SMS Usage Summary Report

SMS usage report image of girl holding a mobile credit: unsplash rawpixel

If you’re a regular SMS-user in Watu, you may be in need of a monthly SMS usage report to break down your spend in the previous month.

Now, clients can do this by clicking into ‘billing’, selecting a previous bill, then following the hyperlink next to the SMS usage figures:

image of how to export SMS usage report from Watu

Within the report, managers will find all the details for each SMS including:

  • Sent At
  • Sender Name
  • Job Number
  • Job Name
  • Client Name
  • Message Template
  • SMS Body
  • Search Query
  • Number of Messages
  • Number of SMS*

*these numbers may differ as long messages can use multiple SMS per recipient

Whether for accounting purposes or to keep track of communications, all agencies may find some helpful nuggets of information contained in this report. If you have any questions about it, drop us a line at info@watuapp.com!

New Feature:: Document and Photo Upload to Jobs

Whilst the ‘booked’ job description allows for a full job brief, sometimes there are things to say or images to share which just can’t be written into a box.

And that’s why we’ve created a space for documents and images to be uploaded into jobs.

When clicking into a job, you’ll now see ‘show documents’ in the top right:

At this point, you can now choose documents to upload either by clicking into the grey space, or by dragging and dropping the document or image.


Once you’ve selected your document, you have a few options – do you want the document to remain private to managers? Or visible to all staff, or just the booked ones? And if visible to booked staff, is it only for a specific role?


Simply choose whichever settings are suitable for you, and save the document. Of course, you can choose to upload multiple documents which would only be visible to specific staff members.

Once your documents and images have been uploaded, here’s how it looks for the staff members:

If you have any questions about this feature, drop us a line via ‘tech support’ or info@watuapp.com

New Feature: Adding notes to a job

image of post it notes by michal grosicki for watu job notes

In the evolution from paper to computer, we’ve waved goodbye to paper notes, paper letters, sometimes even paper books. It’s virtual freedom from piles of notes on our desks…except for those pesky post-it’s which have stuck around – till now.

We’ve added a new feature which welcomes managers to leave notes within a job. Here’s how it works, in video:

In summary, managers can click to add notes in the top right of the job build page. Notes can be added and tracked per manager, as well as deleted.

 

New Feature: Adding to portfolio from a job

watu portfolio staff profiles image of picture frames

For the times when you need to present staff to clients, we now have you covered straight from jobs.

Rather than adding staff members individually to portfolios, you can now do so directly from the job. What are the choices?

  • Adding all booked

This option allows for you to select everyone who has already been booked into the job, so rather than creating options for your client, you are presenting them with the team.

  • Adding all applied and shortlisted

When you need to present staff to a client for them to select who to book, adding all applied and shortlisted is your best bet. This will add anyone who has applied or been shortlisted to the job, but will not include anyone who is booked already.

  • Adding everyone linked to the job

Want to present everyone linked to the job, whether booked, applied, or shortlisted? Use this third option to add everyone, ever, into the portfolio.

And here’s how to get started:

First up, build your portfolio template by clicking on ‘portfolios’ and selecting which information you would like to show.

From within your job, hover over the menu button near the top right of the job information to apply the command to the whole job, or hover over the menu within each location to be more specific:

Booked staff in a job in Watu

Select which group of staff members you would like to add to the portfolio:

Adding staff to portfolio from a job in watu

This box will pop up, confirming who you are adding, and allowing you to select which portfolio you will add staff members to:

Selecting a portfolio within watu

Once you’ve added the staff, click back into ‘portfolios’ to check the profiles and add notes, if necessary:

Staff portfolio within Watu

And that’s it – grab the URL, whiz it across to the client and await their feedback. Job done.

New Payroll Changes

Photo by Freddie Collins on Unsplash

Payroll has been undergoing a makeover recently and we’re really excited to release it shortly, in its simplified glory. Watu clients are soon to see two major changes to running payroll: one condensed pay export file and faster self-employed processing

Release date: September 15th 2017

One condensed payroll

Prior to the changes, Watu had three separate tabs for employee payment, expenses payment, and self-employed invoice batch payment:

image of watu payroll options

Managers could choose whether to run one, or all three, but they had to be exported separately.

We’ve taken this process and boiled it down to one export:

image of new watu payroll

Managers can still opt for running just one – or two – of the options, or they can opt for them all. This new toggle set up allows for a variety of combinations – wages exports for both employees and self-employed, just expenses exports, just employees, and so on. But best of all, it allows for all payment exports for all types of staff, into one document.

The exported document itself will remain the same apart from one additional column where it will state whether staff are self-employed or employees.

