Podcasts

Season 2 Episode 8: Jessica Farrow

By September 23, 2020 No Comments

Episode 8: Crisis Comms

With Jessica Farrow

It's here! The first episode of Remote Control Season 2.

Episode Summary:

This episode delves into the latest whitepaper from Halston Marketing in association with the IABC.

“The Changing Face of Crisis Comms: A COVID-19 Retrospective: A definitive account of the pioneering strategies implemented by the leading comms professionals at the heart of the UK’s core industries.”

Listen as strategies from companies such as John Lewis, City Fibre, and PPG are discussed and compared. Discover how companies prepared for, executed, and evaluated their internal comms at one of the most challenging times the UK business has ever faced.

To read the whitepaper visit: https://www.halston.marketing/whitepaper-crisis-comms

Listen & Subscribe On...

Apple Podcasts

Spotify

Google Podcasts

Episode Transcript

Jack Ford:

Hi, Jess. Thanks for joining us for season two of Remote Control. Great to have you here. Really looking forward to chatting about the white paper you produced with the International Association of Business Communicators. I think I’ll just call them IABC otherwise it’s too much of a mouthful.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. It is a bit of a mouthful. But thank you so much for having me. Happy to be here.

Jack Ford:

Great. So the full title, and correct me if I get this wrong, but, The Changing Face of Crisis Comms; A COVID-19 Retrospective; A Definitive Account of the Pioneering Strategies Implemented by the Leading Comms Professionals at the Heart of the UK’s Core Industries.

Jess Farrow:

Yep. That is correct. Again, a bit of a mouthful. I do apologize for these titles. But that’s the white paper we are just finalizing at the moment and it’s due to go out very soon.

Jack Ford:

Great. I was hoping you could just start by telling us a bit about the approach to the white paper, the interviews and who was involved, really.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. So obviously it is in association with the IABC. So it was a mixture of wholesome marketing and the network within the IABC. In terms of the research, it was a mixture of primary and secondary. So the first section goes through the pandemic as a whole in terms of a sector breakdown, understanding the economic impacts. Just major industry changes as a whole. And that research was done. There’s quite a lot of statistics about at the moment and so the Office for National Statistics has loads of information. So we delved into that a little bit and investigated it.

Jess Farrow:

And then the predominant focus is obviously these direct accounts from internal comms professionals. So these were either board members of the IABC or connections from a wider network that we have already. And we outreached to them. We had this idea in mind, outreach to them and say, “Would you please like to get involved?” We want them to get this first hand perspective because it’s fair enough writing about this. But if it’s, yes, we know about it but we don’t know as much as these senior professionals that are doing this day in, day out, so we needed that.

Jess Farrow:

And we’re so thankful for the good approach from everyone. They were so enthusiastic, happy to get involved. So we had really senior comms professionals from PPG, John Lewis, Waitrose, obviously, Axa. So it was just really nice to see how involved they wanted to get. And it was really good to get that first hand perspective from companies of that size because they’re dealing with thousands of employees, and also some of them will actually have multiple international locations as well. So it was such a broad scope in that sense.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. Seems really wide ranging with those companies that you mentioned and good to hear that people were keen to be involved. Probably a little of catharsis, I would imagine. This has been one of the most stressful times of their careers, really, dealing with, like you said, thousands of people potentially spread across the world. And the crisis has… It’s been everywhere, hasn’t it? So I can imagine, a very busy time for them all.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. I was surprised because I did anticipate that some of them were probably too busy to even have the chance to step out their day and go through the interviews with us because they’re just non stop at the moment. And obviously March was obviously their busiest time, but they’re still very busy at the moment and there was just so much going on for them. But it was great to see them getting involved with this.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. And one thing that I noticed in the introduction to the white paper is a couple of statements. And one was a quote, actually, from the Microsoft CEO. And it caught my eye because I work in the tech industry and tech business, and so the Microsoft CEO says, “We saw two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” I just think that’s quite mind blowing really and maybe hasn’t been such a huge thought or focus of the past six to eight months where there’s been these huge changes in the business for people. But also the digital, the technology, has really had to move quickly and some businesses that perhaps weren’t quite so modern.

