It has been 10 years.
With everything that is going on in the world, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the murder of George Floyd, I didn’t want to celebrate at all or even mark the day.
But I thought I would regret not saying at least a few personal words to our team, families, clients and friends, so here we go...
I started Patio 10 years ago today.
I was 31 years old.
I had a great job at a large communications consulting firm, my very own private office in Bentall (with my own door and window!), and the opportunity and privilege to work with some of our top clients.
I was one of a few in the company who could see the long-term potential of social media at that time, not just as a sales channel, but as an all-encompassing communications tool for companies and organizations of all types. After many years of being brought to presentations to demonstrate the agency's social media bench-strength and supplement traditional communications tactics, clients began to take social media more seriously and add social media to their projects. Unfortunately, my role in leading those new projects didn’t develop as I had hoped.
My aim for clients and colleagues alike then, as it is now, was to have them see social media and digital advertising as an integral part of their communications and marketing strategies. I kept watching over and over as it was superseded by short-term giveaway programs that I did not believe would be successful to build truly engaged followings for the companies, but more importantly, those audiences would not be sustainable for the client over the long-term.
So I decided to “put my money where my mouth was” and launch Patio. I have not once regretted it, even through all the ups and downs we have weathered over the past decade.
Patio is built on that original idea: support our clients with solid long-term communications and marketing programs that maximize social and digital media’s capabilities, while continuing to build on learnings and past success. We test ideas and conserve budget until concepts and campaigns demonstrate results, then shift as needed to maximize results and meet our clients’ goals. We set our clients up for success with the tools to manage their channels internally. We support them with supplemental content, additional campaigns during peak periods or annual events, and through challenging times.
I am very proud of the company we have built and will keep working hard to get the team and our clients through these uncertain times.
To that end, Patio would not exist without the tireless efforts and dedication of our amazing team. I can’t even begin to express my appreciation for everyone who I have the privilege of working with every day. We have each other’s backs and support one another in delivering amazing work to our clients. This was reinforced recently as we had to reduce the team's hours to navigate through the loss of our tourism-related business due to the pandemic. The dedication and selflessness of everyone have been truly humbling, and I feel unworthy to have found a team so amazing.
Of course, there is no “I” in “team”, as they say -- but there should be a “Sarah” in there somewhere. Sarah Smith, our amazing Account Director, has been the backbone and soul of the team for over eight years. Patio would not exist without her, and I believe the team could never be as great without her guidance, support, and dedication to exceptional client management and attention to detail.
Finally, a 10-year post would not be complete without a large thank you to our amazing clients. We have had the honour to work with so many amazing companies and non-profits over the years, and on so many great projects, we can’t list them all here. However, we would like to say a special thank you to JAK’s, with whom we’ve been working for almost these 10 years. Both companies have grown in business together and we would not be able to have a 10-year celebration without them (and their Prosecco ;)
We are also very proud of the work we’ve done in the tourism industry over the past five years, and it is fitting that on our birthday today we get to launch a campaign for Tourism Vancouver that we are very excited for: #VancouverComeBack.
To all our clients, friends, families and agency partners - thank you for allowing us to work together, supporting us when we are up all night working to deadlines, and for every encouragement over the past decade. We promise to have a proper party to celebrate when it is feasible and safe to do so.
And to Alex, Dave, Jason, Kim, Lily, Mark, Michele, Michelle, Nathalie, Sarah, Shannon, Vance and Wade - thank you for being so great! May we one day get an office with a REAL PATIO.