When Ann Handley waxed philosophical on the subject practical jokes in a post at Annarchy, her readers filled the comment section with stories of their own favorite stunts. Most were personal in nature, but Mike Volpe of HubSpot noted that some of his best work-related memories center not on business accomplishments, but on zany pranks. “We work too hard not to have fun,” he said. “As part of this, we play jokes (admittedly geeky) a lot.”
To tease a germophobic colleague, for instance, the HubSpot crew created www.JonahsGerms.com, a collection of germ-centric factoids and photographs of various co-workers “infecting” computer equipment with their fingers, sneezes and—even—tongues. The heading “Executive Germs” included this helpful reminder that anyone can contaminate a workspace: “Did you think that germs are for the poor and the weak? Think again! People in high places can pass their germs to you just like the destitute and homeless on the T!”
“[W]e also keep an internal wiki called ‘HubSpot Lore & Mythology’ where we keep track of funny quotes and happenings in the company,” said Volpe. “It is a great way to keep all 60 (and growing) of us up to date on the company jokes, [and] a good way for new employees to hear about the past jokes.” In a fast-growing company like HubSpot—which had only five employees in early 2007—this documentation has the added benefit of making hire number 60 feel instantly connected to a quickly evolving corporate culture.
We see lots of Marketing Inspiration in the idea of building a more effective team with pranks and practical jokes—just remember to take photographs for the internal wiki.
Source: MarketingProfs enewsletter
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