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

subscribe
share





episode 23: Ep 23, PT 1, Strategy, COVID 19 Response and Elevating The Role of Marketing, Danielle Regan and Dave Hendy, Mace [transcript]


Hello and welcome to the latest episode of Marketing In Times of Recovery hosted by  Ayo Abbas, a built environment marketing consultant and founder of Abbas Marketing.

It's part one of a two-parter with today’s guests are Danielle Regan and Dave Hendy from Mace. 

In our discussion, we talk about:

  • The role of the business partner as the glue that joins the marketing team with the business. 
  • The McKinsey Framework that helped support Mace’s business strategy through the pandemic
  • How the role of internal comms became more open and transparent. 

Rate and review us
Please rate and review us if you’re listening on Apple podcasts as it’s lovely to hear what you think plus it helps us to spread the word. Or why not leave me a voice message saying what you think of the show at memo.fm

Resources
Abbas Marketing
Mace Group
McKinsey Framework - Beyond coronavirus: The path to the next normal

This episode was recorded on July 01 2021.

The next episode is live now if you want to find out more about how Mace tackled internal comms and purpose.


share







 2021-09-24  27m
 
 
00:05  Ayo Abbas
Hello, and welcome to
00:05
Marketing In Times of Recovery.
00:08
And I'm your host Ayo Abbas,
00:08
founder and director of Abbas
00:11
Marketing, a specialist built
00:11
environment marketing
00:14
consultancy. This episode was
00:14
recorded on Thursday, July 01
00:19
2021. And today I've not got one
00:19
but two very special guests from
00:25
Mace, Danielle Regan and Dave
00:25
Hendy. Mace as a company is one
00:31
that I know really, really well
00:31
as I used to work for Danielle,
00:34
for four years in the business
00:34
partner role that she mentioned
00:37
in the podcast. In our
00:37
discussions, we talk about a
00:41
host of things from why purpose
00:41
is so important in their new
00:44
2026 business strategy, how
00:44
their marketing team had to
00:48
restructure overnight to support
00:48
the business during COVID. How
00:52
internal columns has grown in
00:52
stature, unimportance, and why
00:56
it's been so important for them
00:56
now to be viewed as a team as a
00:59
trusted advisor. And if you
00:59
liked the show, please, please,
01:04
please do leave us a review as
01:04
it really will help us to spread
01:07
the word to more people. Anyway,
01:07
I'll stop talking and let you
01:11
get on with listening. Enjoy.
01:19
Okay, so welcome to the show,
01:19
Danielle and Dave, um, could you
01:22
introduce yourselves and your
01:22
roles at mace, please? kick off
01:25
with you, Danielle.
01:27  Danielle Regan
Hi. Nice to be
01:27
here. Yeah. I'm Danielle Regan.
01:31
I'm the group Marketing and
01:31
Communications Director at Mace.
01:36  Ayo Abbas
And you Dave, thank
01:36
you.
01:38  Dave Hendy
Yeah, it's
01:38
fantastic. I'm Dave Hendy. I'm
01:41
Mace's Head of Corporate
01:41
Communications.
01:42  Ayo Abbas
Cool.
01:43
And, Danielle, can you give us a
01:43
quick rundown on how their
01:46
marketing communications team
01:46
works at Mace? Because you're
01:49
quite a large team, aren't you?
01:49
What size are you and what you
01:52
do?
01:52  Danielle Regan
Yeah, we're we
01:52
are quite large. Now. Actually,
01:55
it's been really interesting.
01:55
Actually. I've been at Mace for
01:57
13 years. And I think when I
01:57
joined, I think we were about a
02:00
team of about five or six. And
02:00
now we're approaching about 40
02:05
people as well. And, you know,
02:05
actually starting to become a
02:09
bit more of a global team as
02:09
well, which is fantastic. So,
02:14
yeah, I guess so our role really
02:14
is. So it's three main parts to
02:19
it, you know, position protect
02:19
and promote the Mace brand,
02:22
support the business to win
02:22
work, but also a huge part of
02:25
what we do is actually creating
02:25
brand ambassadors. So you know,
02:29
kind of starting from the inside
02:29
out, really trying to turn our
02:34
6,500 employees into brand
02:34
advocates kind of out in the
02:38
marketplace. And so that's kind
02:38
of what we do as a team. We're
02:43
split into four small, smallish
02:43
teams. So we've got corporate
02:47
comms that Dave leads, which is
02:47
internal comms external comms,
02:51
and that includes sort of press,
02:51
social media, corporate affairs,
02:56
thought leadership, as well as
02:56
supporting all of our internal
03:02
comms and transformation and
03:02
employee engagement. Again,
03:05
we've got digital and design,
03:05
which is kind of digital
03:08
marketing, but also graphic
03:08
design, video and photography.
