Here we are going to discuss the project status of each of the companies participating in the ConnectED programme. After a relatively short discussion (attended e.g. also by an employee of Adobe, and Microsoft beside us), we run to another room to the International Meeting where the colleagues from Budapest, Mexico and Amsterdam also join us to have a talk about the pilot project to be started in Latin America. Then we skype with some external developers and, still before lunch, we have a coffee-brainstorming with Jake, the Content Production Manager, and get some advice from him for a blogpost I am working on. It is a perfectly normal Wednesday in the life of the marketing people in San Francisco and it’s not even noon yet.
I believe the morning described above truly reflects how many different fields are addressed – for instance – by Susannah but similarly to her by everybody else in the team. I work mostly with her. Now she strengthens the three-member Content Team, which is a part of a larger community, the Brand Communications Team consisting of 16 members. But what is the thing that distinguishes the work of local marketing people from that of many other places? I’ve put this question to each of my colleagues when I had a talk with them in twos. Of course, everyone feels a little bit differently in connection with his or her work, but I think many things were common in their answers and I picked five from these:
1.The only constant is change
Everyone agrees that, even if Prezi has grown out of the category in respect of its other features, as regards the pace of changes, it stills exists as a startup. They always try to optimize things and the roles are adapted to the specific tasks rather than everyone adhering literally to what is defined in his or her job description. Changes made in the last moment occur frequently, a project takes often a completely different direction in the meantime and the office layout itself varies all the time. However, it involves that results come more quickly, one can feel achievements sooner and follow-up becomes more flexible as well.
2. Colourful backgrounds
Each of the team members has arrived at the company from completely different backgrounds, often from fields not even related to marketing. For instance Chelsi, who is currently a B2B copywriter, has graduated as an art historian, Susannah studied history and Bonnie, the Email Marketing Manager studied fashion. Or let’s see Adam Wooley who worked first for Google with his degree in psychology obtained at Stanford and who leads now the online marketing team. In the opinion of my colleagues, this progresses common work in any case because everybody can see his or her own area often more objectively through many various aspects. In their opinion, it seems to be a tendency rather than a one-off case in the Valley: companies have long since ceased to choose their employees based on what is written in their diploma.
3.Team and beyond
At Prezi it became clear for me in the very first days that the fact itself that I’m in a marketing team means nothing. It’s not the fact that essentially determines whom I work mostly with. It is the task that counts and everyone squares the matters to arise. For example, Nik, Senior Copywriter of the team consults mostly with the designers, Susannah has countless meetings with online marketing people and Chelsi who writes B2B texts could hardly be seen in the recent weeks without one of the product development colleagues.
4. Design means something different
I was really looking forward to the conversation with Meaghan, the Senior Designer of the team. I was curious what is creation like in such a special field like Prezi. Meaghan prepares presentations day by day: several templates are available by now for everyone (such as Customizable presentation to debut on Valentine Day) reflects his handiwork, but she has already worked with such clients as IBM, Veriphone or the Clinton Foundation. She says she likes software because “it’s like a painting: it has to be considered as a whole from the beginning and small details have to be inserted in it – and not the other way around as you would do in many other graphic works”.
5. Belief in mission
When I ask what keeps them here, almost all of my colleagues mentioned company and culture as number one aspect. The second aspect was almost in each case the product itself. Many of them were brought to Prezi by Prezi: they’ve become fond of it and then applied for a position. Susannah said it was a fantastic feeling to see the great many creations our users have prepared using the software – as one’s work comes to life independently and reach further than anyone could have thought. Stef said mission was also important: she worked for larger companies before, where everyone concentrated on achievements and figures, but here in Prezi it can be felt that there is a common goal which people believe in. Here one can really feel that efforts are aimed at creating a better world.