SME Culture Leaders 2019 Katy BloomfieldSME Culture Leader #18, TopLine Comms, say culture is about encouraging people to work together, to do their best work and being open to trying new things - and we couldn't agree more.

Comms Director, Katy Bloomfield, shares more about how both their business and employees benefit from their award-winning culture.

What does TopLine Comms provide?

We are a digital PR and SEO agency that helps companies grow.

When were you first established?

We started in 2008, so we’re eleven years old this October. There have been a few exciting milestones along the way!

How many people are you?

About five years ago, we joined forces with TopLine Film, our sister video production agency. Then, last year, we acquired a STEM specialist business. We also have a team based in Cape Town – so now there’s 26 of us - plus two very cute office dogs.

TopLine Comms FI-min

Why do you think company culture is so important?

The success of any agency is down to having brilliant people, producing brilliant work. So, having the kind of environment where people want to come to work is essential - and that’s simply not possible without the right culture.

For us, culture is about encouraging people to work together, to do their best work. And the prize for getting it right is that future employees, suppliers and clients all want to work with us.

How have your people benefited from your company’s culture?

TopLine’s culture has encouraged me to think differently. Both in the sense of creative ideas and strategies, but also in leadership and making decisions for the business.

Creativity takes courage, and we are open to trying things; celebrating those that pay off and learning from those that don’t as a team.

How has your business benefited from your focus on culture?

Our culture stems directly into our values, and these values provide us with a framework against which we can benchmark our decisions, assess performance and decide who to work with and who to hire. They allow us to be focussed and to ensure we’re spending our time and energy on the right things.

The business has undoubtedly benefited as a result. We also ranked sixth in the small business category in the Great Places to Work scheme this year.

What would you say to other businesses leaders who are rethinking their culture strategy?

Firstly, I would say that focusing on culture and striving to get it right can only be a positive.

Secondly, I'd say protecting that culture is a shared responsibility that everyone in the business should be held accountable for - but it flows directly from the senior team. So, being self-aware and leading by example is vital.

If you could describe culture in one word, what would it be?

That’s a tricky one – but if I had to pick just one, I’d say creative.

Breathe Espresso Report - Why Company Culture?