The Zambuni Team share their thoughts on home working since March.
Claire Zambuni, Director & Founder
Having a clear vision at such an extraordinary time can be challenging although sticking to my values has definitely helped. Our clients have continued to be our main focus and actually this has been exaggerated by a desire to be there for them to serve and support them while they are navigating through unknown waters. It has been immensely rewarding to create and help implement new strategies and work as part of an in-house team.
Communication with clients has flowed freely through lockdown with weekly meetings and interestingly, we have forged strong new relationships with people over Skype and Zoom, working effectively on new, complex, critical projects. Wonderful opportunities have arisen which we have been able to execute in a timely manner due largely to lockdown and we will hopefully be able to announce a very exciting project we have completed with a major conservation organisation shortly. We worked to a tight deadline and with stakeholders based all over the UK were able to meet at the same time each week and push the project forward. I truly think in a pre-covid world all of us would have struggled to clear our diaries for these focused meetings.
We have continued to conduct strong market research with Gorkana, and listen and learn to adapt to the ever-changing themes in comms right now. We have commissioned two surveys which have stood us in good stead to try and understand consumer’s thoughts and behaviours.
Community, education and a sense of fun has become more important than ever through Covid-19 and helping create the Orvis Virtual Mayfly Festival and subsequent Orvis We Love Dogs Festival, we aimed to fulfil some of the above. Experts in their field gave their time freely and took part in Live Q & A’s, made videos, wrote blogs and there was plenty to entertain all ages including competitions and fun, educational workbooks for the children.
We’ve also seen the viewership and engagement of digital communication channels soar and so we have actively discovered new opportunities for our clients to provide interesting content while people are spending more time at their screens whether this be Facebook Lives, podcasts, Instagram lives or videos.
I’ve spent each Thursday evening studying for an International Coaching Federation Certification accreditation in Life Coaching with a college in Frankfurt. My fellow classmates – a group of international women have provided needed support and inspiration. I qualify on 24th September all being well and will enjoy using my skills to coach people through change. I also take my Angling Trust Level One later this month, made possible now they have taken the courses online.
Plum has arrived in lockdown and provided a welcome distraction and also an excuse to get outside every day. Sure there’s been a few challenges business wise and personally through these unprecedented times although I’m definitely looking forward to a different, more positive future where I can take the time and space to know where I can really add value. I would never want my old life back exactly how it was – it was frankly exhausting and looking to the future it’s definitely quality above quantity.
Emma Sandham, Account Manager
March 19th seems like such a long time ago. Claire and I parted at our Marylebone office and I packed a suitcase to head up to Cumbria, with enough clothes for two weeks, to work from my parents home before the official lockdown was implemented. Well, 4 months later I am still here and can’t believe how quickly time has gone.
It has been a hugely challenging time for everyone, however our desire to support our clients through this has kept me focused and driven to do the absolute best we can for them. Working from home has felt seamless with some fantastic additions to our calendar such as weekly clients calls with the full team, to ensure we are utilising every opportunity and idea. I really feel like a key part of an ‘in-house’ team with all of our clients and I’m extremely grateful to have developed these close relationships even more at such a crucial time. From creating virtual festivals, to securing Tier One editorial opportunities, the landscape of our normal way of working has changed, but I do feel we have adapted to thrive through it and secure some amazing results.
The lockdown has had its challenges with the stress and pressure of work, mixed with some personal hurdles, however the arrival of our 8 week old Labrador puppy, Tiggy, completely changed our lives in June. She has brought so much joy to everyone and gave me some much needed focus and structure for my free time, to spend less time worrying and more time enjoying being at home in the countryside with my family. Tiggy has also had a very brief career as a puppy model, including a lovely feature in a recent Orvis UK advert on the back cover of Gundog Journal Magazine!