A Week in My Life: Emily Clayfield, Head of Content Strategy at Builtvisible

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Emily Clayfield, Head of Content Strategy at Builtvisible, takes us through a week in her working life and shares how the City Road-based digital agency fared during the early days of lockdown...

To quote Alan Carr, “what a week it’s been.”

Quite unlike anything any of us could ever have imagined. My ‘week in the life’ starts on Thursday 12th March – a day that feels like months ago, but a day when events took a rather unexpected turn.

Thursday 12th March

Today started with our first ever breakfast event, which brought together some of the UK’s leading ecommerce brands and focused on using SEO to create a business-wide impact. My colleague, María Camañes Forés and Matthew Morrissey from Adidas shared their valuable insights. Afterwards, I headed back to our office where a content breakfast event was about to kick off that I couldn’t wait for – not least because of the snacks. 

During the afternoon, there was a sudden change of pace. Someone in our office building had tested positive for COVID-19 overnight.

Our HR manager, Operations Director and MD held urgent talks to build a clear plan of action while the other Heads of Department and I kept everyone calm and focused. 

At around 12 pm, in the spirit of being proactive rather than reactive, our MD decided that the whole team should go and work from home for the next few days. I spent a few hours making sure everyone had all the equipment and support they needed and then off we went.

I spent that evening having dinner at a restaurant with my partner, little did we know this would be the last supper! 

Friday 13th March 

This was the first day our team would be working from home – quite the experiment. 

My role was to keep the teams running smoothly, communicating with each other and reassuring clients we were continuing to deliver at our usual standard. It was strange at first, but with the help of Slack and Zoom, we were soon back to normal with spirits high and memes aplenty. 

I spent the afternoon developing our process to cater to the needs of one of our retail clients. They were due to launch a new collection of outdoor wear in April, but needed our help to adapt the messaging in light of recent events. We managed to find some positive mental wellbeing trends to tie it into and I’m excited to see it go live. 

Friday at 4pm is usually time for deskies at the office: someone goes to collect beers from the WeWork taps, and we all spend some quality time with each other in our breakout area. This week, we debuted remote deskies – same quality time, better chance of a comfy seat.

Monday 16th March

A new week means it’s time to align the teams on workflow, brief in projects and check-in with line managers. This week was not too different from the usual rhythm. We organise teams using a highly refined mix of Mavenlink and Trello boards. Both play a vital role in keeping the guys motivated and in control of their own time.  

After the usual Monday morning meetings, I had a call with one of our clients in Munich. Their whole team is now working from home too, but there’s plenty to be getting on with. During the call, the contact signed off an urgent project that we needed to complete this week as it’s for the medical sector. 

The new remote working set up posed an interesting challenge for us as we were due to run an audience research and customer journey mapping workshop. These are usually conducted face to face, in big groups with lots of team participation and post-it notes. That afternoon, however, a few of us jumped on a call to hash out ideas on how we could adapt our approach and the format for activities.

Luckily, we found some handy Zoom functionalities to help us.

In the evening, I had a FaceTime chat with my best friend who’s pregnant and stuck at home for the next 12 weeks! 

Tuesday 17th March

What a difference a few days makes. It was now clear that we would be working from home for the foreseeable. 
Today, I had a pre-pitch meeting with a luxury brand. Things were picking up again for them in China and they were very keen to hear more about how we could help them use brand storytelling to build loyalty during this time. Spirits buoyed, I worked on our bespoke approach. 

In the afternoon, I spent some time developing my thoughts on how content is likely to be impacted by recent events. Normally as an agency, we work hard to navigate and adapt to algorithm updates, but this is something quite different; this is a fundamental update to search behaviour. 

At 7 pm, I had my (now remote) Italian lesson. Although my holiday was cancelled, I’m still keen to improve my vocab – much to the amusement of one of my designers, who was born and bred in Verona. 

Wednesday 18th March

Another morning in paradise, I manage to get in a sunrise yoga session and make a proper breakfast – I could get used to this. 

After a quick catch up with the teams, I reviewed delivery for the week and caught up with my MD and Operations Director to discuss developments to our agency-wide approach to the COVID-19 crisis.

The rest of the day was devoted to a 3-hour journey planning workshop with a group of 10 people on a Zoom call. It went fairly smoothly.

We tried to stick as close to the usual format as possible and split off into groups as we would if we were in the room together. We used Zoom’s full suite of annotation tools and had a good nose around each other’s houses.

My team did a great job of keeping the conversation flowing and the ideas pouring in. I’m so proud of how they have all adapted to these circumstances.

I finished the day with a quick team check-in to make sure they had everything they needed, then a glass of wine and the weekly Gousto unboxing ceremony. I was grateful to say that I’d be cooking up a storm for the next few days at least!