Keeping It RealA shroud of secrecy has engulfed the New Zealand creative comms industry for as long as I can remember. We seem happy to tell others of our achievements and our highs; but never, ever give away our lows or our vulnerabilities. There is an inherent understanding that we all should ‘keep one’s business to oneself’.
Amidst the COVID-19 drama, we see this same secrecy playing out before our eyes:
- “Don’t tell our competitors how we are really doing.”
- “Don’t let on that we lost 50% of our business overnight.”
- “Don’t reveal the number of staff we’ve had to lay off.”
It is as if exposing these facts would somehow make us seem weak. The sad (and now undeniable) truth is that most of us are in the same boat. We all have similar stories to tell. No one is to blame as we are dealing with something totally out of anyone’s control. This virus has been a great leveller of agency ego, that’s for sure.
When we face a crisis such as COVID-19, we need the exact opposite of secrecy. We need openness, honesty and transparency. We need to know that others are experiencing what we are experiencing and receive assurance that we are not in this alone.
Our new LinkedIn group, the COVID-19 Agency Support Network (HERE) is helping to create a level of transparency that we do not usually see amongst our peers. If you are a senior agency owner/leader/manager and would like to dialogue with others in a similar position, then please join up - no matter the country you live in.
In keeping with the theme of openness, “Keeping it real” becomes a powerful and relevant statement. It’s the title of a new video series that we have launched on the COVID-19 Agency Support Network page (I’ve included the first video, below). The video features Michelle Walshe and Leon Kirkbeck, the Managing Directors of Augusto, a content and video/film production agency here in Auckland. Content production, along with experiential/events have been two of the hardest-hit sectors of our creative comms industry. I hope you find their words enlightening and encouraging.
Stay safe and keep looking upwards!
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