While in many ways things are worse than ever, getting to the end of 2020 still feels like an achievement. Can I get a “good riddance!”? And because we’ve made it this far, it’s time to take a look back at our top-performing blog and insights posts of the year. These posts, reflecting the appetite of our readers, tell the story of the year—of the placid early days, of contending with and adapting to the pandemic, of racial injustice and social unrest, of the importance of diversity and inclusion, and of simply trying to get by.
10. How to keep your s*** together and be productive during a pandemic: In May, Brittany rounded up insights from some of our colleagues on how they were managing. I participated but never claimed to have my s*** together, so be warned.
9. How to excel in visual storytelling: A conversation with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mark Mitten: In this Leff Exchange podcast, Scott talks with Mark Mitten about his work on the Oscar-nominated documentary Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, as well as his approaches to visual storytelling and collaboration.
8. How video producers are adapting during the pandemic: A Q&A with Laura Schram: Our account manager, Emma, talked with our video producer, Laura Schram, about how production and vendor relations have changed because of the pandemic—and how she manages client expectations through it all.
7. The Leff Exchange podcast: Managing risk in the pandemic with Gallagher’s Chris Demetroulis: Scott talked with the managing director of transportation at Gallagher, Chris Demetroulis, about the evolving risk landscape, the importance of data and analytics in scenario planning, and engaging with customers.
6. The Gold Standard: January 2020: In this Gold Standard from a simpler time, Allan shares some of the strongest articles and reports firms published about artificial intelligence in the latter half of 2019. These pieces go beyond high-level discussions to specific applications by sector and function.
5. The Gold Standard: Firms’ responses to George Floyd’s murder and racial injustice: In June, Allan compiled firms’ comments on racial injustice, noting that Accenture, Bain, McKinsey, and PwC made the most specific commitments to change.
4. Raise the alarm: A conversation with Akeem Anderson on Black representation in marketing: Alia chats with Akeem Anderson, the director of paid media at Zeno Group, about the lack of Black representation in marketing and why diversity is critical for business in this Leff Exchange podcast.
3. Publishing during the pandemic: A Q&A with McKinsey Global Editorial Director Lucia Rahilly: Rahilly discusses McKinsey’s publishing processes through the pandemic—an effort that has led to record-setting traffic to the firm’s website.
2. An Olympic legend’s quest for reinvention: In some ways, this blog post from January reads like foreshadowing of the year that came. Scott ponders the transition to a more digital economy and the sense of foreboding many feel about that. “As humans, we crave order and stability,” he notes. With many jobs swept away by the pandemic, and the world forced to embrace digital ways of operating, it’s as good a time as ever to consider the lessons Apolo Ohno’s career suggests: to take note of your strengths, act with intention, and remain open and curious.
1. Measuring the impact of thought leadership: Scott tackles the age-old question of how to measure the impact and return on investment of B2B marketing efforts—in particular, thought leadership. While current approaches leave something to be desired, we will continue to monitor progress—in 2021 and beyond.