Jason Sperling, Former Senior Digital Strategist
At Viget, we do a few things intentionally, but pretty organically, to document our company culture. They don’t add a lot of overhead to our operation and they strengthen our ability to attract and retain the best clients and talent in the world. But, mostly, we do it for another reason altogether … keep reading to find out!
From quarterly company-wide events, ongoing Meetups, community service days, and after-work get togethers, we have a lot of events going on. We take photos at every event and post them on Flickr. While we are pretty adamant about making sure it gets done, we don’t hire professionals and instead look to find people interested in playing the role of documentarian for the day.
Over the years, we’ve learned how to use photography to better tell event stories and these days I’ll sometimes create a shot list -- however overkill this seems -- to ensure we don’t miss a few crucial bits, especially B-Roll type footage (signage, artefacts of the venue, before and after shots) that you may miss if you only shoot people’s faces.
Video is an effective way to capture the mood and, in the last couple of years, we’ve started making films that capture an event or year in the life of Viget. Like any good sizzle reel, these are short, fast paced, stylized overview of the community and work that we’re proud to be a part of!
To get the tone right, we’ll start by reviewing the footage first, then picking the music based on the overall direction we’re going for, and then edit the video to that music.
The Lab Report, a long-kept weekly tradition, includes not just important office and project updates, but also a whole section dedicated to funny quotations and anecdotes about local happenings. We strive to celebrate the summits and follies of our team whenever possible. Some of these quotations slowly become the thing of Viget lore.
No single person will be able to capture all of the wonderful moments that happen each day. We encourage everyone to help document and share memorable quotations or anecdotes.
Why Document Culture?
We’ve found an enormous value in documenting culture. It is a great mechanism for sharing our vibe with the outside world and for getting to know each other better so we have a stronger bond.
When I was evaluating Viget before getting hired, I loved the opportunity to “get to know everyone” from the massive library on Flickr.
For prospective clients, having hundreds of photo albums gives them an easy way to see what we’re all about and remotely “meet” our team and company. We frequently include these kinds of images in our pitches and presentations and, even if we’ve met in person, we hope clients visit Flickr.
Perhaps most importantly, we need assets for future toasts/roasts when we each celebrate 5 years at Viget, promotions, or other milestones. :)
Mostly, we document our culture because it's fun. It’s fun to look at photos -- especially when they reveal how long we’ve worked together and how many experiences we’ve shared. It’s fun to laugh about the quirky details an old Lab Report has captured. It’s fun to see that the cutting-edge work we were so proud of 3 years ago, highlighted in a reel, is now a part of the new industry norm. Some things in business are the same as in life -- we do them because they're enjoyable.