03:12
That also includes our kind of
03:12
CRM and customer satisfaction
03:16
team as well. We've then got a
03:16
small events team, so they're
03:22
the team that do all of our
03:22
physical, virtual and hybrid
03:26
events. And then we've got our
03:26
business partners. And that's
03:29
the kind of the link between the
03:29
business really so almost like
03:32
account managers, so they
03:32
represent marcomms within the
03:36
engines of the business and the
03:36
business units. So they turn the
03:39
business strategies into kind of
03:39
marketing strategies and
03:43
campaigns. So they're the voice
03:43
of marketing in the engines and
03:46
the voice of the engines in in
03:46
the team.
03:49  Ayo Abbas
So that's, that's
03:49
gonna say the engine just like,
03:52
that's the job I used to do at
03:52
Mace.
03:56  Danielle Regan
I think it was
03:56
one of you at the time Ayo
03:57
wasn't there. Now there's an
03:57
army of marketers. Yeah. Which
04:05
is fantastic.
04:06  Ayo Abbas
I guess, like in lots
04:06
of stuff I've always done, it's
04:08
like people go, we want to see
04:08
if this works. And that's kind
04:10
of a lot of the roles I've had,
04:10
it's like, do we need marketing?
04:13
Or do we need and it's kind of
04:13
just demonstrating to the
04:16
business, what value that kind
04:16
of role can be bring and the
04:18
business partner role, I guess,
04:18
is the all seeing eyes in the
04:21
business in a way isn't it,
04:21
which is quite a kind of key
04:23
thing for a large team. And a
04:23
larger organisation as well.
04:27  Dave Hendy
I think was really
04:27
interesting. So I joined in
04:29
2017, and the business partner
04:29
function wasn't a very big
04:32
either and actually, it's almost
04:32
a measure of the growing
04:36
understanding and acceptance of
04:36
the role of what we do as a team
04:39
you can measure by the expansion
04:39
of the business partner team,
04:42
because each of those business
04:42
partners represents part of our
04:45
business that has recognised the
04:45
value and is prepared to kind of
04:49
stick up the cost to make
04:49
marketing and comms happen in
04:52
their part of the business and
04:52
aimed at them. And I do think
04:54
you can, you can almost track
04:54
the growth of our kind of
04:57
success as a team over the last
04:57
four years, by the growth of
05:00
that function kind of
05:00
demonstrating why we need to be
05:03
where we are and what we're
05:03
doing.
05:05  Danielle Regan
Yeah, I
05:05
absolutely agree. Dave, I think,
05:08
you know, as you know, Ayo being
05:08
at Mace a number years ago, you
05:13
know, marketing wasn't as
05:13
perhaps mature in the sector at
05:19
that point in time. And we've
05:19
been on a real kind of journey
05:21
really sort of trying to get
05:21
people see the value of what we
05:25
do, and embed it within the
05:25
business. And I would say that
05:27
now, as Dave says, the size of
05:27
the business partner team is
05:31
really testament to that,
05:31
because the the the people on
05:34
the ground, and you know, that
05:34
the engines themselves are
05:37
really bought into it and see
05:37
the value of it, and hence, have
05:40
then invested in, in marketing
05:40
professionals to really support
05:45
them their to drive their
05:45
agenda. So you know, it's a
05:49
really, really positive story.
05:53  Ayo Abbas
And how do you I just
05:53
how did you get the business to
05:55
see the value of marketing? How,
05:55
what kind of things did you do?
05:58
Were there particular things? Or
05:58
what did you have to do to show
06:00
them? Because I know, it's not
06:00
that easy to convince people,
06:03
and it does take time.
06:04  Danielle Regan
it has taken
06:04
time. And I think there were
06:06
certain things that there were
06:06
certain things where no matter
06:09
how well we did them, it
06:09
wouldn't change what the
06:14
business thought of marketing.
