The global pandemic has emphasised how wonderful our health service is and Lansons applauds all NHS staff, carers and other key workers that are helping the United Kingdom defeat coronavirus.
We believe in a positive future for humanity, as we believe in a positive future for our country and our business.
Everyone in business, including Lansons, is challenged by the pandemic – and has to play whatever role they can to defeat the virus and preserve a functioning economy. As we advise our clients on these matters, we believe it is right that we also outline our position as an organisation.
Lansons was formed in 1989 with a core set of principles and we are living by these principles during Covid-19. Our purpose is to do great work for clients that we believe in; to strive to be a great place to work for our people – and to make a positive contribution to society. This has led us to us receiving multiple rewards and recognition throughout our history not only for our client work but as a great workplace and as an ethical business – and one that contributes to wider society.
In line with our principles, our focus has been on ensuring that we can continue to provide our clients with the highest levels of advice and service throughout the lockdown whilst prioritising the health of our people and the nation. With a strong contingency plan in place, we closed our office and moved to virtual working immediately the Prime Minister advised all businesses that could, to do so, on Monday, 16th March and have been supporting our staff in working from home since then.
Our business is strong and built on great client relationships, and we are hugely grateful to our clients as we work our way through this together. However, as economic activity slows during the lockdown and project income sees a significant drop, we are unlikely to be profitable in 2020 – in common with almost every other management, communications, advertising and public relations consultancy. Whilst we hope for a swift economic recovery, like others across the country, we are running our business prudently.
To ensure our clients continue to receive the highest quality of service and to preserve as much of the earnings of our people as we can, we have taken a number of measures. All staff have agreed to salary reductions ranging from 25% for our co-founders to 2% for junior staff. We are judiciously using the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and have also utilised the opportunity to defer taxation payments. Our shareholders will not be receiving the equivalent of dividends (we are a partnership) in 2020 or 2021.
In the United States, our partly owned subsidiary, Lansons Intermarket, is utilising the US Government’s Paycheck Protection Program to achieve similar objectives.
While Lansons is unlikely to make a profit this year, for most of our 31 years in business we have done so. During the whole of this time we have donated at least 1% of profits to charitable causes, as well as championing diversity and inclusion and undertaking pro-bono work.
This year, to live our values and help the national effort, our co-founders Clare Parsons and Tony Langham have, on behalf of Lansons, donated a significant sum to the Barts Charity which includes the NHS hospital in our beloved Smithfield home of 30 years. Clare and Tony are making further donations on behalf of Lansons through this year to charities and organisations in the arts and leisure sectors, during a time when their revenues have reduced to near zero. Communication and dialogue is our business and we are long term supporters of the industry that makes the UK one of the world’s cultural leaders. We fear that many of our great arts institutions may not survive a prolonged lockdown.
By this set of policies and behaviours we hope that we are playing our part to help the UK defeat the coronavirus and return to a functioning economy and thriving arts sector.
If you have any questions about our policy this year, please email our Chief Executive Tony Langham at TonyL@lansons.com
Whatever area of business you’re in, it’s the “year of ESG”, where companies are increasingly judged by their Environmental, Social and Governance behaviour.