Transparency. It's a thing.
Every creative agency, freelancer, and grandmama has a blog, so why does Famous Folks need one? Isn’t it enough to make great work?
Not when one individual consumer voice has so much power. When companies try to deny consumers a platform to talk (and complain) about their service or products, it reflects poorly on the company. It has about as much effect as sticking your head in the sand.
On the flip side, transparency is about adding value. Our partners and clients need to know not only what we do BUT also how we do it and who is doing it. Transparency works because it proves to people that there are real live human beings behind the decisions companies make. When it comes to which is more relatable, a person or a company, a person wins that battle every time.
One of the biggest inspirations and motivations behind our newfound attitude towards transparency is the ‘Startup’ podcast. Startup is a podcast about a guy named Alex Blumberg and the process he went through starting a podcast company. Blumberg recorded everything during the process. Everything from botched pitches, partnership negotiations and break-even analysis are shared completely uncensored. These recordings make up the guts of the podcast’s programming. Take a listen to the first episode to fully understand how radical this approach is. The thing about radical is that when it works, it really works. This unfettered transparent approach struck a chord with listeners and the podcast has been top 5 on the iTunes top podcasts list since it debuted.
THE HOLY GRAIL
Our friend (and by friend we mean person we follow on twitter and re-tweet occasionally), Neil Patel has gone as far as claiming that transparency is the new marketing.
With so much information being out there, why not be transparent? It’s just a matter of time before your competition knows what you already know. So why not just put it all out there and gain traffic and revenue from it?
Being open about the strengths and weaknesses of our team isn’t just a veiled attempt. We want to show our attitude, hobbies, interests, and what it would be like to work with us. If you’re brash, honest, and obscenely talented like we are then we want to get to meet you! Birds of a feather something something pizza, right?
World class work, doc
A lot of agencies are reluctant to admit that besides coffee and deadlines there’s no unattainable magic to how award-winning, results driven ideas are conceived. It might not be the cool Don-Draper-on-a-jetski-high-fiving-Lebron-James OR Bill-Murray-dropping-dimes-to-MJ-in-the-Tune-Stadium vision of advertising, but it’s the truth. When we’re tasked with solving a client’s marketing or advertising issues, we don’t open the closet, find our magic hat and pull the solution out of it. We dig deep by creating a comprehensive audit of the target industry, the existing consumer market, and the psychology of the client’s intended consumer. Next, we take those golden nuggets of insight and keep them in mind while relentlessly brainstorming. The best solution is vetted and revised thoroughly by the whole toon-squad. Like we said, there’s no unattainable magic going on here, just hard work and a lot of guts.
As a creative communications company we know better than anyone: buzzwords are a thing.
Even saying “buzzwords are a thing” sounds a bit buzzword-esque. Buzzwords are often strewn about in an attempt to manufacture validity and establish credibility. We’re as guilty as anyone. In researching this post we did a little digging and tried to find numbers that quantify which buzzwords are being overused and at what rate. Believe it or not there is no survey dedicated entirely to the overuse of buzzwords in business. Jay-Z taught us that ‘Numbers don’t lie,’ but this generation’s prophet, Kendrick Lamar argues the opposite singing ‘Don’t let them deceive you, Numbers lie too’ and so we forge on.
We understand how ironic this is. This post is and will continue to be laden with buzzwords. That said, part of being transparent is stating “deficiencies” up front, isn’t it?
Turns out there are piles of articles and posts on the Internet that cover the subject of buzzwords. It’s a hot topic not only in today’s marketing sector but in the business sector as a whole.
Buzzwords are more than ok if you use them in moderation. One of our favourite online resources is a database of buzzwords put together by a ghost named Lynn who seems to be a Florida Gators fan and hasn’t tweeted since September 2013. Her Twitter can be found here. We’ve taken the liberty of including some of our favourites below then took the first letter of each word and created a title for your buzzword addicted co-workers: BORLIC (pronounced bore·lick)
Transparency Sweet Spot
So what is our transparency sweet spot? What are we going to share? TBH, we don’t know yet. We’re currently at phase one of the implementation of this strategy and phase one mostly consists of understanding the power of transparency and how it can positively affect our business. It starts here with this blog post and it evolves.
With all of this overwhelmingly positive evidence at our disposal, the question we asked at the start of this post remains: why aren’t companies trying to be more transparent?
Again, and we can’t stress this enough: companies think being transparent is scary, like, really scary. The thing is, transparency isn’t going anywhere, it’s here to stay. If you want to succeed you’re going to have to get over that fear. You have no other option.
One of the goals of this blog and our social media platforms going forward will be to provide an open and honest look into our world without layering or multiple filters (Imagine: Hudson on top of Amaro on top of Toaster –THE HORROR.) We’ll be sharing more posts on topics such as the process behind our rebrand, how we build out a social strategy, client facing instructions on how to be a better client, and the list goes on.
Prepare for a lot of oversharing.
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