Marketing In Times of Recovery

Marketing In Times Of Crisis has changed its name to Marketing In Times of Recovery. It's still a bi-weekly interview-led podcast series featuring inspirational built environment business leaders but more with a look to the future. We’ve had to weather crisis’ before and podcast listeners hear lively conversations, jam-packed with hints, tips and takeaways that you can apply to your business now. Hosted by Ayo Abbas, Founder / Consultant, Abbas Marketing. Subscribe now, rate, review and help us to spread the word.

https://www.abbasmarketing.com/mitc-podcast

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episode 9: Ep 09: Branding, Employee Ownership and Communications with Daire Hearne, Make [transcript]


Welcome to the latest episode of Marketing In Times of Crisis. I’m your host Ayo Abbas, a built environment marketing consultant. Today my guest is Daire Hearne who heads up the global communications team at architectural firm Make. 

Key takeaways

  • Daire reflects on Make’s approach to communications – and why it’s about sharing engaging stories and being consistent. 

  • The one Make ethos and camaraderie – and how that helped them to band together during lockdown

  • The important role that being an Employee Owned Trust plays in the practice and how that influences all that they do

  • That we all now need to be thinking about going Digital First and that we all still have a lot to learn to achieve this. 

Resources

Make 

Abbas Marketing 

The Architecture Drawing Prize

Subscribe, Rate and Review
Don’t forgot to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode and rate us and review us while you’re there – it’s always great to hear what you think. 

Recorded on Monday September 28 2020.


