I’ve been away and have thus largely missed the whole Center Parks fiasco, THE QUEUE (a story seemingly so big it needs caps and on-the-hour updates on the radio) and Holly & Phil, which also relates back to said QUEUE.

On the Holly & Phil thing, wasn’t there a live stream for anyone who wanted to watch the Queen lying in state? Plus, however many accredited journalists with cameras that would show once and for all whether they did or didn’t queue jump?

So yes, I’ve largely been absent from a significant week, with very limited internet and rubbish phone signal, but also I was busy walking along beaches and strolling down blackberry covered lanes – ahh Anglesey.

I decided to write, in the form of a not-so-traditional and probably largely redundant nowadays, postcard. So here are some ramblings from my break as they relate to copywriting, marketing and PR.

After using my phone as a satnav, I realised a few hours into the journey that the battery was very low and I needed my phone in case the holiday accommodation people sent me a text to say the caravan was ready before the standard check-in time. And pft, I hadn’t checked that my in-car charger was where it usually lived, in my car. I couldn’t find it. An easy solution was conceived. We’d switch sim cards, from my mum’s almost fully charged mobile to mine so we could continue using satnav and get the text or call. BUT, neither of us knew how to get the sim out of mum’s phone, I then had to use valuable battery up googling it. The solutions were almost exclusively resource-heavy YouTube videos. I caved and watched one. It didn’t help. What would have helped was simple well written non resource heavy words. So many YouTube videos. So little battery.

And then, into North Wales and that most welcome word – araf. It never fails to make me laugh. The ARAF/SLOW on the roads in Wales reminds me of my late Uncle and Aunty. Once, lost in Wales, my Uncle said to my Aunty – “Haven’t we driven through here already?” believing ARAF on the road to be the name of the town. It gets me every time.

With very little battery I switched my phone off and on again every half an hour and just at the right time for us the text arrived to say we could access the caravan. I had been sent the guest booklet in advance, as a PDF link (due to Covid). It was useful to have all the info in advance, BUT it was a right pain to have to go to my phone or Ipad every time I wanted to check where the bins were, which HDMI for DVD etc. A digital-first approach is all well and good (and was no doubt needed before we knew for sure that Covid was airborne) but now a hard copy for easy reference is the much-preferred option.

The guest book should have included instructions for the coffee machine too as that was another chuffing YouTube experience when seriously, simple instructions would have been much easier, quicker and preferable. It’s not like there aren’t a ton of very good (some may say dead good) copywriters around. Also, my mum and potentially other less than digital natives would really struggle with the digital-only copy of the vital info.

Day 2 and I had a problem with my car – specifically, the electric window fell down into the door with an almighty bang and wouldn’t go back up. If I hadn’t been driving down single-track lane minutes from a mostly empty beach I would have said it was gunfire. I had to head back to the caravan and ring the AA. Did I mention there was no phone signal and the internet was intermittent? Thankfully just at the end of the lane from the caravan, there was a mobile reception and a large rock. I sat and called them. Despite the fact that the AA clearly have a digital-first approach they also have other options which meant I could stay on the line and speak to an actual human who provided me with excellent customer service AND they didn’t expect me to sit on the rock waiting for the mechanic even though they knew I had no phone reception back at the caravan. A* for the AA.

Finally, on my return I had only one condolence/we are saddened by the death of her majesty email – (across both work and personal). It was from M&S. I am not a customer in any sense of theirs and to my knowledge have not signed up to any email list. Not just any fail, an M&S fail. But well done everyone else for not sending out unsolicited condolences.

Sorry that this isn’t your usual postcard, but suffice to say it was sunny (if chilly), the food was excellent and no I don’t wish you were there! In summary – digital first is all well and good but you have to cater to those who aren’t digital natives and those who may be accessing your resources with limited signals/battery/on the go and those who just loathe YouTube as the go-to solution for everything when in many cases dead good words would suffice.