By Courtney Lang
Our last, and by far our largest, agency tour was Haworth. They are a global company that designs and manufactures furniture. As of today, they have 23 manufacturing plants in 8 different countries.
Here’s how our tour of Haworth panned out:
As soon as we walked in, we were all greeted by the front desk. They had us sign in and get our pictures taken as well. The environment was a little overwhelming at first since we had just come from two much smaller agencies; however, the soft colors and chairs spread throughout the building made it more relaxing as time went on.
Julie Smith led our tour through their 300 square feet glass building, which held: a museum of their past work, their very own Starbucks, movable walls, and their furniture at every corner. Their furniture even extended to the outdoors. Overall, the building was breathtaking and felt like an advanced version of the Mary Pew Library on Grand Valley’s campus.
Throughout the tour, we’d stop in different areas to sit and talk about the company, as well as receive advice from Julie.
Julie emphasized that she and her co-workers were big on listening. When they have a client, they will gather everyone working on that project in one area. By doing this, their client won’t have to tell their story more than once. It shows them that Haworth cares about their time and doesn’t plan on wasting it.
Throughout the day, Julie said that she loves how she never knows what she will be doing as soon as she walks through the door. In fact, she doesn’t even have an assigned desk area, but she likes it that way. She doesn’t like to stay in the same place because different environments inspire different ideas. At any moment, her current work could be interrupted by a media call and change her plans completely.
At Haworth, it isn’t about where and when you get something done, it is about what you get done. That’s why people will come in and out of the building at all hours of the day. There is no such thing as a 9-5 there. People will work from home, especially on Fridays during nice weather, or they will come in and sit on their chair or couch of choice.
By the way Julie was talking about it, I could tell their Bluescape television/computer/futuristic tool was one of her favorite parts of the building. Bluescape was a way for her company to utilize their own private server for both themselves and their clients.
This is where they keep a long timeline of notes that they want to implement into their campaigns or ideas they might have for the future. The program allows them to handwrite their notes so everyone knows who wrote what based on the way it was written.
Bluescape is utilized extensively by Haworth because it is rare for a conference room to be dedicated to a single project for an extended period of time. It is a way for them to keep track of their information in a place they know they will never lose it.
Being real to reporters
Julie stressed the importance of being real and authentic with reporters. She went to a reporter wanting to get the news about Haworth’s new chair out by doing a comparison report. The reporter told her to give her a list of the chairs she wanted in it, so she decided to give her an entire list of the chairs being put out that year.
Julie approached this opportunity with authenticity, wanting the truth to be told. The reporter gave Haworth the story because of how real she was being with her. Haworth’s chair ended up being tied for first place, so it paid off.
As you can tell, both the ability to listen to their clients and be authentic to every reporter they speak to is what Haworth values. These values are what drives clients to want to work with them, and continues to build a positive reputation for their company as a whole.
Grand Valley’s Advertising Club and PRSSA members would like to extend a huge thank you for allowing us to tour your agency.
For anyone who couldn’t make it to our tours last Friday, Casey VanDerGraaf, Advertising Club’s Graphic Design chair, put together a short video for you.
We hope to see even more members at our next event, which is a Creative Workshop run by Ray Cashbaugh on October 12th from 4 to 6 PM. Visit “Advertising Club” on Orgsync. More details will be provided for you on any one of our social media pages.