06:14
So there's certain things
06:17
almost, I don't want to call
06:17
them hygiene factors in so much
06:20
as they're, you know, they're
06:20
not strategically important. But
06:23
there were certain things that,
06:23
you know, wouldn't shift the
06:26
dial, they were just kind of
06:26
expected. I think when we got
06:29
into the space of really trying
06:29
to support the business to win
06:32
work, you know, whether that was
06:32
supporting on kind of strategic
06:36
pursuits and bids and getting
06:36
into kind of the capture
06:38
planning space. Or really trying
06:38
to kind of position the brand in
06:42
new sectors and new markets, or
06:42
support the business with new
06:47
service lines. I think that's
06:47
where when things started to
06:51
change, because we were almost
06:51
treated more as kind of advisors
06:55
and kind of strategists than
06:55
just to kind of delivery, you
07:00
know, channel delivery function.
07:00
So I think it's, I think it's to
07:05
do with that it's really sort of
07:05
getting under the skin of the
07:09
business, trying to understand
07:09
and also not just understand
07:13
where it's going, but also
07:13
influence where it's going as
07:15
well. But I think that's
07:15
something else that we do now as
07:18
a team is we're actually
07:18
involved in kind of group
07:21
strategy level, rather than just
07:21
kind of responding to what the
07:24
businesses that the direction of
07:24
travel, were actually trying to
07:26
influence the direction of
07:26
travel.
07:29  Dave Hendy
And I think some of
07:29
it as well, as is, is also being
07:32
quite selective around what you
07:32
don't do. And I think, you know,
07:35
I thought is really interesting.
07:35
We had a, we had a team meeting
07:38
recently, where we were talking
07:38
about ground rules as a team,
07:40
and somebody has been in the
07:40
team a long time, kind of pushed
07:43
back a little bit against this
07:43
idea of us being a fun team that
07:46
had a sense of humour. And he
07:46
was saying, well, actually, you
07:49
know, when I, when I arrived at
07:49
Mace, we were the fun team, we
07:52
did all the fun stuff. And we
07:52
never did anything serious and
07:54
important. And that was quite
07:54
difficult. And I think there has
07:57
been that growth in some of that
07:57
is about being quite selective
08:01
and how you present yourself
08:01
back to the business. And about,
08:04
you know, I remember when I
08:04
turned up in 2017 is a very
08:06
firm, we don't do brochures,
08:06
whatever we do, we don't do
08:09
brochures. But you know, making
08:09
that a clear statement of intent
08:17
and say, actually, we do we do
08:17
push people towards different
08:19
channels. And we don't take the
08:19
easy option of nodding along and
08:22
saying, Okay, well, you've asked
08:22
really nicely. So you do get us
08:24
to go into your nice PDF
08:24
brochure, but actually sticking
08:27
to what we know works. But by
08:27
doing so you do begin to change
08:31
your perception of the business.
08:31
And you do begin to say, Well,
08:33
actually, just because you've
08:33
asked for this, we're not going
08:35
to give you that we're going to
08:35
work out what you intend to do,
08:38
what your objectives are, and
08:38
how we can help you reach it in
08:40
a way that we think will work.
08:40
And I think sometimes it is just
08:43
doing that again, and again and
08:43
again, and again and again,
08:45
until you begin to get that
08:45
traction. And then the other bit
08:48
of that is, is having the tech
08:48
stack in place to be able to
08:51
show people the outcomes
08:51
properly. And actually, you
08:54
know, I think one of the things
08:54
that's really changed in the
08:56
time I've been at Mace is the
08:56
the measurement and reporting
08:59
capability that we've built in
08:59
the past few years is just so
09:03
much better than it was actually
09:03
we can, we can show people,
09:07
demonstrable that we can
09:07
demonstrate to people the really
09:10
clear outcomes, the work we're
09:10
doing. And as a result, that
09:13
argument you make when you say
09:13
we don't embrace what you need
09:15
is for us to do an integrated
09:15
capture planning campaign,
09:18
actually, if you can then show
09:18
people what that means in terms
09:21
of, you know, market generated
09:21
leads, that's hugely valuable.
09:24
And I think that's really
09:24
changed the dialogue quite
09:27
significantly as well.
09:28  Ayo Abbas
So actually being
09:28
able to report back on your
09:30
performance and the impact of
09:30
your campaigns has been a huge
09:32
thing in terms of demonstrating
09:32
the value. So how did you kind
09:35
of get a kind of technology and
09:35
Martech space kind of stack in
09:40
place? Really.
