How we’re coping with the coronavirus crisis

14th April 2020

It’s difficult to know what to say at the minute, isn’t it? As an agency we’ve spent a good part of the last month crafting coronavirus comms for our customers, yet it’s still hard to determine which tone to take when voicing our own thoughts. 

For the first time in a very long time, people across the globe are facing a common enemy - but everyone is having their own individual experience of it. When people are losing their jobs and their loved ones, it can seem petty to say that you’re struggling with staying at home all the time. But the truth is that everyone is facing their own difficulties, and we’re all entitled to talk about the things we’re finding hard.  

It’s obviously important to recognise that we could be in a much worse situation - we know that we’re lucky in that we’ve all managed to stay healthy so far, and we’re still working at full capacity (albeit remotely). But within the Pod, we’re all facing our own challenges - lots of us have vulnerable loved ones, while others are trying to homeschool our children. We know that many people are in the same position. So, while we’re far from experts, we wanted to share some of the things we’ve found helpful when it comes to coping with the ongoing uncertainty we’re all facing.   

We’re making it work by…

Being even more flexible than usual 

At The Marketing Pod we’ve always been fairly flexible - it makes all of our lives easier to be able to work from home when necessary. But working from home on a Friday when the kids are in school is very different to working elbow-to-elbow with your children around the dining room table. 

So we’ve had to become flexible in ways we’ve never had to before, staggering some of our working hours to ensure that we can provide the best possible service to our clients while also making sure our children are fed/watered/doing something vaguely educational. And we’ve found that our clients have been totally understanding of this, as many of them are having to find their own ways to parent and work at the same time! We’re all doing our best in a difficult situation - so if a child pops up or a dog barks during a call, just laugh it off - it really doesn’t matter.

Celebrating the small things (quietly)

Unless a trip to the supermarket is usually the highlight of your week (we’re not judging), this year has turned out to be very different than many of us expected. Lots of the things we were looking forward to, from holidays to big events, have been cancelled or postponed. But while we’re obviously disappointed, dwelling on the things we can’t do is only going to make us miserable - so we’re trying our hardest to focus on the small things that put a smile on our face every day, and celebrating the positives wherever possible.    

A big positive for us is that we took on a new member of the team recently - hi, Emma Thompson! (no, not that one - but we’re sure our Emma Thompson is just as fabulous). At a time when millions of people are losing their jobs or being furloughed, it wouldn’t be right for us to shout about our own growth, so we kept it fairly low-key. But at the same time, isn’t it important that we all take a moment to be grateful for what we can? We celebrated our new Podster quietly, by surprising the whole team with a pizza delivered directly to their doors. 

Staying connected to the wider marketing community 

As self-confessed marketing geeks, sifting through the latest stories from our industry over a cup of tea has always been part of our morning ritual. But since we’ve been locked down we’ve found that this has taken on a new significance. While it’s terrible that the pandemic has had such a wide impact on businesses, we feel like it’s also brought a new sense of collaboration rather than competition to the marketing industry as everyone works together to weather the storm. 

We’ve picked up tips from other agencies that are doing well throughout the crisis, attended some excellent virtual events we wouldn’t have been able to attend otherwise, and found solace in the fact that our fellow marketers are experiencing the same issues that we are. We’re now striving to give something back to the community, starting by sharing our experience in an Energy Live News webinar on communicating in difficult times. 

What’s working for you?

These are the things that have helped us - along with copious amounts of crisps and alcohol - but if you have any tips of your own, we’d love to hear from you! You can reach us at hello@themarketingpod.co.uk