Jack Ford:

And KPMG, as well, they talk about, even in a recovery phase, whenever that may be, we can expect technology companies to remain in high demand for supplying the remote working environment. I think that’s really quite striking that whilst it’s going to have a really big impact on other industries, there would be an opportunity for maybe tech businesses, the digital side of things, has really come into the fore in those two statements and quotes.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah, I know. I love that quote as well. So I actually, that quote, I was on a webinar and it had a Microsoft team member that was discussing some of the technologies and what they’ve had to do during this time and she quoted that quote and I was like, “That is just so perfect.” It just says it in one line, really. And it is. It’s very true that it’s simultaneously seemed to have identified massive holes in these big companies’ digitalization. They’ve just realized that their systems are so legacy that they’re not integrated at all and they have no hybrid infrastructure where they could take their laptops and just leave the office. I mean, they were still plugged into the mainframe. And I was just like, “That’s just so old school.” But you forget that these big companies have just been growing for so long that actually there’s not been that many changes.

Jess Farrow:

And at the same time, these tech companies are run off their feet. I know we’ve got quite a few tech clients, that this is one of their busiest times. And also, I think it was Laura from CityFibre, who’s one of the interviewees, she was talking about, obviously they do the fibre and infrastructure side behind that. And they are very busy and they already have plans to continue this level because it’s very much standard across many of these companies that we won’t be returning fully back to the office in the same way. It’s going to be a little bit of both, really. So we’re still going to need that strong infrastructure to continue this. So some companies are just, really, if you’ve got a technology that obviously aids remote working in any way, I think they will continue to have a really busy season.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. And it makes sense, I suppose, that those companies, tech companies, are rising to the challenge where these big companies need the extra support and they’ve been forced to evaluate how they can be flexible to continue working whilst people haven’t been allowed in the offices and haven’t been allowed in big groups. So, interesting to see how that will continue as guidelines and advice continues to change, really.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. 100%. And it’s quite interesting because quite a lot of these technology companies are quite startups or SMEs and they’re just so more flexible in the way that they work and the way that they can work than these massive companies. These massive companies, it is a struggle for them to digitalize their entire operations and it would have normally taken them probably about two to three years. But if they’re outsourcing to these really innovative tech companies, they just have the capability to just build something so much faster and implement faster. So there’s been a lot of outsourcing.

Jack Ford:

Is that a bit of a theme that you saw through the interviews, was it?

Jess Farrow:

Yes, it’s definitely something that we are starting to notice. That actually they’re just implementing stuff really quickly and actually got it from elsewhere because they don’t have the infrastructure already available, really.

Jack Ford:

That makes sense. So I was reading through the white paper and it’s really fascinating to see the stories from major UK companies, seeing their approach to crisis comms. It’s not something you always see from a white paper, those real, actual examples. And during such a different time for everyone, it’s been interesting to read those different stories. I was just wondering, thinking back to the interviews and thinking through the white paper, are there any that stood out in particular for you about their approach to crisis comms so far?

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. They were all very interesting to me. I had so much fun interviewing and understanding what all those people are doing. But for me, personally, there was two that really stood out. And the first one, again, this is Laura from CityFibre, just because she did a simulation and she was only one out of the interviews to do this. And I thought that was such a proactive way of doing things in terms of making sure their method would work for the official lockdown. So the internal comms team at CityFibre did a business continuity exercise where they evaluated their plan that they already in place for a viral outbreak. Because quite a lot of these internal teams do have plans for obscure events, and-

Jack Ford:

Oh, right. Okay.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. So some have… An earthquake has closed down one of their offices. You can’t go into the office. Or it’s too snowy, so that’s blocked off this office. Or there’s been a viral outbreak within this office, what do we need to do? So some of them already have these plans, I guess, but obviously, it’s maybe just not to the same scale of what COVID is.