09:42  Danielle Regan
I guess it
09:42
started off it we've kind of we
09:46
started off, we're trying to get
09:46
a decent marketing automation
09:50
system in place. And I think
09:50
we've evolved and we're actually
09:54
a quite an interesting stage of
09:54
the journey now because we're,
09:57
we're looking at that our
09:57
digital ecosystem at the moment.
10:00
And we've been refreshing that.
10:00
And we're kind of just going
10:03
through that, I suppose
10:03
requirements gathering piece at
10:05
the moment looking at the sort
10:05
of people the process and the
10:08
tech, not with the technology.
10:08
Yeah, and I guess, we are
10:12
looking at the stack and the
10:12
systems, but actually, more
10:14
importantly, we're looking at
10:14
what they what we want them to
10:16
do for us. You know, I've got
10:16
this kind of vision of, of sort
10:20
of AI being able to tell us what
10:20
we do at the next stage of
10:23
marcomms campaign should look
10:23
like you know, which is kind of
10:26
probably, you know, what happens
10:26
in consumer marketing, where
10:28
they track your buyer behaviour,
10:28
and then target you with a very
10:35
specific message your campaign,
10:35
because the data tells them or
10:39
predicts that that will increase
10:39
your propensity to buy. And I've
10:42
got this kind of, in my head, if
10:42
we get this tech stack in place,
10:45
that sort of fabulous CRM system
10:45
with great marketing, automation
10:49
and fabulous integrated kind of
10:49
events, technology, and social
10:53
media tech, and, and all the
10:53
rest of it that at some point in
10:55
time, we'll have enough data in
10:55
there that's overlaid with the
10:58
big data as well. And kind of
10:58
the basic CRM data that it will
11:02
tell us what we need to do the
11:02
next step of, you know, a data
11:06
centre client at this part of
11:06
the, you know, this part of the
11:09
buyers journey. And, you know,
11:09
we're way off that yet. utopia
11:15
is utopia, but it's not, it's
11:15
not unheard of, you know, in
11:19
other sectors. Yeah. And I think
11:19
we have got a lot of the data.
11:23
But it's all at the moment, it's
11:23
in separate systems, and it's
11:25
not necessarily integrated, I
11:25
think that's where we're, that's
11:28
where we need to get to that
11:28
everything is integrated. And
11:33
all because we've, you know, we
11:33
do, if you look at how many bids
11:36
that we do around the world, you
11:36
know, that data is gold dust,
11:41
and we just can't mine it at the
11:41
moment, and overlaying it with
11:44
kind of marketing campaigns.
11:44
And, you know, that's, that's
11:47
where we, we want to get to, but
11:47
the great thing is, there is now
11:51
appetite from the board to do
11:51
this. So again, there's been a
11:55
massive sort of step change in,
11:55
in, in in the appetite for that,
11:59
which is, which is great. So
11:59
we're actually just kind of
12:02
developing that sort of strategy
12:02
at the moment, you know, looking
12:06
at different digital asset
12:06
management systems, looking at
12:10
digital publishing tools,
12:10
marketing automation, you know,
12:13
how you SharePoint CRM, you
12:13
know, which is the big missing
12:17
link for us, in a way. So yeah,
12:17
it's really from that point of
12:21
view. It's, it's super exciting.
12:21
So
12:26  Ayo Abbas
watch this space.
12:26
Watch the space because you'll
12:29
be watching us. So in terms of
12:29
lockdown, and are we ever coming
12:38
out of it? And how's it been for
12:38
you at Mace? I guess How have
12:43
your team had to work and what?
12:43
What's the past? It's not even
12:46
year, it's more than a year.
12:46
It's like almost a year and a
12:48
half been like for you. I'm
12:48
gonna get that off of you, Dave.
