Triple Win Approach to Creating a Different Healthcare Communications Agency

Betsy Merryman

Photo of a group holding up sparkler fireworks at dusk

Since the pandemic, people are re-evaluating many aspects of their lives, including how they want to live and work. Personal priorities have swung toward finding better work-life balance and addressing burnout, leading to the “Great Resignation,” “Great Reshuffle” and “Quiet Quitting.”

A recent Microsoft Trends report showed that the No. 1 thing employees want in a job is flexibility. CNBC reported that 52% of workers are thinking about switching to a full-time remote or hybrid job in 2022. Jennifer Moss, who authored the book Burnout Epidemic, told Marketplace that people aren’t leaving their jobs for more pay. They’re leaving because of workload and lack of empathy from their employers regarding that workload.

I can relate because these are some of the reasons why I established Merryman Communications in 2010. I was a mother who was burnt out by agency travel, billability demands and efforts to drive agency growth. I didn’t want to miss out anymore on time with my family, and I also wanted to be fulfilled professionally.

Merryman Communications is built on a “triple win” philosophy for the team, our clients and the agency:

  • Team members win by having flexibility in their schedules and control over their workloads so they can achieve work-life balance while producing meaningful work.
  • Clients win by working with a dedicated and experienced team that delivers results at a great value.
  • And the agency wins when both team members and clients are satisfied.

It’s a philosophy based on aligning the interests of team members, clients and the agency all around delivering results. When everybody wins, we are Successful Together.

The Team Wins: Agency Work with a Life

I’ve always been a “variety is the spice of life” kind of person. That’s one of the things I’ve loved about agency life. You’re constantly learning about new things, be they clients, products or communications solutions.

But agency life can be demanding and stressful, juggling deadlines and clients, not to mention the often unexpected issue that needs immediate attention. Agency career demands can make it difficult to balance other important aspects of life. I’ve been lucky to work with a number of exceptional marketing and PR professionals over the years, some of whom left agency life when the balancing act became too much.

One colleague calls Merryman Communications a “Lifestyle Agency” because our model offers our team the work-life balance that’s missing from some agencies. We have always been a virtual agency – before it was considered “cool” and long before it became a pandemic necessity. In fact, we were at the forefront of the work-from-anywhere model.

We give team members a say in what they work on and how much work they take on. Merryman team members opt-in to agency opportunities based on their experience and availability. This allows them to do the type of work they prefer. Perhaps they enjoy media pitching but are not interested in account management. We can accommodate that. If they are seeking opportunities to grow and expand a specific skillset, we try to accommodate that as well.

This approach has proven to be a big win: We’ve been able to attract and retain great senior-level talent, and team members have been able to prioritize – and enjoy – more than just their careers. Some are in the thick of raising children or caring for elderly parents while others have outside interests or volunteer activities. Check out what some of our team members have to say about working with Merryman here.

“We give team members a say in what they work on and how much work they take on.”

The Clients Win: Dedicated and Experienced Team that Delivers Results

Our high team retention and dedication lend stability to clients, which is one of the ways our clients win. We celebrate team members’ Merryversaries – what we call their anniversaries – and it’s not uncommon for them to be five-plus years.

Clients see us and our dedicated teams as fully invested partners. They know that we are a team glued together by our mutual commitment to getting a job done and achieving mutual success. They recognize how well their teams are matched to their needs for relevant experience and special expertise. Team members who have the right skill set and are invested in their client’s success are more likely to produce results.

And client results are a top priority.

Additionally, because we have established a low-overhead, remote network model, our client budgets tend to stretch further, allowing us to maximize budgets and do more with less – another clear win for our clients.

“Clients see us and our dedicated teams as fully invested partners. They know that we are a team glued together by our mutual commitment to getting a job done and achieving mutual success.”

The Agency Wins: Opportunities, Growth and Recognition

We’re not the first to realize the benefits of this “inside-out” approach, but I believe our Win-Win-Win philosophy is one of the pillars that sets us apart. We try to ensure success for everyone – not just the client and agency. That’s how the agency wins.

But there are many more ways that the agency wins. Since our founding, Merryman Communications has won 11 awards and many accolades. We’ve grown steadily, all through organic growth with current clients, or by word of mouth, referrals and past clients coming to us again.

Over the years, we have launched at least 40 products, managed communications around four mergers/acquisitions and two IPOs; and executed 200+ press releases – all while being present for moments like baseball games, back-to-school nights, graduations and birthday parties.

At Merryman Communications, we haven’t lost any team members in search of work-life balance. Not in the last few years. Not ever. And we plan to keep it that way.