We’re Nothing if Not Flexible
We’ve all seen our share of screen grabs of video conferences. At first, they were charming. A fun reminder of the opening to The Brady Bunch. Then they became as common (and nearly as groan-worthy) as the use of the term “unprecedented times,” right?
Well, the last seven months have certainly been different than anyone has ever seen. At Williams Randall, we’ve put our creative talents to use to stay connected, stay sane and—most importantly—stay on top of our game with the work we produce for our clients. Here are five of the ways we’ve navigated the 2020 pandemic.
1. Continue with company outings, er, inings (?). We love getting together with our peers for activities, whether it’s a Beer O’Clock gathering in the office or trivia night at a local bar. When you can’t do that in person, you just get together remotely. We’ve had trivia nights, a scavenger hunt, two truths and a lie game, Cinco de Mayo, book club and other themed events. We even threw in a couple of events in person, albeit socially distanced. Absence does seem to make the heart grow fonder, so the next best thing can ease that pain of separation.
2. Be a team on social. Each person’s work-from-home setting has unique characteristics—as unique as our team members themselves. We’re using Instagram to share that with our followers. Several of our team members have taken over the Williams Randall Instagram account for a day (you can still watch them in our highlights), and no two stories are alike. We’ve also played takeover tag and put on a dog talent show. Through social, we’ve stayed connected to each other and shared some fun with our followers.
3. Pull off some surprises. When you can master the all-call email and not give away a surprise, you can accomplish great things. Say, for instance, when our director of client services, Emiley Matherly, was invited to a management video meeting but was instead greeted by Williams Randall pets, including a tarantula. April Fool’s!!!
4. Think outside the proverbial box. Be nimble, they said. Be flexible, they implored. Be creative. Now more than ever. Why? Well, clients’ budgets have changed. What they can advertise has changed. How we can work with them has changed. And we’ve found some new ways to do work that we’re really proud of. Take the video we created with an actor in New York City for Visit Hendricks County. He rigged his phone on a tripod and stacked his laptop on just the right number of books so we could direct him remotely during the shoot. We oversaw lighting, camera settings and even armpit-blowdrying from our cozy homes 700 miles away from him. For the Indiana Department of Health, we switched gears on focus group research to be completely online via chatrooms, to great success. And those are just two examples.
5. Be clear if it’s video or just audio. Let’s face it. In an industry that was already pretty casual, we’ve taken casual to new heights (or the opposite, depending on how you view pajama pants and no makeup). So we’ve all learned how important it is to understand if clients will expect to see our smiling faces, which are preferably accompanied by recently showered hair.