Business in the corona times

A new covid-week is ahead of us, hopefully everything will get better soon.

Dialog Web Format

 

By: Marina Čulić Fischer, Managing Partner, Dialog komunikacije

 

Monday, March 16th

 

Although last week we internally communicated a set of recommendations related to the spread of coronavirus, such as travel restriction, hygiene care and the ability to work from home for anyone interested, around 60% of our employees came to office today. A colleague who runs Insights & Planning provided recommendations on how to adjust social media communication of various brands we run and Ketchum shared scenarios of global business developments. Clients' activities in retail sector are increasing, tourism is "on fire", some clients are delaying projects and campaigns. We are preparing plans for next period.

 

Tuesday, March 17th

 

A few more employees decided to work from home, there are now five of us in the office. We strictly obey all instructions, everyone sits alone in their room. We cleaned the venue, everything is shiny and radiant. We discussed the introduction of on-call duty, but decided it is not necessary yet. The European Football Championship was postponed and the campaigns that were linked to it were cancelled. We are considering whether we can do something good for someone in this crisis and decided to offer pro-bono communications consulting services to companies from the most affected industries.

 

Wednesday, March 18th

 

We introduced regular virtual meetings per teams and per clients. Two brands in the spirits category froze their profiles on social networks. We are thinking about positive stories we could generate, there are so many ideas. We believe this is important not only for the overall atmosphere, but also for our employees. A client from NGO sector announces a vibrant public campaign for June. We entered second round of agency selection in a major regional pitch. On industry level, we are discussing Government measures to support the economy, especially SMEs, as most agencies come from this sector.

 

Thursday, March 19th

 

In line with the latest recommendations from the National Civil Protection Head Office, we made a decision to physically close our office. On one side, client from tourism sector cancels all proactive communication with the media, and on the other side a client from food sector orders a big campaign for Croatia and Slovenia. A beautiful, motivating and inspiring letter arrives from a regional director of a major multinational company, saying: "Now is the time to find a new voice and use our platforms for common good. In the darkest of times, the light of human kindness and creativity shines brightest."

 

 

Friday, March 20th

 

Morning starts with a June campaign confirmation and purchase orders for two previously agreed jobs. We are approached by different clients interested in donating funds to public healthcare sector, we explore all available options and submit proposals in a record time. The on-call crew from our office building has redecorated our bathroom based on our instructions, and it now looks like a mini-wellness. They sent us photos and everybody received the news with acclamation.

 

Monday, March 23rd

 

It was our colleague's birthday on Saturday, and since this is the first one we didn't celebrate together, we opened a WhatsApp group for more immediate and intimate communication. Many good wishes poured in with promises of a huge party when we all reunite in the office. Good vibes from Saturday were replaced by messages of shock, fear and disbelief as a really strong earthquake hits Zagreb on Sunday. Our employees were offering help to eachother and I went to the office to determine the level of damage. Fortunately, the effects of the earthquake are minor. We are all on our feet all day, constantly exchanging news and worries. We entered Monday with a wonderful message from a colleague: "I can't wait to come to the office again at 8:30 on a Monday, greet Karla first, wave to everyone in the digital team and enter my room for a weekend "report". And then get down to business. I would look forward to lunch with Nataša and Ana-Marija and sharing some good news with Marina in the afternoon." And so Monday after all started on a good foot, we made our first Skype call for Beiersdorf, second for Nestle and third with finance department (and it wasn't even lunch time yet). We are preparing news releases we discussed with our clients last week. There are a lot of good things - bonuses for cashiers, donations, start of a new NGO.. It feels as if we have already adjusted to the "new normal". We welcome City of Zagreb's measures to ease the effects of coronavirus on the businesses. A new covid-week is ahead of us, hopefully everything will get better soon and the ground under our feet will no longer shake.