Zilker Media Feature Q & A

Today, an interview with Paige Velasquez Budde who is the CEO at Zilker Media, an Austin-based agency building people-driven brands. Paige oversees all aspects of the company, ensuring team members and clients are fully supported to achieve a long-term impact with their mission. Her passion is dedicated to cultivating community for Zilker Media’s team and clients.

She has been featured as a speaker on digital marketing strategy and led workshops at national venues such as Harvard Medical School, Austin’s own Alamo Drafthouse, Zilker Park, Hilton Hotel, and for organizations such as Women Presidents’ Organization.

Zilker Media has grown quickly in the three years it has been an agency, what do you attribute to this success?

It has been so much fun over the past three years to be part of Zilker Media’s growth. Our success is solely attributed to the dedication of our team members. Everyone has worked together to build a culture that is rewarding and fun for our team. As a team, we review our core values and mission quarterly so we are able to shift how we live out each value as we grow. This culture has not only been celebrated internally but is also extended to our clients and partners. 

During the last couple of years at Zilker Media we have implemented transparency throughout the organization with the Entrepreneurial Operating System and open book management. This has empowered our team members to work towards the same goals with full transparency of where we are and where we want to go. 

What have you done differently to keep culture alive during COVID?

Our team has been fully remote for eight months now and that has been challenging on some aspects of how we use to celebrate our culture. It has been a balance to not overload everyone on Zoom calls but also have personal conversations with team members that would typically happen around the office. We have made a point to get creative with how we celebrate milestones for team members. Recently, we had a big celebration and delivered everyone champagne to their house to open all together on a Zoom call. Our leadership team also implemented work from home stipend to help team members adapt to their full time at-home office. 

Building culture is hard during this time, especially when your team members could be going through personal challenges. I have continued learning as a leader that it is important to be intentional and prompt conversations with employees that might not normally take place in a virtual environment. It’s just as important to understand what is going on in their personal lives as it is with their role at your company. 

What is open book management and why is this type of transparency important to agencies?

Open book management is an exciting initiative that our CFO Patti Conrad has implemented this year. There are two reasons we wanted to roll out open book management this year for our team: 1. We wanted to provide transparency so we can empower every team member to make decisions that will impact our business 2. Our goal is to invest in our team members’ financial education so they are empowered to grow their personal wealth. 

This has been a year-long initiative but it has been so rewarding to see the team become empowered with this information. Everyone has become a leader in determining the best way their function can impact hitting our goals.

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