12:52  Dave Hendy
I think it's an
12:52
interesting question. I think
12:54
for me, there's been some really
12:54
distinct phases of this for us
12:57
and I suspect for a lot of
12:57
businesses is you know,
12:58
although, although it can tend
12:58
to kind of blend into 18 months
13:02
worth of kind of bland, you
13:02
know, lockdowns, been tough kind
13:06
of stuff, actually. The first,
13:06
you know, like, like a lot of
13:09
big operational businesses, the
13:09
first couple of months of COVID
13:12
was a incredibly difficult and
13:12
stressful time to be in the
13:16
team. You know, we suddenly had,
13:16
you know, all plans go out the
13:19
window, we've got to close 90
13:19
construction sites overnight,
13:21
we've got to design new safe
13:21
ways of working, we've got to
13:24
communicate with 1000s of staff
13:24
on a nearly daily basis about
13:28
changing regulations. And that
13:28
what what I thought was really
13:31
interesting about that is we we
13:31
did change how we work to the
13:33
team, you know, we we very
13:33
quickly realised the existing
13:37
team structure just wasn't the
13:37
right structure to live what we
13:39
needed to do. There were people
13:39
in existing roles who didn't
13:42
have much to do because a lot of
13:42
standard marketing activity had
13:44
stopped there were people in
13:44
other roles who were just
13:46
swamped. And so we collectively
13:46
as a, as a marketing leadership
13:50
team, led by Danielle kind of
13:50
went okay, well, we need to
13:53
change this. And we introduced
13:53
agile working teams across
13:56
different functions that that
13:56
actually kind of tore up our
13:58
team structure, put different
13:58
people in different places, you
14:01
know, gave people opportunity to
14:01
use skills that hadn't used
14:04
before taking responsibilities
14:04
they hadn't used before, and
14:07
actually created overnight, a
14:07
new team working in a new way
14:10
that was high performing high
14:10
functioning and just delivered
14:12
what the business needed. And
14:12
that was really, although it was
14:15
a really stressful time. And
14:15
there were loads of late nights
14:17
and lots of really long hours.
14:17
Actually, I look back at that. I
14:20
think what my God, we basically
14:20
went remote in 72 hours, we have
14:23
the rest of the business go
14:23
remote in 72 hours. At the same
14:27
time, we tore up the hierarchy
14:27
and rebuilt it. And it just
14:29
worked. And it worked well
14:29
worked really, really well. And
14:33
that's, you know, looking back
14:33
it feels a bit feels a bit odd
14:37
to look back and realise
14:39  Ayo Abbas
there was a serious
14:39
crisis that was global that
14:41
happened to everybody. I mean,
14:41
how often does that happen? I
14:43
mean, that's,
14:45  Dave Hendy
I think, and I think
14:45
one of the things that it really
14:47
showed to me was actually that
14:47
that that internal comms role of
14:51
kind of, you know, in normal
14:51
times, it's quite, it's not slow
14:55
moving, because there's a lot of
14:55
stuff to do very quickly but,
14:58
but the pace at which you're
14:58
having to doesn't deliver change
15:01
is never daily. And actually
15:01
when the patient delivering
15:04
change becomes daily, and the
15:04
way in which needs communicate
15:07
is a business and divides, you
15:07
know, you've got one message for
15:10
UK staff on construction sites,
15:10
you've got one message for UK
15:13
staff and head office, you've
15:13
got another message for
15:15
international staff in this part
15:15
of the world, and actually
15:17
suddenly having to know if you
15:17
if you're a UK based business
15:20
that operates globally, rather
15:20
than a global business that
15:23
actually presents some really
15:23
complicated challenges. And I
15:25
think the speed with which we
15:25
had to build a new system, and a
15:29
new approach and a new style of
15:29
communicating and there was a
15:31
really key moment for me where
15:31
Mark, our chief Executive Mark
15:34
Reynolds, consciously switched
15:34
to over communicating. Let's,
15:39
let's up the ante, we need to be
15:39
as transparent as we can we need
15:42
to be open, we need to admit we
15:42
don't have the answers need to
15:45
admit we're not sure what's
15:45
happening. And that's exhausting
15:48
for a marcomms team. That is a
15:48
very challenging place to be,
15:53
you know, suddenly organising,
15:53
you know, every, every week
15:56
we're doing a video from him to
15:56
the staff, we're doing semi
15:59
daily emails, we were doing four
15:59
sets of webinars out to the
16:03
entire business, led by the
16:03
Chief Exec, as all this stuff
16:05
was really happening very
16:05
quickly. But I think it did make
16:08
a difference in terms of people
16:08
understanding that we weren't
16:12
telling them what to do, we were
16:12
saying, well, we don't know
16:14
what's happening here, but work
16:14
with us. And we'll all come out
16:17
of this together as well as we
16:17
can. And then so that's phase
16:20
one. And then and then we kind
16:20
of got into summer, last year,
16:23
things returning to normal, you
16:23
know, the world begins to open
16:26
up again, at least in the UK,
16:26
and you kind of try and find out
16:29
what that new normal is. But
16:29
then as a business, we went
16:32
about a really ambitious change
16:32
programme. And Danielle can
16:35
probably talk about in more
16:35
detail. But you know, they they
16:38
took the opportunity to say,
16:38
well, we need to work out what
16:40
our new normal is as a business.
