Our 2021 State of the Union (SOTU) was one for the record books. Literally, as it was our first fully virtual SOTU. What a year 2020 was — a global pandemic, lock-downs, tumultuous presidential election, a nation divided, Zoom schooling for us folks with kids, Zoom working and just looming fear, uncertainty and doubt around the world. Wow.
There were a lot of hiccups that we all faced in 2020, but we all faced them together. And, despite the challenges, we came out the other side stronger and ready for success in 2021. We figured out what we needed to figure out, and as a result, we kicked off 2021 in a really good position as an agency. We did some cleaning up, took a company through an IPO during COVID, experienced growth with new clients and employees and are excited to see what this year will bring.
One of BOCA’s core values is Family. We fundamentally just enjoy each other’s company. We love, we fight and we work together for the greater good of the agency and our clients. It’s been hard not being able to be together. I am sad that we were unable to meet in person. That said, as a glass-half-full kind of gal, we created camaraderie and a community feeling. We crushed our SOTU.
As always, we tapped the amazing Jennifer Kammeyer, who guided our meeting. We reviewed our four cornerstones — Staff Nurturing, Outstanding Client Service, Quality Product, Rapid and Measured Growth — and made some big commitments for 2021.
Here are a few takeaways…
Staff Nurturing. Our culture committee crushed it in 2020 and continues to crush it in 2021. We came together as a team and just illustrated empathy and love. Beyond the virtual happy hours, we did beer shares, wrote postcards to each other, played games and acknowledged our interesting time through guided meditations and reflections. We listened to BOCAteers, as we affectionately call BOCA’s staff members, to provide support and guidance.
Outstanding Client Service. We went all-in on our clients. We performed a “client listening tour,” where I personally spoke with each and every client to ensure we were delivering anything they needed. My mentor and friend Jennifer Kammeyer joined these meetings as an unbiased and objective participant. We wanted to create a space where clients could provide constructive feedback or praise.
Quality Product. In 2020, we kicked off the BOCA Beat. Every Friday at 10 a.m. the company comes together for an hour during which we act like we are reporters in the newsroom. We brainstorm macro-trends taking place in the world, determine which trends fit with our clients and “trendjack” them to insert our clients’ voice. The BOCA Beat has been a fabulous activity that helps cross-pollinate our teams and our clients. We also developed “My Media Tracker.” Each BOCAteer tracks his or her performance in the “Tracker,” and we review them quarterly. We are truly looking at the data and the facts on a regular basis. Strategic plans and QBRs are table stakes for all our clients as well as agreed-upon corporate narratives and the like.
Rapid and Measured Growth. 2020 was a bit crazy. Clients got scared. I could lie and wax poetic, but that isn’t my personality. Last year wasn’t about rapid and measured growth, it was about getting through the fear of COVID, supporting BOCA’s current clients and ensuring BOCA’s employees felt heard and supported. We went all-in on client service to ensure retention. We were opportunistic with the new business and that wasn’t our focus. Thank you to all of BOCA’s clients for partnering with us during one of the craziest years that will go down in history books. That written, once Silicon Valley realized COVID is here to stay and we were living in this crazy New Normal, new business came back and we closed 2020 strong with a great Q4.
Our Cornerstones, as always, are what fundamentally drives us at BOCA. They’re what keeps us together, what keeps us striving, what keeps us improving, and we live them every day. We asked ourselves as a company to give feedback on what we think we did well in 2020, and what we want to improve on in 2021, and the results were fantastic. We can’t wait to see what this year brings, but if our 2021 State of the Agency is any indication, we’re on the right track for great things in the year to come.
Let’s not forget our theme and fun activities as well. Our theme this year was “We Got This.” After a year of COVID we realized we really do “Got This.” We gave all BOCAteers a YETI tumbler for the summer as well as a Harry & David gift basket with wine. When we finished the formal reflections and commitments we enjoyed some good food and wine then ended the meeting with a virtual escape room team building activity hosted by Virtual Escape Global which was very fun. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. Onward and upward – We Got This 2021.