To round off a successful day of candid discussions and networking at the Good Agencies Summit, the winners of the first ever Good Agencies Award were announced.
There was some tough competition, with all entries showcasing all of the good that agencies are doing in the world – but the Agency Hackers team and a set of specially selected judges from all across the industry were able to pick out the winners after a lot of thought and deliberation.
So without further ado, below are the highly anticipated winners of the inaugural Good Agencies Awards.
Agency Purpose Award : Platypus Digital
Platypus Digital are the winners of the Agency Purpose Award!
The judges were impressed with Platypus Digital’s dedication to putting purpose on the same pedestal as profit, ensuring that the team are giving back to the world through their work.
But let’s dive into what makes Platypus Digital more than just your average digital agency.
From a One-Man Mission to a Purpose-Driven Team
The backstory of Platypus Digital is pretty cool. Founder Matt Collins spent years in the charity world and realised that something wasn’t quite right. Charities were often second in the pecking order to big corporate clients in the agency world. So Matt thought, “Why not flip the script?” And just like that, Platypus Digital was born, with a vision to make charities the star of the digital marketing show.
Flash forward from its humble start in 2014 with just a couple of part-timers and freelancers – now Platypus is this a proud team of 16, with a B Corp badge, awards for employee culture, and a culture that’s all about making a positive dent in the world.
Purpose in Action: More Than Just Talk
So, how does Platypus Digital walk the talk?
A big part of Platypus Digital’s ethos is the ‘10% Time’ initiative. Everyone on the team gets to spend up to 10% of their work hours on pro bono work for charities.
Will Cardy, their client services director shared a little about how this initiative helps add purpose to the agency saying:
- “I’ve volunteered with The Bike Project for over 8 years. This amazing charity, based in South London, has been a source of hope for refugees and asylum-seekers, providing them with bikes and a means to combat the high travel costs in the UK. Their mission deeply resonated with me after witnessing firsthand the transformative power of their work when I worked from the same coworking space. I got to see the joy and sense of community The Bike Project brought to all the people they supported.
- “I saw a chance to help so I approached them in 2015 to volunteer my e-commerce and digital fundraising expertise. The goal was to harness the power of search, analytics, and reporting to bolster their circular business model.
- “The results were fantastic – we witnessed a threefold surge in website traffic within a year, with Google Ads becoming the primary driver of this influx. This success led to increased bike sales and enhanced cash gifts. In 2018, my involvement with the charity deepened as I was honoured to join their board of trustees, shaping the strategic integration of marketing within the organisation.”
Striking a Balance: Good Vibes and Good Business
Putting purpose first has meant that Platypus Digital is less profitable than other agencies – but they are fine with this, as they are able to spend more money on doing good: higher salaries, wellbeing allowances, the 10% time scheme, more annual, quarterly profit share schemes, tight time management, over a month of fully paid sabbatical for team members with five years of service, five months fully paid parental leave for all parents and much more.
They also haven’t increased prices in six years as they know charities are struggling enough. But Platypus says:
- “All of this means higher costs and lower income, which means a lot less profit. That’s the trade off we make for our purpose – being a force for positive change.”
Looking Ahead: Staying True to Their Mission
As for the future? Platypus Digital is all in on keeping up these awesome perks and maybe adding a few more. They’re not chasing record profits; they’re chasing impact. And that’s something pretty special in the business world.
So, hats off to Platypus Digital! They’re not just winning awards; they’re showing us how a business can seriously do good in the world and still make it work financially.
Agency Sustainability Award – We Are Hattrick
We Are Hattrick are the winners of the Agency Sustainability Award!
This small but mighty B2B marketing agency impressed the judges with their eco-journey – so let’s take a look at what exactly they have been doing in the name of sustainability.
The Spark of Sustainable Thinking
The light bulb moment for We Are Hattrick’s green transformation came from its Swedish MD, Malin. While tuning into a podcast on the B-Corp movement, Malin had her ‘aha!’ moment. She envisioned a new path for the agency, rooted in ‘lagom’ – a Swedish philosophy of balance. Fast forward 18 months, and voilà – We Are Hattrick became the first female-owned agency in Manchester with a B-Corp badge.
Talking about the process, We Are Hattrick said:
- “The process was gruelling and involved some difficult soul-searching but soon transformative. The B-Corp framework provided a strategic roadmap for establishing a new positioning that differentiates Hattrick’s offer and enables the team to make a genuine difference. What’s more, it’s a blueprint for continual improvement.
- “As a built environment specialist the bulk of Hattrick’s clients operate in construction – one of the world’s heaviest carbon contributing industries. Having invested in our own environmental learning it became obvious that there is a general lack of action and awareness among the sector’s organisations. There was also a lot of ‘box ticking’ and, increasingly frustrated with the amount of greenwash, Hattrick took the ‘bull’ by the horns and launched the first Carbon Literacy course for sales and marketers in the built environment.”