Jess Farrow:

So they ran a hypothetical scenario and employees were receiving instructions like, “You will be running a simulation today. We need to practice this.” And then it was like, “You need to pack up. Leave your office.” It was only a small bubble of people. So this particular bubble that they’ve chosen for the simulation, they all got to pack up, instantly go home, start working from home that day. And they wanted to see how that worked. Did it work effectively? Did everyone get any instructions in time? Basically, was it effective? And actually, they started to find that, actually, they were using emails, which wasn’t the quickest way of getting ahold of people, because some people set off really early to go to the gym or they bike in. So actually, they don’t check their work email until they get into work. So actually, they never receive the email. Whereas if it was a text, obviously, it’s something a lot more instant and they would have got the information faster. So actually, they ran a second simulation and they used the text instead.

Jess Farrow:

So they ran two before the final lockdown actually happened. But I thought that was quite an interesting way of really getting ahead of it and making sure when it is going to happen, obviously you don’t have so much time. This all happened within a space of two weeks, I think. But they really tried to be on it and make sure that when we do this, this is going to be done right and it’s going to be done to the best that we could do it, basically, which I thought was really interesting.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. That’s a really good approach. And to see such immediate learnings or that the text was going to be more effective than emails to the work account. That makes, I guess, a whole difference to their future approach. That’s really interesting. And what was the other one that stood out for you?

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. So this would be Lisa from… So she’s the internal comms team member for John Lewis and Waitrose, their partnership. So this was most specifically to do with their keeping connected hub that they had created. So they basically, during lockdown, they created a central space that was purely dedicated to keeping people connected, engaged and feeling supported. So it had a company radio, virtual exercise classes, award ceremonies. So many different stuff. They tried to do so much stuff virtually and trying to keep that positivity, really.

Jess Farrow:

And obviously, they are massive. Quite a lot of the John Lewis team were furloughed, whereas obviously the Waitrose team were running off their feet. Two opposite ends of the spectrum. And it was making sure that, even though everything’s happening so differently, you’ve still got a place to be where you can keep connected, still keep informed, still feel like you’re part of the business. And they took wellbeing very seriously and trying to keep people positive, which I thought was just quite a nice way of doing things. And I feel like it was so interesting that she was like, she did say that she was so excited to just try out all this different stuff. That there wasn’t anything stopping them trying out all these new things that they hadn’t got to do before. So I thought that one was really interesting as well.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. That’s a totally different angle to it, isn’t it? That’s something new but with the engagement in mind, as opposed to the crisis, this must change, it’s trying to generate that positivity, like you said. And amongst all the colleagues… Yeah, I love the idea of a company radio. That sounds really innovative. I like that.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. I thought that was a nice one as well. And it’s definitely the only one that mentioned it. So I feel like they’re ahead of it at the moment. And it might be something that they can keep doing as well. Like it doesn’t have to just be a lockdown thing.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. And it’s a bit of an evolution of the company Spotify playlist, which always causes arguments in the offices. So I can imagine the radio choice went down just as well.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. I would love it, if you just took over… Different employees taking it over for the day. They were running the radio that day with their playlist. I think that’s great.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. I think you’ll certainly find out some closet S Club 7 or Hear’Say fans.

Jess Farrow:

That would be me.

Jack Ford:

Okay. So the next thing I wanted to touch on was, from the interviews, did you find that there was a specific medium or channel that proved most effective across the board?

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. So there were, obviously, there was a couple of discrepancies between them, but one of them that seemed to be quite popular was creating a central intranet. So these central intranets probably beforehand didn’t have minimal view. Some of them didn’t even have any before. But because there was just so many updates and so much information, they needed a place where to host all this information. So some of them were now receiving 75,000 views in one week.

Jack Ford:

That’s quite an increase.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. So you think, “I’ve probably never accessed the central intranet before.” Even when I’ve worked for these big companies and I probably went on it once, twice. And 75,000 in one week is just massive. And I think, because it was so constant, obviously, there was government updates pretty much every single day, and more than a couple of times a day. And obviously the first few weeks in March. So quite a lot of this time, if you can imagine, getting emails sent to you every single time there’s an update, or a text message every single time, it became very tedious very fast and you’d probably find that engagement would go down because people are just probably fed up of receiving them.

