Dear Fellow Freemen of the Company
Firstly, I hope you are all well and safe and not too badly impacted by the lockdown. To all those working with front line services and volunteering, thank you for your incredible work during some very challenging times. But equally to those who are steering, or helping their organisations and clients through these unprecedented times, a thank you to you too because it is going to take everyone’s endeavors to help this country recover.
I am aware of all the measures going on within businesses large and small to try and keep them viable and in shape – to enable them to come out of lockdown in good working order. Many are now on reduced revenues and some of our colleagues have no income. As the partner of a freelancer I am only too aware of the reduction of spending on anything other than basics. At least we live with the certainty that, as we move forward to the ‘new normal’, Communications will be more important than ever to help businesses navigate the next 12 months.
News Quiz and the Virtual Tour of Roman London
To keep spirits up we did our first Online News Quiz to test the waters of taking the Company online. We had 35 participants members and friends and it was highly successful. Given the number who asked us to repeat it we are looking to run another on the 11th June. This time we would like more of you to join in and buy tickets for friends you think need a bit of a lift. Our Quiz Master says he can handle up to 100, I would love to test this out. You can buy your tickets here
On Thursday 22nd May we stepped back in time with Professor Simon Elliot for the first of his lectures on the history of Roman London. We had guests from New York, Spain and of course the UK, one of whom learnt for the first time that he lives next to a Roman Quarry that provided all the stone to build London’s Roman Wall. The next lecture will be on the 15th June and I really recommend them if you are a history buff and/or a Londoner. You can find more information and ticket sales on our website at events page. Simon started his career in Communications and is now often to found on TV discussing Roman history.
We are also looking at other online events to stimulate and engage. I have been talking to our guest speaker for the Diversity Dinner Manny Rico. We had a very excitable conversation on the excellent results that have been achieved in Diversity in recent years and how that was now in jeopardy. We, therefore, took a positive view and discussed how we should build on those successes during these difficult times. For example, we want to look at whether, intentional or not, more of the BLAME community is proportionally being furloughed and how to support a community that has generally been more heavily impacted by the virus. We also discussed the fact that we are going to need the power of a diverse workforce and their thinking to drive us up, and out, of the economic car crash that we are already experiencing.
It is my next task to rally the Company’s Diversity Group – and anyone other Members who are interested – to put together, with industry Diversity leaders, a webinar to allow all of us to engage on this topic and to celebrate the great Diversity within our industry. Thoughts and ideas to me and our Chair of the Diversity Group Neil Griffiths.
For the record, the Diversity Dinner is rebooked for the 20th November, so please put this date in your diaries. Of course, the event is subject to government guidelines, but we are determined to hold an event – even if a virtual one – given the importance of our Diversity strategy.
Given that the COC is at the forefront of Diversity within the Livery movement, we are also updating to the City Aldermen on how we have handled Diversity into our Company, our Standing Orders, and Recruitment of Freemen to the Company. Importantly, we want to share this work with other companies to support them to review and think about the changes they need to incorporate into their structures.
Member’s Engagement and Thoughts
At your Company’s May Court meeting, we discussed the future of the company given the massive changes that taking place in the City and our industry. I have prepared an initial discussion document that is with the Court to review, but it was also agreed that this is also an opportunity for you the Members to feedback to us too. What events you would like us to run, areas of interest to you that we might look to cover, and the Charitable work of the Company.
Our weekly update note from the Clerk provides you with an opportunity to respond with those ideas you might have so please participate/contribute and email the Clerk with your thoughts. We will pull all the ideas together and share them with the Court so that we can review what the Company will look like post Covid-19. We will look to supplement the email approach with an online forum to allow those who wish to interact with the Court directly to be able to do so.