Innovation in times of crisis
The definition of innovation applies to a new method, idea, or product. Everyone agrees that innovation is crucial to the success of an organization. However, in a state of emergency and severe global crisis triggered by a pandemic, innovation was not a priority – survival was. Has this survival created new value and of what character? Here is a sneak peek to Chapter 4 agency in Serbia, even though we work from home, and I am writing about everything that's been going on since March and how I see it.
Since the pandemic has led to a global crisis, crisis communication has been on the agenda of all companies for months.
From an agency perspective, we initially focused on people and security, timely communication with target groups of the clients in an authentic and genuinely caring manner, both internally and externally. Crisis plans have proven to be useful in multiple ways, especially the fact that, with many clients, prior to this situation, we also had simulations and training of crisis communication principles across different scenarios. In parallel, many campaigns were suspended or delayed because their meaning was questionable under the circumstances of „new normal“.
Solidarity came to the forefront in the best possible way and our clients showed their true leadership - which we are very proud of. The agency literally had a crisis donor station where we coordinated the social and medical needs and capabilities of clients. We even ourselves, as Chapter 4 agency, donated medical equipment. Marbo Product ie Pepsico West Balkans, Mol, McDonald`s, Galenika, Unilever, Mastercard ... all with a strong sense of need to engage in the national fight against COVID-19, worked around the clock to give their maximum and make a concrete contribution . And that contribution is objectively, enormous. We got to know each other better as a team and with clients. We shared moments of great value. We also discovered clients` side of positive combativeness, but so warm and human, and a special level of commitment, too.
In the next phase, but also in parallel with donor activities, we dealt with updating existing communication plans, planned channels and messages, all with enhanced internal communication as an illustration of the leadership of companies and their managers. We have tried to provide timely and useful information to all stakeholders in extraordinary circumstances. The criterion for the overall communication was to offer people content that is relevant to them in the circumstances of an extremely changed reality, drastically changed daily routine and an increased level of feelings of uncertainty.
In a broader sense, these are all innovations. We worked under more or less incredible circumstances and we did not give up even in the face of the biggest obstacles. We worked from home, but non-stop, literally 24/7. We overcame challenges that were unthinkable before corona. With many clients, we have managed to go a step further, that is, to develop new ideas and concepts that will respond even better to the changes that have surrounded us. Some are still under construction but will see daylight soon, some have already been realized.
One of them is the now famous home concert of Marija Šerifović, which was seen by over half a million people. Thanks first of all to the client for their cooperation, and also thanks to the fantastic artist, human greatness, for professionalism and efficient work.
Teamwork wins and I mean my Chapter 4 and all my dear clients and partners. We are so proud of you and as promised in March - we have succeeded.
Author: Tamara Bekčić