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Embracing the era of free training

Learning something new has become a feature of lockdown life for so many. For some, it’s a language, others an instrument. Amongst the Speed team, we’ve got newfound knitters, runners, bakers, gardeners, ukulele players. Our collective extra-curricular achievements are starting to resemble a Girl Guide’s sash brimming with badges.

But another positive consequence of lockdown has been the amount of professional training that’s been thrown our way. In the past week, we’ve been offered video training on the broadcast media landscape from our friends at Good Broadcast, Microsoft Power BI training from the lovely folk at Data Cubed (the team who built our measurement tool, PACE), to name but a few.

It makes sense. Businesses have skilled people on their payroll. Some projects may inevitably have slowed down while the world stands in limbo. So why not put that time to good use and give something back? It can build goodwill and relationships at a time when people appreciate it most.

Big training providers are waking up to the opportunity too. Pluralsight offered up its 7,000 online courses for free in its #FreeApril campaign with the tagline ‘stay home, skill up’. It drew quite a crowd. Within weeks, it reported more than 898,000 new sign-ups and over 142,000 skill assessments from budding students keen to keep their brains busy.

Sharing knowledge and expertise is something we care about too. This week, we launched the Speed Support Centre. Our comms experts across PR, internal comms, digital and production have come together to create a hub of free resources and advice for marketers, business leaders and PR professionals. Guides include Engaging media in the current climate, How to run a webinar and How to approach crisis comms. Our expert partners are contributing too – media trainer Dave Mason’s guide to Handling media in an upside down world is worth a read.

The COVID-19 crisis has turned people’s lives upside down and it has been a challenging time for everyone in different ways. But if something positive can be drawn from all the mayhem, pushing that reset button has opened our minds to learning something new. Now, where’s that ukulele?

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