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A Crafty Week : 1

Positivity in Light of Adversity

The daily routine for millions is undergoing some unprecedented changes. Supermarkets emptied daily, streets seemingly deserted, schools shutting for most children, and the majority of people keeping inside, and in most cases are taking the advice that is being given. It’s a very stressful and tough time for many people, and our thoughts go out to all affected.

This week’s newsletter focuses on the interesting and the positive stories and news that is emerging as a result of Covid-19.

Re-tooling for those in work

For those with non-essential jobs (by that we mean those who helping to keep the country running and keep us safe), who are lucky enough to still be working, the home has become our new office. There are many articles being published on what this means for businesses and employers. One that we liked came from The Drum who have published an article about the new normal of ‘WFH’.

They have offered a range of tips on how to make adapt to a new way of working:

Use technology to stay connected with colleagues. At Craft we have been spending many hours working through documents collaboratively, using Zoom or Google Hangouts to chat and stay on top of projects, or just as a device when we want a cup of tea, a break and someone to speak to.

Keep in touch- whether through work tools such as Slack and Monday for project management through to sharing jokes and having a laugh on WhatsApp. It's all crucial.

Focus on wellbeing- we are spending more time, checking in on each other, as well as looking to organize Crafty Keep fit sessions, hosted by our own Anna a registered PT. If you’d like to join in let us know.

Above all of these tools that Craft have being trying to implement to stay connected, we have also organized a virtual pub trip planned at 4pm on Friday, for us all to share a Gin and Tonic and a chat. We’ll let you know how that goes, and if you or your colleagues decide to have one too maybe we can all have a drink together.

Changes in media consumption and programming

As a result of the sudden and necessary behaviour change to social distancing and self-isolation, at the click of our fingers, current media consumption habits have defied our 2020 predictions.

With more of us self-isolating, practicing social distancing, and working at home, it is no shock that this means the way we are engaging with content and media is altered. ITV and the BBC are both enjoying some of the highest viewing figures for their news and entertainment shows that they have seen in many years. These numbers are likely to climb increasingly over the coming weeks, we will also start to see more public service broadcasts, from keep fit videos to comedy shows to help lighten the mood.

Away from TV, social media is of course a booming. TikTok ‘the app du jour’ is becoming a key source of information and content, with it should be noted a lighthearted and informative tone. Video content using the hashtag #coronavirus are up to 5.5bn total views on the app, which lets users post short clips set to music. TikTok has partnered with WHO to ensure that trusted information has been provided to the audience, providing facts, tips and myth busters, this is an approach being emulated across all platforms to ensure only what is truthful is spread.

Ladbible have announced they will not be feeding of peoples fear by chasing clicks on coronavirus to boost numbers, and are instead actively showing understanding that people will start to get frustrated so are feeding them day to day positive things to do alongside the facts. Others are actively promoting the benefits of social distancing. Capital FM breakfast show has started a daily show with Doctor Alex, formerly of Love Island, helping to answer any of the concerns from listeners. Thursday the 19th, featured Naill Horan formally of One Direction on Facetime on the radio discussing his album release, being honest about the tough time in regards to work and how he is coping with social distancing. It ended on Ronan saying ‘we are all in this together’ and that really should be at the forefront here.

Keeping fit at home

Despite the problems, people are still buying things and not just bog roll and pasta. Sports warehouse Decathlon has sold out online of all home-based fitness equipment, and many are predicting that peloton will do very well out of the next few months. Meanwhile, as gyms across London shut their doors, the owners of the likes of f45, Digme and Core Collective are streaming in home workouts for free or reduced process to members and Instagram followings, understanding the frustration of their members wanting to keep fit and moving. Aside from those trying to keep fit we are seeing many sports clubs and athletes take to social media, sharing challenges (toilet roll keepy-uppy anyone?) as away to pass the time. It will be interesting to continue to watch the developments in this space too.

Brands and businesses lending a helping hand

The Business of Fashion posted a piece on how brands can act in this time, suggesting more sensitive and useful messaging, along with a re-evaluation of channels.

Context is crucial here. We have seen KFC criticised for their ‘Finger Lickin Good campaign’, however they weren’t supposed to have known about this outbreak when planning or delivering the work, and like most of wouldn’t have pre-empted the rapid spread since January.

But this is not a time to think about just sales, more a time to maintaining trust and relationships with your audience. Supporting them and having their back in some way. Pret a Manger and Gregg’s are supplying all emergency staff with free hot drinks and deeply discounted food. BrewDog and LVMH are two brands to help by manufacturing and supplying hand sanitizer for free. Where business can afford to support society they are, it’s a trend that is giving us something to be a little positive about at least. We are also aware of Guinness owners Diageo are looking to help bar-staff with grants and other support.

In the US this week Expensify announced they will seek to help reimburse families on their SNAP cards. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest federal nutrition assistance program, which provides benefits to eligible low-income individuals and families via an Electronic Benefits Transfer card. It can be used like a debit card to purchase eligible food in authorized retail food store. Exemplify will offer benefits of up to $50 when they buy their groceries, helping to keep families safe and healthy in this time as kids are off school.

Adapting to supply and demand

Brands are also having to think quickly about implementing action and change on a daily basis. They are having to adapt their current model in light of Coronavirus to ensure they are able to reach people and feed the demand for their services. Chipotle for instance is hosting lunchtime hangouts with celebrities and up to 3,000 fans on Zoom, and introducing packaging that shows any evidence of tampering (and potential contamination). McDonalds and Starbucks are closing their stores and focusing on delivery services to meet the demand at home helping to minimize the risk of exposure for customers and their staff.

As mentioned earlier with pubs, bars and restaurants closing across the country, the hospitality trade is being hugely impacted. In light of their bar and restaurant estate being shut BrewDog are looking at hosting virtual beer tastings as a way to stay connected to people and East London brewery Signature Brew is getting creative to keep the beer flowing in people’s homes, offering click and collect from pub outlets and creating The Pub in a Box, hand-delivered by musicians who’ve had their tours cancelled (they will be paid London Living Wage).

A Crafty Thumbs up

It's times like this when you start to notice some of the amazingly positive and socially empowering things going on in society, as well as taking a minute just to notice there is some seriously cool innovations out there. Here is our montage of thumbs up for this week :

Brand campaign to look out for

Podcast to listen to

Just cool stuff

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