Jess Farrow:

So what quite a lot of them tended to do was just actually send out one email with all their most important emails from that most important updates from that day, and then link them back to the central intranet for more detailed information around the update. I think it helped with the engagement on that side and just making sure people are updated but you’re also not overwhelming them. Because I can imagine that if you got too many, for some employees, it could feel quite overwhelming and stressful. So it was just keeping that balance, I guess.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. You could totally imagine a deluge of emails causing extra concern at a time that was already quite concerning, inside and outside of work. So it makes sense to develop the intranet in a way that would increase and improve engagement across the board there. So, interesting, because, like you say, intranet, they’re not always the most well visited or used and certainly get a bad rep every now and again. But I think what does make sense is when there is central information that needs to be, I guess, either cascaded out quickly, having that one place where they all are makes total sense. Just wonder how many managed to stand up to the sudden interest from going from single or double digit visits to thousands or hundreds of thousands of visits. I bet some of the IT teams were struggling in the background.

Jess Farrow:

Oh, yeah. I can imagine because some of these percentages, like there’s a few throughout the white paper of the increase. Some of them are 100% increase or just the numbers are insane, of the views that they’re getting. And can you imagine, just all of a sudden one day, you’ve had to move every single person remote working. So your infrastructure’s already under some serious pressure. And then you’re getting this sort of viewage on this stuff and I’m like, “Yeah.” I can imagine the IT team were very stressed.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. I imagine that was an extra burden on that team but one that has done their companies a world of good. I think, focusing on that then, so you mentioned the intranet was a major similarity across most of the interviews. I’m just wondering if there was other similarities and whether you can almost pick and choose from some of these interviews to create a bit of a blueprint for future crisis comms, or was it not quite so straightforward?

Jess Farrow:

I think there’s definitely aspects that you can take and can be applied across the board. So something I noticed was, quite quickly, obviously, the crisis meetings or the creating a chain of command. So quite a lot of them already had a chain of command in place, which I thought was something that was very important because, as you can imagine, if you’re in a crisis, you don’t want to be sat there, “Oh, so who’s going to do this? Where’s this? Who do we send this to?” And it needs to already be there. It’s just not an option. And a lot of them did have that sort of chain of command in place. Quite a lot of them already had a plan where they’d all meet, certain dedicated team. They already had teams built up that included the internal comms but also included certain managers from other departments. And they would all have a crisis meeting every single morning. And that sort of stuff was stuff that was already decided beforehand, and obviously, so as soon as the crisis comes into place, everyone knows, “Yes, I need to be involved with this specific thing. That is my responsibility.” It was already there, which I thought was something… It just needs to happen.

Jess Farrow:

I think, one thing, obviously no crisis is ever the same, and I feel like there was something quite interesting with this one where they did each step outside of the box in terms of the mediums and the approaches that they took. I think there’s got to be that basis there but you can’t always stick to the rule books. Like, yes, you may have this crisis plan already in place to do with this particular scenario, but yes, it applies in a certain sense, but actually, this scenario is slightly different. It just doesn’t quite fit and you have to be able to adapt to what is happening in that situation and not be afraid to try new mediums because I don’t think, especially in this situation, no one has ever dealt with it before. I don’t think anyone’s going to be like, “Oh, no, you used this and we don’t like this.” You’ve kind of got to go with it.

Jess Farrow:

So obviously, the video calls, the yammers, the keeping connected hubs… All that sort of stuff, they all try to… Different mediums, different messaging as well that they probably don’t usually do. And I feel like it was quite good that they’d all really took the time to understand what was going off at the moment and what do we actually need to adapt and what can we try, as well. And I think there’s always going to be a sense of testing, trailing, every time.

Jess Farrow:

But I think it was important that every single one of them did get feedback forms from the employees. So every single one of these are currently ongoing or have done feedback forms, just to understand how the employees felt about the approach they took and if they have any preferences for the future. So that will be really helpful for that future, that blueprint of any other crises and any other crisis plans, you’ve kind of got a basis there where you’d know what your employee base preferred.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. That’s really interesting. I was actually going to ask about measurement and what had been put in place, from some of the companies that you’d spoken to. So interesting to hear about the feedback forms and asking for preferences. That’s a good way of going beyond just measuring what happened and looking forward, to, “Okay, that’s what we did, but what could we do differently, or what did you like from what’s going on?” So that’s an interesting approach.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. I know. And I feel like it is, it’s so important to understand that because if you are doing something that actually most of the employee base did not actually like that way of doing things and you didn’t take the time to actually understand that, that is something that’s then going to probably, you’re going to continue to do it maybe in another crisis in the future. And actually, if you’d have took that time to understand that, you will have a better, a more refined plan for the future.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. Totally. Yeah. I think anything building on what’s gone well, and even building on what’s gone wrong, or not so well, in the past, gives you a much better platform to do something even better. Hopefully not next time, but…

Jess Farrow:

Don’t want another one.

