The Fast Future of the Comms Agency
What we see for the next 25 years at Eastwick
One of the reasons I love being in tech is that our industry changes every week. We’re surrounded by rebellious thinking and people who want to do things differently. New companies and categories, funding, down rounds, up rounds and talent shifts — all at breakneck speeds that move our landscape every seven days. If you’re not in love with it all, it will make you crazy.
As we started planning to celebrate Eastwick’s 25th anniversary this year, we talked a lot about the message we want to convey. We looked back to understand what has made us successful, where we are now, and how to take all of it into our next phase. The word that spoke to us most was rebellion, and that we have always and will continue to buck tradition and fight against control about how things should be done. Eastwick was started because its founders saw a need to do things differently. Twenty-five years ago, big agencies abounded in tech, and Eastwick offered an alternative — a smart, scrappy agency with a team who wanted to have real conversations with clients and cared a lot about people they worked with.
Today we are still a team that does things differently. We are restless, fueled by what’s next, and we’re high performers really comfortable with creating something new every day. We rebel against the typical agency model and push ourselves and clients to work differently. And we not only want to be a great agency, we want to be a great company and actively seek out what will take our company forward. As we kick off our anniversary celebration, here is more about how we’re doing things differently:
The tech industry is built on innovation and we not only think about innovation in our client work but also in our own business. We were one of the first agencies to start blogging, set up a content bureau and we saw early on that integrated communications is what clients needed and we started adding designers. We will be ahead and invest and add in new areas that other agencies won’t go yet.
We are undergoing a multi-year transition to be a results-only work environment (ROWE) — a concept described in the book Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It. The core principles of ROWE consist of your team being where they need to be when they need to be there and that the company is focused on the results of the work, not how or where the work gets done. We are all in on creating an environment that rewards results and attracts a team who is highly accountable and wants to own how they work. Some call this the future of work — we see it as a rebellion of how work is supposed to be.
It’s a State of Mind and an Operating System
We are in a state of continuous learning and if you’re not in this industry, you’re done. Trends and taste change quickly and we continue to be different and quirky. It takes diligence to keep challenging the traditional way to work and last year moved to a new operating system based on the model of Entrepreneur Operating System (EOS). EOS is a set of concepts and tools that support us with our vision, getting traction in our business and having a healthy leadership team, which extends through our entire company. It’s set up to ensure that our value system is part of our operating model and that we hire and reward for it.
Over the past few years, industries of all kinds have started using technology to bring massive change (for the better) to their businesses. Now everyone is a tech company, which allows us to have influence beyond our typical work and that will speed up as we move into our next 25 years. We are acting as a magnet to other industries that want to hook into the innovation and take a little for themselves.
This also means that we have brought in more technology to run our own business and have seen the benefits with investments in upgrades across our business. Over the past six months our people services team has implemented Namely, Lever and recently Bonusly, which allows our team to reward each other from a bonus pool that refreshes each month. From industry surveys we know we invest about twice as much in tools and technology as other agencies and we continue to meet with new tech companies and are always assessing how we can bring tech in to keep innovating our business.
We will share more through the year about how we’re continuously creating our own rules and showing one size doesn’t need to fit all. We hope you’ll read along with our agency rebellion and maybe even challenge yourself to think differently.