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Leading Your Business Through a Crisis | Park

This is an excerpt. Read the full story on Parkcom.co.uk.

Covid-19: leading your business through a crisis

alison-300x300A message from Alison Branch, Park Managing Director, to any business facing hardship as a result of Covid 19.

Like many other businesses, the task of troubleshooting Covid-19 continues to be the top priority at Park.

We’re open for business, but working in ways that once would have seemed unthinkable.

Staff have agreed to have their temperatures tested on the way into the building, and visitors are being asked to do the same.

Desks have been moved to maintain a safe distance of two metres between colleagues.

Everyone’s keeping to their own pens and pencils. Machine touch points, handrails etc. are being sanitised multiple times a day.

It is, without doubt, a unique set of challenges.

But one challenge is not entirely unprecedented. In 2008 and 2011, almost every business suffered. These economic shocks were less unnerving and sudden than coronavirus, and more protracted, but they still had serious consequences for many.

In those earlier crises, Park particularly noticed the impact on creative industries, as brands shifted budgets to what – then – was perceived as the ‘safe haven’ of digital media.

Many companies did not survive. Those that did, found themselves forced to adapt to an evolved business environment, compared to recent years.

This prompts the question: what learnings are there, in those recent crises, that could be useful for businesses facing hardship as a result of Covid-19?

A question of timing

I gave a second thought to publishing this.

Given that coronavirus poses a direct risk to human life, some may consider it too soon to talk about the business impact.

But as a business owner, it’s impossible to see the business and human risks as separate.

We bear great responsibility to our teams – and further, to their dependents, to our suppliers, and to the clients who rely on our business in order to carry on in theirs.

Client-side, responses have been varied.

One of the interesting things about working at Park has always been the perspective it lends on very many different industries: from cottage-industry indie mags, to global corporations.

Events have been hard hit as public gatherings are curtailed. In financial services, print deadlines must be met for legal reasons.

One response that has stood out is that by creative industries. Marketing professionals mostly continue to work from home, and we’ve already had a few conversations about how print can help brands ‘be there’ without employees actually being there.

In light of news of surging orders at Amazon UK, postal marketing may become a key tactic in the coming months.

The impression is of a business culture, particularly in marcomms, which is now shaped around rapid and far-reaching change.

Everyone has their favourite example of a company which did not adapt quickly enough – or one that radically changed its fortunes by thinking ahead of the curve.

Blockbuster clung on until 2014, at which point, 4,000 jobs were lost; but few remember that Netflix launched as a DVD rental service in 1998, before migrating into online streaming.

Today, these memories, combined with real and rational fears, are stimulating very sensible and timely conversations about the change that may play out over the next few years.

An eye on the trends

The Economist earlier this month said that Covid-19 will have ‘…a lasting effect, accelerating trends in business organisation that were already under way’.

It delves into supply chains which, for sustainability reasons, had been becoming more EU-centric for Park for some time. Our suppliers had also increased UK stocks to prepare for any distruption cause by Brexit. This has shielded Park from global disruption, and this month, it has made it easier for us to stock up on paper, ink and spare parts as a precaution.

But for our clients, the more important trend is the changing role of print media in the marketing mix…

This is an excerpt. Read the full story on Parkcom.co.uk.