16:40
So let's change the strategy.
16:43
And that triggers a whole
16:43
different type of really hard,
16:46
challenging, demanding work as a
16:46
team. And as Danielle said
16:49
earlier, one of the great things
16:49
about that was that we were, as
16:52
a marcomms team, probably more
16:52
central in that than we might
16:55
have been if it had happened six
16:55
months Previously, we weren't
16:57
supporting the delivery of a
16:57
strategy. We were helping to
17:00
write it, or at least Danielle
17:00
was helping to write it. And I
17:02
think that made a real
17:02
difference.
17:04  Danielle Regan
Yeah, I think,
17:04
you know, I just want to give
17:07
hats off to Dave as well,
17:07
actually, because he very much
17:09
led on the crisis response for
17:09
the team. And I think our
17:13
internal comms response was
17:13
really phenomenal. You know, the
17:16
team did a really great job. And
17:16
I think we launched like nine
17:19
new channels.
17:24  Ayo Abbas
Did it show where you
17:24
had gaps in internal comms?
17:26
Because like you say, internal
17:26
comms is always like the
17:28
forgotten, forgotten channel in
17:28
a way, right? Oh, never, ever
17:32
appreciated as much as it should
17:32
be. Right?
17:34  Danielle Regan
Absolutely.
17:34
Yeah. And you know, what
17:36
everyone says this, it's a bit
17:36
it's a bit of a cliche, but it
17:39
did just COVID just really
17:39
accelerated things that were
17:43
kind of in the in the kind of
17:43
long term planning. So, you
17:46
know, we'd always sort of said,
17:46
right, we need to really make
17:48
more of the Microsoft 365
17:48
package that we've got, at some
17:52
point in time, we really need to
17:52
launch Teams, we need to launch
17:54
Yammer, we need to, you know,
17:54
overnight, right? We really need
17:58
to launch Teams now. Because
17:58
it's not gonna cut it. And but I
18:02
think, you know, just on
18:02
reflection, if at all, really, I
18:04
mean, firstly, from a business
18:04
point of view, it was always
18:07
about keeping people safe and
18:07
well, and the CEO and the Board
18:10
was so kind of, you know, they
18:10
were really, really good at kind
18:14
of that was the first and
18:14
foremost priority, but also what
18:17
the business did, which, you
18:17
know, they followed a framework
18:20
for sort of managing the crisis
18:20
response, which enabled them to
18:23
sort of, I guess, yeah, it just
18:23
gave him a bit of a structure in
18:26
which to kind of deal you know,
18:26
sort of manage the crisis, but
18:29
while also being able to think
18:29
long term, so I think it was a
18:32
McKinsey model, but it worked
18:32
really well for us. And it was
18:36
resolved resilience, return and
18:36
redefine, and the redefine bit
18:39
that Dave's just mentioned was a
18:39
kind of around July last year, I
18:44
think, where, where Mark sort of
18:44
said, right, we need to, you
18:48
know, we've got so much of the
18:48
business focused on the return
18:50
phase and getting back into
18:50
sight and re mobilising. But we
18:53
need a small group of people
18:53
really looking at that redefine
18:57
element. So what does the future
18:57
look like? So there was a group
19:00
of us that used to meet every
19:00
morning, obviously, virtually,
19:04
and we've got some really clear
19:04
workstreams that came out of it,
19:07
you know, looking at the
19:07
strategy of the business,
19:09
looking at ways of working, you
19:09
know, there was, there was some
19:12
really kind of very clear kind
19:12
of goals and objectives and this
19:15
sort of small, smallish group of
19:15
us to start with. We're just,
19:18
you know, just kind of focused
19:18
on that, while other people were
19:21
focused on. Yeah, yeah. So, so
19:21
actually, in hindsight, I think
19:27
it actually, you know, it was
19:27
manage, you know, from the
19:30
board's perspective really well,
19:30
internal comms did did a
19:34
fantastic job and, and I think
19:34
us as a team have got, you know,
19:37
got a lot of recognition and in
19:37
response to that, and I think
19:41
people who probably have never
19:41
really given much thought to
19:45
what comms was all about
19:48  Ayo Abbas
parties, it's
19:48
parties.
