When we look back on 2020, one of the many lessons we will draw from this difficult and challenging year is a profound one – the deeply human need for community.
Deprived of our normal quality of life and driven into isolation by the pandemic, we made do and found community through virtual means but also struggled with the craving for face-to-face personal contact. We wore masks, quarantined, and waited in line to get tested – all to put the greater health of the community before our own convenience or preferences. And we found ways to reach out safely to those around us, whether that meant singing from our balconies, leaving a fresh-baked loaf of bread on a neighbor’s front porch, or doing a grocery run for someone who was shut in.
Professionally, we also need community – to help us solve problems, improve our practices, win work, build a stronger team and bridge differences. In the “Year of the Pandemic,” I think we came to a deeper appreciation for the professional community that Worldcom provides.
The world became a little smaller in 2020, as most travel ceased and meetings moved online to Zoom and Google hangouts. Our Worldcom partners seemed closer than ever, whether connecting from across the country or across the globe.
When COVID struck, we prepared for economic fallout, as clients struggled with their own impacts, but we also redoubled our efforts to grow our pipeline of new business. Worldcom partners became a referral source for work, and we returned the favor, referring prospects who were a better fit for a sister company. We also leveraged the strength of the Worldcom network in new business pitches to answer the question of how we would effectively handle media placements in global markets where we don’t have a presence.
When an existing client needed media placements in Germany, we partnered with a Worldcom partner agency to translate our client’s news, advise on cultural and language differences, leverage their media relationships, distribute, and secure placements.
A Worldcom partner walked us through their method of moving media training online and helped us adapt a strategy for our firm that opened up new possibilities in this virtual world. Worldcom’s peer-to-peer meetings also provided regular opportunities for both fellowship and professional learning on topics ranging from diversity and inclusion to COVID response to PPP loan backlash.
The year 2021 will surely bring more change and, we hope, an end to the pandemic. As the business world resets to a new normal, whatever that may be, the need for community will be stronger than ever. Little is certain, but this we know: Our Worldcom family will continue to be an important and enduring source of community for us.