Jack Ford:

Let’s not jinx it. So we talked about similarities. I’m just wondering what you saw as the most significant differences between some of the companies and just would like to get your thoughts on why you think they exist, really.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. So I think, the industry that’s stood out a little bit more in their approach was the industrial industries. So a few of the people we interviewed, like PPG, Johnson Matthey’s, who are obviously manufacturers, very big manufacturers internationally. So they have hundreds of plants, aside from offices, internationally. So they, in that aspect, they can’t just pack up and leave and go work from home. That’s just not an option. Like, these plants are dealing with seriously toxic, hazardous chemicals. You can’t just leave.

Jack Ford:

Can’t take those home.

Jess Farrow:

Can’t take them home. So in that sense, they had to take a really different approach and be like, “Look, we appreciate this is a difficult time. This is something we’ve never had to deal with. We’re going to have to…” So the guys at Johnson Matthey, he was explaining that for every plant, there is about 120 steps that need to be taken place to shut down a plant safely. So it’s not just if you switch off the lights. It’s like, you have to go in one by one and make sure every single one of those steps has been done correctly. And to do so, they had to… It’s going to take a little bit longer because they can’t have the full workforce in there, either. So they had to go down to a skeleton staff, get them in in certain rotas to make sure this shutdown was happening.

Jess Farrow:

And stuff like that, where, actually, they were still using managers to relay the messaging. I think, still using paper documentation in the sites, because sometimes it was still the easiest way to get ahold of them. Because quite a lot them, obviously, they’re not on the laptops, they’re not on the computers all day. They don’t have that much access to it. They probably might have access once a day. So it’s a very different way they had to do things and some of these plants still had to work the entire way anyway. Like some of them didn’t actually shut down. So some of them were doing food packaging coatings. So, as you can imagine, with all the buyout of the stores, they were in quite high demand. So, ones like that, they were still having to continue throughout.

Jess Farrow:

So they were the most different in the methods they were using because this work from home, the video calls, the emails, texts, that just wouldn’t work because they don’t have access to that when they’re in the manufacturing sites. So they had to go about things a little bit differently.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. That’s interesting. I think it actually touches on something that I covered in an episode from season one. Well, I spoke to Jenni Field who had done some research around engaging remote workers and that very much focused on frontline staff in retail and manufacturing that don’t have access to emails the entire time that they’re at work, and looking at how communication best works for them. So it’s interesting that it’s come up again here in a different scenario, but something, I guess, companies in those industries and sectors will have really focused on and may have found challenging, I suppose. The digital transformation that Microsoft talked about definitely has its benefits, but from my mind, can’t be applied blanket across everyone. And there’s some good examples that you’ve just highlighted, really.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. 100%. As much as I feel like a focus for so many of them will be about the digitalization of a remote way of sending things and everyone just going home. But quite a lot of these and a few of these are infrastructure, they’re manufacturing, they had to keep working. That just wasn’t an option. So it’s very much they had to sit there and maybe work two separate plans for the two separate types that they were working with. So it was quite interesting to see how they were dealing with that.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. That’s a good point. Even within the same company, there’d be maybe more office based people that potentially could work from home, compared with people who were in the manufacturing sites.

Jack Ford:

So we’ve covered quite a lot of what’s happened so far in 2020, from your interviews. I think one part of it that really interested me was predictions for their future strategies and how that would work. And now there are some common themes that came up, and I picked up… There was a focus on success stories, exit planning and remote working. And I’m just wondering how you saw these three themes, in particular, shaping the internal comms plans for the companies you interviewed and companies as a whole, really.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. So I think, for the internal comms team, there’s going to have to be a real big vote around how they’re going to adapt their plans to meet this sort of new hybrid working model. So you’ll have some employees still working from home, you’ll have some in the office. So are you going to do double communication? Are you going to find a platform that works across the board?

