Even with a great culture, open door policies, "all hands" meetings, and constant weekly/monthly e-mail updates (CC'ing all employees), it's still commonplace for there to be an informational disconnect between internal employees, depending on their department or level. And how about externally? Sure, your site has great content, testimonials, white papers, case studies, and a rock star team, but is that all there is to achieving internal and external transparency? Is that the way it always has to be? Not according to the leaders at WebMechanix, a digital marketing and advertising agency based outside of Baltimore, Maryland -- they're leading the charge and pioneering something completely different.

So how exactly are they promoting transparency? They've developed a WordPress plugin & Slack integration that shares their conversations -- they call it Slack Shares.

WebMechanix Slack Shares

What does it do?

WebMechanix's integration enables them to leverage and pull content directly from selected Slack channels to their content management system (CMS) -- right now, it's only available for WordPress. Depending on what Slack channels you opt to share, you could display updates to clients or customers on product releases, feature request, relevant industry links/news, or events. It thus has incredible potential as a marketing tool that could impact a ton of site metrics (time spent on site, returning visitors, retention, loyalty, engagement, etc.). Although it's a bit too early to tell, there's some serious potential SEO upside as well.

Goodbye forever, fluff?

But perhaps the biggest "wow" from my perspective is its ability to throw back the curtains and reveal companies' inner workings. Don't get me wrong, I always love watching those corporate videos that boast their culture and all the reasons you should consider them, but it's not as real or authentic as literally being able to scan through the team's Slack channels -- I'd argue that it's some of the most intimate visibility you can ask for.

For example:

Say I'm applying for a Product Manager role at 'ABC Company'. I notice that the Director of Product is Jane Doe and that not only is she witty, but shares highly relevant links, frequent thought-leadership statements, and gives off the vibe that she's clearly involved in her team, who is someone I'd want to work for and learn from -- it would also affirm a level of trust that this company lives up to the hype (or not).

As a potential client side, the same applies as well -- I would want to see and know what's behind the curtain and what truly genuine and authentic messages are being shared about my industry. It gets rid of the fluff.

As to the "why" WebMechanix went down this path of transparency, Co-founder & CEO Arsham Mirshah shared:

"There was really only upside. We wanted to provide an open resource to anyone interested in our perspective on digital marketing -- it's something we're proud of and willing to share to the public."

Well, I don't use Slack, Tom.

Sorry to hear that. However, please see Exhibit B:

Joe Mechlinski, founder & CEO of entreQuest, is also taking transparency to new heights. How? Joe and the team are leveraging Facebook Live to publish their entire 'monthly all hands' meetings -- which is as raw and transparent as it gets. Take a look at an example below:

Mechlinski added,

"It's simple: our mission is to SHIFT the work world to transform the real world. Ganhdi said, 'be the change you want to see in the world.' In order to achieve our mission we need to be a leader by example not explanation. Trust is earned. We want to earn it from our team, our clients and the community as a whole."

The transparency battle will continue

For companies willing to take this plunge, it's almost like signing up for a reality TV show -- but one that you're proud of (not like 'Corinne' reality TV). Whether it's content from Slack, a Facebook Live video, or anything else, knowing that the 'camera is rolling' could impact the way we typically communicate, creating the adverse effect on the transparency goal. All of this calls for a balance -- which is exactly what should be sought for those who want to follow in these footsteps, but for now, I really like where this is headed. Kudos to those spearheading these charges.

Published on: Mar 30, 2017