This won’t be a typical agency news roundup for us. We normally update you on where in the world the Designsensory team has been — conferences, events, pitches, shoots. This time is different. We’ve been busy from home (social distancing) trying to navigate this unprecedented event ourselves and for all of our clients, who are really better identified as our friends. 

We’ve transformed to an entirely digital workplace. Our account teams are mastering the art of Google Chat and UberConference (let’s face it, they are already proficient in those) and, more than ever, they are a compassionate resource to our clients. Our marketing and communications teams are assisting with internal and external communications to employees, stakeholders, consumers and members of the media, while our tech teams are working around the clock to provide crucial website updates. Our creatives are battling this time of uncertainty with brilliant designs and thoughtful copywriting — all from their makeshift home offices.

We’re doing all of the things that we’ve always done, but with a new environment. A new normal (for now, anyway). We are looking at this new normal as a time of transformation and hope. We are struggling to find the words to comfort our friends and we’re taking our own business operations model day-by-day. But we’re hopeful and optimistic. We will come out stronger on the other end of this. So no, this isn’t our typical agency news roundup, but we hope it will bring a little positivity and a sense of community to you. After all, we’re in this thing together. 

Our clients mean the world to us, and they could all use some help right now. Please see below for some ways that you can support, and if you’re another client reading this, please let us know how we can lend a hand as well. We’d love to double this list. 

  1. Zoo Knoxville is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and the majority of their operating funds come from paying guests and members. Since closing the doors to help limit the spread of COVID-19, they have and will continue to lose around $22,500 per day. To support our friends and animals, if you are able, consider donating to their Emergency Animal Relief Fund here.  
  2. Our friends with the Tennessee Entertainment Commission have gathered resources for employees in the entertainment industry that are currently in need of assistance. From the Music Health Alliance and Society of Singers to the Actors Fund and Musicares, you can find more ways to help here. The Commission supports film, music and digital interactive entertainment projects around the state. If you’re a freelance photographer, videographer or musician, these resources may provide some much-needed relief.
  3. Goodwill-Industries Knoxville had to close each retail store on March 21 for the safety of its employees, families and customers. Those who are interested in continuing to support their mission in this uncertain time are encouraged to shop online here
  4. The city of Gatlinburg, like any tourist city right now, is hurting. The Convention and Visitors Bureau is keeping this list updated to showcase #VirtualGatlinburg. While you’re on your digital visit, support by shopping online as well. Check out the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park retail store and enjoy these lovely Facebook Live videos while you’re at it. 
  5. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) is providing regular updates including the necessary resources and information to support Tennessee businesses, as the backbone of the economy, right here. Our clients in other states are doing the same. Shop online. Share on social media. Give help where you can. 

As for us here at DS, we are going to take this time to support our clients, families and friends how we can, and our monthly newsletters will be moving to quarterly. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more updates. We’ll return to your inboxes in June! Stay safe.