As we all know, it is unprecedented times, and we’ve never been here before, so it’s hard to know where we are! At Atteline, they asked the community, via their continual communication work, to tell them what they believe to be important for themselves and everyone around them.
Atteline shares their findings with L'Officiel Arabia readers in our feature Communication During COVID-19.
"Balancing Values and Value During a Crisis" by Sophie Simpson CEO and Founder of Atteline
The decade following the 2008 financial crisis proved to be the decade of self-optimisation. Algorithms enabled personalisation, the prevalence of data helped us self-quantify, and we socialised our personal brand on our own media. To rebalance, we embraced mindfulness and listened to our own breath in solipsistic detachment. And the pandemic has at times seen this self-centred face at its ugliest from Covid-19 phishing schemes, through to panic hoarding, to flagrant refusal to observe quarantine guidance.
So far, however, individualism has been outshone by the marked rise in displays of citizenship and collectivism. From neighbourhood singing to Netflix and Houseparty gatherings, to community volunteering. Humans value what is rare and, like prisoners in solitary confinement, people are experiencing a new-found appreciation for social connection. More pointedly still is the growing recognition of how individual actions can aggregate to great effect.
This was a theme in emergence prior to the pandemic, as people began to mobilise and find camaraderie in the face of shared enemies like misogyny, populism and climate change. But in the time of COVID-19, irrespective of politics, religion, class, age, gender or geography, we are, for the first time in history, all in this together. And with this, we must balance “me versus we” and pride ourselves on our values, sticking to them as part of our mission.
At Atteline, when the Covid-19 lockdowns began, the going got very tough, not just for us but our clients and the many third parties who we work with. Within just a few weeks, it has become clear that companies, like people, are splitting between those that ‘will not waste a crisis’ and those that have retreated. Crises create as much opportunity as they do uncertainty and the people and companies that will thrive post-Covid- 19 will be those that are ready to take advantage of the new world order, understanding the challenges and embracing the possibilities it has created. For example, many luxury brands have been quick to understand and embrace this ethos, mobilising internal factories and resources to aid in the fight against Covid-19 and support those in need. To name but a few, Chanel's factories are making face masks, LVMH is producing hand sanitizer and Bulgari is funding coronavirus research.
More widely, we are all experiencing the largest behavioural change experiment in history. We have witnessed, and will not forget that businesses can change rapidly, essential workers can be looked after, and local business can be supported by the community. This crisis has already proved that some of the changes once said to be impossible, have become possible and at a rapid rate. So, when the recovery begins, and new-old-problems resurface, we can only hope people will remember that it is important to balance value and values and me vs we and that businesses can lead in the transformation that the world needs.
This article is a result of co-operation between ATTELINE and L'Officiel Arabia.