"Be bold and take risks..."

Thrive's Pete Fairbairn, Group Account Director (Sport) and our resident expert on all things sport and communication, share his views on the challenges and opportunities facing brands at present.




What have you found the most challenging during COVID-19 when it comes to work? Working in sport, so many wonderful people I know have seen their work come to a standstill due to a lack of live action, from coaches, to journalists, to administrators. The precarious financial situation of many professional clubs and leagues has been stripped back for all to see - it's really tough to consider what the long-term implications may be, but clear that the landscape will never look the same again.


What have you changed about the way you work? What will you do differently from now on as a result of the past few months? I have taken the opportunity to try and broaden my knowledge in different industries and sectors, and also to reflect on how, and when, I communicate with people. The benefits of being on a video call, and not being anywhere else, have made calls more efficient and productive, as has taking out travel time to meetings.


What business or brand has stood out for you for delivering great communication during this time? Netflix's messaging in Australia during the George Floyd tragedy, directing people to switch off and instead watch NITV and learn more about our historical treatment of indigenous Australians, was extremely powerful and captured the tone of the nation wonderfully.


If you could advise your clients to do one thing in the next six months, what would it be? Be bold and take risks. It's not the time to limp back - those who are creative and shout about it WILL be heard above the pack.


What are you most looking forward to for the rest of 2020? The return of live sports and attending a game of footy!


Any final thoughts? From bushfires to COVID, to George Floyd, it's been an incredibly challenging time for brands. More than ever, we care that they care, and it needs to be authentic - meaningful charitable action, including donations but also providing staff to assist in situations, resonates more than ever.


Contact Pete: pete.fairbairn@thrivepr.com.au / LinkedIn



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