03 Jun What has coronavirus ever done for us
So, week 11 of lockdown and things are certainly changing. There’s more traffic on the road and drivers are less inclined to stop and let pedestrians cross the road. Locally people have been dressing up in their ‘going out clothes’, buying takeaway cocktails from local bars and restaurants and then ‘taking them away’ to bar tables on the pavement. Meanwhile, the local pub has been serving cold beer and wonderful stone-baked pizza from its front door for locals to take to the park opposite. There are more people on the street during the week carrying brief cases and laptop bags but the blues skies remain silent except for the delightful sound of birdsong; despite having missed out on a holiday, I am definitely not missing the aircraft noise.
Ronin’s office phones are ringing more often and our diaries are getting fuller with client meetings. We have had four new business enquiries this week: a tender for a major oil company; a digital communications programme for a solicitors firm ; a new brand ID and website for an international project management company; and a full marketing communications programme for a data analyst company in the energy sector. We have also put plans in place for some exciting post-lockdown campaigns for existing clients, a pest control company that has a programme ready to help restaurants, pubs and cafés as they open up again, a video campaign for a luxury kitchen manufacturer and a scenario planning process for a business consultancy firm based in the Asia-Pacific region. Work continues on a website for an Egyptian chemical company and we have just completed the website designs for a London tech recruitment firm. Social media messaging generally is shifting towards a more commercial emphasis and there are now fewer requests from the press for COVID-19-related content.
WFH remains for RONIN. We may start a phased return later this month depending on what the government says over the coming week or so, and how staff feel about it. In the meantime we are taking the opportunity to replace the windows in our office while they are empty. The team meets daily, usually at 10.00am to talk about the day’s work and just to have a bit of a chat and a laugh. Everybody is in good spirits, although our account director who is eight months pregnant is complaining about the heat. We’ve been asking them to send in pictures of their barbecues, DIY projects, baking and kiddie-crafts for our social media posts. On the subject of DIY projects, yours truly inflicted an unfortunate injury on himself whilst building a bee hotel; an electric drill span out of control and connected with his erm…‘lower stomach area’. Mercifully, just a few stitches and a little bruising…plus a lot of painful jibes from friends and family of course. These images will not be posted on our social media pages.
Our office manager is furloughed. She’s a single mum and is enjoying (I think) being able to spend time with her young son. Naturally, people are all looking forward to seeing family and friends again, so let’s hope this great weather holds out for a bit longer.
My wife, two children and I, have been meeting our elderly neighbours at the end of our garden (which is looking the best it ever has) on a Friday evening for a drink and a chat. They’re regularly baking us loaves of lovely wholemeal bread and supplying us with the best ever homemade raspberry jam. Another neighbour who is a barbecue wizard, is doing takeaway meals from his home of 10-hour cooked pulled pork and beef brisket – delicious. Plus my furloughed daughter who is a fantastic baker as well as a marketing ace, has been finding the time to conjure up some wonderful sweet treats including a superb chocolate cheesecake, a fresh berry drizzle cake and fresh fruit scones for cream teas. This of course means we’ve had to step up our Zoom yoga classes and video workouts.
So, it feels like things are perhaps heading towards some sort of normal, whatever that turns out to be. In the meantime let’s all make sure we look for the enjoyment in our continued isolation, remember the lessons lockdown has taught us and try to change ourselves for the better as we go back to our daily routines.