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 2020-10-08  40m
 
 
00:04  Ayo Abbas
Hello, and welcome to
00:04
the latest episode of Marketing
00:07
In Times of Crisis. I'm your
00:07
host Ayo Abbas and today it's
00:11
Monday the 28th of September. My
00:11
guest today is Daire Hearne who
00:15
heads up the global
00:15
communications team at Make
00:17
architects. In this episode, we
00:17
touch on Daire's reflections on
00:22
Make's unique approach to
00:22
communications and why stories
00:25
are so important to them. She
00:25
also looks at the importance of
00:28
being an Employee Owned Trust on
00:28
the practice and how that
00:31
influences all that they do. She
00:31
also touches on consistency and
00:35
why it's so important when it
00:35
comes to communications. It was
00:38
a really interesting chat, so I
00:38
really do hope that you enjoy
00:41
it. Anyway, don't forget to
00:41
subscribe, and do rate and leave
00:45
us a review because it really
00:45
does help us to spread the word.
00:48
Anyway, happy listening.
00:55
Hi Daire, thanks so much for
00:55
coming on to the show. Can you
00:58
introduce yourself and your role
00:58
at Make please?
01:00  Daire Hearne
Hi Ayo it's great
01:00
to be here. I'm Daire Hearne,
01:04
and I am Global Head of
01:04
Communications at Make
01:06
architects.
01:08  Ayo Abbas
And in terms of
01:08
Make's setup in terms of a comms
01:11
team, yours sounds a bit
01:11
different from the norm. Can you
01:15
explain a little bit about how
01:15
you work?
01:18  Daire Hearne
Sure, I'm very
01:18
lucky. And I know that to know
01:22
that I have such a great team, a
01:22
really strong, dedicated, highly
01:26
skilled team. And that it's
01:26
quite unusual to have more than
01:28
one or two people, I realise
01:28
that. So we cover internal and
01:32
external communications,
01:32
engagement at all levels. We
01:36
cover all things digital, so you
01:36
know internal and external. We
01:39
have an intranet an internet and
01:39
our digital channels from
01:44
LinkedIn, infrastructure,
01:44
Instagram, Twitter, YouTube,
01:49
Flicker, you name it. We also
01:49
have we've got most of them. We
01:55
also cover media, obviously,
01:55
traditional PR, Media Relations,
02:02
thought leadership. And also we
02:02
have writer, a writer and a
02:06
proofreader editor, which we we
02:06
think is a very important part
02:10
of the team.
02:11  Ayo Abbas
Yeah, no, I think
02:11
it's very important that you
02:13
have people who can basically
02:13
write content across the piece,
02:15
and it's so important these days
02:15
to tell those stories. And in
02:20
terms of kind of strategic
02:20
campaigns and what you've got
02:22
going on at the moment, what
02:22
sort of things you kind of look
02:24
what's on the horizon for you
02:24
and your team.
02:26  Daire Hearne
What's on the
02:26
horizon, we've wgot a really
02:29
healthy calendar of activity.
02:29
And in our News grid that we we
02:34
plan out every year, we're agile
02:34
enough to be able to flex when
02:37
we need to change things up and
02:37
around. But our strategic
02:41
strands are Future Spaces
02:41
Foundation, The Architecture
02:44
Drawing Prize, and our Exchange
02:44
Series, which established over
02:50
the years from 2013, for the
02:50
Future Spaces Foundation to only
02:54
two years ago for the Exchange
02:54
Series.
02:57  Ayo Abbas
Can you tell me more
02:57
about your brand? And what
02:59
makes you stand out from the
02:59
competition? Because I think
03:01
you've got quite a distinctive
03:01
brand in terms of everything you
03:03
do, and then the nature and
03:03
quality of it.
03:05  Daire Hearne
Oh, thank you.
03:05
It's good to hear. So you know,
03:08
you're constantly looking at
03:08
others and looking at
03:10
yourselves, we try not to navel
03:10
gaze, the brand is strong, I
03:14
believe, because we are well in
03:14
terms of its visual identity. We
03:18
chose strong colours back in the
03:18
day. So red, black and white.
03:23
The logo is a strong logo we
03:23
refreshed it in 2015. There was
03:27
slight tweaks to the logo, but
03:27
in terms of our how we start to
03:31
stand out from the competition?
03:31
That's an interesting question,
03:35
because I always look at the
03:35
competition and think God, they
03:38
do that really well. You know,
03:38
from our perspective, we try to
03:43
do things as well as we can. And
03:43
we never over promise and under
03:47
deliver, we really try to make
03:47
sure that what we say is true,
03:50
accurate, authentic, we don't
03:50
generally blow our own trumpet,
03:54
we just tried to share our
03:54
stories. And from a brand
03:59
perspective, as well, from a
03:59
communications side of life, in
04:02
looking at the future, the
04:02
vision is always proactive
04:06
moving thing, it's inspiration
04:06
on an aspirational. So our
04:09
vision, for example, is to
04:09
design the best buildings,
04:12
places and spaces in the world.
04:12
That's a very big statement. And
04:16
with that, it's not an arrogant
04:16
statement. It's a continual
04:20
improvement statement. So if we
04:20
don't have that vision, we don't
04:25
want to ever do anything that's
04:25
mediocre. You know, we want to
04:28
make sure that we're always
04:28
striving to meet that or raising
04:31
our game all the time. So,
04:31
whether that's new technologies,
04:34
whether that's embracing, you
04:34
know, 3D printing, or VR, or,
04:40
all of the other assets that we
04:40
have within the business.It's
04:44
very important that we're not
04:44
getting out of bed for anything
04:48
unless. That everybody has the
04:48
same desire to strive for that
04:53
and to reach those things, even
04:53
though they're kind of a
04:57
continual improvement thing.
04:57
Every time you do
05:00  Ayo Abbas
Open right. I mean it
05:00
seems like a very open approach,
05:03
isn't it? Because you must be
05:03
open to new things.
05:05  Daire Hearne
Totally.
05:05
Totally. So, just because we've
05:05
designed the latest project,
05:11
whether it's a, commercial
05:11
office, whether it's a hotel, or
05:14
a small pavilion; it doesn't
05:14
really matter. We, then say
05:18
right great, okay, on to the
05:18
next one now, but how do we make
05:20
it? How do we improve on what
05:20
we've just done? And then we
05:23
tried to share the learning,
05:23
obviously, back into back in
05:26
back into the practice, and it's
05:26
a continual journey, then it's,
05:32
it doesn't, it never ends. It's
05:32
that kind of trajectory of a
05:35
line kind of vibe, that it's
05:35
trying to always striving to do
05:39
better. We're always striving to
05:39
do the right thing. And that's
05:42
not always possible, because it
05:42
