Finding the Opportunities
I hope you don’t mind me taking a moment to indulge myself and tell the story - our story - of how Northam Media survived the global pandemic. We’ve spent the past few years helping our clients tell their stories, and offer advice, on how companies can work through some really significant changes - supply chain issues, health and safety, remote working, technology challenges - and the list goes on.
Like most companies, we too were affected by the pandemic. While we don’t have a global supply chain or thousands of employees to transition to remote working, we had our own problems to contend with. The main one? Our core business proposition.
As most of you know, a large majority of our business has always been live events and film production. One of the team was on a plane at least once a month, jetting off to interview someone or produce an event. It was a whirlwind existence - based on running to airports, living out of suitcases and eating VERY unhealthy foods.
But then it all stopped. Our suitcases collected dust and we sat and wondered what was next. The fact that my husband and I run the business together and it was our only source of income was also scary. What if work dried up?
Well, I’m glad to say that this story has a happy ending. I’d even go as far to say the story has an exciting ending - and one that’s not over yet.
We flexed. As much as I hate using that marketing lingo - flexed, pivoted, transitioned - well, we did it. We watched as people changed how they consumed content - and looked at what was possible. And our clients stuck with us. They were still eager to communicate with their stakeholders and they turned to us for ideas.
So we threw ourselves into learning new things.
One of the first things we did was to look at the transition from live events to online events. That made a great deal of sense to us because, in our minds, an online event is a television programme. So we teamed up with an ex-news director we knew and we were soon off and running helping our clients transition to online platforms.
We also continued to film using local crews. However, we produced the interviews remotely, our faces on a laptop perched high on a stool. This enabled us to conduct interviews in a cost-effective way and allowed us to avoid any travel restrictions. It also helped with our carbon footprint!
But our most interesting and successful transition has been podcasting. Pre-pandemic we had no idea how to produce podcasts. But we watched as this medium exploded and we were keen to be a part of it. It also helped that some of us had a background in radio - and that our entire team consumes podcasts at a dizzying rate!
So we got to work. We started slowly, producing just one podcast series for one of our clients. We quickly realized that podcasting isn’t as scary as it first sounded. In fact, it’s great fun! I would even go so far as to say that one or two of our producers now prefers podcasting to filming. We found that audio-only content provides greater flexibility and can sometimes enable us to be more creative in how we tell stories - and who we interview.
Since that first series, we’ve produced many more. In fact, podcasting is now a large part of our business - and one we hope will continue to grow.
But it’s not over yet…
I’m excited to say we have another ‘big idea’ up our sleeve that I’ll be able to share with you in the coming months.
It’s been a challenging journey, but we feel energized. We’ve discovered that it’s not the platform that matters when you create content, it’s the story you are able to tell.
The bottom line? Have faith in what you do. Have faith in your clients. And most importantly, have faith in your team. And we are very lucky to have such a brilliant team of people who support us as much as we support them.
PS - If you want to have a listen to our latest podcast, Proof in Trial, here’s a link: https://smarturl.it/proofintrial
Executive Producer, Northam Media