When a company starts talking about values and mission statements, you can expect it to feel boring and a bit brainwash-y. These are things that make their home in HR manuals and the occasional company-wide memo, generic values masked in corporate speak or lofty ideas that are rarely put into practice. At Column Five, we try to keep it real. Everything we are, everything we do and everything we work toward is encapsulated in our Five Columns: Do Good Work, Value Our Partners, Be Good to Each Other, Be Humble and Experiment Often.
The Five Columns aren’t just sentiments we chose because they sound nice; they are deeply rooted in our core and culture, practiced and referenced by each of us daily. They serve as a guide to keep us in check and on the right path.
In this Five Columns series, we offer insight into each column. First up: Do Good Work.
Each of the Five Columns adorns the walls at C5 HQ.
When we say “good” work, we sometimes sense hesitation. Why not great work? Amazing work? Incredible work? Mind-blowing, award-winning, who-gives-a-shit-about-the-Super-Bowl-when-you-can-see-this work? Because it’s not just about creating work that looks good; it’s about creating work that does good, too. We spend the majority of our lives at work, and we don’t think all this time and effort should be wasted or waited out until the next paycheck arrives. We want to be accountable for—and proud of—what we are putting out into the world. Do Good Work means two things to us.
1) Good Work for Our Clients
Each day in our offices in Newport Beach and Brooklyn, C5ers strive to create work that is beautiful and of a high caliber, that communicates effectively and helps achieve results for our partners. For this reason, we professionally challenge ourselves. Whether it’s by teaching each other the art of linocut after hours, spending time at a TED event or pushing ourselves during a Column Five Hack Day, we strive to grow so that we can give our partners the best. You don’t get a portfolio you’re proud of without this effort.
C5ers assemble after work to learn how to linocut.
2) Good Work for the World
Our vision is to help create a world where everyone can live healthy and fulfilled lives. This is why our founders started working together. It’s what we want for our workplace and what we want to help create in the world. We are lucky enough to create and communicate important messaging as our job, and we take that responsibility seriously. We want the work we do to benefit others and the world. (Plus, who doesn’t feel happier when doing good?) When we choose partners and projects, we make sure that they align with this vision—and we keep each other accountable by speaking up if we don’t think they do.
Beyond the work we do with clients, we also look for opportunities to use our powers for good. Each quarter, we choose a project to work on pro bono, donating our time and services to a cause we believe in. (Check out the My Status Is Not a Secret campaign we recently launched to help encourage everyone to get tested for HIV and start a more positive dialogue.) Through these types of projects, we learn things both personally and professionally that enrich our lives and help us better connect to each other.
Column Five Senior Producer Ian Klein and Parker Trewin on set for the filming of Status, a documentary interviewing individuals from all walks of life about their experience with HIV, produced in conjunction with the My Status Is Not a Secret campaign.
Do Good Work is about trying to be the best version of ourselves, as professionals and as people. It’s a reminder as we build and distribute work that educates, engages and inspires—all for the greater good.
Stay tuned to learn more about our next column: Value Our Partners.
Want to see our Five Columns in practice? Let’s work together. For more content marketing tips, find out how to get the most mileage from your content by Maximizing Your Publishing with Microcontent, learn everything you need to know about visual content in The Ultimate Guide to Visual Content Marketing, and get the most eyes on your content by reading The Ultimate Guide to Content Distribution.