depends on the parameters that
05:45
you have, and external forces,
05:45
and cost implications. So, we
05:52
believe in what we do, and we're
05:52
all signed up to it. But the
05:54
other thing is that we're
05:54
employee owned, and when Ken
05:57
Shuttleworth founded the
05:57
business in 2004, that was a
06:01
real point of difference, then,
06:01
since then an awful lot of other
06:04
architectural practices have
06:04
come on board with employee
06:07
ownership, in part or full. But
06:07
the way that Ken set up the
06:12
business then was that it was
06:12
absolutely wholly 100% employee
06:16
owned. So, he hasn't had to go
06:16
through the business hasn't had
06:19
to go through any kind of
06:19
difficult times where you know,
06:23
that happens, partners have to
06:23
be bought out and how do you
06:25
carve up shares? And it's wholly
06:25
owned in a trust as well. So we
06:30
can't be sold, and we can't be
06:30
bought. Equally, there isn't a
06:35
Ken Shuttleworth name, you know,
06:35
Shuttleworth and Partners
06:37
Shuttleworth and sons, whatever.
06:37
And there's nothing it's just
06:40
Make. So his vision was very,
06:40
very clear. When he left
06:44
Foster's to set up Make it was
06:44
very, he wanted to do something
06:47
different. He wanted to ensure
06:47
that everybody had a stake in
06:53
what they do, and that everybody
06:53
got credits, as that's hugely
06:56
important, as well, that
06:56
everybody got credit. And thanks
06:59
for everything they did. And
06:59
that even goes back to, you
07:03
know, the first, the first
07:03
year, the first Make party
07:07
wasn't just about, whereas a lot
07:07
of business have client parties,
07:12
and it's all about business
07:12
development, it obviously that
07:14
has to be in some way or
07:14
otherwise a very expensive
07:17
party. But, but part of it was,
07:17
you know, to say thank you,
07:24
because he's so appreciative of
07:24
all the help he's had along the
07:26
way. And that is inherent in the
07:26
business, we're all well,
07:32
striving to do the right thing
07:32
is, is about how we engage with
07:36
ourselves, and how we engage
07:36
with others. You know, it's our,
07:40
everybody has a bit of skin in
07:40
the game, because they feel the
07:44
ownership of any part of it.
07:45  Ayo Abbas
Yeah,
07:46  Daire Hearne
yeah. And also,
07:46
there's a, there's an incredible
07:50
list of benefits as well,
07:50
benefits package. You know, if
07:53
there's profit, it goes back to
07:53
everybody, if you're a
07:56
contractor working for six
07:56
months, in the business, you're
07:59
there that year, you got a,
07:59
well, you know, everybody gets a
08:03
little bit of something, if
08:03
there's anything you recognise
08:05  Ayo Abbas
your input, yeah,
08:06  Daire Hearne
We're all well
08:06
recognised it, every architect
08:08
gets gets named, you know, from
08:08
a promotional perspective, you
08:12
know, when we do any, any
08:12
publication, anything, everybody
08:15
gets credited, and even, you
08:15
know, all of our collaborators
08:17
get credited. So part of us is
08:17
knowing, in a striving to
08:23
deliver the best places and
08:23
spaces, we have a very strong
08:25
network of professionals that we
08:25
work with, you know, we know
08:28
that we don't know, know,
08:28
everything. So you know, from
08:32
the best consulting engineers
08:32
through to, specialist facade
08:36
specialists through to, economic
08:36
economists, everything that we
08:41
need to tap into, we will tap
08:41
into, and we will collaborate
08:44
freely and openly with
08:44
everybody, including other
08:46
architects. And that's, that's,
08:46
I think, I think what people say
08:50
about us, and it's very, from
08:50
the outside, looking in, what I
08:55
hear is really good, because it
08:55
plays back to us what we believe
08:58
in, and therefore what we hope
08:58
our brand is communicating, and
09:02
our
09:02  Ayo Abbas
brand represents
09:02
everything is not Yeah,
09:04
absolutely.
09:04  Unknown
But our people
09:04
represent the brand, you know,
09:05  Ayo Abbas
come to our page
09:05
isn't,
09:06
so everybody is a Maker, you
09:06
know, everybody is, engaged in,
09:09  Unknown
it is you know, but
09:09
everybody says, oh, wow, down
09:11
with that understanding that
09:11
they're part of everything and
09:15
everything they contribute has
09:15
an impact. It's a democratic
09:20
design process to you know,
09:20
which is quite unusual. And so
09:25
for example, unlike other I've
09:25
worked in many other places Arup
09:28
and Atkins and you know, Environ
09:28
environmental consultancy all
09:32
fabulous places. But make is
09:32
really quite unique. I've never
09:37
worked anywhere quite as unique
09:37
as that and the way to try to
09:41
convey that is that when you
09:41
walk through the door, you kind
09:43
of get that sense of it, you
09:43
know, it's and my job and my
09:47
team's job is to make sure that
09:47
when we communicate and how, a
09:52
l the channels we use, in term
09:52
of our thought leaders
09:55
ip and thinking and foundat
09:55
on as well as that. We try t
10:00
replicate or reflect or mirro
10:00
that. So there's a warmt
10:04
. And there's an approachability
10:04
when you walk into the studio
10:07
which is, which is quite hard,
10:07
ometimes when you
10:17
to, a front desk, which is the
10:17
security down through to
10:21
reception, and we have to
10:21
descend into our London studio,
10:25
which is quite a negative thing
10:25
to do, you know, mostly you
10:28
ascend to places. So it's a
10:28
little bit daunting, when you
10:31
walk down our ramp. And then you
10:31
open into this, a converted
10:36
carpark, essentially, it's what
10:36
it was our London HQ. But there
10:41
is a warmth there, and there's a
10:41
friendliness and
10:44
approachability. And that I
10:44
think that's another part of who
10:48
we are, you know, and that's
10:48
what our brand does represent
10:52
and try to reflect as we're
10:52
slightly, we're a little bit of
10:54
a different type of practice
10:54
where we're approachable, but I
10:58
think as well, with our
10:58
democratic design process, it's
11:02
also a democratic business, in
11:02
that our core teams, which is
11:07
all of the all of the teams that
11:07
that have managed and support
11:11
and run the business from, you
11:11
know, our studio management,
11:15
front of house through to IT,
11:15
finance, communications, nearly
11:19
forgot us
11:21  Ayo Abbas
Who are you
11:23  Daire Hearne
all of the people
11:23
that
11:24
that come together are
11:24
visualizers, you know, that,
11:26
that we work as one team, and we
11:26
have this one Make ethos. Stop
11:31
me if I'm talking too much,
