Members from Marketing WAM are joining a weekly Covid-19 forum to chat through business impact and offer advice and support to each other with online events in unprecedented circumstances.
Business support packages, working from home best practice, workforce stability, communications and mental health were all on the agenda this week.
Key outputs and links from our experts are as follows:
Carl Enser at Fabric IT:
Two main things to consider. Microsoft Teams is offering free access to this software for six months – ‘work remotely, without feeling remote’. And don’t forget working from home can also throw up data security issues so make sure your systems are in place and refreshed.”
Mandy Fazelynia and team at All Communications By Zest4:
8by8 is an alternative meeting and collaboration product to Microsoft Teams – worth a look – also offering free access. Also when you are fighting over bandwith at home with teenagers we can provide temporary cellular connections via mobiles from O2 (using our wholesale provider status with them) which will improve your 4G data capability. Let us know.”
Phil Kerr, Business & Growth Manager for Cheshire East Council:
The council has set up a website link for all businesses with information on support so keep an eye on that. We are estimating that around 6000 businesses in this area, who already qualify for business rates relief, will get a £10,000 grant, so we are busy on the process around that. We are keen to listen to businesses via forums like this and escalate concerns and problems up through our own emergency command structure to Government, so keep us informed and use these weblinks. We will keep feeding information into Marketing WAM and will be attending forums going forward so please bring questions and issues to us.
“Also it’s great to hear your support for a skills / product share initiative – a business version of a community scheme we are launching. I will keep you updated on that.”
Steve Simpson, Marketing Director SAS Daniels:
We are dealing with some of the key legal concerns around employment law and HR at the moment helping business owners with a process of redundancy and layoffs. We are also getting increasing enquiries around making or changing a will or creating a trust account and we are seeing inevitable slowdown in residential and commercial property activity. We have set up a support through Covid-19 webpage, please contact us – we are keen to help.”
Victoria Maltby from Philosophy PR:
We are seeing clients trying to work out a response to the issue and while for some things are slowing down, some clients are busier than ever. Digital comms is definitely coming to the fore, so we are saying, if you can, this might be a good time to look at refreshing websites and brands with an eye on the future.”
Key things to be thinking about – make sure your external comms are visible to people and keep them under review so you can update if things change. Keep any positive news around the effect of Covid-19 in mind, the media are looking for innovative, resilient responses from business, as we are at Marketing WAM so get those over to us or chat about how best to handle. Tone of voice is important. Plan your good news pipeline for when the immediate danger is passed and we can look forward. Take the opportunity to reflect and think about how you might communicate in the future – what lessons has this whole experience taught us. And don’t forget about the internal comms piece. Video collaboration software has come into its own – use it for info, organising and communicating around our new normal – and benefit from its morale boost. I would add Zoom to the other two for consideration.”
Helen White and Richard Higginson of Marketing Stockport:
There has never been a more crucial time for organisations like Marketing Stockport and WAM to be supporting business. Connected to local authority Economic Resilience Teams and working hand in hand to get messaging out, we are ensuring we play a role for our members and beyond as well as driving health, uplifting discussion forums. These are important for feeling less alone and coping with the stresses. We have found Tony Robbins useful here. Have a look at his thinking around changing your mindset.”
All agreed that online exercise is the way forward – just look at Joe Wicks and his million people-strong exercise session at 9am daily, for an example of appetite and need!
And finally Jan Cowan, Business Development Director at Marketing WAM reminded us about the NHS and their sterling work:
Give them a massive thank you by joining in tonight’s nationwide Big Applause initiative at 8pm – on your doorstep, on your balcony in your garden. Let’s take a moment to acknowledge their efforts and remind ourselves why we are social distancing and how important it is. To beat this thing together. See you soon!”
Marketing WAM’s next video forum is on Tuesday 31st March at 10am. Click here to join.