Bonus: For those of you using Paycircle this is great news – integrations will be even easier now so you can run payroll in a snap!

Faster self-employed processing

Another change applicable to those agencies with self-employed staff will be music to your ears.

Rather than the drawn out process of signing off shifts, clicking ‘new invoice received’, matching totals to shifts and adding an invoice date and number, then running an invoice batch…here is the new process:

sign off the shifts -> click into payroll and export the data

In other words, payroll processing for self-employed will now behave exactly as it does for employees. We listened to your feedback that the workflow had too many steps, and that oftentimes building the invoice in Watu was irrelevant, so this new process is the most efficient one whilst still keeping Watu payments factual, accurate and reliable.

Could sharing be caring in promotional staffing too?

Photo by Alan Levine: https://flic.kr/p/dtBSgg

The promotional staffing industry has a big elephant in the room and it’s trumpeting loud and clear, but we’re not really listening. Or maybe, we’re even trying to muffle it. Every agency says it has the best staff and indeed they often do. But these fantastic field staff are not unique to each agency. Rather, especially in a location as small as the UK, the best of the bunch and beyond are often shared between agencies, as staff register with as many agencies as they can find for the maximum number of work offers.

Agencies have historically been quite protective of their staff, with guarded surnames, and on-site poaching very much frowned upon, hoping to hold these brand ambassadors and event managers close and sheltered from the hungry books of other agencies.

From the viewpoint of the field staff, registering with as many agencies as possible makes complete sense. More agencies, more work offers, a higher chance of getting booked. And yet, for the agencies, it creates a challenge of how to pinpoint a unique selling point. If you can offer the same team as another agency, what sets you apart? Of course, your offer encompasses everything from pricing to management skills and established relationships, but often your star factor and what it really boils down to, is your team on the ground.

Maybe the answer is working on staff loyalty, ensuring that your top team come to you first and will prioritise your work. But it’s a tough industry in which to create loyalty, with a lot of competition and people who simply need to fill their diary. Oftentimes, field staff do not have the luxury of picking and choosing when and for whom they will work; if a well-paid job is offered, it will be snapped up and probably rather quickly before the thousands of others send in their job applications.

Or, perhaps, this offers an opportunity for agencies to open up, accept that your books may look like a reflection of another agency’s books and consequentially, you may have a lot to learn from each other. If we consider the fact that your goal as an agency is to provide the best team for a client, we must think about the benefits that could come with sharing.

Primarily, this is instant access to a staff member’s work history which, if known beforehand, can make or break your campaign. If you had industry-wide knowledge to a staff member’s notes and reviews, let’s imagine what that could offer before you hit accept…

  • Client approved/rejected
  • Suspensions from other agencies
  • Great potential to be an EM
  • Whether the person in the profile reflects accurately the person on the ground
  • Any stand-out behaviour, whether positive or negative
  • An overall sense of the person you are welcoming onto your books

Whether trying to gain a better understanding of someone for your books, or for a particular job, the information is already out there. It’s just hidden.

When I type a staff member’s email address into our database to search where they are registered, there it is right in-front of my eyes. John is a fantastic staff member and this client adore him…Jane never showed up to her last 2 jobs and has been removed from the books. But removed from the books of 1 agency. And the others? They are left waiting until she does the same to them, without being forewarned of her potential unreliability.

So how would this affect staff? Well, that really depends on whether they’re a John or a Jane. Stellar feedback and an industry-wide reputation for being a reliable, energetic and professional staff member will bring John more work and consequentially, higher chances of climbing the promo ladder towards Event Management and more. But Jane? Her chances of work would suddenly diminish as agencies become wary of her lack of dedication.

Could this be hurtful to staff who genuinely had problems getting to work that day, or perhaps made a mistake along the way? Yes, it could be. But from my experience, the industry is quite forgiving and we’re often willing to give people another chance based on honest communication, and this poor feedback could be easily overwhelmed by positivity after a few bookings.

The US seems to be heading towards this direction, with white label staffing companies popping up, selling to clients who expect shared staff. Our friends over at Pop Bookings offer agencies their own books, but with some shared access to staff information.

Perhaps, if we were to let our guard down in the UK ever so slightly and begin a conversation between agencies, we could see the benefits too. Managers could have more confidence in the team they’re booking. Recruitment would not be so much of a guessing game with 3-page long questionnaires to complete, or weeks of interviews. You could be filling your books with who you know to be the best, not just who you think to be the best, freeing up your concentration to focus on your unique selling point. And your clients? They would receive the biggest benefit of this change: a guaranteed-to-be-fantastic team on the ground.

