Whether you’re a marketing and public relations firm like us or an enterprise technology company like the clients we serve, a logo, a photo and an About Us page can only tell a small part of your story. Buyers of all kinds of products and services want to know what it will be like to work with your organization; and a great way to convey that information is through a culture statement.
We know what you’re likely thinking. Why write a culture statement? Can’t we just let it be? After all, culture can’t be forced, it’s found.
The challenge of writing a culture statement helps focus your thoughts. The process reveals a communal identity. It fosters sincerity about why you work so hard every day, and why you believe in your customers and one another.
A culture statement should be simple. It should be devoid of corporate jargon. The Seven Habits are perfectly fine, but there’s no need to rehash Covey. A culture statement can be aspirational, but it also needs to be realistic. This is not a vision statement for where you want to be in five years.
Like good branding, the best culture statements have a clear message. A prospective customer or employee should be able to look at your statement and tell if your company would be a good fit.
Additional suggestions for creating a culture statement
Make it a group effort. We divided our office into three teams to brainstorm. Then we voted on the ideas we liked the best and had another team polish the final draft.
Think about the customer. It’s not just about how you relate to one another. Your culture also involves how you interact with customers. You value them, and that value should show in your statement.
Make it visible. A culture statement should not be written and then forgotten. It should serve as a daily reminder of your company values. Put it on your wall, on your website, and share it through your social media channels.
Look everywhere for inspiration. What are other companies doing? Being inspired by other people’s ideas is one way you find your own voice. We were especially inspired by a Pennsylvania marketing and communications firm called The Anderson Group.
Break up the culture statement into categories. We used Anderson’s categories: What We Believe, How We Work, and How We Act. It helped us organize the brainstorming process. You can create whatever categories would be most appropriate. Unlike Anderson, we stuck to five items per category. You may need more, just remember that with every additional statement each one loses a little impact.
Our Culture Statement
What We Believe:
- It’s all about ideas.
- Our clients deserve our best work.
- Their success determines our success.
- Achieving results must always be our focus.
- We keep learning to keep growing.
How We Work:
- We tell complex stories in compelling ways.
- For us, doing something new is an opportunity to learn something new.
- Everyone’s expertise and input are welcome.
- We communicate with empathy, honesty, and frequency.
- From our experiences we draw lessons and inspiration.
How We Act:
- When clients need us, we’re there.
- We always show respect for others.
- When things change, we change with them.
- A card isn’t enough. We sing Happy Birthday.
- We celebrate our successes to remind ourselves how far we’ve come.