19:51  Unknown
This is really
19:51
important stuff. And, and
19:54
actually, when we did the
19:54
employee survey, at the
19:58
beginning of the year, there was
19:58
two metrics that came out of
20:01
that really strongly. And one
20:01
was around communication. You
20:06
know, across the business people
20:06
were our metric for comms &
20:10
engagement went up, which, which
20:10
was great. And again, I think
20:13
testament to the team. And the
20:13
other was sense of purpose,
20:17
which we launched our new
20:17
purpose as part of the redefine
20:20
strategy. And, and really great
20:20
to see, you know, really quite
20:25
quickly, the the business had
20:25
responded to it really
20:28
positively and could kind of see
20:28
their role in helping the
20:31
business deliver against that
20:31
purpose. So, yeah, so while it
20:34
was a really super challenging,
20:34
super challenging time, I think,
20:39
you know, the business dealt
20:39
with it in a really admirable
20:43
way. And, yeah,
20:47  Dave Hendy
I think for me,
20:47
there's, there's something
20:48
that's really, you know, comms
20:48
teams, or marcomms teams can
20:53
really only be as open and
20:53
transparent and engage with
20:55
their audiences, they're allowed
20:55
to be. you know, you are new,
20:58
Every business has a has a
20:58
sensitivity level for how open,
21:01
they're prepared to be with
21:01
their people about what's
21:03
happening. And actually, we were
21:03
able to do a really great job of
21:08
keeping people up to date and
21:08
engaged around different, you
21:10
know, some really difficult
21:10
decisions we had to make as a
21:12
business. It wasn't it wasn't
21:12
all sunshine and light at all.
21:15
Some of it was really
21:15
challenging, but, but we almost
21:18
had a mandate from the board to
21:18
say, actually, we need to keep
21:21
people engaged, aligned, you
21:21
know, we're all working together
21:25
or pulling in the same
21:25
direction. And that meant we
21:27
could go out and do some of this
21:27
stuff in a way that I wouldn't
21:29
I'm not sure, I would have dared
21:29
suggest, I think, you know, pre
21:33
COVID, some of the level of
21:33
transparency and openness, we
21:36
went within this kind of all
21:36
staff webinar and these forums
21:38
in which we're putting very
21:38
senior leadership in front of
21:40
people to ask unfiltered
21:40
questions on a really regular
21:44
basis. And actually, I think
21:44
that that kind of working in
21:46
tandem, those two things that
21:46
our drive, to keep people
21:50
engaged and the board, you know,
21:50
recognition that they needed to
21:53
be transparent and open, if they
21:53
were going to deliver this
21:55
actually meant that we worked
21:55
really well. And I've, I've had
21:57
conversations with with peers in
21:57
other in other firms where that
22:01
that just didn't work quite so
22:01
well. And they felt the need
22:04
that they had to kind of operate
22:04
as normal, despite doing really
22:07
unnormal stuff, and really
22:07
challenging stuff. And actually,
22:09
it did lead to a bit of a
22:09
mismatch. And I think you're
22:12
right, you know, we you are you
22:12
caught us, as a team, you're
22:16
only really as good as you're
22:16
allowed to be sometimes. And I
22:18
think it was a really, it was a
22:18
really good thing to be able to
22:20
operate in an environment, where
22:20
we were given the mandate to go
22:22
and do that.
22:23  Danielle Regan
And I think it
22:23
would have been really
22:25
difficult, I think it would have
22:25
been a sort of comms positional
22:28
point of view. You know,
22:28
authenticity is really
22:30
important, isn't it? And I think
22:30
the fact that from a comms point
22:34
of view, we were being really
22:34
transparent, and we weren't
22:36
trying to paint a picture that
22:36
wasn't accurate, we weren't kind
22:40
of spinning it in any way. Was
22:40
was was was was great. Because
22:46
you know that it's very
22:46
difficult, isn't it? When you're
22:49
asked to when you're asked to do
22:49
that, you know, whereas we could
22:53
be really, really honest, and
22:53
really frank with people,
22:56  Dave Hendy
I'm not gonna say
22:56
there was no spin at all.
