Let’s see, how has it all started? A flu pandemic, a corporate collapse to rival Northern Rock affecting hundreds of thousands of people in the shape of Carillion, the Trump “fake news” awards celebrating 12 months of twitter tyranny, and the loss of £350 million a day in output from the UK economy because of the Brexit fiasco…
I think it’s safe to say that 2018 has not had an auspicious beginning as far as the UK is concerned. In terms of our own ascent here at BFC Marcomms, however…I hate to go against the flow but things are looking quite chipper!
Our renewed relationship with Olympic icon Sir Steve Redgrave is going from strength to strength and, as someone with newly diagnosed diabetes, I am personally encouraged to see so many organisations reaching out to him so that together they can spread the word that life with the condition is all about ensuring you manage ‘it’, rather than letting your diabetes manage you. If Sir Steve can win Olympic Gold despite his diagnosis, I am sure I can struggle to the gym for five minutes while watching a fitness show on YouTube and gulping a protein shake.
Other long standing clients have also hit the ground running with events, initiatives and future projects all requiring some element of creative input with which we are delighted to assist. With flu seemingly wiping out half of the UK’s workforce, it is at times like this when it is useful to have a flexible agency resource on which to call. Especially if you parked projects over Christmas and now find yourself up against a deadline.
I myself have been working with the Daily Mail diary over the festive period and returned to the office full of story ideas to help both reader and client inject a little humour and frivolity via my network of friends and contacts. Most of whom seem to have done much more interesting things over Christmas and New Year than I, and have a strong desire to share.
Looking ahead, this year looks set to be the year that Twitter, Instagram and social media at large begins to assume less the stance of a wild-west saloon on speed, and more the deferential respectability of a librarian. Facebook recently (wisely) announced they were pruning their news feeds and this is no doubt a case of getting in first before the legislators attack in the US, Europe and the UK. When Mark Zuckerberg is having a greater impact on the outcome of elections than the rule of democracy then it is surely time for action. Twitter beware…you are next!
Finally, I expect 2018 will see newspapers acting increasingly as vehicles for features as opposed to being the news-led publications we’ve been used to. When the Guardian goes tabloid and the Daily Telegraph boasts a business section thinner than a vogue model’s septum you know the writing is on the wall. Or in this case, on the smartphone where most people are going to get their news this year.
Julian Barlow @barlow_julian