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Agility and excellence in action

CPL managing director Mike Sewell is full of praise for how CPL’s editors are demonstrating their journalistic expertise during Covid-19

“The effects of a spittle attack are lasting – I remember it as if it were yesterday. But a spittle attack during a pandemic is another story.”

This rather chilling quote from a parking civil enforcement officer was one of many featured on the striking front cover of May’s Parking News magazine, which CPL publishes for the British Parking Association (BPA).

For that issue, CPL editor Louise Parfitt talked to people from across the parking sector, featuring their perspectives on how they and their colleagues had responded during the first few weeks of Covid-19 lockdown.

In Lou’s original editorial calendar for the year, the May issue was intended to focus on celebrating the BPA’s 50th anniversary. But, like everyone else over the past few months, CPL editors have found themselves rethinking their best-laid plans at short notice.

In this together

Covid-19 has had an impact on all our lives and, of course, it has affected every membership organisation for which CPL creates content. 

Members of CIBSE (the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) have found themselves heavily involved in both practical and policy issues during the crisis. 

So, for April’s CIBSE Journal CPL editor Alex Smith commissioned a piece interviewing building services engineers involved in reconfiguring the ExCeL centre’s ventilation system as part of its rapid transformation to the NHS Nightingale Hospital. 

Meanwhile, he also warned about the dangers of reoccupying office buildings after lockdown. “Without a maintenance plan, the risks of legionella and the corrosion of HVAC systems are very real,” Alex wrote in his editorial.

Over at Inspire magazine, for Versus Arthritis, editor Tracey Lattimore was determined to look on the bright side. For the summer issue, she asked her contributors to spell out what helps them stay positive, even while the charity had to pause its face-to-face services. 

And regular contributor Julian Worricker, a BBC presenter with psoriatic arthritis, probably spoke for many of us when he reflected on the importance of clear, honest communication: “Nothing causes more frustration than telling half-truths, shying away from being up front, leaving people guessing what you really meant.”

A green recovery?

As lockdown restrictions ease, we’re starting to look to the future – one that, according to our editors and the influential organisations they represent, involves tackling the twin climate and Covid-19 crises.

FIDI Focus is the voice of the global moving industry, a sector where international movement of people and goods is its raison d'être. 

In his editorial for the April/May issue, our editor, Dominic Weaver, was bold in challenging the industry to consider the environmental benefits that have already resulted from lockdown. “The crisis has startled businesses and forced them to look harder and more urgently at ways they could be doing things differently,” he wrote. “It’s shown that, where there is a collective will, it is possible to implement far-reaching – albeit difficult – change, and fast.”

June’s CIBSE Journal sees Alex highlighting the opportunity building services professionals have to flatten the climate-change curve by embracing clean technology.

And the striking front page of the May/June issue of Circular magazine, for members of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), is headlined ‘Green shoots of recovery – Why we need to create a more resilient and resource-efficient economy post-Covid-19’.

Our editor, Liza Salazar, focuses on how lockdown has had “rapid and profound impacts on the environment… it is giving hope for how a low-carbon economy could be achieved”. 

We’re all looking for positives at the moment. 

So, as well as thanking my editorial colleagues – and the brilliant design and production teams that support them – I’m vowing to embrace their optimism that a post-Covid green recovery could be on the way.

Mike Sewell
is managing director
at CPL

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