11:31
sorry.
11:33  Ayo Abbas
No, no, no, no, this
11:33
is interesting.
11:34
I think I read that you choose
11:34
when it comes to projects, you
11:34  Daire Hearne
The one mekhi
11:34
sauce is that, you know, it's
11:37
not just we don't, we don't try
11:37
to enforce anything around the
11:42
world. But actually, we work
11:42
with one studio, which sounds
11:44
bizarre, but we've got, we've
11:44
got studios in Sydney, Hong
11:48
Kong, London. The fact that we
11:48
happen to be headquartered in
11:50
London just happens to be where
11:50
we're headquartered. We don't
11:54
have independent hubs running
11:54
with a cup with the just the
11:59
brand it is actually wholly on
11:59
. One Bus
12:06
choose the best people for the
12:06
job, regardless of where they're
12:08
actually based.
12:08
Yeah, yeah,
12:09  Ayo Abbas
I think that was
12:09
quite unique. I thought I just
12:12
in terms I looked at I went, Oh,
12:12
because that doesn't happen that
12:15
often.
12:16  Daire Hearne
No, it doesn't.
12:16
Well, I mean, a lot of people
12:19
probably say that, but we
12:19
actually do it. Because, you
12:21
know, for London, some we were
12:21
from, in Sydney, we, when we
12:27
established the business, there
12:27
was a lot of people based in
12:31
London who wanted to go out. So
12:31
that was fine. There was also
12:34
local recruitment, likewise, in
12:34
Hong Kong, but because of that,
12:38
there's an understanding and
12:38
strong relationships already in
12:43
place.
12:43
So working across, you know,
12:43
time boundaries isn't an issue
12:47
when it's a big project. So we
12:47
pull the best people with the
12:51
best skillset, or the best
12:51
experience for the job onto the
12:57
projects, so that so we actually
12:57
do what we say, which is really
13:00
important. And it comes back to
13:00
our brand. And it comes back to,
13:03
if you like, the role of the
13:03
comms team, or how we
13:08
communicate is that we would
13:08
never say something we couldn't
13:12
do, because the worst kind of
13:12
comms and the worst kind of
13:14
marketing is, look at all the
13:14
fiascos who we're dealing with
13:17
Johnsons pulling back baby
13:17
products off the shelves, but,
13:21
you know, there has to be trust.
13:21
And I think there is that with
13:24
us. We've done over the years as
13:24
well, a number of, you know,
13:27
client satisfaction, surveys and
13:27
feedback sessions and, you know,
13:32
media as well, media audits. And
13:32
the same thing kind of comes
13:37
through the people get there,
13:37
we're kind of a great place to
13:40
work and understand that, you
13:40
know, we're, we're authentic, I
13:45
guess, I know, that's an
13:45
overused word at the moment, but
13:48
you know, it is true. You know,
13:48
and we say, we say we say what
13:52
we do, we do what we say, and we
13:52
try to live up to what we do say
13:55
because it's not about, you
13:55
know, we've never been
13:59
interested in necessarily in,
13:59
you know, column inches or PR
14:04
for PR sake. It has to be worth
14:04
something and has to be saying
14:09
something really.
14:11  Ayo Abbas
So in terms of
14:11
lockdown, I mean, what what have
14:14
you changed what you've been
14:14
doing marketing communication
14:16
wise, or, I mean, obviously,
14:16
everyone's working from or had
14:19
to work from home for, you know,
14:19
just coming back into studios or
14:21
whatever, or going back again,
14:21
and again. Yeah, don't go into
14:25
the office.
14:26  Daire Hearne
Confused which way
14:26
we go.
14:29
transition.
14:32  Ayo Abbas
But overall, during
14:32
shutdown, I mean, in terms of
14:34
the types of activities and what
14:34
you were doing marketing wise,
14:37
what are comms wise, what
14:37
changed for you?
14:41  Daire Hearne
there's a
14:42
there's a paradigm shift. I
14:42
think what we've been trying to
14:45
get to that place for a little
14:45
while and in really embracing
14:49
the digital space in the digital
14:49
world. You know, we've got
14:53
really strong publications.
14:55  Ayo Abbas
Your publications are
14:55
beautiful, every year and I've
14:59
had them like your annual
14:59
lovely, yeah, it's always been.
15:03
But you always get humour into
15:03
stuff, which I always find is
15:05
really hard to do in terms of a
15:05
print publication, but you
15:08
managed to get your, your
15:08
personality into it. And I know
15:11
how hard that is to do. So I
15:11
think the fact that you actually
15:15
get humour into it, you can see
15:15
personalities of people on the
15:17
page. And I think that's just so
15:17
hard to do
15:21  Daire Hearne
Yeah, it is, it is
15:21
hard to do. So we're being being
15:25
locked in our programme of work
15:25
continued, because we had in
15:30
planning, so we've got this
15:30
massive calendar of activity
15:34
and, news grids. And, you know,
15:34
we've got all of the social
15:38
media channels, but also our
15:38
main strategic bodies of work
15:42
needed to continue, you know,
15:42
planning for the next thing for
15:45
The Future Spaces Foundation. We
15:45
manage to release, although, you
15:50
know, digitally instead of in
15:50
print form, our next iteration
15:55
on the Exchange programme, which
15:55
is around education and
15:57
research.
15:57  Ayo Abbas
Yeah, I saw that.
15:59  Daire Hearne
So we had to shift
15:59
very quickly from doing the
16:02
publication, style, you know,
16:02
it's a whole different way, a
16:06
programme of work and how you
16:06
think about things to morph it
16:09
into a more digital based layout
16:09
format? And then how would we
16:15
make it slightly different to
16:15
our existing blog programme and
16:18
blog series. So our thinking had
16:18
to shift and change not, not
16:22
least because we were when we
16:22
would launch an Exchange, if you
16:26
like, a theme we would have it
16:26
in a, you do try a traditional
16:30
event, you know, whether it's a
16:30
panel event, or there's drinks,
16:33
whether it's, you know, your
16:33
recent book, blah, when all of
16:36
that went out the window, we
16:36
also pulled the Annual print
16:40
run, because just as we were a
16:40
bit late this year, our annual
16:44
kind of annual goes from January
16:44
to March
16:48
of the previous year.
16:49
But that's what that our own
16:49
gift, I guess, you know, but we
16:54
were it was literally about to
16:54
print, literally.
16:58  Ayo Abbas
I mean, I had people
16:58
asking me to brochures, and I
16:59
was like, where would you send
16:59
them ?
17:01  Daire Hearne
]Where would you
17:01
send them? Why would anybody
17:03
want them? So we were literally
17:03
it was on the press,like,
17:06
literally they about it was all
17:06
laid out, lay the team, were at
