Clients, partners and members of the Skylar team:
We continue to live through unprecedented times, and with that comes the requirement for a cautious, safe and responsible approach to our work.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the societal issues we currently face, such as those brought to light by the Black Lives Matter and Indigenous Rights movements, continue to have a significant impact on businesses and personal lives across Canada and around the world. Skylar takes the health and safety of our employees, as well as the criticality of the services we provide to our customers, very seriously. This letter intends to update you all on our business continuity plans and thoughts at this time.
Formal update and response:
August 10, 2020
Skylar has updated our original response to reflect the following policies as a result of the current COVID-19 situation:
1. Skylar employees are essential to business continuity not only for Skylar, but for our clients. Accordingly, accommodations have been made for all employees to work 2 days per week (or more, at their discretion or as necessary) in a safe, clean office environment, while maintaining social distancing and all other preventative measures as outlined by the province of Ontario (https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-stop-spread#section-0)
2. Our employees have been educated on the symptoms of acute respiratory illness, proper hygiene and hand washing techniques, and have been instructed to stay up-to-date on self-isolation, self-monitoring best practices and all COVID-19 updates provided by Public Health Ontario.
3. Our employees are entirely available to support our customers, although we continue to encourage remote meetings via videoconferencing as much as possible. We have reduced business travel (within Ontario only) to only that of an essential nature and will include the minimum number of Skylar employees required at all times. We continue to discourage in-person meetings and have a variety of systems available for meeting, collaboration or conversation that all employees are encouraged to engage with, as appropriate.
4. We continue to operate within a state-of-the-art tech framework (that provides us with remote access as necessary) as part of our normal business operations for several months and, in some cases, years. Our employees are thus able to access any of our internal file systems securely and safely with permissions and privileges unchanged if required to do so remotely. Our capabilities and communication throughout this time remains, and will continue to be, as strong as ever.
Our confidence in our team members and our preparation for the continually evolving COVID-19 environment remains as strong as ever. We believe the above policies provide a balance of safety and business continuity that will preserve our ability to provide our services to our customers while keeping every one of our team members, and their families, safe.
Informal update and response:
August 10, 2020
Almost 5 months after we posted our original response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we still live, work and play in an environment that is very much uncertain on almost every level. I continue to take great pride in the commitment the entire Skylar team has shown to ensure continuity for our clients, while continuing to adapt their own lives so that we can ensure the safety of each other. I reiterate my original message to my Skylar team: thank you for being the people you are and for having the pride in your work that you do. Skylar is nothing without you, and while we have had to make changes on the fly and adjustments as necessary, it is your significant contributions that makes me confident in our ability to get through this difficult and uncertain time.
I must also acknowledge that our clients have been incredible partners from the onset of this situation. The communication between our teams has been bilateral, effective and as clear as possible from day one. Our established relationships as partners gives us the confidence and insights necessary to not only provide you with the highest level of support possible as we continue to move projects and campaigns along, but to manage our own business through what is the most significant crisis we have ever been forced to deal with.
To our many new clients, I thank you for engaging Skylar and presenting us with opportunities despite the economic and social uncertainty that continues around us, and we pledge to provide you with the full Skylar experience: a dedicated group of professionals who invest an extraordinary amount of time into diving head-first into every project we work on, in order to guarantee the strongest strategy, creative, design, tactics and results possible.
We continue to put forth the same level of effort, strategy and creativity into everything we do, and I encourage you to continue to rely on us at least as much – and even more – as you look to maintain your own business continuity through the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are a number of urgent matters facing every business, the truth is that brands in all industries are now being forced to make critical marketing decisions. There are myriad historical examples of how brands navigated difficult situations by being present and actionable throughout previous crises, and while we respect your priorities, it is important to remember that consumers need to see consistency in brand messaging in times of uncertainty. Quite simply: brands that remain in-market with consistent messaging come out ahead of their competitors.
It is a stressful time for all of us, our families, and our community at large, and so we want to do everything we can to minimize panic and maximize safety. There have been moments of worry, but there have been many more moments when I am inspired to believe that we will get through this healthy and united and, perhaps, even smarter, faster and better than before. I cannot put into words how proud I am of our collective and extended family—our team, clients and partners. It is your cohesiveness, cooperation and perseverance that assures me that we will come out of this bruised yet unscathed.
I would also like to take a second to acknowledge that while our business continues to operate, we owe thanks and a collective debt to those on the front lines of this crisis, including first responders, doctors, nurses, pharmacies, public health workers and the stores that nourish us. Our contribution to society pales in comparison to yours, and we will support you in any way possible – through donation, changes to protocol or otherwise – until we have ‘flattened the curve’ and beyond.
To anyone reading this: thank you for all you are doing to make the best of a distressing time. I promise you: this pandemic will end, we will get to the finish line safely, and we will be proud of how we carried ourselves and the work that we accomplished together while it happened. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary efforts from extraordinary people, and that is what we do, and that is who we are. Not just as a company, but as a family.
Finally, I hope that as a society can apply that extraordinariness so that we are able to learn, understand and contribute to making change against the systemic failures that are impeding the long-overdue progress that is necessary for anyone, but specifically our Black and Indigenous neighbours, to no longer suffer from discrimination, racism or threat of any kind.
Stay Safe. Stay Kind. Learn. Understand. Change.
President & CEO
Skylar Media Group