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Jefferson Hack on Why The World Must Not Be Complacent


Hi. This is Imran at founder and CEO of the business of fashion and welcome to another special edition of the podcast. Today I sit down. Virtually with Jefferson Hack founder Updates Media Jefferson and I have been able to have conversations over the past decade about the role of media. And there's probably no more important time to that conversation then now as we're all navigating the unfolding humanitarian crisis caused by this Pandemic which has now reached more than one hundred and seventy countries around the world with more than four hundred thousand infections and tens and tens of thousands of people who have died so. What's the role of fashion media in this context? And how do we? As independent media companies navigate the situation. What is the impact that we can have during this uncharted time? That's what I speak to. Jefferson up on this special episode. So here's Jefferson Hack inside Fashion Jefferson. Hey Ron how're you man? I'm here I'm happy to be talking to you and Thanks for inviting me. To be on the coast. Yeah no it's a pleasure to talk. You know actually. I was thinking this morning back to my very first interview with you that we did. Do you remember at the Sanderson Hotel. Oh that was a long time ago. That was our first. Theo F live event and ever and we had the conversation and it was rolling out on twitter and people were sending questions from all around the world. And this this is Kinda the same except you and I can't sit together But I'm really glad to have the chance to talk to you. I mean so are you doing you know I'm well. I'm in good health My immediate family are in good health. Everyone's kind of say an isolation my staff in good health has no. I'm a director emergencies taking place amongst the employees or In days media so for that. I'm just really grateful for that I feel blessed and you know as far as what's happening in the wider world and what's happening with Corona Virus Of course you know I mean. Words cannot really describe it. I think I find words quite inadequate to describe what's going on but you know if I had to pick one word. It would be about kind of adapt adopting adopting with of the changing circumstances. That going on so I guess on a personal level. That's where I'm at but yet is going to be a lot to talk about in this Picasso. I'll let you do you know how are you? I'm good also healthy and grateful and taking some time out every day to make space for some meditation and reflection and a walk in the park. Because we're still allowed to do that here in London and you know like you. I'm just kind of grappling with what's happening. There's so many different perspectives. There's so much information which is kind of when I thrive actually making sense of information overload But I find my brain is operating at a speed and a and a intensity level that is unusually high and so I'm trying to make sure I take those moments to pause and stop and reflect It's good it's good advice. I think you know it's the same for everybody. I mean it's as much as if it's a pandemic Susan Info Democ. You know we're kind of overwhelmed with information stotts all the different opinions analysis speculations and You know I think without kind of practicing self care. It's incredibly easy to kind of get sucked into things like fierro high brings. It or doing things that are harmful just to distract ourselves from the reality of what's going on and I think that's really kind of like natural human reactions. You hit on some really important points. I think you know that some of the things that we're really trying to inspire our audience with seventeen million Digital audience across the world across platforms. And you know one of the most immediate thing is is really the kind of you know the mental health awareness and just being able to be effective as a media in being able to influence people's Moods. I mean we can change the way people feel all that moves through the stories and the tone of the stories that we published so no. That was a a an incredible kind of role that media. Compla- in in this time of crisis all type of media specifically you and I were exchanging text messages the other day about you know how companies like ours independent media companies in this kind of global industry. Like what's what's our role and I'm I'm really curious to well. Yeah I mean that was exactly it. We were like texting each other. Because it's all about reaching out out right. It's all about you know being in touch with each other as independent media as a people in the industry who are active who are part of the community of people in in in in kind of in fashion in the UK in globally and an culture. And that's all I've been doing since this has been really becoming more and more of a crisis and I think that's that's what we've got is kind of our connections and are connected and staying connected as a huge a huge part of this the way that we're going to manage to navigate this. Yeah I wanted to start there actually so you know when when did the kind of penny drop for you that this was going to become you what it's become this kind of unprecedented situation in kind of a kind of modern in the last hundred years at least maybe since the Spanish flu and what was your initial reaction of how to manage it as the leader of this this media company possible level. You know I was still a woman fashion week into Paris fashion week. I didn't finish the week up but you know things are becoming much more evidence during that week that did this was becoming incredibly serious and Some of the myths were flying around with being busted. And some clarity was coming to the kind of you know. Health impact that this was going to have an and what was going to be needed by government in order to deal with that so you know. I think it wasn't really till Mellon went into lockdown that it really kind of began to be real and hearing the stories firsthand from clients and friends in Milan about what they were going. Through in lockdown really started helping inform a lot of our thinking at days so that's really the the unprecedented we had in the only way to recognize that it was well. You know that it was that it was likely to get much more serious but you know I think these things are always understood in hindsight and in the moment you know you always think oh well you know it might be contained. There might not come here. Things might not be as bad for us you know. I think that's part of kind of that was part of that was part of my early thinking but you know we. We reacted pretty quickly. I think is a as a media company before the government were telling people to Work will not clubs. We you know we already told staff to work from a meter ready during Paris fashion week. We telling our staff that if it wasn't essential for them to come into the office that they weren't required to come to the office because we wanted to keep people say so. Yeah that's the kind of thing and then when when it really became evident you know. I think our media reaction was one of you know this is a global state of emergency now and you know we have to face a humanitarian health. Disaster that You know we can be helpful and useful in In using some of our resources in some of our media to point directly to that. And we have judy of KETCHAOUA staff. So We'd been working on managing that and managing their work from home situation and then there's a carrying consideration for our audience which we just touched on before and really when we were texting. It was all about kind of understanding with questions we were. We were kind of In discussion about was like. What is the role of of media in this new reality? Yeah what what is our purpose now and I think you know where we had puppies before. Now it's really about focusing the clarity of purpose making sure that the row we're playing in the daily life of our audience is really bringing value

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