Q&A with Martin Greig

24th April 2020

Q: How do you think Covid 19 will affect the communications industry moving forward?

A: I hope the first thing this crisis teaches us is that no matter how important we think our jobs and our work are, it's people that really matter. Health, including the mental health, and safety of our loved ones, neighbours and colleagues must always be paramount.

I really hope that once this is over that our comms and business leaders take time to really understand the importance of great communications - and investment in it as a fundamental product of business support.

Another result will be the realisation among many business leaders (particularly in the agency comms business) that people and teams can work from home extremely effectively - at least in the short term / for short periods. I very much hope that this heralds a new era of flexible working arrangements.

I think a final comment would be that the news media - and the way its products are consumed - will fundamentally be changed. The consumption of news is based on habits - eg. people buy newspapers because it is a habit. Getting out of habits and forming new ones happens very quickly. We were already seeing the decrease in popularity of the printed press and I think the current situation will accelerate that.

Q: How are you/ your business preparing for when lock down is over?

A: From a personal perspective, as a small company, our strategy and targets are already well embedded within our workflows. So we know very well what needs to be done - it's just on hold for now.

Q: Are there any particular books/ podcasts you have been enjoying?

A: I have been dipping in and out of the Times Newspaper's podcast - A Story of Our Times ... largely because it's main presenter, Manveen Rana, is an ex-BBC colleague and I love the work she does.

I have also been reading a few interesting books. If I were to recommend one, not only for being a brilliant book, but very pertinent to our times, it would be a book called "The Spy and the Traitor" by the Times journalist Ben Macintyre. It is a real-life story of espionage during the Cold War. It tells the story of the Russian double agent Oleg Gordievsky and how he leaked Russian secrets to the British intelligence services, the value they (and the USA) placed on them - and the man as an individual. Perhaps more than any book I've read, it tells a story of the true value of information and the power it has to decide the fate of politics and nations.

Q: Where will be your first holiday destination?

A: Probably at home. I had a week booked over the Easter holidays but cancelled because where could we go? I have time booked for Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May - so that will most likely be at home. Failing that, it'll be Cornwall for the first two weeks of the summer holidays ... I imagine it'll be even busier than usual as the lid gets lifted on lockdown! I can't wait!