Category Archives: Community

Well 2016 seems to have flown by and we can’t believe that we’re now into the last quarter of the year. But we’re pleased to report that things are certainly not slowing down for the Wagada team. In fact, we’ve got an exciting month ahead as we’ve been chosen as finalists for the Best Business Women Awards. With a gala awards ceremony to be held at the gorgeous Tewin Bury Farm Hotel in Hertfordshire, we’ve got plenty to look forward to. Especially as we’ve been selected for not one but two of these highly regarded and prestigious awards!

What are the Best Business Women Awards about?

We love the fact that the Best Business Women Awards have the key objective of creating a way to recognise the great women in our business community. As more and more female entrepreneurs are taking centre stage, it’s important to have a forum where their hard work, success and dedication can be acknowledged. Not only that, but these awards are for female business owners who are making a big difference to their local community, as well as to their own lives and those of their employees.

The Best Business Women Awards are the creation of Hertfordshire-based, multi-award winning Mumpreneur Debbie Gilbert. Debbie has been running small businesses since 1999 and so she has a real understanding of what it means for women to own their own businesses. She also knows the impact being nominated for an award can have on small business owners. She feels that it is vital to celebrate the amazing successes that women have had in the business community, and where better to do this than with an awards event specifically tailored for women who run their own companies.

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know that Wagada really champion women and working mums in our industry. So we are very proud to be nominated for both the Best Business Award and the Best Business Women in Technology Award. They are both important categories and we know that the judges were very strict with their criteria when choosing the finalists. So read on to find out more about what Wagada have achieved to get through to the final round of the awards.

Best Business Award

The Best Business Award, sponsored by Clydesdale Bank, will be given to the business who can showcase outstanding achievement and success. This can range from profitability, to fabulous customer service, from strong business growth, to innovation within the business industry.

At Wagada we feel that we have been able to combine strong business growth with a clear emphasis on putting our clients at the heart of what we do, and we always offer the highest standards of customer service. We also aim to be at the forefront of the digital marketing industry and are consistently innovating and refining our proposition to enable us to offer the most value to our customers. Wagada are very honoured to be chosen as a finalist for this award.

Best Business Women in Technology Award

It’s been great over the last few years to see more and more women entering the technology industry, which has often been criticised as being dominated by men. We’re passionate supporters of getting girls and women interested in the STEM subjects and into the digital industry.  We know just how much women have to give to the technology industry and it’s fantastic to be chosen for an award that recognises the role of female-led technology businesses.

As well as the excitement of being finalists in this category, we also hope it will enable us to inspire other women to join the technology sector.  It’s a rapidly growing and exciting sector and we love the fact that no two days are ever the same.  We’re keen to celebrate women in the digital sector and are extremely proud of our nomination in this category. This award is sponsored by SCA Group.

Why awards matter!

As you can see we’ve had to really show the judging panel how effective we are as a business. We’ve found that reviewing our work for an awards nomination is a great way of assessing just how far we’ve come. We love what we do, but sometimes it’s all too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities of the job, without stopping to pause and review where we are.

As these awards are Hertfordshire-based, it’s also a great way to celebrate what’s been achieved in our local community and to network and meet up with a range of inspirational business women. It’s always good to share, and spreading business knowledge with others is a vital part of what we do. The experienced judging panel for these awards comprises a number of high profile, local business women who have proved just how much women can achieve in the workplace.

We feel really motivated by our inclusion as finalists in these awards and it’s a great feeling to see our hard work being recognised.

Congratulations to all of the finalists and we’ll look forward to seeing you at the awards ceremony on 20th October. Keep an eye on our social media channels to find out how we get on!

When the Wagada team headed down to the south coast on September 2nd  for BrightonSEO we were delighted to find that the ethos of learning, sharing ideas and communicating in with peers in a warm and welcoming atmosphere remains despite the hugely impressive scale and a stellar line-up of speakers and sessions. With 3500 attendees packing the brightly branded Brighton Centre, it would be easy to assume that BrightonSEO is a far cry from its roots as an industry meet up in a pub, however, by retaining the community feel that we think the event truly thrives.

What did the conference have to offer?

The breadth and depth of topics and content available to learn about and discuss was hugely impressive including SEO, social media, analytics, PPC and so much more with the majority of sessions proving to be accessible enough for all members of the audience with a real range of backgrounds to understand, yet containing enough valuable industry insight to provide new approaches and ideas to the experts.

