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We Really Are In This Together – So Buckle Up, Adapt, Innovate and Try To Keep Smiling!

by Jason Madeley Jason Madeley

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  • Posted on Friday 27th March, 2020

The last 10 days, as you will all agree, has been crazy.  Fortunately, our team of 28 Hatchlings is well-versed in homeworking, so for us it wasn’t a problem to adopt and embrace the ‘WFH’ new norm.

It was a good job it’s business as usual because with it has come an influx of work for clients.  We are in the middle of a crisis and since the commencement of social distancing, we’ve been adapting and evolving to the new media environment and being on hand to support clients with crisis communications 24/7.

It is going to be a tough few months for us all, both professionally and personally, but how we adapt and respond quickly will be key to support our customers and ensure we engage with ‘at home’ end consumers and crucially, ensure we are ready for a post lockdown opportunity.

Before I go into how consumer attitudes and the engagement opportunity is likely to evolve in these strange times, I just wanted to thank our clients for remaining focused and supportive and big shout out to our talented team who I am immensely proud of in terms of how professional, adaptable and positive they are.

As a business, we will 100% abide by the Government advice to beat this but that does not mean we have to lose our point of difference as brands or services or indeed our personality.

At this strange time, people need to be informed but also entertained to mitigate the impact, as much as we can, of social distancing. In my view, brands can play a part in supporting via the media and digitally. Many brands have gauged the tone of the conversation brilliantly and made people smile in creative ways – from tributes and support to our NHS heroes to adapting and innovating offerings to deliver more goods online and interactive digital events to keep kids entertained.

There has been many statistics put out there about changes in marketing spend and focus of the consumer. While these will change on a daily basis, it is clear that the focus is going to be on the home like never before. Social media use and spend is going to rocket and any brands taking the opportunity to engage will focus on digital PR.

As we navigate these weeks, we will provide a snapshot on how the media landscape will play out, collating some of the best examples of PR and social activity in supporting ongoing conversation, engagement, relevance and entertainment.

Let’s not underplay the importance of communication at this time to deliver short terms goals, such as the launch of an online Deli by the Wensleydale Creamery to ensure consumers can continue to get their favourite produce delivered to their homes. It will also be key for brand’s medium terms goals to be ready for when isolation is over, so activity can be kick off as I feel there will be many consumers who have researched purchasing online and will be ready to act and spend.

At times like these, it is important to keep our spirits up and of course, maintain a sense of humour. The Hatchlings are doing just that. We would have been at the PR Moment Awards last Wednesday, up for five awards but understandably, the black tie event was postponed. That did not dampen the spirits of the Hatch team, in particular Alex, who having purchased a new jacket specially for the occasion, brought the PR Moment Awards live to Hatch from his dining room (please see below highly entertaining image of one lonely Hatchling, head to toe in dinner suit, hosting an isolation awards ceremony – let’s hope we’re as successful in the real awards as in our own version).

I’m proud of the spirit and culture we have as a team and I believe this is the attitude we should all adopt to get through this together. Each week, we’ll be hosting digital Friday drinks on Zoom – the first gathering saw wine reviews, fancy dress and a ‘Social Distancing Quiz’ led by our very own Jack – I just hope I have enough supplies of quality grape juice to keep me going during isolation!

Stay safe all, and together we will crack this.