In uncertain times, it is more important than ever to share experience, insights and advice with your peers so we can all learn from one another. With this in mind, we are having conversations with members across various sectors to understand how themselves and their teams have been coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, what they have learned from it and how they continue helping their customers.
For the second installment in the series we’ve chatted to Pat Kinsley, Founder of Neworld.
MII: Hi Pat, can you tell us about how have you been adapting your marketing activities during the COVID-19 outbreak?
Pat Kinsley: Since Neworld is a client services business we’ve actually increased our communications during the outbreak. Right now it’s about sending out bespoke pieces on a client by client basis. Each and every one of us is being bombarded by generic communications every day and they’re growing more and more irrelevant. Every brand is unique and they need to be treated that way. It’s so important to think about if there’s any way that you can really help.
How have you been engaging with your team?
We’ve been living on Google Hangouts and it’s been great. Who would’ve thought an old guy like me would be so quick on the uptake? It was a big adjustment at first but it’s getting easier and it’s great to see each other in a different context. We’ve all had virtual drinks together and even put together a lip-sync video to celebrate one of our team members. Everyone recorded an individual piece and one of our brilliant designers put it all together. I’ve really enjoyed seeing all the different ways we can be creative in these circumstances.
What have you learned from a marketing perspective from COVID 19?
The current situation has really reinforced the importance of trust in branding. At Neworld we always say ‘a good brand is an honest brand’. It’s been incredible to see so many brands pivoting to stay relevant in the current climate. Every brand has a unique story, purpose, tone of voice and the key is to make sure that your brand is staying true to itself with any new ventures.
How have your work practices changed? What will you do differently going forward?
Working remotely was a relatively new concept for me but I’ve seen its merits in the current situation. There are so many platforms available now and it’s been a valuable experience getting familiar with them. What I miss most about working in a collective creative agency are the group brainstorming sessions. Feeling the raw energy in the room, the heartbeat, the eye to eye. I’ll never take them for granted again!
Has your brand purpose been challenged by COVID 19? How?
At Neworld, we’ve always said ‘great relationships build great brands’. One thing that’s become clear through all of this – whether it’s client/supplier/partner – we’re all in this together. We must all pitch in to help protect each other’s assets. The relationship piece is more important now than ever.
What brands or businesses have you admired through this crisis?
Brand Ireland. The Irish Government has done a fantastic job. They’ve gone forward with a clearly defined purpose and tone of voice. They’ve shown their understanding of both the economic and personal effects of the current circumstances. They’ve provided comfort for Irish business owners and marketers alike and have made us see ourselves as one cohesive unit. Their responsiveness has really elevated Ireland on a global stage too. There’s great pride in being Irish right now.