Jess Farrow:

And developing those plans to be very aware that this isn’t just something that’s just going to, “Oh, everyone’s going back.” No, everyone’s not going back. As much as we would love to, it’s going to be a bit of a while. So, I would say, for at least the next six months, and these were, I asked for predictions for the next six months, a year, they’re very much thinking on remote working will still be a common theme because it will be a choice as well, probably, for many employees.

Jess Farrow:

So just looking into the mediums they’re going to use and understanding which will remain prevalent, which may have been, you might have to change to appreciate that some people are coming back to the office. And making sure there’s no gaps, essentially, between the two. Because yes, we could probably assume that, “Oh, yeah, they’re in the office. They’re going to tell their colleague.” Are they? So you need to make sure you’re just making sure everyone is still getting the same communication, the same messaging, everyone’s working to the same board, I guess.

Jess Farrow:

And in terms of success stories, this is something that was a huge focus, just across them all, really. And there was, in particular, wellbeing. Because I think quite a lot of them had really taken a lot more consideration around being a bit more empathetic and supportive, which is maybe something that the employees have not really seen so much from a company perspective. Like you maybe had a mental health first aider or someone to go to if you needed support but there wasn’t just a blanket support for everyone, I guess. Whereas this was like, “Okay, everyone’s in a difficult situation right now. We need to really think about this.” So there was a lot of focus, actually. Like we need to make sure everyone’s okay. Because even though everyone might be dealing with something different, everyone might be struggling in their own way.

Jess Farrow:

And a lot of them, keep people positive, and that sort of messaging going out, are looking for these stories. And there was some lovely ones, people using 3D printers to make masks for the NHS. There was loads of positive stories of the employees themselves, so quite a lot of the companies were asking employees to send them really nice stories, and positive stories, because they want to relay this positive messaging out to everyone else and say, “Oh, look, one of our employees is doing this amazing thing. We want to let you all know about it.” And keep that going, because, I mean, we keep being threatened with a second lockdown. So, I guess, it feels a little bit, again, at the moment, it’s a bit uncertain. We’re not quite sure what’s going to happen for the winter. And these plans should still keep that positivity going.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. I think it’s a good way to try and keep a sense of community amongst the colleagues and employees to still share stories about what people are doing. Because you’d get that in an office. You’d have the general catch up chats and sharing good news, so it’s good to see companies taking that on board. Just because people aren’t sat next to each other, they still want to hear the good news stories that are going on. So yeah, that’s encouraging.

Jack Ford:

And I think that bears out over what you see on LinkedIn, certain news stories as well. I seen from Salesforce that they’re giving their employees that are parents are getting some extra paid leave this year, which, I think, being a parent myself, sounds great, but I think it needs that employee culture, company culture, for everyone to be supportive of that. I could imagine that could put some people who aren’t parents put their noses out of joint a little bit. But I think if you’ve got a supportive culture, it’s not that anyone’s losing anything, it’s that Salesforce are actually trying to help people that perhaps need that extra bit of support. And it’s maybe just a different way of looking at it.

Jack Ford:

So I thought that that was a really good example of a company, like you say, being proactive with the support as opposed to just having something there when you need it. They were actually going out and doing something to keep their employees, I guess, so they didn’t have to worry about something else as well as the pandemic that’s still with us, really.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. 100%. And I feel like quite a lot of these companies, they’re quite big companies. You hear the name but it doesn’t have a feeling associated with it. And, I guess, this sort of positivity and their wellbeing focus and looking after the employees makes it feel like a nice person is looking after you, making sure you’re okay. And it gives a person behind the company and quite a lot of the CEOs were getting involved with video calls explaining what was going off in their home and giving a bit of insight into what they’re dealing with. And I thought that was quite nice as well, just to really put a face to a company. And there’s quite a lot of that.

