The story so far
There’s no doubt the economy has not seen such a radical shake up like the impact of lockdown since the 2008 crash. There we were busy planning for 2020, an event here, a conference there, months of meticulous planning went up in smoke when Covid 19 turned up.
First came the anxiety, the fizz in the air that something was very wrong and coming right for us. A guy coughed on the tram and the whole carriage baulked in fear. The end was on its way and therefore we must purchase a lot of erm toilet roll ?
Then came the emergency scramble to set up home schooling desks and our own home working spaces. We quickly learnt to use Zoom and video tech of all varieties to conduct meetings. Finally, furloughing. Some of us had to look up what furlough actually means and yet everyone was talking about it.
This furlough process is designed to relieve financial pressures from businesses who will struggle to operate during lockdown. The idea being that their payroll will be smaller and when we are clear to go back into society there will still be a business not a new file for bankruptcy. It is enabling businesses to have a solid financial base to work from and a promising future.
Where we are now
Mid lockdown and the business news landscape is an almost barren wasteland. Covid 19 dominates the news to saturation point. I am not undermining the gravity of the pandemic situation, but we all need to know there is more going on out there, this is temporary and better times are coming.
Hardly anyone is using this pause to share some good news that their business is marching on, winning business and expanding. Despite running on skeleton staff, agencies are winning pitches and staying relevant to the economy. Client’s budgets may have been trimmed as badly as a home haircut, but agencies will be bending over backwards to keep their brand strategies alive and relevant to the current climate.
Newspapers are printing good news stories as journalist yearn for a non COVID story.
The truth is because businesses have taken the unprecedented move to furlough a percentage of their staff they feel guilty to announce their good news. This block on good news is leaving us with nothing but the gloom.
What is needed for a happier ending
We need business to talk up their successes not just for the security of their team members on furlough but for all of us. With phenomenal news that barrels of oil are -$40 we are in need of some rays of hope.
Good news would be welcome for the nation’s sanity, we need something to inspire and offer us confidence that we can overcome.
Some businesses are using this pause to create, innovate and share this good news without reservation. Those businesses are enjoying the limelight, see Punk Brew and their hand sanitser. If you can create an authentic solution during this crisis you will fly on the other side. Maintaining your brand strategy to support your business plan and announcing news regularly will motivate your team and ensure you are ready for the otherside of the pandemic.
When the ‘bounce back’ hits, there will be a huge claw for media attention, those who chose to abstain will have to remind their audiences who they are and what they do, those who have used the opportunity to consistently share their news will already be at the front of their audiences’ (and journalists) consciousness.
The pandemic will end and we want the world to know that the UK is in good shape, not scared and washed up. Europe is already leading the charge by tentatively reopening, we need a confident economy that will support us as we emerge. If we share the hard work going on now the bounce back will indeed be as profitable as hoped.
In quarter four we will be making up for lost ground and we need to prepare for this by starting a wave of positive announcements to pave the way for better times.