FINISH FRIDAY WITH FLUFFLESS! 🥂
As more people than ever before start to get accustomed to working from home, experts at healthcare rm have offered up their tips to ensure you stay productive.
Victoria Davidson, Naturopathic Doctor and Wellbeing Lead at the Tewkesbury based company has advised that people try to maintain a regular routine, create a dedicated space for work and set aside time for keeping on top of the news.
Victoria said: “During such uncertain times, carrying on with ‘business as usual’ may seem a lot easier said than done.
“For some people, working from home is ideal and for others, it’s a nightmare.
“My personal tips include sharing ideas with your colleagues on how to adjust to your new workplace and designating an office space within the home, which will improve your productivity.
“Taking regular breaks throughout the day and making the most of the extra time you save by not commuting will give you a sense of routine and personal growth, especially if you focus on exercise or a hobby that improves your mental wellbeing.
New jobs with deep-clean partnership
A disinfection and sterilization system used in healthcare and food production is being launched on a wider scale by a new business partnership that will create an initial 25 new jobs. Nexus has teamed up with BioDecon to offer deep cleaning and sterilisation throughout the UK. Nexus is owned by Fortel, who chose their neighbours, Tiny Talents nursery, as the first of many places to receive a complimentary deep clean. The effects of this deep clean include complete inactivation of viruses including the Coronavirus. This unique approach means that workplaces can be sterilized completely without fear of any equipment being damaged and not only will these cleans benefit staff and visitors, but they’ll also help to maximise training for the BioDecon team. Managing Director at Nexus, Jot Engelbrecht, says: “We are proud to be launching this service to organisations that contribute to their community and are close to our heart. “Staff are going to want to feel safe when they return to work and this is one contribution in achieving that.”
House of Lords praise for Maple Hayes
Maple Hayes Dyslexia School has been praised by historian and author Lord Lexden during a House of Lords debate. The Lichfield school caters for pupils aged 7-17 with dyslexia and specific learning difficulties. They utilise a unique approach to teaching literacy, called the ‘morphological approach’ whereby icons are used as opposed to phonetics to help pupils learn meanings and spellings. Praising the school, Lord Lexden said: “One school in particular always leaps to my mind when dyslexia is under discussion: Maple Hayes Hall School. “It achieves magnificent results year after year for the 100 or so pupils with severe dyslexia. “These world-leading experts are now working on a phoneme dictionary, which will be the first of its kind in the world." Maple Hayes’ headteacher, Dr Daryl Brown has said: “We are thankful for Lord Lexden not only praising our work and results but highlighting the battles that school’s in our position have to face in order to get the best for our pupils.”
Scholarship winner aims to fix housing
The latest recipient of the Millennium Point Scholarship is aiming to help solve the UK’s housing crisis.
Shennice Talburt, currently working as a paralegal, will now study Real Estate at Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment, with her degree paid for by the Millennium Point Charitable Trust.
Over 160 applications were received from across the West Midlands for this year's scholarship programme, setting a new record. A group of 5 business leaders across Birmingham were selected to assess the finalists, who presented their ideas for the future to a live crowd.
Following her win, Shennice Talburt, said: “I am so proud to have been selected as the winner of this year’s Millennium Point Scholarship.
“I think the housing crisis is a major issue that needs creative thinking and I want to bring new ideas to the table and help the millions of people who are suffering.”
The other four finalists will receive ongoing support, mentoring and industry work experience through Millennium Point.
Millennium Point invests more than £5 million annually via its Charitable Trust into projects, events and initiatives that support the growth of STEM across the West Midlands.
Digital ‘cafe’ offers social media advice
In line with the community spirit on display across the Birmingham business community, we teamed up with neighbours East Village PR to run a digital social media cafe.
The latest Birmingham Social Media Cafe event, which we regularly sponsor, focused on how businesses can harness the power of social media during these difficult times and maintain a connection with their clients and a wider audience.
Because two heads are better than one, we teamed up with East Village PR to organise the event, bringing in Explode Social Media’s Lindi Mngaza as a guest speaker.
