Reflections – Impacts On Our Business And The Future
December is always a good month for reflections; to look back at experiences, moments, objectives, plans, milestones, achievements, wins and lessons learnt as we count down to Christmas for some downtime with family and get ready for a fresh new year. December is always a special month for us at In2 as it’s our birthday month, and this year is extra special as we celebrate our 10th anniversary. But what a year it has been…
Covid-19 has thrown a BIG spanner in the works for most of us and 2020 will go down in the history books as the year that forced the world to hit the pause button. It has hands down been the most challenging year for us at In2 since we founded the business 10 years ago and we’ve had to restructure, rethink and restart to sustain ourselves.
Reflecting on 2020 we contemplated what the key insights and takeaways were from this year and here are three themes that have been at the core for us:
1. Community over competition – if this year has taught us one thing in business it’s the importance of community; working together to support each other, to lift each other up when times are tough and to advance our industry so we’re resilient, able and agile to weather any storm. Don’t get me wrong, competition is healthy, but without a sustainable sector and business environment we won’t have anything to compete on
2. Virtual was the future, long before Covid – In2 was designed as a fully-virtual agency and it has been our organizational business model for the past decade. This has allowed us to attract the best talent and do the best work for our clients. Remote working is part of our DNA and we have been actively advocating this agency model as founding members of PRCA’s Virtual Agency Group. The Covid-19 pandemic forced companies around the world to have their teams work from home and many businesses now recognize the long-term viability of virtual working, which is music to our ears as we knew virtual was the future all along
3. Inclusivity and diversity is everyone’s responsibility – Whether you’re student or a teacher, a small business or global corporate, a not-for-profit organisation or a government entity, we all have a role to play when it comes to fostering inclusivity and diversity. This year more than ever, we recognised the importance and power of PR and communication as an agent of change in driving this important subject forward. As an agency we’ve stepped up and joined a number of associations this year that foster inclusivity and diversity. We helped with the foundation of The Moksi Collective, an international business membership for female creatives and entrepreneurs, and became members of Women in Hotels (WiH) Global to help raise the game and make the hospitality industry more diverse and inclusive.
Although this year was unprecedented, challenging, strange and at times outrageously difficult, I don’t want to just have reflections on 2020, I also want to take this opportunity to look back and count the many blessings we’ve had at In2 Consulting over the past decade as we celebrate our 10th anniversary this month. Here are the top four things we’re incredibly thankful for.
1. Making businesses heard by the people that matter most – We are incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with amazing clients on incredible projects over the past 10 years. What’s been most rewarding is to see the impact of our work, whether that’s been launching a new start-up through a compelling PR campaign, developing communication strategies that drive sales, or positioning business owners and corporate leaders as thought leaders in their industry, we love to see the fruits of our labor through business results
2. Word of mouth marketing – over 90 percent of our business comes from personal and business referrals and we’re grateful for every single person who has put in a good word for us over the past ten years. As PR professionals we know and advocate the power of word-of-mouth marketing and it’s amazing to witness this first-hand in our own business
3. Flexibility with accountability – The business mantra that’s been the key to our successful fully-virtual business model. We’ve been able to attract the most talented communications professionals and work with the best people from virtually anywhere. We’ve had team members based in, or temporarily work from, so many places around the world, including the UK, Holland, Switzerland, Kenya, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and the Caribbean.
4. Born and based in Dubai – We are proud to be born and based in the UAE and to be part of the country’s incredible story. Having personally been based in Dubai for 20 years, I’ve seen the city transform into the global magnet it is today. The visionary leadership, high-energy, cultural melting pot, drive for innovation and excellence is infectious and ignites us as a small business, every day.
By Anne Bleeker, Managing Director