The Church has embarked on a pretty expansive journey over the past 10 years. Starting out as a small design agency, it’s since gone on to become a design, advertising and communications agency and on Monday, to coincide with the opening of its first office in Australia, and as a “coming of age” of sorts, the communications agency officially relaunched itself.
There’s been a lot of newness as of late for the agency. As well as its existing Auckland and Wellington offices, there’s the new office in Sydney, a new website, a new chief executive, a new version of creative event Semi Permanent, called ‘We Can Create’, and within the last few months, some new clients that include Auckland District Health Board and Price WaterHouse Coopers. And to accommodate all this change, the agency has recruited some new staff by way of account director Tom Baloghy and account executive Kate Swift, both of whom The Church say bring considerable digital and mobile experience to the team.
But the point of difference the agency is keen to focus on with its coming of age is all to do with the internal and external.
Newly appointed chief executive, Simon Kozak, says The Church sees a clear gap in the communications market for an agency that understands the importance and impact of internal culture on external brand values.
“We want to ensure our clients’ brands succeed in a socially connected world and think this success can only truly happen from the inside out,” says Kozak.
“If culture and brand aren’t aligned, you risk disappointing your customer and damaging your reputation, and because of social media and the rise of mobile, it’s happening faster than ever before. We want our clients’ culture and brands to be aligned, so they can benefit in terms of attracting the best customers and staff,” says Kozak.
The Church says this new vision is showcased in recent employee branding work it carried out for long standing clients Gen-i and NZSO. re:connect, an online alumni project The Church created for Telecom is another example of this new philosophy.
The internal and external relationship is something Kozak says The Church has been practising for the past three or four years. It’s critical to get the internal straight, he says, because if you align with your employee values it makes it a lot easier to sell in the market place.
The Church recently commissioned research to examine the impact of social media on internal work-place culture, the findings of which Kozak says could have a big impact on recruitment and staff.
He says the next generation consume media in a different way compared to the current old hands, and they expect a workplace to be aligned with how they consume media in their personal lives.
“They’ll be taking over the senior chairs and will have a huge influence,” says Kozak.