Culture and Values
We want to make digital marketing accessible to all.
To do this, we offer affordable services to small businesses that focus on long-term marketing strategies they can continue to grow after we’ve gone.
We also provide free resources such as our blog and direct reviews and support via email and social media.
Who we are
Hopefully, you already know the gist of who we are by now, but it’s time to dig deeper into our question.
Because “culture” doesn’t have to be a woke phrase thrown around by millennials in the office ball-pit. It can actually mean something.
And it does.
In a nutshell:
Our Building Blocks
Our company runs on three things:
- Hard Work
We act as one team, show empathy, listen actively, solve problems intuitively. We express ourselves openly, we share transparently, and we don’t cover up our quirks.
This is not a place to type mindlessly away for 8 hours at a screen a simple name attached to a to-do list.
This is a place to come up with ideas, to challenge the status quo, to help businesses grow.
Thanks for joining us.
We see your skills, even if you haven’t developed them yet.
While we may have titles such as “senior” and “junior” attached to some roles, don’t think this makes you unskilled for one second.
We see that you have potential. And whatever stage you’re at you’ll have our full support to be the best you can be.
We’ll get into all the specifics of our training and development later, but from this moment forward we stand 100% behind your career.
You should be passionate about what you do. You should be keeping up to date, and being at the top of your game. That’s how you stay competitive in the market.
We go above client expectations to get things done.
We don’t shy away from tough projects; we work together to conquer them.
We get on with the job. And if we don’t know what to do, we’ll figure it out. Together.
But it would be brutalist to measure hard work purely on output. We care about results and lessons learned.
Results can be easy to quantify, the traffic increase to a site, or the revenue generated from an ad campaign. But lessons learned, that’s much more qualitative.
What can we learn from our mistakes? Embracing our failures and changing is how we grow.
At Waterdown Media from our directors down, we are one team. We roll up our sleeves, work shoulder to (virtual) shoulder.
Motivation is our desire to do better, go further, get results, help more people.
Motivation is not something that can be quantified or bought. It’s something that belongs to all of us here at Waterdown Media.
We hire motivated people. People that are not only good at what they do but love doing it. You’re one of them.
The success of Waterdown Media, and our ability to complete our mission, is determined by every one of us. It’s defined by our ability to take risks, innovate, take the initiative, and keep going.
It is in our ability to push through failure, to try something different, is what matters. Ultimately that completes our mission. And at the end of a productive day, earns a well-deserved rest.
Who you are
Being sent this Handbook is proof you’re part of our family.
And to get into our family, you would have shown us the following qualities.
Initiative: You’re resourceful, dedicated and take personal responsibility for your skills and the results you achieve. You share ideas. You experiment, you try things on your own.
Empathy: You care about the work you do and are motivated by making sure it’s the best it can be. If you have an opportunity to go above and beyond, you take it. You’re passionate about our mission and will do your level best to achieve it.
We’ve deliberately left off the basics like “communication” and “teamwork” they’re “default” for any job and don’t really make up a “culture”.
Formally, we do have a traditional agency structure. We have teams for different specialisms such as graphic design, content marketing and web development.
We may also form teams where we have people from each specialism headed up by an Account Manager.
Having multiple specialisms means that we’re able to offer a full range of services to our clients. By doing so, we can avoid needing to be generalists and have specialists in each area provide the best service we can, helping us achieve our mission.
Having a structure lets us move fast, in small teams, to get projects in and out.
But you’re not just part of the food chain, completing a to-do list of “specialist” tasks every day and sending the result to your manager. You’re too valuable for that.
Internally we have an open, flat culture. We are one team. There are no walls between content and web design. There are no walls between our directors and you.
Everyone is equal, accessible and approachable.
If you think you can learn from someone else, ask them to teach you. If you’ve got an idea, form a team and get to work.
And don’t feel you have to stick to one “specialism” either. If you’re an apprentice or on work experience you’ll get to try out all sorts of different marketing areas. But don’t feel that because you’ve made your bed in SEO for the last five years, you have to sleep with it. You’re welcome to get stuck in with whatever you like. Try something new.
Mostly everything we do is shared transparently internally (and some externally too like this Handbook).
The only time we don’t do this is where it only affects an individual or under an NDA.
Specifically, we ask everyone to:
- Use the open-door policy, but respect individual workloads. Use communal Slack channels first for asking for help, sharing ideas etc.
- Check in with Slack to see if there’s anything you can help with. You don’t have to turn notifications on for everything though.
- Don’t wait for the “right time” to suggest an idea. The right time is when you’ve thought of it.
- If you’ve read an interesting book, watched a YouTube, made a template etc. post a link in #swipe-file
- We move all templates into our “File of Files” so everyone can benefit from them
- Set yourself Away / DnD if you need to geek out over something to get it done
- We meet weekly to discuss how we can grow the company and continue to improve. This is an open-house, all are invited, and all can contribute.