Photo credit Alan Levine

Making the switch from brand ambassador to campaign manager

Photo by Szabolcs: photo of typewriter to symbolise switching from brand ambassador to manager photo of typewriter to symbolise switching from brand ambassador to manager

Whilst there are some who are perfectly content in their current roles, there will always be others who wonder if the grass is greener on the other side. Or maybe we should say, there some folk thinking of leaving the grassy fields of experiential staffing behind for the cosy interiors of the management office.

Perhaps you’ve seen the managers swinging by whilst you were out and about (snapping a few photos Joel and Lia style!) or when you went for your interview the offices held a certain pull. Maybe, it’s just time for a bit more routine in your life and a more comfortably predictable day.

Whatever the reason, switching from working your 9-5 in the field to booking them from the office is a pretty common path in the promo world. But if you’re thinking about it, what exactly should you be thinking about?

Bye-bye spontaneity, hello routine

Events will have you working nationwide with a new crew, new brand, and new brief every few days. It’s go-go-go with fresh sights, smells, sounds, and faces galore. The office, on the contrary, will bring you familiar sights, a regular commute and the same colleagues day in and day out.

Whether that sounds like a nightmare or a chance to introduce some structure into your life, is completely personal to you. Will you miss the variety? Or appreciate the chance to automate some parts of your life? Do you get bored easily? Or prefer the familiar, settling quickly into your comfort zone?

More accountability

Brand ambassadors play possibly the most crucial role in a campaign. Months of work stemming from the brand, to the marketing agency, to the staffing agency and many others in between all come together in the moment that you step on board. Your message delivery, positive interactions and great big smile can make or break a campaign.

But whilst you may be rated by the agency on your performance with them, when it comes to whether or not the promo was pulled off successfully, it’s the campaign manager who bears accountability.

So if you switch from field to office, it’s worth bearing in mind: drop outs, an unhelpful staff member or uncooperative team, lateness and all those niggly negatives that can tarnish a campaign are your responsibility. Unlike praise, which is often credited to and swiftly passed on to the staff on the ground, negative feedback often makes its final stop in the staffing agency office where the bookers must bear the brunt.

Events don’t close

Do you get a buzz out of working late nights and weekends? Does anyone? Because that’s a fact you’ll have to consider thanks to the nature of the industry. Events don’t close and in fact, they tend to pick up in the evenings and on the weekends when the crowds are out and about.

And if events are live, you’ll have to be on call. Many agencies do allocate one manager per weekend to take care of everything running, but if you’re heading up a campaign, you’re the one with the inside knowledge and may have to step in to help out.

Saying that, this can be a plus if you’re interested in getting involved beyond the 9-5. Have you ever finished a campaign wondering if it was successful, if the social media hashtags gathered attention and final sales increased? Or you built up a great working relationship with the client on-site and thought it might be cool to nurture a budding network? That curiosity and drive is what will help you to make the switch.

A tighter team

So promo work might bring a lot of socialisation, but it also includes a lot of social turnover. The guys you did the chicken bites promo with may have been super cool, but you may also never work with them again. Bummer.

As a team in the office though, you’ll be sitting there together day in and day out. Gritting your teeth through the tough days of last-minute client requests, laughing along with the characters surrounding you, and partying till the sun comes out before heading straight back to the office (guilty…).

Not to mention, companies love a little team bonding and you can count on activities away from the office, Christmas parties, birthday cakes and mini-celebrations all year long.

You can’t work the really awesome event

Sometimes, when I was a campaign manager, a ridiculously cool gig would come through. Driving around beautiful cars, getting all dolled up for a make-up brand, giving away freebies at a festival (because everyone knows freebies and festivals are the best), or even a particularly well-paid event. As I took down the details from the client all I could think was “me me me me!” but, clearly, that wasn’t going to happen. It wouldn’t be professional, it wouldn’t be fair, and to be honest, I probably wouldn’t be the best person for that role. And so instead, they went to the fantastic staff on the books who totally rocked the jobs.

Some agencies do encourage their office staff to get involved in some campaigns – it helps remind them of the logistics, the experience, the cold and wet days spent working outside, the feeling of rejection when no one wants a flyer, and the good bits too – but what you get booked on is luck of the draw and no, you won’t make double wage that day!

So what do you think, how does it sound? If you’ve considered all the above and think it sounds up your alley, give it a go and let us know!

Photo by Szabolc

Spring clean your email inbox

The previous app recommendation I shared with you was for Slack, whose goal is to have you ditching your inboxes. But being honest, that’s a pretty big leap and we’re far from reaching that point if we even want to get there. So to keep with the theme of cleaning up your inboxes and reducing the daily dump (the inbox, that is), today we’re having a look at Unroll Me.