Walking the Green Walk
Hattrick isn’t just talking a good green game; they’re living it:
- Carbon Footprint Calculating: While office-bound businesses like Hattrick have a smaller carbon footprint, they’ve cranked it up a notch. From individual Net Zero pledges to hunting for eco-friendlier offices, they’re ticking all the right boxes
- Educating Peers: Their ‘Net Zero Masterclass’ isn’t just a course; it’s an awakening for the construction sector. With over 126 trained individuals from 71 organizations, Hattrick is turning communicators into climate champions
- Empowering the Team: Everyone at Hattrick, interns included, is Carbon Literate and brewing up personal eco-action plans
- 1% for the Planet: They’re putting their money where their heart is, donating 1% of annual revenue to environmental causes and joining forces with organizations like the Carbon Literacy Trust
Balancing Act: Profit vs. Planet
It’s not all been smooth sailing, though. We Are Hattrick faced real challenges, like turning down business that didn’t align with their green ethos or having tough talks with clients about greenwashing.
Their solution? Upgrading their CPD programme and creating a new scoring system for assessing potential clients.
Looking Ahead With Green Tinted Glasses
As they continue their sustainable journey, We Are Hattrick is keeping an eye out for an eco-friendly office space to match their values. It’s a journey of evolution, balancing their activist zeal with a pragmatic business approach.
So there you have it – We Are Hattrick is not just winning awards; they’re reshaping what it means to be a sustainable agency in today’s world. From the heart of Manchester, they’re spreading a message that’s as green as it gets, proving that small agencies can indeed make a colossal impact.
Inclusive Agency Award – Total Media
Total Media has been awarded this years Inclusive Agency Award!
The team at Total Media proved to the judges that they are truly embodying diversity and inclusion in the agency world.
Where It All Began
One of the people on the Total Media team said:
- “You’ll spend most of your week at work – why not try and create the kind of company you want to work for?”
And they really took this thought and ran with it. In 2020, the agency embarked on an important journey – establishing its own DEI team that is dedicated to delivering ‘an equitable and inclusive workplace for employees.’
By adding this to the agency, they are now able to ensure the team is constantly striving for an open culture ensuring that DEI is at the heart of everything they do and promoting an open and inclusive culture for colleagues and clients.
Some major initiatives they have already achieved include:
- Delivering monthly cross cultural awareness training to the teams to allow them to openly discuss their own backgrounds and explore any hidden prejudices free of any judgment.
- Implementing a ‘recruiting the right way’ charter to ensure blind CVs and diverse talent pool is adhered to as well as requesting an equal gender split of CVs for all roles.
- Celebrating non-Christian events and inclusion of Faith Days.
- Participating in Outreach programmes to ensure our business is accessible to young people from all backgrounds
- Increasing budget within learning and development for all aspects of DEI alongside monthly guest speakers including mandatory e-learning training on unconscious bias to all employees.
Total Media said:
- “These actions and more resulted in surpassing our goal of 25% representation of non-white employees by increasing the number across the group from 21% to 27%. But this is just the start, our DEI team regularly conducts analysis of diversity across our agency group, including pay equity by gender and by ethnicity, and continues to send out anonymous surveys and focus groups to evolve our SMART diversity improvement objectives.”
Revamping the Way They Hire
Total Media didn’t just stop at setting up a team.
They completely overhauled their hiring process – hello blind CVs and bias-awareness training for all their hiring experts.
And they didn’t even stop there! They also joined forces with the Young Westminster Foundation to open the doors of the media world for youngsters who didn’t have industry connections.
Their partnership with the “Mastering My Future”, which makes work experience more accessible by offering three paid work experience placements to members of the programme has also been a huge step for the agency. Beyond this, they are have also taken part in IPA’s Advertising Unlocked, which exposes secondary school-age children to the media industry through an open day, and partnered with WYK, a digital marketing programme that helps empower young people from all backgrounds, to take their first step into a digital marketing career.
Total Media have actually gone on to hire five people through WYK’s programme to help diversify the ways people can enter the media industry.
Tackling Challenges Head-On
Sure, the road wasn’t always smooth. They faced their fair share of bumps, like the great resignation wave. But did they back down? Of course not.
They rolled out stay interviews, boosting their team’s morale and making everyone feel like they truly belong. And now they’re working to up their game in supporting new parents and making sure there’s a fair representation of black talent in their ranks.
- “With flexibility and inclusivity being key, this year saw us focus on enhancing our industry-leading family policies, which includes enhanced maternity and paternal leave, shared parental leave and adoption leave, bereavement leave and miscarriage leave.
- “Maternity coaching sessions are offered to all new parents when returning to work, with a recent MAT returner saying these sessions “really eased my anxieties” and “allowed me to feel supported coming back to work”. Our dedication in this space has been recognised by being selected as 1/50 companies to take part in the “Pregnant Then Screwed” pilot scheme, which aims to build upon our understanding of how to support key aspects of pregnancy and fertility.
- “We hope that these initiatives will continue to grow the number of women in senior positions and make our people feel supported throughout their careers.”
A Never-Ending Quest
Winning this award isn’t the end for Total Media. It’s just another milestone in their ongoing journey to make their workplace a diverse and inclusive haven. Hats off to them – they’re showing everyone else how it’s done!
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