Keep calm and Corona on!

Keep calm and Corona on!

Fay Higgin, Sales and BSDHT Advertising Manager, shares a real-time diary of events in the lead up to the production of the May issue of Dental Health.

When the Corona Virus pandemic hit the UK during March 2020 it was not an automatic decision by the Publications team to go ahead with the May issue of Dental Health. Should we go ahead with producing the journal when so many of our members are facing worrying times, would it be seen as insensitive? Could we even manage to produce a journal given that it involves so many people in putting it together? I thought it might be interesting for a real-time diary of events as they transpired. 

Early March 

March issue on its way, together with ACJ, phew! Planning phone call with Heather Lewis, editor, about the student focus issue and having rustled up a couple of articles focused on students we found we are further ahead than usual in the preparation for the May issue. At this stage while Italy was suffering, cases were low in the UK.

Week commencing 16th March

I work from home anyway, but I have now been joined by Chief Snacker aka my husband! Last visit to the Rugby offices on the Monday and then it’s essentially lockdown; the office meanwhile was fielding lots of phone calls and emails from worried members. The Executive team were busy trying to establish advice from the health authorities and give guidance to our self-employed members.

Mid-week it dawns on me that although I am carrying on working and, it appears, so are the companies who advertise with us, what about Crossprint who do our graphic design and printing? A panicky phone call establishes that as a small company everyone non-essential is working from home and they have established protocols in the print warehouse to keep everyone safe, which is good to hear.

All the reminders requesting adverts have been sent out, which I thought might trigger some cancellations but only one company moves their advert to the July issue instead. This is heartening. Some adverts arrive ahead of the 1 April copy date, it is evident that the graphic content was prepared prior to the Covid-19 crisis. As I know adverts take months of work ahead of time to be prepared and get signed off internally, please don’t judge the companies for this but appreciate that they are still supporting BSDHT and its members.

Week commencing 23rd March

While all events have been cancelled, should we abandon the print journal and put together a digital one instead? Would this be a bit more sensitive? Do our members really care whether or not they receive a journal at this time?

I thought about WWII, of all things. During the war, life in the UK tried to carry on much as normal within the restrictions of the time. I felt we owed it to you, our members, to try and carry on as much as we could and present you with a journal - even if we don’t know when it will be posted or received. When it arrives you might be glad to focus on your professional life and knowledge for a while?

However we can only produce a printed journal if all the adverts come in to cover the cost of print and post…..we are waiting with somewhat sweaty palms to see if all comes through.

Week commencing 6th April

The initial shock of the lockdown has subsided and the BSDHT as an organisation is taking a breath after a frenetic couple of weeks supporting members through phone calls, emails and social media.

Dental Health for May is going ahead! It has been heartening to see how the advertisers have stuck with us, when they have had their business plans put on hold. There were a couple of cancellations in the end, but one or two others have taken the situation to do something different with the enforced work from home and plan webinars or other help for volunteering BSDHT members. The overall feeling has been that we are all in this together which has been heartening to see.

Meanwhile the journal is in graphic layout and we await the first draft… 




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