What are you telling your staff about the crisis?
We told our staff that from the beginning, the Havas Group has been a family, and that today, a family is exactly what we are. Our primary concern has and will continue to be our people, and although right now we are all separated and are each facing unique circumstances, we face this situation together.
We also tell our teams that we know situations like these challenge us. They put us in a position of making decisions that we have never made before. All over, our people are being pushed to adapt to fast moving and unprecedented circumstances. As a company of our size, we have the power to make a profound impact on this situation. This starts with our employees. Our call has been to do whatever they can to protect one another.
We have been focused on continually communicating with our staff on safety, best practices, ways of working in this new environment, and even rolled out internal surveys to determine their level of health and wellbeing.
How are you helping your clients during this period?
Our clients, many of whom have depended on us as partners for years, are also facing the same challenges and pressures that we are. They need us more than ever right now, to help them navigate uncertainty, pivot plans quickly and to offer them support.
We are aware that brands play -more than ever- a fundamental role of company, education, entertainment and information for social wellness. For that reason, we emphasize in helping our clients to ensure they brands collaborate through their communication with people in the things that are really important for them, in a useful and sustained way.
We also keep our clients informed about the evolution and change of the media landscape, the consumer and the industry, through strategic POV documents and reports, so they can get high quality information to nurture their decision making
More than ever we are aware that we are committed to ensure agility and quality to our clients., but also to go the extra-mile with innovation and fast-forward thinking, acting with generosity, and with the success of their businesses in our minds.
How are you bracing for the economic impact?
Havas is a solid group with a strong financial position, and we are confident we have everything we need to get through this. We obviously know the current situation will impact our business, as most around the world, therefore, we have taken some measures to mitigate part of this impact; reducing certain variable expenses, that in this situation are just common sense, managing cashflow of the different operations in detail and been in frequent contact with our clients and partners to have the most clear outlook we can under the circumstances.
In Latin America, governments have taken different measures to deal with COVID19. Some enacted strict lockdowns sooner, such as Peru and Argentina, others did it gradually, like Colombia & Chile, and others are still in the process of determining how to manage the balance between the economic and health impact in their markets, like Mexico or Brazil. This renders different levels of effect in our business, at least, in the very short term.
We do foresee that in the next 2 or 3 months, business will decline. But as we have seen in China, it will slowly recover, trusting for a strong end of the year. We need to be close to our clients to help them through this moment in how to communicate now, during the recovery phase and afterwards.
Are you involved in any public service campaigns concerning the crisis?
We are developing campaigns of social responsibility for several of our clients in the region, and we have also involved ourselves as a company in promoting awareness and trying to bring helpful information to society.
For instance, in Argentina, we participated with all the different associations of the communication, advertising and media industries in the country, in a massive campaign to create awareness about the responsibility of every person in fighting the Covid19, by following hygiene procedures, health protocols, and -of course- staying at home.
In Colombia, and following our global initiative #HavasFromHome, we have been using our social media profiles to promote wellness and tips for people help them to adapt to be working from home, by recommending a music playlist to work, ideas of snacks, live sessions with activities to stay healthy, etc.
At global level, we started using our global eLearning platform Havas University (a platform we usually use for different types of training for our employees) to create meditation and yoga sessions to contribute to the wellness of our over 20 000 collaborators worldwide. Watching the increasing number of people working from home around the globe, Havas decided to bring these weekly employee meditation and yoga sessions to the public via Instagram Live during March.