The organisers of BrightonSEO firmly believe that the event has no place for conference clichés, and this sentiment was shared by many speakers including a debunking presentation from Rice Media on the often stated ‘death of keywords.’ Branded3’s presentation covering why best practice just isn’t enough was another excellent example of the event’s commitment to providing content that encouraged attendees to strive for more and innovate to achieve results.

A theme of many of the talks was what the future holds for search what this means for digital today. Microsoft’s Purna Virji presented on the rise of voice searches and what the implications of this are on the use keywords. With the prediction that 50% of searches will be voice by 2020, it’s clear that the future might be coming a little quicker than anticipated. Christian Ward of Yext also presented on this theme speaking of the importance of data structuring in in light of this trend with an in-depth breakdown of the talk available online.

What if I missed out?

A highlight of the conference was the accessibility and emphasis on attendee experience of the event. In keeping with the inclusive atmosphere of the conference, speakers were more than happy to take extra time out and answer questions. With many of the talks firing inspiration amongst the digital marketers present, there were a huge amount of interesting questions raised and engaging discussions migrating from the auditoriums to the hallways.  With as many as 78 speakers across 7 venues, even those with a highly honed schedule may have found they missed some of the key talks. Ensuring that the headline presentations truly were unmissable all of the main talks were live-streamed and over 9 hours of content can be replayed courtesy of the team at Authoritas.com.

For those who unfortunately couldn’t attend BrightonSEO a wealth of resources has been made available online, both from the speakers themselves via twitter and on a number of marketing blogs. An excellent summary of the key points made in many of the talks is available here on receptional.com with the information often additional to the curated available slides helping to provide a better understanding.

An event that made an impression

After an action packed day full of new SEO ideas and strategies by the sea it’s safe to say that at Wagada we’re already eagerly awaiting next year’s event! If you’ve never visited BrightonSEO and are wondering if the event is for you, it’s a must see, highly accessible and altogether fun conference for anyone with a keen interest in digital.

As well as being busy helping all of our fabulous clients with their marketing and SEO the Wagada team were also busy celebrating last week too! Yes it was time to crack open the bubbly as it was announced that we had been shortlisted for the Mumandworking 2016 awards in the Flexible Business of the Year category. This category was open to any company, business or charity who actively promote exceptionally family-friendly and flexible working for their employees and it is judged by a panel of VIP experts. As you can imagine we are really excited and can’t wait to find out if we have won the award in October – we’re keeping our fingers and toes crossed!

Although it’s really exciting getting nominated for an award for our commitment to flexibility, it is something that we have always felt really passionate about and we are really keen on promoting family friendly initiatives throughout our business. We’re keen to show people that flexibility can lead to a more motivated, productive and happy team. Therefore we thought we’d take a look at some of the reasons that flexible working can be so vital in today’s business community – and hear from some of the Wagada team about the benefits of flexible working and the positive impact that it has on their work life balance.

Helping parents back into the workplace

In the UK we are really lucky to be able to take up to a year off on maternity or paternity leave but when you leave the lovely ‘baby bubble’ and go back to work you might find yourself coming back down to earth with a bump! As well as the tiredness from a long commute and the expense of childcare working full time can also mean that you miss out on important family time. Our Marketing Manager Claire shared her experience of going back to work full time for a big corporate company.

“My family life suffered hugely as a result – I barely saw my kids and had to stay away with work a lot. I missed out on so many of the special times the children experienced at pre-school, infant school, clubs and activities. And all the while I was spending an absolute fortune on full-time childcare for my two kids”

This is a story that will be familiar to many working parents and at Wagada we don’t think that work should be like this. We know that there is a huge pool of talented mums and dads out there and we want to help them shine. It’s such a shame that many parents feel relegated to more junior jobs and roles once they have children as they have so much to offer the business community. Flexible working allows us to make the most of their wonderful talents whilst they still get the benefits of family life. This means that we know we can offer our clients a fabulous and dedicated team of people who are passionate and motivated to do their very best.

Flexibility for everyone

When people talk about flexible working they often see it as only really being applicable to mothers with young children – but at Wagada that’s certainly not the case. We promote flexible working for everyone whether they are a mum or dad – or even if they don’t have children.

With an aging population we think that we’re going to see an increasing number of people taking on caring responsibilities for elderly relatives and we think that it’s vital that this is supported in the workplace. Our Marketing Director Jo tells us about her experience.

“I don’t have children to focus on but being able to spend quality time with my ageing family is equally important to me and Wagada are really supportive”

Likewise may people also have hobbies or out of work commitments that they would like to spend time on and flexible working can help support that too. If it matters to our staff then it matters to us and Jonny our Digital Marketing Exec (and future superstar) manages to combine doing a wonderful job to support our clients with building his musical empire!

