In an industry so reliant on face to face interactions, how has the pandemic affected virtually everything you’ve worked for?
In the second installment of our series, we’ll be sharing some snippets and insights of the effects of the pandemic from the perspective of a professional in the Advertising industry. ALLCARE was privileged to have talked to Cyril Sazon, GM and Director for People & Culture of Itch Creatives, a full-service advertising agency based in Pasig.
The pandemic has surely been a tough enemy for the advertising industry. With limited to no personal interactions, everybody was forced to work from home and go digital in a snap, and Itch Creatives was not exempted. “To be honest, there was a lot of anxiety within the team members-- physically, mentally, and emotionally,” said Cyril. They also suffered a big hit financially, with their clients being severely affected as well. Their cash flow was disrupted and it has been quite a task to keep things afloat.
It has also been hard for them to bring their work culture, or the Itch culture, which relies heavily on physical interaction, to the current non-physical work-from-home set up. Hard as it may seem, Cyril and the Itch team still found a work-around to make the best of the current situation. “We relied on constant communication to each other, listening to each other, [and] the trust that we built when we forged our friendships together, and at the same time, making sure people were productive, making sure that they’re happy and balanced.”
But as they say, bad days and challenges don’t last forever. In the midst of it all, Itch has really in on what or who really matters.
It comes as to no surprise that Cyril shared how Itch has prioritized its people over profits-- even before the pandemic started. “It’s very important for us to invest in our people because Itch ARE the people. Our members are the life-blood of our agency and without them, there’ll be no Itch.”
It’s not hard to see why Itch prevailed and is still standing strong in the pandemic-- it’s because they know who matters most. We hope that Cyril was able to inspire other SME owners to take a step back and reevaluate their business and really see who should be on the top of their priority list.
The fight against COVID-19 is not yet over. Stay vigilant, stay safe, and by any means, support your local SMEs. With everyone’s help, we’ll get through this.