This year, one of our U.S.-based agencies – Havas Formula – celebrated its 30-year anniversary. Since joining Havas Group in 2014, the agency has had a number of big wins across the network and has worked to infuse its philosophy of bravery into all of its work to date.
Read more from Michael Olguin, CEO of Havas Formula, in this edition of Dare! – and on behalf of the entire network, here’s to 30 more great years!
What is your philosophy as an agency and how has it guided your work over the last 30 years?
I have long believed we are in the consulting business. We commit to the notion that we live in a constantly connected culture in which storytelling is an expected part of what we do, and that every brand is fighting for customer loyalty every day. At Havas Formula, we do all this under the umbrella of our unifying rally – #bebrave. This fearless way of thinking sets us apart from other agencies by merging the tenets of traditional PR with a modern-day consultancy mentality to help our clients solve true business communications problems, helping them in ways that extend beyond just earned media.
What have your biggest challenges and successes been over the years?
The biggest challenges have always been recruiting, training and keeping talent. We have successfully overcome those challenges – and have the best, most engaged and invested talent in the business – by creating a culture that is people-centric and driven by the idea of empowerment, responsibility and authority for all.
Our greatest agency success has been building an organisation that drove enough interest for a company like Havas to want to acquire us in 2014. In addition, we have been able to win some of the most high-profile blue chip clients in the world, such as Jaguar Land Rover, Beam Suntory, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Intuit.
What have your biggest learnings been?
That employees’ needs, wants and desires have changed dramatically over the years, and it is our responsibility to evolve with them. Listening closely and consistently to our employees and committing to our continued evolution are essential to ensure we continue to create an engaging culture that inspires and motivates people to be the best they can possibly be every day.
Are you doing anything special to commemorate the anniversary? Do you have any celebration planned?
To celebrate our 30th anniversary, we executed multiple programmes that everyone enjoyed. During our 30th anniversary week, we raffled off 30 prizes ranging from week-long vacations to items such as AWAY luggage, a Dyson Airwrap, a Patagonia jacket and much more! In addition, we celebrated the 30 greatest moments in our history, profiled 30 of the most tenured employees, and chronicled the 30 funniest/weirdest pitches over the last three decades. All in all, we tried to capture the essence of the company in a meaningful and memorable way for both those who have been with the agency since the beginning, as well as our newcomers.
We also expect to have a formal in-person celebration at our annual agency Summit in October.
What do you think the future holds for Havas Formula?
Our ambition is to create a micro PR network in North America that includes the acquisition of agencies, geographic expansion into new key markets, and an expansion of services not currently offered within the organisation. We’re so proud of how far we’ve come over the last 30 years, but we’re even more excited by where we are going.