“Music has always been a huge part of my life, but finding a job after University which would allow me to pursue this passion was difficult…I now work four days a week for Wagada with Thursday my dedicated ‘music day’, when I have been rehearsing with my band for an EP we are recording”

As you can see everyone’s lifestyle can benefit from some flexibility and we respect that fact that different things are important to different people and aim to give all of our staff the benefits of flexible working.

Building a productive team

Another great benefit of our staff working flexibly is that it allows them to be really productive at a time that suits them. We appreciate that being sat at a desk from 9-5 is not the right way for everyone to work. Some of us might like to get up early and do a few hours work before the children wake up and others are real night owls who like a bit of a lie in but are happy to work late into the night! Whatever your preference flexible working means you can find the hours to suit you. We think our Marketing Account Manager Jeni put it really well when she told us the following example.

“Wagada are very flexible – as long as the job gets done they are quite happy for the work to fit around me”

And of course we know that sometimes the peace and quiet that you get when working from home can often be of real benefit to our staff’s creativity and what they can bring to the business. Debbie our Marketing Executive explains how this works for her.

“Working from home is another option that works well for me at certain times when I may need to work slightly unconventional hours, or simply when I need some planning or creative time away from the office.”

The old workplace culture of presentism is really on its way out and we feel that it’s important as a business to focus on productivity and doing an amazing job for the client, rather than simply clocking up the hours at a desk.

Happiness and wellbeing

A happy team is a productive team, and we think that an increase in staff well-being due to enabling them to have the work-life balance that suits them is great not only for our business but for our clients too! They know that they have a team of dedicated, motivated and talented people available to cover their marketing needs so they’re happy too!

We’re really proud of our dedication to flexible working and we’re thrilled that the mumandworking awards have chosen Wagada as an example of a company who do flexible working really successfully. We’ll leave the last word about workplace flexibility with Shelley our Adwords Executive who really sums it up when she says

“At Wagada I’ve achieved the perfect work life balance; I can be there for my family and still enjoy time for a career!”

 

As a St Albans based business we’re passionate about getting involved in our local community, bringing small businesses together and making a difference to the lives of people living in our area. Whether it’s having fun in the St Albans Pancake Day race (we made it to the semi-finals!), supporting the business leaders of the future in the Dragons’ Apprentice schools challenge or running workshops here at STANTA to help local companies learn more about Google – you’ll always see us getting involved. That’s why we were really excited to hear about a new local enterprise called Get Out Of The Rut. As soon as we found out about it we knew that we wanted to support such a positive and life affirming initiative!

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What is Get Out Of The Rut all about?

You know that awful January feeling when you are stuck in a routine and you want to make positive changes but you don’t quite know how to do it? Well Get Out Of The Rut is an inspirational 12 week fitness and wellbeing programme designed to help two very deserving local ladies bring themselves out of that rut with over £6000 of life-transforming gifts from the St Albans community. The idea was thought up by Total Care Personal Training who are working with a number of fabulous local businesses to help these women in many different ways. From fitness training aimed to show that eating out doesn’t have to be unhealthy, to life coaching and personal styling, the ladies are being given a total makeover! We think that this programme is going to make a world of difference to the life of these two women and we’re looking forward to seeing the final results.

Who is Getting Out Of The Rut

Two absolutely inspiring local ladies were chosen to travel on this 12 week journey of personal discovery.  The winners were nominated by the St Albans community and we think that they well deserve this fantastic opportunity. The first winner is 34 year old Shelley Mancusa. Shelley selflessly supported her brother when he suffered a traumatic brain injury. She then struggled with infertility for 6 years and giving birth left her with physical injuries which really damaged her self-esteem. The second participant is Carla Watson, also 34. Since her Father sadly passed away last year, Carla has been struggling to regain her healthy lifestyle. She works with some of the most vulnerable homeless people in our area and after giving so much to the community we think it’s time we gave something back to her!

How are Wagada helping?

As we’re social media experts, we are helping to spread the word far and wide about this amazing initiative. We want to get as many people as possible in the local St Albans community together to celebrate the achievements of these two wonderful women and to support them in meeting their goals in 2016!

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You can help this amazing initiative by following the Get Out Of The Rut Facebook page and sharing updates on social media with the hashtag #GetOutofTheRut. Follow @TheRut_2016 and get Re-Tweeting!

 If you are a local business who would like to get involved please contact the team who would love to hear from you! Just drop them a line at TheRut@tcpt.co.uk or visit their website http://www.therut.tv/