17:10
the printers.
17:13
Oh, then we have to pull it. And
17:15
we pull it up, because we were
17:15
just about to hit lockdown. And
17:19
we were trying to figure out, we
17:19
did a smaller, we reduce the
17:22
print run significantly. And we
17:22
just thought, okay, we will get
17:26
a number in and we'll keep them
17:26
in the studio. Let's hold on to
17:30
them. Let's see what's happening
17:30
here. So our two weeks
17:33
initially, people think oh, two
17:33
weeks lockdown a month lockdown
17:36
turned into something more. So
17:36
we're trying to think ahead,
17:38
we're also trying to think
17:38
about, you know, in terms of
17:41
timing, us releasing an annual,
17:41
which is our look at you our
17:44
reflection of the year, your
17:44
past, looking back to the
17:48
future. And suddenly, just this
17:48
incredible thing is happening
17:52
across the world pandemic has
17:52
had nobody really truly believes
17:55
it, you know, every country is
17:55
falling like a domino and we're
17:58
all thinking, is this really
17:58
happening? And then suddenly,
18:01
we're with an Annual, and it's
18:01
gonna be posted, posted out, and
18:05
it's gonna land in hardcopy, and
18:05
people just go, okay.
18:12  Ayo Abbas
I'll come in six
18:12
months later, and I pick up the
18:13
Annual, right?
18:16  Unknown
It's, yeah,
18:17  Daire Hearne
yeah, it's lovely.
18:17
I mean, it's a thing of beauty
18:18
and it's lovely. So then what we
18:18
wanted to do then was to release
18:24
because there was a lot of
18:24
really, this last year's annual
18:28
was really looking at the rigour
18:28
and the process behind the
18:33
projects and behind, you know,
18:33
the practice, because, you know,
18:37
we're always promoting the
18:37
projects, but actually, some of
18:39
the people but you know, not
18:39
really, you know, what goes on
18:43
behind the scenes. So we were
18:43
able to release that in a
18:46
digital form. And just just to
18:46
celebrate the people our people
18:50
which are, who are Makers are
18:50
amazing, you know, so through
18:53
luck going back to the question
18:53
I threw locked on, we shifted
18:57
and changed how we do things,
18:57
but we still continue to do our
18:59
programme. We were very
18:59
conscious and sensitive towards
19:05
what we were releasing, because,
19:05
through all of it, everybody's
19:09
just in, everybody's sitting at
19:09
the kitchen tables, or half a
19:12
desk, you know, everybody's home
19:12
life is different, from some of
19:17
our younger younger team
19:17
members, architects who might be
19:19
in houseshares, through to
19:19
people people sharing their
19:25
kitchen table with kids and
19:25
partners and spouses and dogs
19:28
and cats. just crazy crazy
19:28
times. But fantastic as well be
19:35
because the this I hope the
19:35
sounds okay, but the real Make
19:40
spirit is there and it was
19:40
certainly prevalent and
19:43
certainly we thought, whoa, the
19:43
one Make ethos that we have
19:48
shone through like no other
19:48
time. And why? Well, just how
19:53
people came together how people
19:53
work so hard. So had to adjust
19:57
to different ways of working in
19:57
between either deliveries or,
20:04
you know, kids screaming
20:04
tantrums blue murder because
20:07
they don't want to do their
20:07
homework or their homeschooling
20:09
has gone wrong through to, Wi Fi
20:09
not strong enough. But but with
20:15
that kind of true camaraderie
20:15
and trusting relationships and
20:20
everybody just pulling together
20:20
was quite phenomenal. So we, we
20:24
we have every Friday, a Friday
20:24
live, it's what we call Friday
20:28
Live. And it's pm we down tools,
20:28
we pick up mics, and w pick up
20:35
drinks first and the odd now
20:35
socially acceptable crisps.
20:42
Well, we had
20:44  Unknown
we always kind of with
20:44
those that age old problem, like
20:46
double dipping
20:47  Daire Hearne
that everything
20:47
has
20:50  Ayo Abbas
to have your own bag.
20:51  Unknown
Yeah, so we were kind
20:51
of at that point as well, with
20:54
the nuts the bowls and the
20:54
spoons. I digress. Sorry.
20:58  Daire Hearne
But the point was
20:58
that
21:02
It's our internal thing, you
21:02
know, where you have a drink,
21:05
it's where, you know, there's
21:05
some internal chats and
21:08
presentations, what's going on
21:08
progress updates, snapshots,
21:13
anything to share, you know,
21:13
anything
21:16  Ayo Abbas
to share those
21:17  Daire Hearne
loads to share?
21:17
Alwayss
21:19  Ayo Abbas
Just been like, you
21:19
know, what people's experiences
21:21
were but also to have the
21:21
familiarity must have been
21:23
lonely.
21:24  Unknown
Sometimes.
21:25  Ayo Abbas
on that Friday. Yeah,
21:25
that's what we will be doing
21:27
regardless. But even if it was
21:27
at home, right.
21:30  Daire Hearne
Oh, so so that was
21:30
the interesting thing is how do
21:33
you get people all of us all 130
21:33
odd or 20 odd that we have in
21:38
the London studio online at the
21:38
same time, the five o'clock
21:41
without us all combusting. So
21:41
that was actually Connie
21:45
Suffren's role.
21:47  Ayo Abbas
I love Connie. But
21:47
she just figures this stuff out.
21:49
She's just
21:50  Daire Hearne
amazing. So So
21:52
several years ago, when we came
21:52
up with the Friday live concept
21:55
we always did Friday, you know,
21:55
Friday presentation, there was
21:57
always drinks on a Friday.
21:57
Soyeah, so Originally, we
22:00
decided, Okay, let's have a
22:00
running order.
22:03
Let's go through our live
22:03
projects. And for everybody just
22:05
to stand up say okay, quick
22:05
getting started, got a picture
22:08
240 word type of vibe, you know,
22:08
like a twist. So it's kept
22:11
short. And this admin lies, but
22:11
you and I know Ayo that there's
22:15
nothing in it. You know, when
22:15
your other intern anything to do
22:18
with communications? Nothing
22:18
admin light? No, because you
22:20
have to do the research and do
22:20
the thinking and try to pull it
22:23
together in order to
22:24  Ayo Abbas
reassure whoever's
22:24
liking or needs to supply the
22:27
information as well. You're not
22:27
even just finding the
22:29
information is that as well as
22:29
Yeah,
22:31  Daire Hearne
exactly. And then
22:31
prodding and saying, Well, I'm
22:33
too busy, or I don't want to,
22:33
you know, so all of that is
22:36
like, Please don't make me. You
22:36
know, really, I'm really
22:39
nervous. You know, that kind of
22:39
thing. Yeah. So we've long long
22:42
since established this, and you
22:42
know, Connie's on the on the MC.
22:46
They're kind of the MC on the
22:46
mic. pulling this incredible
22:51
thing together. And we now do it
22:51
