullers Grupp would benefit from listening to some of the best experts in the U.S. on branding, marketing and leadership. If so, just let me know. Or check them out at