Last week we were embedded in Diageo’s comms team to bring their interim results to analysts and investors. Sitting at the back of the room, as CEO Debra Crew ran through her teleprompter script, I was struck by the emphasis that business places on the breadth of its portfolio, and as the world economy continues to suffer, it is that diversity that gives the drinks giant its strength.
It struck me that there are parallels there – albeit far smaller ones – that we can draw with our own production business. There’s a whole industry of SME advisors on LinkedIn, touting for business within creative services promoting the idea that you have to be a specialist, have to have one thing that you do to the exclusion of all others to stand out in crowded marketplace. But what if that’s not right? What if it is the spread of experience that is exactly the thing that keeps a production company vibrant, challenging and dynamic?
At Quite Frankly our bread and butter is corporate communications through video, but January 2024 has seen us move back towards event coverage in a way that we haven’t experienced since the rise of the influencer. Events are back!
Our New York team were at the behemoth that is CES in Las Vegas at the start of the year, covering the show for a new client. Apart from being the world’s no. 1 tech nirvana (spoiler alert: AI is coming at as faster than we realise) it’s such a brilliant thing for us to be involved with, not least because all of our editors, camera operators and graphics people get extra animated about what’s coming next.
In Davos, we had a crew at the World Economic Forum based working on content capture for Ukraine House. Fast turnaround filming, on site editing, multiple video deliveries across a very intense week. Sam cut his teeth on the Olympic Torch Relay, so was at ease in the press scrum surrounding President Zelensky.
Events for Quite Frankly are so much more than showing up with the right kit, and the right crew on the right day. They’re intense, but they’re over quickly and they bring the team together in ways that are truly bonding. They give us old school face-to-face time with clients which we used to take for granted but is now to be grasped at any opportunity. We are first and foremost a people business that makes films – in that order – and that’s why clients come back time and again. They are opportunity to problem solve, the primary skill of all brilliant producers. Plans change, deadlines shift, schedules evolve all of which test and challenge – and that’s before a power cut, cancelled plane or flooded hotel. They’re a superb opportunity to network, which in the age of the cold email, is the only way to generate new business. And finally, they’re a chance to try out new technology because delivery times for us are ever shorter.
And you get to name drop where you’ve been and who you’ve been hanging out with. Just a bit, but not too much. Working at Burberry show, Kate Moss told us never to do that …