on an international basis as
22:54
well. So three times a year, we
22:54
pulled together Sydney, Hong
22:56
Kong and London, and we share
22:56
progress. We tried to talk about
23:01
all of the projects that have
23:01
been a collaborative process,
23:04
which most of them are, across
23:04
the across the geographies, you
23:08
know, so Friday live virtual, as
23:08
we called it, wonderful v. Li,
23:14
Li, virtual Friday live and it's
23:14
just so everybody would grab
23:18
their drinks, and sit down and
23:18
have videos on. And we'd all
23:24
start chatting, well, it would
23:24
then whoever was presenting
23:27
would be presenting and share
23:27
screen. And then you have
23:29
everybody on the chat going
23:29
that's brilliant. All I didn't
23:32
realise that. That's amazing.
23:32
And they were just having the
23:34
chat as presenting. And we did
23:34
from the bunker series. So we
23:39
started Ken with his video from
23:39
the bunker, the first one
23:43
hashtag from the bunker,
23:45
literally his bunker,
23:47
because we were all in our
23:47
bunkers. And we started that
23:52
way. And it continued. So now we
23:52
have a mix of we managed to do
23:58
Friday live to two international
23:58
Friday lives. And the last one
24:02
was last was the 18th. And just
24:02
before we were told, everybody
24:07
needs to work from home again.
24:07
So we managed to do the probably
24:12
the more more people in the
24:12
studio all social distance,
24:16
because we did all of the COVID
24:16
compliant stuff back in the
24:20
middle of July. So the studio
24:20
has been open in London since
24:24
then. So that people needed to
24:24
go in they could, you know,
24:27
because there's a lot of you
24:27
know, you've to think about well
24:29
being a mental health and,
24:31
you know,
24:32
all of that stuff considerations
24:32
for people's different different
24:35
circumstances. So, anyway, but
24:35
this last Friday live because
24:39
there's only three we can do
24:39
with the given we need to bring
24:42
in Australia and Hong Kong
24:42
within a decent time. Time. You
24:45
know, day, day or night. So that
24:45
was amazing. It was one of the
24:50
best ones we've had. We were
24:50
technically challenged because
24:53
we needed to do online everybody
24:53
thenYeah, they all do. Anyway,
24:59
it was it was up to Brilliant,
25:00  Ayo Abbas
but it must have been
25:00
really nice in terms of
25:01
solidarity and bringing everyone
25:01
together, right? That was the
25:05
thing, and I guess it's, we're
25:05
all facing the global pandemic.
25:08
So the experiences in Sydney are
25:08
gonna be very different to Hong
25:11
Kong and
25:11  Daire Hearne
Yeah, well, if
25:11
anything wrong as well, right
25:14  Unknown
now, Hong Kong, you
25:14
know, political things going on
25:18
there at the moment aside there,
25:18
and they're kind of the fifth
25:21
spikes, they're coming through
25:21
it every time. So, you know, you
25:25
look to the future, we can see
25:25
only already within our own
25:30
practice how there's light at
25:30
the end of the tunnel, and we've
25:34
gone into a second second spike
25:34
here, but there's this, there's
25:38
a light, you know, we just need
25:38
to all stay safe, do the right
25:41
thing, you know, support each ot
25:41
er, you know, not be selfish whe
25:46
it comes to masks or hand wash
25:46
ng, or health or you know, dist
25:49
nce and all that stuff, and
25:49
ust pull together really to do
25:52
he best that we can. So that
25:52
as that was awesome. Our Frid
25:56
y, live international was rea
25:56
ly good. Now, we're gonna proba
26:00
ly be going back into a little
26:00
it of a few in the studio few
26:04
nd then the rest, or the rest of
26:04
us will all be online. You know,
26:09
so it's, yeah. But going back in
26:09
o, what we changed and what w
26:15
do digital has to be first
26:15
ow. So we need to speed up what
26:18
e do, how we do it, how slick
26:18
y we do it, we've won proje
26:22
ts through lockdown, which w
26:22
s incredible, like big projects
26:29
through lockdown. And that's a
26:29
testament to the amount of wo
26:32
k that everybody did, you kno
26:32
, at kitchen tables or hanging o
26:34
t windows trying to get Wi Fi
26:34
But but then
26:38  Daire Hearne
obviously, you're
26:38
limited to the recipient.
26:41
Audience, where are they? What
26:41
bandwidth do they have?
26:44  Ayo Abbas
And that's the thing
26:44
is like, yeah, and and actually,
26:47
that's interesting. I mean, how
26:47
have you found finding your
26:49
audience? And actually, I guess
26:49
communicating with them
26:52
externally? So I guess we've
26:52
covered a lot of the internal
26:55
and how make the Makers work and
26:55
all of that, but actually
26:58
working with your clients? Have
26:58
you found that? How have you
27:00
marketed to them are there
27:00
particular things you've done?
27:03  Daire Hearne
And we've we've
27:03
done some interesting things,
27:05
but you know, our our ongoing,
27:05
our channels are there all the
27:09
time. So, you know, we kind of
27:09
we monitor the airwaves, we've
27:12
got our strongest channels, I
27:12
guess, will be Twitter,
27:16
Instagram, we're getting trying
27:16
to get better at Instagram all
27:18
the time and LinkedIn. But in
27:18
terms of what we're saying that
27:23
Yeah, we have always Yeah,
27:23
always. So we've, we've
27:27
continued our blog series, we
27:27
decided to continue to launch
27:34
this year, another year of the
27:34
drawing prize, the architecture,
27:37
drawing prize with Sir John
27:37
Soames. So, in terms of the
27:42
relationships with our existing
27:42
clients, that's always been
27:45
ongoing daily. And I think we
27:45
just maintained our presence
27:49
without, you know, obviously, as
27:49
I said, mentioned earlier, being
27:52
sensitive to what's going on. At
27:52
the same time, we then tried to
27:57
we heard from our clients that,
27:57
you know, everybody is trying to
28:01
make sense of the impact of
28:01
COVID on design on certain
28:06
sectors. So we did a little bit
28:06
of thinking around those issues,
28:11
weave a little bit like most
28:11
people did, you know, post
28:15
COVID, what's coming, what's
28:15
upcoming for hotels, what's
28:18
coming for, you know, all the
28:18
sectors, where is the office
28:21
market going to be, we kind of
28:21
pulled all that together,
28:25
internally.
28:27
That was just as much as
28:27
anything, just to give
28:29
a little bit of comfort and to
28:29
to help some clients. The rest,
28:37
I guess, is we stopped,
28:37
obviously, we weren't good to
28:40
have our usual, our usual client
28:40
party. But, you know, the
28:43
difficulty I think, is getting
28:43
less is more, do you know, that