- Everyone can contribute to our internal marketing/business strategy and get involved in social media, and write for the company blog
Our executive team are there to guide the strategy and ensure we’re forwarding our mission. They’re there to help manage projects, resolve issues, and meet deadlines.
They’re not there to manage you. They’re there to work alongside you (including our directors).
As a creative agency, anything that reduces your freedom pains/ us. We want you to express yourself in an environment free of bureaucracy.
Where we have had to introduce policies they are there to ensure we maintain positive relationships with our clients and each other, and that our business runs smoothly.
Most policies are standard, and we’ve tried to exceed statutory limits where possible, such as Holiday Pay and Maternity Leave.
How We Work
We work together. And we work fast.
Most of our work is project-based which is providing one or more specialisms for our clients. We create detailed briefs internally, so everything you’ll need to do is clear.
Sometimes we’re sent a brief by our clients. Other times we get to create one. Don’t be daunted by this. It’s a fun process to change the narrative, strengthen our clients’ branding and help them shine.
We don’t want to hold your hand, but we don’t want you overwhelmed with possibilities and have no starting point either. We have processes and workflows, but nothing is considered permanent.
Just because we’ve always done it a certain way doesn’t mean it can’t be done better. Bring your ideas, and bring change.
Workflows / Processes
We love documentation.
Having workflows means that we’re all on the same page when it comes to the less-creative tasks. We know that marketing admin is a pain, but it won’t do itself.
They also define the creative process and make sure we don’t miss out any steps on the way.
And where we can, we’ll share them externally too (like this Handbook), to help other small-business owners replicate some of what we do on their own.
Our goal is to make marketing accessible to all, so we want to show not only the marketing itself but the whole process that goes into it.
But just because it’s always been done in a certain way doesn’t mean it should be. That’s called stubbornness.
So if you’ve got a new way of working, something else you’d like to try, a software that would automate half the job, we want to know.
You bring a fresh take, and we’re here for it.
Managing your workload
We use Slack and Asana for most of our project management. They’re easy to use, and we’ll get you fully set up on them.
To start with most tasks will be assigned to you via Asana and we’ll manage the review process through there. We usually store things via Google Drive, but you’ll be told how to submit your work.
When you get comfortable, we start opening the floor and give you more control over what you work on. You may be assigned by others (or create yourself) a small team to work on a particular project.
We also have shared boards where you’ll be able to “pick n mix” the tasks you complete. As long as everything completed is within deadline and the best quality, we keep things flexible.
If you ever feel like you’ve got to much work, or not enough, something’s going wrong so talk to us, and we’ll get it just right.
You’ll also be given a personal Google Sheet to track your performance and longer-term goals and development.
Your First Day
No, we’re not just going to throw you in at the deep end.
Your first (virtual) day will be spent setting up and testing your remote software, talking through the first project you’ll be working on, and any software you may need.
And then it’s time for you to play around. See what the software can do, try following a couple of example tasks, make sure you’re happy with the brief you’re given.
Send us your social media handles too so that we can give you a shout out.
Your First Week
And then it’s time to dive in.
We’ll be fairly structured with the brief for the first few projects, so you know exactly what to do. But from day one, you’re one of the team, trusted and respected.
First skills we’ll show you is how to follow our workflows and processes and use our systems. But once you’ve learnt the ropes, you’ll be pushing yourself every day.
Your first week will be spent working on small specific project tasks so we can both see you’re confident in how we work. But don’t worry, you’ll soon be conquering large projects.
At the end of your first week, you’ll have a meeting with our directors to make sure you’re happy and find out your long term goals and what you want for the future. This is to help you get there, but it’s okay if you don’t know yet.
Code of Conduct
It’s down to all of us to make marketing accessible to all and make people proud to call Waterdown Media their home from home.
- We hold integrity in everything we do
- We are empathetic, kind, and listen to each other. We ask questions and understand their views before responding
- We are honest and own our mistakes. If you mess something up, apologise, ask for help to fix it, and move on
- We give thanks and offer praise more than we criticise. When offering criticism, we focus on how it can be done differently in the future. Criticise work, not people
- We respect people’s identities and cultures. We make an effort to pronounce names correctly and use preferred pronouns
- We respect the letter and spirit of our policies, use good judgment and put the team’s interests over our own for anything not covered by them.
Make Yourself at home
Marketing relies on human input. The ideas we come up with, the concepts we build, and the creatives we make are why our clients choose us in the first place.
From day one, you matter to us, and we’re ready to stand behind you at every stage of your career.
We will do everything possible to make your time at Waterdown Media well spent.
We are one team, not a top-down company. We all pitch in. We’re all ready to get dirty.
We’ll be your biggest cheerleader and always support you to achieve your potential.