If you scroll through your socials, I’m sure you’ve come across many 2020 memes and videos designed to help us find humour in the worst of times. A quick Google search and you’ll find a wrap up of the best. You can even find all kinds of T-shirt designs to make it even more memorable – the “2020 – very bad would not recommend” one star rating shirt would have to be one of the most accurate out there.

So, yes, while the past 11 months have taken the resemblance of a drama TV series with more twists and surprises than you’ve ever seen before, how do we work to make 2021 a five-star blockbuster?

Start now is my advice. I had the pleasure of visiting a client – yes, socially distanced and hand sanitiser at ready – just last week. It was a refreshing counterpoint to the “you’re on mute” grind of the fortnightly Teams meeting we’ve now become accustomed to.

We were running a messaging and 2021 strategy session, complete with fresh whiteboard, a beautiful slide deck, some old-fashioned sugar treats and coffee! Oh, and engaged clients jumping out of their skins to generate the kind of energy and enthusiasm that is hard to convey across an online meeting. It was so refreshing to host one of those meetings again.

It made me wonder whether we may have we stumbled on the magic formula for client engagement? Part time online, part time face to face? The upside of the 2020 sh*t show may be that we have been given the opportunity to reinvent our version of the new normal, perhaps with a new hybrid model, which we shall call the face-to-screen approach, allowing us to combine the best of both worlds.

Here at Madden we have always encouraged our clients to properly re-assess and align their priorities each year, and whilst we weren’t sure what this year was going to bring, we believe this to be a great opportunity to reflect on what has changed since pre-COVID and how that translates at a foundational level when it comes to key messages and values we want to communicate.

By reviewing how your communications strategy is now aligned with your new set of business priorities and goals should come as a natural progress to lift your visibility and reputation. It is an opportunity to once again pause and reflect on the impact you can have, and in turn bring a refreshed and reinvigorated focus within the company.

Doing this type of exercise requires that kind of face to face engagement that brings renewed energy in a room and leaves you excited at the prospect of what lies ahead.

Perhaps this new hybrid model is the perfect recipe to encourage complement the benefit of having these conversations at a ‘personal’ interactive level with the flexibility and efficiency to run our day to day, ‘business as usual’ operations working from home that this year has gifted us.

At the end of the day, with every challenge comes opportunity, and it’s up to us to make the most of it and reinvent the wheel.