by Mick Style, CEO, Wavemaker North

Mick Style CEO Wavemaker North

Few of us ever imagined that we’d ever work though a global emergency, but that’s what it is, still is, and remains maybe for some time yet as we move from easing lockdown into a new phase of recovery. It has been brutal for many families, individuals, businesses and communities – and our love to them all.

One lesson I’ve learnt from the most tragic of personal circumstances is that you’ve got to have hope. Always. Whatever you’re up against.

Without trivialising the ongoing horror and hardships for some right now, we have to hold hope close to our hearts, no matter what.

Hope for a cleaner and an even more beautiful home we call Earth. You can see the Manchester metropolis nestled in our hollow from the moors above Hayfield in more clarity than I can ever recall, or farther afield…the Himalayas are visible from India for the first time in 30 years due to lack of pollution.

Hope for all our other co-habitees in the UK. Is it just me (being in touch with my ‘inner hippy’!) or have you noticed more birdsong than ever over the last couple of months? And wasn’t the blossom amazing a month ago?

Hope for our own health and that of our cities. I’ve loved seeing the legions of people digging out old bikes, oiling chains, doing a bit of ‘spannering’ to get them roadworthy, and bikes, maybe just for a few weeks, are taking over the streets in place of the too many cars we all own.

Hope for more kindness. I’m writing this in Mental Health Awareness Week and I do believe that there’s never been more open debate about ways to maintain good mental health, being kind to each other and ourselves.  Incredible amounts of volunteering too during lockdown! And wouldn’t it be amazing if our rekindled love and concern for all key workers was sustained and nourished, always.

Hope for an improved balance of work and family & friends life now – and sustained in the future. The last 10 weeks have shown astonishing rates of technological innovation (insert preferred video conferencing platform here) keeping us instantly connected, showing how adaptable we can be as a species in times of crisis, saving time on travel, reducing pollution levels and allowing us more time with our families. But sure, we miss a hug with family and friends.

Hope for the rapid return of a strong and resilient media, digital and creative sector in this great city. It’s been hugely satisfying to get positive feedback from clients over our leadership and guidance through this emergency. Agencies will survive right now, and flourish in the future if we can support our clients though this trauma – and into calmer waters – creating deeper and enduring levels of trust and stronger personal bonds whilst at it.

Hope for more of a sense of purpose in our industry. There’s certainly a more enduring sense of purpose amongst advertisers who have mostly responded brilliantly well during this crisis, swiftly creating and approving new advertising assets with supportive and positive tones of voice, whilst innovating their supplies chains and routes to market. Our partners at media owners have really stepped up to the mark too, collaborating more with us than ever, and there does seem a strong sense of community at the moment, despite us being physically distant.

Hope for you too. I hope that you’re doing OK out there in our media, digital and creative communities and I hope this quick read brings just one extra smile to your day.

And here’s my last positive provocation – give this a spin (I know…. ‘spin’… so old skool!) several times over if you’re having a shit day: The Hold Steady: ‘Stay Positive’. Remember to holler along with the chorus!