28:48
that that concept of even down
28:48
to you know, understanding the
28:53
client's bandwidth in terms of
28:53
you know, things need to be 16
28:56
by nine screen resolution? But
28:56
actually, some people are
29:00
sitting off the Cotswolds, you
29:00
know, there still could be
29:02
sitting Yeah, and have very
29:02
little either strengthen Wi Fi.
29:07
And
29:08  Ayo Abbas
so if you sent over
29:08
this massive, you're just gonna
29:10
crash their whole system
29:11  Daire Hearne
can't do it. So
29:11
that's been a real learning
29:13
curve for us, you know, the
29:13
digital world, you know, as you
29:15
say, what it picture tells 1000
29:15
words, so a moving image and a
29:20
movie or film or a, you know, an
29:20
animation and all the rest tells
29:24
10,200 thousands, you know, then
29:24
you get there quicker. But
29:27
actually, if people don't have
29:27
the bandwidth, they can't
29:30
download itThey can't see it, it
29:30
just it just, just just it's
29:36
glitchy, you know. So so so
29:36
we've had to scale back and be
29:40
very, very succinct about what
29:40
it is we want to say, and how we
29:45
choose to say it. So we're
29:45
looking at the brand at the
29:48
moment, we're having a bit of a
29:48
brand evolution. We're looking
29:51
at our annual at the moment
29:51
we're looking at our Annual at
29:54
the moment, you know, yeah. How
29:54
we do things differently without
29:59
losing the essence of what they
29:59
are
30:00  Ayo Abbas
I imagine it's really
30:00
good discipline to do that? Do
30:02
you know what I mean? It's like,
30:02
actually, how do you simplify
30:05
stuff down to the, you know, the
30:05
core? What actually really
30:08
necessary here.
30:09  Daire Hearne
It's It is
30:09
interesting. It's very
30:12
interesting, because, you know,
30:12
less is more, but how do you get
30:15
how do you get to less takes a
30:15
lot more, it tells me a lot of
30:18
thinking, you know, to scan
30:18
something done to not to lose
30:21
his purpose, its principal, or
30:21
you know, what it is that you're
30:24
really trying to say, either
30:24
visually or through copy? It's
30:29
very hard.
30:31  Ayo Abbas
It's really hard.
30:31
It's a new thing. Yeah. I just
30:34
think words down, I always find
30:34
quite hard to put in on the
30:37
page. It's fine.
30:38  Daire Hearne
It's just
30:38
simplicity is well, and it's,
30:40
you know, it's like when you
30:40
think about the the best
30:42
strategies are always the
30:42
simplest. But it takes a lot of
30:45
effort by a lot of people to get
30:45
to that simple strategy. You
30:48
know, think, oh, that was easy.
30:48
They just pull that out of the
30:50
bag. Yeah,
30:51  Ayo Abbas
no.
30:53  Daire Hearne
Thinking of other
30:53
other brands, you know, it's not
30:55
a kind of, very easy, so easy,
30:55
but to, to, to know that people
31:00
are walking away and actually
31:00
have absorbed that bit that
31:03
you're trying to get across. And
31:03
then trying to get to the point
31:07
where you're trying to get
31:07
across to that particular
31:09
segment, or that particular
31:09
audiences just yet. So yeah,
31:13  Ayo Abbas
Yeah. Um, in terms of
31:13
the kind of Make approach to
31:13
yeah, it is.
31:17
comms and being authentic and
31:17
being consistent. What do you
31:20
think have a practices can learn
31:20
from what you do?
31:24  Daire Hearne
Oh, wow, that's a
31:24
big question.
31:25  Ayo Abbas
It is.
31:29  Daire Hearne
They learn,
31:30  Ayo Abbas
I guess, I guess, I
31:30
think has an ethos of what runs
31:32
through what you do. But also,
31:32
it's, you know, I guess there is
31:37
not everyone's gonna have a team
31:37
your size?
31:38  Daire Hearne
No, no, it's true.
31:40  Ayo Abbas
But if you boiled it
31:40
down, what things your team
31:43
delivering that actually, people
31:43
could copy or emulate or you
31:45
know, what I mean, take take
31:45
take on board.
31:50  Daire Hearne
That would be
31:50
everybody is very skilled,
31:59
they're very committed to Make
31:59
and Make is very committed to
32:02
them. So I guess we have a plan,
32:02
we tried to stick with it. But
32:08
we're, as a whole business, if
32:08
you like, as a practice, we're
32:12
small enough when we have the
32:12
right the right mindset that we
32:16
can be agile, flexible and
32:16
fluid, as we need to be so, but
32:20
also our own, if you like,
32:20
deadlines and timelines are
32:25
created by ourselves, so that we
32:25
can take action very quickly,
32:29
and change things out slightly.
32:29
I think we all need to be
32:33
flexible. And I think we need to
32:33
be looking ahead always, you
32:37
know, reflecting, reflecting who
32:37
we are, we try not to look
32:40
backwards, we try to look look
32:40
not just in the present, but to
32:44
the future. Everything that
32:44
we've done makes us who we are.
32:47
But actually how do we continue
32:47
to evolve as a team, but as a
32:52
business? What are the skillset?
32:52
How do we keep abreast of all
32:56
that's going on, when you look
32:56
at technology, when you look at
32:58
you know how fast AI is coming
32:58
through, you know, VR, all of
33:03
the rest, how do we stay in
33:03
touch, but also trying to keep a
33:09
cutting edge or be innovative.
33:09
And I think that's, that's
33:12
partly true. Every single one of
33:12
my team is brilliant. And it's
33:16
not my team, it's, we're our
33:16
team, we're Makes team. And
33:20
we're all striving towards the
33:20
same thing. You know. And I
33:24
think that's really important. I
33:24
think what Make does and what we
33:28
do generally is, is there's a
33:28
huge support mechanism, huge
33:34
trust and faith, when the chips
33:34
are down, that's where make
33:38
really comes to the fore, you
33:38
know, from an internal basis,
33:40
you know, it's just, you know,
33:40
what I said earlier, it's really
33:45
quite unique, it is quite unique
33:45
because, because Ken and, you
33:50
know, our senior leadership, all
33:50
have that ethos, it comes from
33:53
the heart, it doesn't come from,
33:53
you know, having a strategy or
33:55
tactics or, you know, here's our
33:55
policy, here's our internal
34:00
policy or plan, you know, it's
34:00
more about it's hearts and
34:05
minds. And you know, from that
34:05
from a people perspective, it's
34:09
trying to do, you know, the best
34:09
buy each other for each other
34:13
for the client. And then for you
34:13
know, I hate to say it for the
34:16
planet, you know, so when you
34:16
when you when we're put it all
34:20
together, it makes it quite
34:20
powerful. It could sound very
34:23
cheesy, but actually, it's
34:23
really true. And it's, it's a
34:28
really, yeah, I don't know if
34:28
