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The Royals has been named the best agency to work for

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The Royals has been named the best agency to work for

The Royals

Creative agency The Royals has taken out the top spot in the media and marketing category in AFR’s BOSS Best Places to Work 2024 list. The agency credits its core values – audacity, camaraderie and revelry – as one of the key reasons why it took out the win.

“It was pretty amazing. [The list has] significant prestige, but more to the point it’s something that we value highly,” managing partner Andrew Siwka said of the win. “I feel incredibly proud, and it’s quite emotional, really.”

The Royal way

Founded in 2011, The Royals have worked with some of the biggest brands in the business, including Mercedes Benz, Spotify and Coopers Brewery. But for Siwka, one of the most important aspects of operating the business is creating a sustainable environment for employees to flourish.

“Having worked in advertising for a very long time in various parts of the world, and seeing the challenges with the way we operate from a sustainability point of view and mental health perspective, I think we’ve got a lot of work to do.

“I’m passionate about creating an environment where we can produce great work without actually burning people out. At The Royals, we make sure that we’re trying to build a sustainable way of driving an incredible creative outcome.” 

One of the key selection criteria for the Best Places to Work list is the staff survey. As part of the judging process, all entrants must complete a staff survey from a representative sample of employees. This part of the selection process is worth 50 percent of the overall score. Siwka said scoring high in this aspect created a sense of ownership and legitimacy for the team.

“[The win] is validated significantly by the responses from the staff survey that they conduct,” he said. “We clearly did well in that respect, and there were some exceptional results there. So that’s also super validating.”

Unnatural Fridays and Interested Missions

Another key reason for the win was the implementation of ‘Unnatural Fridays’. This unique initiative involves the entire team ceasing all other work on Friday to collaborate on a single creative pitch. The major purpose of the initiative is to foster creativity and allow space for employees to develop new and unique ideas.

“Quite often things happen that mean your day gets turned upside down and that’s not conducive to creating an environment where creativity and creative thinking thrives. And so we created Unnatural Fridays, which is about trying to create something that we could protect.

“We’re pretty proud of the fact that we’ve protected between 70 to 80 percent of our Fridays,” Siwka said.

The Royals

Another initiative that Siwka is particularly proud of is a staff-focused project called ‘Interested Missions’. In these missions, employees are taken out of the office on two-day annual adventures to experience new things and report back about what they’ve learned. 

“We took all of our staff to Bendigo with the intention to observe how regional Australia works and see how life is the same or different. The assumptions that you make about those types of environments can often be dictated by the environment you’re in,” Siwka said of a recent mission.

The creation of the Unnatural Fridays and Interested Missions initiatives are closely linked to The Royals core mission statement to be the most interested, and therefore interesting, agency in the world. “It’s quite a bold claim, but I think that to become [the most interested agency] we needed to create an environment where curious, creative minds can thrive in brackets sustainably,” Siwka said.

“That’s how we show our staff, but also our clients, that we’re serious about creating time and space for creativity to thrive.” 

When it came to the top ten companies in the media and marketing category, Equality Media (the category winner in 2023) took out second place, followed by King Kong, Tracksuit Limited, PMG, In Marketing We Trust, Hatched, Half Dome, Cassette and iProspect. 

The annual list is judged by consultancy Inventium and ranks the best places to work in Australia and New Zealand across nine industries.

Photography attributed to The Royals.


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January Jones

January Jones is a freelance writer.

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