Jess Farrow:

And yeah, I think it’s definitely something that a lot of them are focusing on, of trying to think of ways of how they can help people. But it will be the internal comms team’s job to make sure it’s just being relayed in the right way. But yeah, it was very good to see that.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. Great point about the company putting the support there. But yeah, huge focus on the internal comms team to make sure it comes across in the right way to the right people and is explained nice and clearly. Because there’s certain pockets of… I think ambiguity can breed a bit of discontent sometimes with things like that. But yeah. Great focus for the internal comms team there, I suppose.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah.

Jack Ford:

So I’ve got some controversial answers to this next question season one. But you don’t need to feel any pressure. It’s pretty much a judgment free zone. And I just thought, the podcast is called Remote Control. Everyone has been binging Netflix, Amazon Prime, over lockdown. So what have you been watching and what would you recommend?

Jess Farrow:

So I am a terrible binge watcher. I watch so much Netflix and Amazon. It shouldn’t be normal.

Jack Ford:

Perfect question to ask the question of, then.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. So, at the minute, so I’ve been binge watching a lot of Hannibal on Netflix. I love that. Kind of the one I’ve been going back to. I’ve also been watching The Boys on Amazon Prime. But I’ve made the rookie error of starting the first season just as the second season is coming out, which is so stupid, because now all the adverts are popping up. And I have to avoid them like, “Oh, no. Don’t ruin it for me.” So I need to really quickly watch the first season so now I don’t feel the pressure to avoid all adverts.

Jack Ford:

You want to make sure all the characters in the first season are in the second season advert, or something like that.

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. I was like, “Oh, no. He’s gone.” So that’s a bit of a silly… A bit of a weird one, really. So it’s like a superhero but the heroes are actually the bad guys, which is kind of nice. I do watch my Avengers and stuff like that but it is kind of nice to see a bit of a different one.

Jess Farrow:

And then, this is going to sound bad. You’re going to judge me for this one. I know you say you’re not, but you’re going to. So last night, I actually watched This Is Paris, you know the YouTube Original around Paris Hilton? I actually watched that last night because I was just… The curiosity got the better of me and I needed to know what was going off.

Jack Ford:

This episode was going so well as well.

Jess Farrow:

I know. I’ve just ruined it, haven’t I?

Jack Ford:

I’ll cut that from the final edit, don’t worry.

Jess Farrow:

Okay. No. It was all right, actually. Because she does annoy me with her baby voice and stuff like that, but I always think she’s obviously made so much money and has so much business. She can’t be dumb. She’s not dumb. She’s very smart. She knows exactly what she’s doing. And I kind of wanted to see how she does that. So it was kind of nice to see the version of her that’s not the baby voice, it’s not the dumb blonde. She’s like a completely different person. And she’s just been playing a character for 30 years, which is someone so annoying. But yeah, I was actually more impressed by it than I thought I would be. I have to watch these things. When I just see them, I’m like, “I just need to know now.”

Jack Ford:

Quite the departure from Hannibal and Boys to Paris Hilton.

Jess Farrow:

If you look through my history of watching TV, it’s just the most obscure thing because it goes from one extreme to the complete other. But I kind of like that because you’ve got all your serious ones and your drama ones, and you’ve just got to mix it in with a bit of just weird comedy.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. Definitely needs some light entertainment viewing, otherwise it can become a bit too much, can’t it?

Jess Farrow:

Yeah. You’ve got to have a bit of fun.

Jack Ford:

Yeah. Okay, well, I really appreciate you coming on the podcast, Jess. And just, obviously, before we sign off, where can people get a copy of the white paper from?

Jess Farrow:

So the white paper is available on our website. So if you just go onto our website, there’s a white paper section and you are able to just download it free on there.

Jack Ford:

Fantastic. Well I’ll make sure I include a link in the episode notes so people can get to it. Just left for me to say thanks so much. Great way to kick off season two.

Jess Farrow:

All right. No, thank you so much for having me. It’s been so much fun.

Get Each Episode Delivered To Your Inbox

To get each episode delivered direct to your inbox as soon as they come out, subscribe with your business email address below.

Run Better Online Events

With our team of Event Producers providing first-class support throughout your online events, engaging your audience is just one click away...

Adam Gillin

Author Adam Gillin

More posts by Adam Gillin