Setting up a new company is a treat in many ways. It’s like standing in front of a pick-and-mix counter. You can choose a little bit of this, a sprinkle of that and a whole lot of the other (Gummy Bears, if you are asking) to make your business just the way you like it. It can also feel like you are making endless decisions, some fun (designs, logos, office space) and some not so fun (banks, accountants, lawyers).
One of the very first decisions we made was about Paternoster’s culture. This could so easily have been one decision we just let happen, or that we would get to at some point down the line. However we decided this was potentially something that was going to set us apart. So we are starting with our culture and are building from there.
Looking to keep it simple, we asked ourselves to describe, in a single word, what kind of agency clients would want to work with today? Well, it turns out, that is not such a simple question to answer. Professional? Serious? Digital? Reliable? Experienced? Value-add (that’s two)? Traditional? Flexible? Supportive? Friendly? Present? Fast? The list goes on…
We took a close look at the client and agency relationships we have each had over the past 20 years or so, we spoke with our networks, friends and family, and then we tested a few options to see which fitted with what Paternoster was trying to do. Thankfully it rather quickly became clear what kind of agency we were going to be. We found a word that describes us. One that describes our culture, our purpose, as well as our approach to clients. One that describes not only our business but also how we do business. Helpful. Yes, that’s it. That's our word. Helpful. If we can be helpful to our clients, to our colleagues, and to our network of industry contacts, that is the difference we want to make.
Sounds simple enough, but helpful will enable us to grow our business, make us feel good about our work, and drive us to be better communications professionals.
Let’s see where being helpful takes us.