It may have only been a year since Guernsey Finance last assembled the great and the good of the island’s business and political worlds for its annual Industry Update, but it felt a good deal more than that as I took my seat at St James.
So much has changed in the past 12 months that this event promised to be a bumper update from the promotional body for the island’s financial services industry.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact business and societies around the world and in Guernsey we can attest to how quickly its damage can be felt; a mere two days after the update we found ourselves once again under lockdown restrictions. We are all hoping that, once again, a well-managed response to the virus will enable us to get back to normal soon.
In 2020 the community rallied and the government acted swiftly, which allowed us to resume ‘business as usual’, or as close to it as could have been expected, by late June. This of course meant that Guernsey Finance could resume some events, albeit in virtual form, and consider how best to reach its international audiences.
International travel was off the cards (and still is) but the Guernsey Finance team were bullish about their response to the pandemic; they pivoted to digital events and marketing incredibly quickly, taking events online and reaching newer, broader audiences than ever before.
New Guernsey Finance Chief Executive Rupert Pleasant highlighted that the agency’s success is contingent on engagement from the island’s industry and businesses. For us in PR, that means talking to our financial services clients and Guernsey Finance and making sure their messaging is aligned.
Every business that communicates off-island is, wittingly or not, playing an ambassadorial role; highlighting Guernsey’s security, safety, substance, stability and certainty are great messages for our clients as they demonstrate a part of their offering that is inextricably linked to their location. Couple this with their own values and messages and you have impactful external communications that is joined up with Guernsey Finance and makes the island’s financial services proposition stronger.
It’s the spirit of #GuernseyTogether that is getting us through the pandemic, and it’s that same spirit that will help Guernsey continue to thrive as a robust finance centre in a rapidly changing world.
After the event I caught up with Guernsey Finance’s Marketing & Operations Director Barnaby Molloy, who reflected on a successful day, and year, and looked forward to 2021.
This event, and associated filming, took place on Thursday 21 January 2021, before Guernsey’s lockdown.