The Digital response to COVID-19

The dramatic effects of COVID-19 present an unprecedented opportunity for the islands of the Eastern Caribbean to create a new layer of economic activity through digital skills.

The nature of the digital experience and expression, in many ways, brings many separate disciplines together, which previously were the domain of many different businesses.

Text, media, image, brand, advertising, promotion, commerce, statistical tracking and social interaction all blend together to create a personalised experience and ‘business’ online.

The roots of Presentimage® lie in our early development of digital imaging, identity, packaging and promotion, throughout the OECS.  We recognise that ‘digital’ alone does not guarantee quality, or success.

Skill, flair, understanding and ingenuity lie at the heart of all enterprise.  Becoming proficient in anything requires dedication and commitment.  There are no quick fixes in the digital world, no templates which circumvent learning and no magic tools which do it all for you.

However, there is a clear business opportunity.

You must have an idea, a purpose and a plan and meet your intended market with a strategy.

You will need tools and know how to use them. 

The most expensive Ferrari of equipment will not do the job any better than the Honda, if you don’t know how to drive them. 

If you take up the challenge, you will be exposed to a melting pot of software and hardware.  The best tools are the ones which allow you to work the way you want.  In order to do so, you must understand multiple file formats.  Whether text or multimedia, your work will find its way to others.

Learn what these are, how they function and how to craft them for your client’s needs, as well as your own.

Learn the benefits of repurposing, resolution and independence, vectors and rasters, layers, colour theory and fonts.  From document presentations to visuals, audio and video, these are facets of a new language which you need to understand.  Never stop learning.

Build your skills. If you are in a partnership, define your roles so your work is shared.  Start carefully and keep your overheads down, but learn how to achieve maximum success from as little as possible.

You should prepare to learn through trial and error, with dedication and persistence. 

Focus on the quality and your client’s trust. 
The business will come.

Most likely yours will be a service.  What will it be?  What will you offer?  Will anyone want it? Why? What is your unique element which sets you apart from competition?  How do you wish to be seen by your customers?  What are your terms and how do you calculate your cost?  Who are your customers now and who do you want in the future?

There is no sure fire answer to a new digital business.  Many fail, mostly because their creators believe that the simple rules of old do not apply.  They become lost in the technology and ignore the golden rules:  

Better to do the simple things well,
than the complex things badly.

Never make a promise you cannot deliver.

Play in your own ballpark.  Don’t waste time trying to better or undercut your competitor.  Recognise your value.  Be yourself unequivocally. 
Be decisive.  Be trustworthy and genuinely good at what you do. 
Make reliable relationships with specialists and gain a genuine understanding of their job and how they do it.

Never be scared to turn work down.  You don’t need all the work, just the work that is a good fit with your business.  Be flexible, but don’t break.

Have operating standards.  Respect your industry. 
In times of plenty, share.  In times of difficulty, care.

Our twenty plus years of experience have allowed us to understand the compact, immediate and far reaching nature of ‘digital’ and ‘online’. 

It is a very real world, which if well learned and treated with integrity, will serve these islands, by acting as a gateway to enhance our culture and present fresh possibilities for all of us.