that's any good anybody else but
34:32
it's just how we do so. Yeah,
34:32
we've never been, we've never
34:38
really been ones for a you know,
34:38
this is how we should do things.
34:41
This is what we this is what we
34:41
believe we should be doing. This
34:44
is what we think we could do.
34:44
Let's go and try us. And it's
34:48
like, the vision that Ken, as we
34:48
started out in 2004, said, the
34:55
vision to design the best
34:55
buildings, places and spaces in
34:58
the world. That that is that
34:58
applies to everybody in the
35:03
business and the practice. You
35:03
know, it's like, why we have a
35:06
brilliant finance team, you
35:06
know, brilliant IT team,
35:09
everybody is actually, you know
35:09
why limit it to design,
35:12
everybody needs to be thinking
35:12
of that vision and pushing
35:16
ourselves. Why would we have
35:16
anything? Why would we ever do
35:19
it,
35:20  Ayo Abbas
though? Because I
35:20
think quite often you can get
35:22
things where it's like, oh,
35:22
we've always done it this way.
35:24  Daire Hearne
Yeah, no,we don't
35:24
do that.
35:25  Ayo Abbas
I mean, you have
35:25
that? I guess inertia, right.
35:29
Just like, we've always done
35:29
this. We know we've always done
35:31
these print publications. But
35:31
yes, they're beautiful. But But
35:34
right now, you can't do them. So
35:34
what's next?
35:36
Well, then, yeah, you're kind of
35:36
forced
35:37
out? Yeah. And actually going,
35:37
Okay. Now, we actually do need
35:42
to apply this to digital
35:42
context, how are we going to do
35:44
it? And I think, and then
35:44
looking at what you can push,
35:47
but not too crazy. So that
35:47
people can't download it? Yeah.
35:50
Because it's so massive. Yeah.
35:50
And that's the challenge, I
35:53
guess is, how do you push that,
35:53
but within a boundary
35:57  Daire Hearne
within the
35:57
boundaries I get? Yeah, of
35:59
course, and the parameters that
35:59
we have, and our skills that we
36:01
have, within, you know, budget
36:01
constraints too because the UK
36:07
is in the is in a recession,
36:07
we've got, you know, the issues
36:11
of, you know, going into a
36:11
second spike or you know, a
36:14
second, not so stringent
36:14
lockdown, but still a lockdown,
36:17
none the less where our clients
36:17
are at, how we support them. But
36:23
overall, I think it's our, our
36:23
need to stay thinking positively
36:30
and in the future, and aspiring
36:30
to do and to do more. And to
36:35
think, I guess, outside of the
36:35
box, you know, that was one of
36:38
the things that really, always
36:38
impressed me about Make when I
36:41
was when I wasn't here. Wow, did
36:41
they do that? You know, that's
36:52
really amazing. They just were
36:52
so good. That was so cool. Or
36:56
no, they'd go to MIPIM them. And
36:56
they'd have a really funky
37:00
box,out of paper, I think was
37:00
that that was the flyer, there
37:03
was a brochure, you know, it was
37:03
just do the the creativeness of
37:09
the of everyone is just really
37:09
fantastic. And when I joined, it
37:14
was really at the forefront of
37:14
my mind that I couldn't I
37:19
couldn't let that go, you know,
37:19
that I had to keep that going. I
37:23
had to keep that, you know, not
37:23
not dumb down I don't mean dumb
37:27
down. I mean, you know,
37:27
sometimes you can get very
37:29
corporate, you do things by the
37:29
book, and you know, you have a
37:31
strategy of attack
37:32  Ayo Abbas
shareholders, I think
37:32
that's a slightly different
37:34  Daire Hearne
thing. Yeah,
37:34
exactly. So I'd come from
37:35
Atkins, you know, and, and as
37:35
brilliant as Atkins is, and I
37:41
loved, I loved all my time
37:41
there, there was a different
37:43
rigour, you know, there's a
37:43
different need, there was a
37:45
different, different, lots of
37:45
different things that you could
37:50
still innovate, you could still
37:50
do really great things, and we
37:53
did really great things. But I
37:53
just thought, Oh, my God, this
37:57
has to stay fresh. That's how,
37:57
you know, make has to stay as
38:00
cool as it can be. It's cutting
38:00
edge. And, you know, and I don't
38:04
know, sometimes, you know,
38:04
think, oh, gosh, I hope we've
38:06
achieved that, you know, we're
38:06
working on the brand at the
38:08
moment, we're going through a
38:08
bit of a brand evolution
38:11
ourselves, you know, we're,
38:11
we're thinking about what it
38:15
means to us, and more
38:15
importantly, how we convey that
38:17
externally, when everything is
38:17
different. Now, how do we
38:20
continue to how do we, how do we
38:20
aspire and inspire, at the same
38:26
time, because nothing stays the
38:26
same? And if anything, the
38:29
pandemic has shown us, as well
38:29
as all the global recessions
38:33
that we've had since 2004, you
38:33
know, how do you survive? How do
38:37
you how do you stay relevant,
38:37
and how do you stay authentic?
38:41
You know, so, we've got climate
38:41
crisis, we've got pandemic,
38:45
we've got pandemics, and we hope
38:45
this will be the you know, once
38:49
once there's a once we managed
38:49
to get through this, which we
38:53
will, you know, though, you
38:53
know, there probably will be
38:56
more but, you know, the
38:56
governments in the world, we
38:58
would just have to be able to
38:58
cope and live with things, you
39:00
know, and not manage to manage
39:00
them but not be not be not be so
39:05
scared and burdened with anxiety
39:05
that we can't move forward.
39:09
Yeah, because everything evolves
39:09
and shifts and changes. We just
39:12
have to stay fluid. And stay
39:12
stay one step ahead or stay with
39:17
it and then try to get one step
39:17
ahead. So So, so yeah, Did that
39:22
answer any of those any of your
39:22
questions? I'm not sure.
39:26  Ayo Abbas
But don't worry it
39:26
was good. I'm on to my final
39:30
question. What one tip would you
39:30
give to business leaders about
39:33
how to market themselves during
39:33
this current crisis?
39:39  Daire Hearne
I would say be
39:39
very
39:41
clear about what it is you're
39:41
trying to convey. Keep it
39:44
simple, but keep it real.
39:52  Ayo Abbas
Thanks for listening
39:52
to the latest episode of
39:54
Marketing In Times of Crisis. If
39:54
you liked what you heard, please
39:57
do leave us a review as it helps
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If you want to know more about
40:03
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40:03
do look at the show notes which
40:06
will give you more information
40:06
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40:09
about our show website. In the
40:09
meantime, I hope you enjoyed it
40:13
and have a great day. Bye