2020 is a year destined to go down in history – and not in a good way. From the coronavirus pandemic to protests and wildfires, it wasn’t the year anyone expected moving into the new decade.
Despite all that has been thrown our way over the past 12 months, not everything that happened was negative. We wanted to share with you the positives that we’re taking with us into 2021.
As marketers, we talk about communication ALL OF THE TIME. From social media to phone calls and video meetings, we’re connected to the world around us 24/7. The problem with this constant interaction is that we often take it for granted, not truly appreciating the opportunity to talk to those around us.
“When lockdown first started back in March, I made the effort to call each client personally and just talk to them about what was going on. What their concerns were and what we could do to help, but also as a person, how they were doing in general and how they were feeling about it.
“It led to more conversations, most very casual, and mutual support. It cemented the relationships that I have with these clients, these people, these friends.
“In 2020, we were able to create exceptional relationships with our clients that went far beyond supplier and client relationships.
“When I’ve had low points, when I’ve had a moment, my clients have also been there for me, and that’s something I shall always remember. It’s also the model for how I want relationships to be like with future clients.”
Like most of the country, we had no choice but to begin working from home from March. Despite previously having a flexible approach to working, it was still a big jump.
One of the biggest changes was being apart. We didn’t want to lose the sense of team we’ve always had so daily catch-ups were the answer. Mainly about the latest COVID restrictions or moaning that Susan down the road was having three walks a day instead of one – the seemingly innocuous chat that makes us a team.
Productivity hasn’t suffered, our clients have been largely unbothered by when or where we’re working.
“I’ve learned that we can, as a company, work more remotely. I’ve learned to let go of certain concerns about what happens when we’re not in the office together. I thought we were pretty flexible, but I now see no reason for the Monday-Friday 9-5 model. Our team understands what we have to achieve and I trust people to deliver in a way that works for them. Equally, I can see that clients are much more accepting of remote delivery and less concerned about 9-5 than I thought.”
Sophie Q says:
“I would have to say getting a new job in the middle of the pandemic was certainly a high for me. With redundancies left, right and centre, this felt like an impossible task but I have Paul and the team to thank for giving me the opportunity to be part of the LikeMind gang.
“Flexible working is definitely a bonus at LikeMind Media and even more so with working remotely. We’re big believers that working in partnership with our clients is more important than appearing like a supplier and, in reality, where we work from doesn’t impact our results and relationships. We are lucky to be able to work from home and provide support to our clients during such unprecedented times. Here’s to 2021.”
We’d all like to think we’re kind and considerate all the time but the reality is we’re often too busy getting on with our own lives to really extend kindness to those around us. A global pandemic has certainly given us pause for thought about actively thinking of the needs of others.
The kindness of friends, neighbours and even strangers during these unprecedented times has been staggering. Getting groceries for elderly members of the community, offering free business services to those who are struggling and checking in on friends are just a few examples of kindness we’ve seen in an especially tough year.
“The determination to help others, to look out for each other, has known no bounds. We’ve all heard or shared stories of people’s personal triumphs amid, at times, often tragic circumstances, because the human will to survive and to make good for each other has taken over. It has been a shining light, and one from which I have personally benefited.”
Charlie is taking considerate contact with him into 2021:
“In both my personal and professional life, 2020 was about one thing– considerate contact. In my personal life, I considered contact with everyone, even warned them off at times because you know, COVID. I understood that I’m unlikely to be affected but needed to be considerate of those around me.
“In my professional life, my marketing has become more considerate. There are so many knock-on effects of the virus that you just don’t know how it is affecting someone– their business, their life – so considering your clients and making life as easy as possible was the aim. Furthermore, working with our clients meant we had to be considerate in our messaging to a range of different audiences, again considering how they are going to be affected by the situation. All of this was done with one simple tool, open and honest (virtual) communication.”
Love them or hate them, colleagues are a big part of your week.
“I worked remotely before COVID, and will continue to do so when we do finally get back to something resembling normality. So my daily routine hasn’t changed that much, despite having two tearaways at home for the best part of seven months while school was closed. But that’s a whole other story.
“We’ve been in the very fortunate position to take on three new members of staff this year, one of whom had barely got their feet under the desk before being sent home and told to stay there. That’s not a great start at getting to know your colleagues and settling in properly, is it? And two others joined us during lockdown and have barely set foot in the office. How must they have felt acclimatising to a new role, a new company, new ways of working, new colleagues, some of whom they have still yet to meet face to face? Under the surface, it’s been difficult for them, I’m absolutely sure. But what has impressed me so much is their willingness to accept the situation, to make the very best of it that they can, and to take fully on board the “It is what it is” mantra.
“It’s that kind of spirit, adaptability and resourcefulness that I’ve really admired. I take my hat off to them, I really do.
“And it’s those attributes that, I believe, help make LikeMind Media what we are – a bloody good company to work for, and to work with. That, for me, is one hell of a positive to take from this year.”
Certain things were out of the question for most of 2020 – going to the pub, visiting the cinema, jetting off on holiday. Basically, anything that involved being inside a building that isn’t your own home.
Sophie Q says:
“2020 definitely made us all stop and reflect on what’s important in life. Of course, family and friends, but I’ve never been so grateful to have a horse (yes, I’m talking about Rocky again). Rain or shine, a place to escape to, to blow away the cobwebs and to keep fit all at the same time! Rocky has made this year a lot brighter and never fails to make me happy. Walking the dogs has also been a godsend. Keep your loved ones close, there is light at the end of a very dark tunnel.”
Personally, I’m neither an introvert nor an extrovert (that’s called an ambivert in case you’re wondering). I enjoy spending time alone and with others but, pre-pandemic, a lot of my downtime involved getting drinks with friends, making Sunday roasts or spending time with family. Since March, that’s been replaced with long dog walks, playing board games and watching (probably too much) Netflix and, in in all honesty, that hasn’t been such a bad thing. 2020 was certainly a change of pace but it gave me time to appreciate the things I don’t get to do often enough, such as reading.
I’m sure that people much closer to extrovert on the scale have struggled with the slowed down pace more than I have, but I think there are lessons we can all learn from how busy modern life usually is. Slowing down isn’t such a bad thing.
Sophie G refined her skills in the kitchen in 2020:
“2020 has definitely highlighted how important it is to look after our mental health and create a work-life balance. We all need an outlet to escape the COVID chaos– whether that’s listening to a podcast, reading or baking your 100th batch of banana bread. Cooking new recipes with my housemates helped to fill those empty evenings or weekends (that would possibly be spent at the pub). I can now confidently add sushi and Spanish tapas to my culinary repertoire.”
Here’s hoping that 2021 brings many more positives but, in the meantime, we’re happy with what we’ve learned this year. We’re grateful for our clients, our friends and family, and each other.