What is Unroll Me?

If you’re a subscription addict, you need this app. Or even if you think you aren’t, you probably need this app. These days it’s impossible to navigate the web, explore a site, or download that freebie report without subscribing to a newsletter. Plus, those catchy pop up’s do their job.

Chances are, you actually have no idea how many newsletters you’re subscribed to and the truth is, you just can’t be bothered to find out nor unsubscribe from them all. Well, that’s my story anyway.

Unroll Me takes this problem and sorts this out for you, with minimal effort required from your end.

How to spring clean your email?

First step, no surprise, sign up via the website: https://unroll.me/a/signup

Desktop and mobile friendly, its platform provides a straightforward, simple way to unsubscribe. One that you’ll be pretty accustomed to if you’re a Tinder fan: swipe left.

Following your clean-up, Unroll Me then bundles the rest of your newsletters into one neat and tidy email that hits your inbox once per day. Take a peak into its contents, select what you want to read and dig in.

And the clincher? The app identifies all your newsletters for you instantly, so there’s no boxes to tick or lists to scroll through to have to submit. Ah, the magic of tech.

Uncluttered Mailbox

That’s pretty much it. Enjoy your once-a-day digest or if you don’t, delete the offenders. Suddenly, between Slack and Unroll me – and who knows who else we’re yet to discover – your inbox is looking a whole lot quieter. Which means you’ll actually be able to get some work done.

 

Is Your Office Atmosphere Down in the Dumps?

The other day I googled “office staff at computers”. This was my result:

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 13.34.06
Apparently office workers pull some weird faces.

Seriously? Is working in an office so achingly boring and frustrating that you want to smash your computer with a hammer? Of course we all have some days when we feel like any of the above – apart from the guy who is scared of his computer – but there are so many ways to create a pleasant atmosphere in the space where we spend so much of our lives.

After snooping around a few blogs, here are a few of my favourite ideas to keep your office atmosphere chirpy:

Flexible Time

Some days you feel like working like a maniac. Others, you may feel like the guy in the pink shirt; it’s just not your day and you’d rather be anywhere else. Giving employees the freedom of flexible hours and even working from home offers them a benefit many would choose over extra cash. Encourage people to work according to their schedules – as long as it suits your events, too – and see their best work yet.

Make it Pretty

We all love pretty things, even when it comes to office supplies. I hope it’s not just me who gets really excited to write in a Moleskin notebook with a jet-black, smooth-tipped pen? Or is that just my inner stationery geek coming out? Invest in some good quality and visually appealing supplies including stationery, furniture, decor and lighting to create an easy-on-the-eyes space inspiring efficient yet creative results.

Shared Lunch Space

An office I previously worked in one day banned eating at the desk and required that anyone eating in the office, did so at the shared table. Such a simple change, but a brilliant one. Cue genuine conversations, shared ideas between various departments, company bonding, cleared minds, and happier staff.

 Ditch the Chairs

Why is so accepted that we must be ‘chained to our chairs’? We’ve cut our links this idea and work a combination of standing and sitting. In fact, right now I’m pretty much in ‘lounging’ position with my feet kicked up and a backwards lean. Provide various working spaces – standing, sitting, …squatting? – in different situations like social desks, private spaces and so on to target each individuals’ ideal working environment. Try out a walking meeting in the park, smell some fresh air and feel inspired by your change in scenery to better your business.

These ideas, and so many more, are already becoming popular as companies realise that happy environment equals happy staff equals better results. Let’s all focus on people, whether your internal employees or hard-working field staff, and change those search results from the glum to the cheery lady in pink.

 

 

F.lux for Better Sleep

Your work may be keeping you up at night, but not for reasons you may think. Ever go to take care of a last minute email late at night? Or log on just to make things are ok before slipping into bed? If so, by simply looking at your computer screen, you’re straining your eyes and resetting your internal sleep clock thanks to the artificial light.

So what’s the solution? We’ve found it in a handy and free little app called f.lux. This software matches your computer screen light to your environment, providing brighter, cooler blue light during the day and a softer, warmer yellow light in the evenings. The thingis, it becomes such a natural light that you won’t even notice your screen is tinted – until you turn it off and are blinded by the cold glare of your device.

Curbing that 'eerie blue glow' from your screen
Curbing that ‘eerie blue glow’ from your screen

Wait, why is Watu talking about saving our eyes and getting better sleep? Well, firstly because we’re a tech-savvy team who also invests in our health, and we’d like to share our knowledge with you (oh, and we’re not the only ones giving f.lux the thumbs up). But also because the world would be a happier place if everyone got a bit more sleep, don’t you think?