Watching our team leave one by one, with a monitor under one arm and a laptop under the other, I’m not going to fib, I was really quite sad.
If the country in the last week has moved to a war footing, there’s no doubt that Be Bold moved to a daily newsroom footing too. Our journalist contacts, often our former colleagues, remarked that it was a bit like the ‘old days’, as we filed running copy to their pages with important comment from our clients.
Website and social media content has needed updating at all hours as businesses clamoured for more information and more detail about what help would be available during this pandemic crisis. We’re engaging thousands of times a day on their behalf.
Many of us have worked big stories before. This is different.
And in the midst of all the right and proper activity on LinkedIn as businesses communicate their resilience to changing circumstance; I just wanted to put it out there:
This is not business as usual and it’s okay to say so.
Yes, our team has moved to working remotely, taking not just monitors (we like lots of screens here!) but in one case at least, their office chair and a supply of loo roll too.
Yes, our office lines all still work the same thanks to softphone technology on our laptops. And we use Zoom, Google hangouts, Slack and Asana to make sure we’re all on the same page with all our systems secure and in the cloud.
As a distributed team working from Newport, Shrewsbury and London, we’ve always had that capability.
But yet it is still different. It’s okay to acknowledge that the noise on the conference call is the three year old singing Paw Patrol from the other room; that we need to mute the microphone as we wipe chocolate fingers off the handset and that we’re going to be away from our desk for an hour because we’ve now become home-educators as well as home-workers.
Despite not one case of COVID-19 to date being reported in Telford & Wrekin, where we are based, it is still worrying as we watch today’s shocking footage from Bergamo, in Italy, and know this is coming our way. It’s concerning for businesses, but also for our clients, our people and their families. And it’s okay to acknowledge that too.
The word ‘unprecedented’ has been used a lot lately. And the irony of this isn’t lost on us.
Usually, we end a blog post with a call to action. We’re not professional communicators for nothing. We ask you to spend time reading something, we give you something of value, we encourage you to take action with a pay off at the end. Our content needs to have value for the person investing their time in it, whether we’re posting for ourselves or our clients
But not today. These are, after all, unprecedented times.