Best Places to Work 2021: PMG
PMG’s George Popstefanov believes an agency’s culture can no longer be defined by its founders, as it was when the likes of Leo Burnett and David Ogilvy reigned over the industry.
Popstefanov, CEO and founder of Fort Worth, Texas-based media agency PMG, which turned 10 in 2020, says instead he views culture as “a living, breathing organism” that must adapt to change. “Being the same is not growth,” he says.
That view was undoubtedly put to the test this past year as the industry, and the world at large, underwent dramatic upheaval.
When the pandemic hit, PMG was ahead of the game, going fully remote on March 3 (more than a week before the rest of the world shut down). The agency gave each employee $500 to support their home offices. The shop also provides employees with reimbursements for childcare, understanding the strain the pandemic has had on working parents in particular. Popstefanov says that transparency and his employees’ mental health are top priorities, and he does weekly updates to keep them up to speed and feeling secure. In fact, PMG reassured its nearly 300 employees on day one that their jobs would be safe to ease any anxieties they may have had. The agency kept its promise, undergoing zero layoffs.
When the Black Lives Matter movement swept the nation, PMG again acted fast. In June, the agency became one of the first of many to join 600 & Rising’s “Commit to Change” campaign, releasing its diversity of staff stats and prominently displaying them on its homepage. Among other efforts, PMG appointed a committee that developed “very aggressive 30-, 60-, 90-day plans,” says Popstefanov, to achieve its diversity, equity and inclusion goals. The agency also did a third-party audit of its pay and recruitment practices, gave employees additional paid time off to participate in protests and enacted its first corporate gift-matching program toward organizations supporting DE&I initiatives.
At the end of a tough year, PMG came out stronger, with a more than 90% employee retention rate.