23:00  Ayo Abbas
I'm sure but actually
23:00
even doing I guess internal
23:03
comms always has that risk,
23:03
isn't it? Because whatever you
23:05
say, internally, could well end
23:05
up external, right. And that's
23:09
basically it, you have to assume
23:09
that. So I guess that's that
23:12  Dave Hendy
level. And I think
23:12
there was a really clearing
23:15
examples last year of where that
23:15
had happened and had gone both
23:19
very right and very wrong. And I
23:19
think, again, that this that's
23:22
helpful, in some ways, because
23:22
it sharpens expectations, it
23:25
makes it easier to carry the
23:25
message to say, we need to be
23:28
careful here, we need to, we
23:28
need to assume that anything we
23:31
share with our people goes
23:31
somewhere else has to be it has
23:34
to be right but but also that
23:34
shouldn't stop us being open and
23:38
transparent. Because this stuff
23:38
is happening to every company in
23:40
the sector. Now, nobody that
23:40
read a trade press magazine
23:43
would be surprised the
23:43
construction industry has had a
23:45
really difficult q2 last year,
23:45
because everybody closed their
23:48
sights for a month. You know,
23:48
they didn't they weren't told to
23:50
by government, but they all did
23:50
it voluntarily, mostly. And as a
23:53
result, everybody had to reach
23:53
out any time and so getting that
23:56
recognition of senior level to
23:56
say actually, we can be
23:59
transparent, we can be open
23:59
about this stuff is is really
24:02
important.
24:03  Danielle Regan
I think as well.
24:03
You know, it also what was what
24:07
was positive out of it is the
24:07
collaboration amongst the
24:10
industry. You know? Yeah, Mark
24:10
Reynolds, our CEO sits on the
24:15
Construction Leadership Council
24:15
and which is all the kind of
24:18
major major contractors and some
24:18
sort of supply chain as well.
24:24
And they, they were meeting on a
24:24
really regular basis. They were
24:28  Ayo Abbas
Yeah, they did tonnes
24:28
of stuff, didn't they, they
24:30
really stepped up with guides on
24:30
how to get back site and they
24:34
did to be honest, they filled a
24:34
lot of the gap that you know,
24:36
the government would put a line
24:36
in the report and then they'd
24:39
actually come up with a
24:39
methodology on how to do it
24:40
which is the most important part
24:40
for a site.
24:42  Dave Hendy
and I think it was
24:42
really interesting from from a
24:44
kind of with an external affairs
24:44
hat on you know, the
24:47
construction sector, it's fair
24:47
to say hadn't didn't really get
24:50
a lot of a lot of airtime with
24:50
with government. It wasn't seen
24:54
as one of these really crucial
24:54
industries it didn't you know,
24:56
we'd look enviously on aviation
24:56
and automation. To the auto
25:00
industry with their kind of
25:00
connections and influence. And
25:03
actually at the point at which
25:03
our industry became one of the
25:05
few sectors of the economy, the
25:05
government thought could operate
25:08
safely. Because we had controls
25:08
in place, we knew how to
25:12
implement challenging health and
25:12
safety measures in a tight
25:14
environment. Actually, suddenly,
25:14
we did have that ear. And it was
25:18
really heartening to see the
25:18
industry kind of pull together,
25:22
which is not always famous for
25:22
all together and use that
25:24
influence and leverage to get
25:24
some positive outcome to the
25:27
industry and by extension
25:27
economies. It was, you know, it
25:31
was it was great to see stuff
25:31
change internally, but also
25:33
externally, the whole industry,
25:33
I think a lot if given a lasting
25:36
impression, it does feel like
25:36
it's more collaborative, more
25:39
communicative. You know, that
25:39
senior level, there's much more
25:42
engagement, there's a much more
25:42
shared vision of what we need as
25:45
an industry to grow and to
25:45
continue to perform well,
25:48
whereas before it was always, it
25:48
felt quite fractured, it felt
25:51
quite competitive. There wasn't
25:51
a huge amount of that that kind
25:54
of ethos around sometimes.
26:01  Ayo Abbas
Thanks so much for
26:01
listening to the latest episode
26:03
of Marketing In Times of
26:03
Recovery, and I'm your host Ayo
26:05
Abbas. If you want to find out
26:05
more about the Bi-weekly show do
26:08
check out the show notes which
26:08
will give you more information
26:10
about who the guests are and all
26:10
the things we've covered. And if
26:15
you're listening on Apple or
26:15
Spotify, make sure you hit the
26:17
subscribe button so you don't
26:17
miss out on an episode. Until
26:20
next time, bye.