Government marketing would get a 1 out of 10 in tests
Government marketing would get a 1 out of 10 in tests
19 OCTOBER 2020 7:54 AM

As the terrible toll of coronavirus digs deeper into employment, the U.K. government is trying to gets it population to reconsider what a new world will look like, though not in the most useful way.

This weekend the United Kingdom began more rigorous COVID-19 regulations.

Worry started after a spike in positive coronavirus cases was seen in northern cities such as Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, but London is not out of the soup either. London was “promoted” to Tier 2 in the government’s new three-section tiering system.

The government loves the number three. We now have three tiers and every slogan we’re bombarded with has three sections, starting with “Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives” and now reading “Hands, Face, Space,” because evidently the first stab at things was too complicated for us dumb Brits to understand.

That said, some Brits seem to have a hard time following regulations as boredom over the matter grows, even if the threat from the virus does, too.

Fines of up to £10,000 (approximately $13,000) have been issued to a few people who thought having a house party or inviting 100 people for a wedding to their hotel was somehow alright.

The new spike in cases is having a terrible effect on hotels and other hospitality businesses, and many jobs are on the line or lost. High-street pub chain JD Wetherspoon announced its first loss since 1984, and that strikes home even if such pubs do not appeal.

Manchester is the latest city to push back against the central government who wants to see pubs and restaurants close or dramatically decrease their opening hours. But as I have said before here, many owners would rather close all together and hopefully receive more government help than bleed to death slowly over the months until there’s a vaccine.

Those new unemployed have been encouraged by the government to “reskill,” or something like that.

Its first marketing for this featured a photograph of a young dancer tying up her ballet shoes with the caption: “Fatima’s next job could be in cyber: She just doesn’t know it yet.”

Hotel marketers, I would have a great deal to learn if I worked alongside you, but listen—it is evident even to me that this is not the way of doing things.

The advertisement received an instant barrage of criticism for its suggestion that a career in the arts is not viable and because it also reeked of a young girl’s dream being smashed to pieces or not considered admirable or worthwhile.

Then, get this, the photo was taken in Atlanta, Georgia, not even in the U.K. A photo is a photo, I realize, and in the right context it might have conveyed a powerful message, but this one—probably as it came from the government—is just wrong on every level.

The central government blamed the ministry of culture—which includes hotels, strangely, if you had forgotten—who blamed a subdivision of a company that won a publicly-tended contract, or something like that.

“Fatima,” whose real name apparently was Desire’e, and others are being encouraged, though, to look at what the new Britain post-crisis will look like and seek employment within those new corridors.

Hotels will come back stronger than ever, so looking into the hospitality world would be a good start. But I thought as a test I would go through the government’s new reskilling questionnaire, where the fearless population of the New Jerusalem can answer 50 questions to pinpoint how they can soon dominate the country.

Poking fun at authorities is probably why the internet was invented, and I have read and heard of a few columnists and radio DJs similarly take the challenge, sorry, career-oriented Q&A that can be seen here.

In such questionnaires where there are five possible responses from “strongly agree” to “strongly Disagree,” people tend to divert from their true characters.

Questions such as “are you curious” always make me laugh. “No, absolutely not, everything that passes my eyes interests me not a whit” is unlikely to be the answer.

Through it I went, and then I hit the “unveil all” button. Out popped “creative and media; construction and trades; sports and leisure.”

Great, I personally will stay at Hotel News Now.

After one finds out the families of likely careers, there are a few more questions, one of which is “are you able to read well?”

I said yes, as happily I am able, and that answer narrowed my search to “actor; copy editor, or editorial assistant.”

An actor! Aren’t all the theaters and cinemas closed?

I noticed I did not get a reply that said “prime minister or minister of health,” two positions that might be vacant soon.

Also, I got “animal care” as a suggestion.

I have three cats, which all came into my life in either 2018 or 2019, but before that I had zero connection with domesticated animals, and I would be so bad at this job, so very bad, no doubt Southeast London’s felines and canines would all quickly seek to move north of the river.

Did I somehow say inadvertently that I cared for other people or worked well as part of a team? Blame that on a lack of sleep during lockdown!

The original advert was “crass,” to use the minister of culture’s comment, and it was also fake in many ways, especially as the only audience was those domiciled in the U.K.; and the reskilling questionnaire is in turns patronizing, belittling and vacuous, at least in my opinion.

Hotels marketers sell dreams, so probably they do not have to suffer the torments of such a government initiative, but there are lessons to be learned by all.

Email Terence Baker or find him on Twitter.

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