Carlo Odicino & the Marketing Benefits of a Healthy Culture
Here’s a public relations secret: everything your company does should be a part of your overall marketing strategy. If a company’s culture doesn’t match its public messaging, that could lead to a PR disaster. A healthy company culture benefits your employees, but it can also be one of your best marketing tools. We talked to management consultant Carlo Odicino of One TEAM Partners about how to foster the kind of culture that helps both the company and the employees thrive.
Being ready for the spotlight
Snoo is a good example of how good press can turn into a PR nightmare if your company isn’t ready for it. Celebrities and the media were singing the praises of Snoo’s high-tech bassinet. All that positive attention inspired reporters to want to do more stories about Snoo — but when they looked further into the company, employee reports about a toxic company culture emerged.
If you get that coveted media spotlight shining on your company, you need to ensure that you’re going to like what everyone sees.
“When you say [your company’s values] explicitly and describe what those are about, you hold yourself up to potential criticism of people saying, ‘You’re not behaving in the way that you state you are.’ But instead of fearing that, you sort of lean into it,” Odicino says.
Taking the opportunity to transform? Carlo Odicino says you should.
While your company isn’t likely to have the same kind of dramatic difference between your values and your behavior that Snoo demonstrated, it’s important to be open to addressing any friction that exists between your actual company culture and your company’s desired public image. Odicino points out that this kind of negative feedback is an opportunity for a company to transform.
Engage with your “employees and say, ‘What do you believe we do when we’re at our best?’ Then, allow that to go into the brand message,” Odicino says. “It helps you be clearer with the market you’re going after of what you’re doing, and it helps with employee retention because they feel the engagement of, ‘Yeah, we actually practice what we say we do outwardly.'” He says that that’s where synergy really leads to a company flourishing.
Measuring success in multiple ways
In the short term, it can feel like taking the time to develop and maintain a healthy company culture is at odds with increasing revenues.
Financial stability or success “is the equivalent of gas in a gas tank,” says Odicino. “You need it to get to where you’re going, but it is not the reason why you’re going … I don’t drive a car to fill it up with fuel. I’m driving a car to get somewhere.”
While financial success is certainly important, Odicino reminds his clients that it is only one measure and that success can come in multiple forms.
“So, if we only focus on financial success as the sole (definition) of success … then we erode all the other things, and we start hearing words like ‘I’m feeling burnout. I’m not happy. I’m sacrificing myself.'”
Focusing on the human side of business and leveraging an organization’s strengths does more for a company than preventing burnout and potential PR problems — it creates an environment where both the company and its employees can thrive.
A big thanks to Carlo Odicino for speaking with us!