We also drafted in support from Brum Hour, a regular champion of all things positive in the city.
The cafe, which was held on Instagram Live, was a huge success and hopefully provided some support and guidance for businesses during these unprecedented times.
Bradley Meersand, Reeves PR Client Services Director, said: "We would like to thank everyone involved in coming together to make this event happen and we look forward to providing continued Isolation Inspiration alongside our Birmingham peers.
"Watch this space for exciting content and updates over the coming weeks, we look forward to continuing these positive conversations at such a difficult time."
WE'RE ALMOST THERE
There’s been a lot of discussion amongst the team about what I can ‘goat’ about without depressing the hell out of everyone, or seeming irresponsibly cheery. As it comes down to it, I’m writing this yesterday (to you, unless you don’t open your work emails until September, in which case it was before Easter) so, it should be fairly current.
One of the choices was to just talk about goats, or buying another one, which now I’ve mentioned it, I’ll have to do.
Or admire the goats of Llandudno - but that would only lead me down the path of talking about flowers and bushes being in peril, and I know what you lot are like.
Really, I think I should be talking about resilience and all being in this together. We’ve been working very hard with clients as the crisis emerged, taking opportunities where we could, and making sure that their stories were in the news. After all, that’s what we do - take a story and turn it into an opportunity. ‘Milk it’ is the phrase I usually use, which would take us neatly back to goats.
I’d like to say it’s business as usual, but it’s really not, is it? I’m working from my dining room table - having to have an emergency tidy up so the house doesn’t look like a tip very time there’s a video call. And choosing what to wear, so that I remain professional looking. It’s not just me is it?
Despite furlough and everything else that’s going on, the team does keep regularly in touch by video and every so often, someone tries to lighten the call with an unusual prop. The cutest thing has been a nan walking into her own dining room with a pug under each arm, not knowing she’s in the back of a shot. I think we had the most mileage from the Chewbacca voice changing mask which a colleague kept on for the entire call. And the most alarming was probably me. I’m not going to describe the full horror for everyone, but the prop I used was Revlon, True Red.
The one thing that has improved since lockdown has been the use of telephone calls and people having proper conversations. People are actually talking to each other instead of trading emails. I have made sure that every client has had a call with me and I’ll continue to have those conversations right the way through. It’s good to talk. In fact, I’ve just distracted myself with BT adverts from the 90s, thinking I’d be able to share Marueen Lipman with an ‘ology’. But it was Bob Hoskins and nowhere near as entertaining.
The point is, and there is a point, you’ll be surprised to see, is that in times like these people should not only be talking, they should be talking more. To friends, to family and in the case of businesses, to their customers. The broad remit of media is to inform and entertain. Obviously, if your business is completely closed you could assume that you won’t be able to tell people about the amazing offers you have on, the experiences you offer or the products that they can’t do without. But you can. You can share the great things that you do, reveal something of your businesses personality and make sure that your customers, old and new, know how you’re going to be even better when things are back to normal. Now is the time for ‘new and improved’. If you haven’t done new, or improved for a while, then you should be able to put some time aside during lockdown to think about what newness and improvements you can wow the crowds with.
Goodness knows, we’ve had some daft ideas over the years, but we’ve had some brilliant ones too. Many have happened in the late afternoon with some creative assistance and all have come from conversation. If you want to talk, work wise, or otherwise please give me a call. I’m always happy to chat - but if you want some creative stimulation, you’ll have to give me a few minutes to uncork the bottle.
The team photo at the top of this piece was taken for the big screen at the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Awards, because we are shortlisted in the Excellence in Sales and Marketing category. The event has been postponed until the autumn, so I wanted to share the pure glamour of it - because when it eventually gets shown at the event, I know I’m going to look like I’ve aged ten years. I actually put 12 months on last Wednesday.
Usually in Fluffless, there’s a section on where you’ll find us. This time it’s a bit repetitive - at home. But, as soon as we’re allowed out, you’ll find us everywhere and I’d like to think that we’ll see you there too.
PR by Reeves Public Relations agency in Birmingham and Newcastle