When Your Company Culture Doubles As Your PR Strategy

Two Birds, One Stone:

When Your Company Culture Doubles As Your PR Strategy

By Delanie Billman

 

 

A few months ago I was baited by a headline that read “This Company Gives All Employees a 1-Week Paid ‘Pup-ternity’ leave.”

 

Ummmm. Whaaaaat?  - me.


And it was exactly as it sounded. BrewDog, a popular UK-based craft beer company, creators of ‘Punk IPA’, not only has a bring-your-four-legged-friends-to-work policy, but actually gives its employees a full week off when they adopt a dog - formally known as Dog Days, but more cleverly referred to as Pup-ternity or Mutt-ternity leave.

 

BrewDog’s policy is a solid example of authentic company culture for a few reasons: the name of the company literally has the word “dog” in it, the founders are big advocates of rescue dogs, and they firmly believe that having dogs in the workplace can increase productivity.*

 

What dog lover wouldn’t want to work there, right?

 

Now, here’s where it gets smart. BrewDog is the first company in its industry to offer something like this to its employees. Add in the irresistibility of anything puppy-related and it makes for a perfect storyline that appeals to their audience of craft beer drinking millennials around the world.

 

As it turns out, media outlets had a field day with this story. Outlets like BuzzFeed, Business Insider, Daily Mail, and the Huffington Post, to name a few, were all reporting on the HR policy of this Manchester-based company. In fact, over 40 major publications wrote articles on BrewDog’s policy which resulted in hundreds of millions PR hits for the company. Did BrewDog know what they were doing? Probably. No, absolutely. Their PR team was on FIRE. But it worked, so good for them.

 

I don’t know about you, but the next time I’m in the pub and checking out beers on tap, or at Trader Joe’s skimming their selection of craft beer, I’m going to reach for BrewDog. Not only is their product tasty, but their employees and pup-ployees are treated right.

 

The lesson here from a brand perspective? if you’re looking to build your company culture, don’t do it in hopes of creating media chatter, but do it in a way that’s authentic to you and the rest will follow.


*By the way, it’s true! This Inc. article cites research from the Virginia Commonwealth University that states that “employees who brought their dogs to work experienced lower stress levels throughout the work day, reported higher levels of job satisfaction, and had a more positive perception of their employer.“