New year, new oysters.
Greetings from 2021 where we’re not checking the news and ringing in the New Year with lots of Pappy, lots of child/dog care (sometimes at the same time), , and fond reminiscences from our tristate employees about eating oysters in the subbasement of the grimiest train station in America (now relocated to the grimiest parking garage in America).
... onto the #content.
Our year in review
There’s no new way to say it: 2020 was rough. So far, 2021 is not pulling its chaotic punches either.
But even when everything else seemed tumultuous and terrible, we were lucky enough to find consistency in our work. In our industry, we were faced with challenges — how best do wecommunicate in a crisis? And with compassion? — but each one reminded us what we’re here for: to make stuff that matters.
As a fairly new agency, we’re used to building the plane as we fly it. But the sustained pressure of the past year couldn’t have been assuaged if by just punching in and out of a job. What really got us through was our team (flip the cue cards to “awww”).
We’ve always wanted to be the kind of agency that isn’t just a collection of people sharing desk space or Zoom screens. And while going remote was a pretty seamless transition, what we didn’t expect was that our team would ... get closer?
Call it trauma bonding, but we’ve really leaned into being those people who are really into their jobs. We were well on the way pre-pandemic, donning our branded hoodies and letting the scent of the LHC candles seep into the walls and floors of our homes, but this year has instilled us with a renewed appreciation for the talented, interesting people we work with.
From our daily Standup slash 15-minute inside joke parade, to some of us moonlighting as snack/merch delivery people, there was never a dull moment on the Zooms or the Slacks. We even did some work, too — it wasn’t all singing Kumbaya over staticky internet connections.
For one, we grew! The LHC Cinematic Universe expanded by 6: Axel, our video director; Kelsey, our director of performance marketing; Langa, our intern-turned content strategist; Heather, VP of Client Services and owner of the bar we will getting drunk together in when we’re all vaccinated; and Ben, our new and improved intern, who also owns his own company because that’s the LHC spirit.
We also added 10 new clients to our roster, all of whom received branded LHC candles as holiday gifts because we’re pivoting into the merch game. We would count the number of assets, blog posts, scripts, copy, and overall #content people we produced, but we’re people of words, not numbers.
We will say, we’re proud of every story we told in 2020, from client projects to the 14 newsletters we sent into your inboxes. If last year taught us anything, it was the power of good stories to mitigate even the worst of times, be it musings on viral TikToks to thoughtful pieces on The State Of Things, to this version of The Great Gatsby where every instance of "Gatsby" has been replaced by "Gritty".
We’re cautious about being overly optimistic and like to keep a modicum of the signature jaded New York disdain from wherever we’re #WFH, but here’s to 2021. We hope it’s a good one.
(Oh — here's our year in timeline form in case, you know, TLDR)
Things are happening
In the running for most chaotic sequels of all time: “2021: 2020 but worse” and “Impeachment, Vol II“
Where were you when Slack went down?
Fran Lebowitz and Martin Scorsese remind us how fulfilling it is to complain about New York
The most SEO depraved content since “What time does the super bowl start?”: “Before getting Covid, patients were in contact with someone who had Covid”
Penn Station had a face lift but we hope we’ll never find ourselves there to see it. RIP Tracks though.
Andrew Yang has a plan … for the TikTok Hype House?
What We're Listening To
Of all the content projects progenated by the pandemic, this one is our favorite. “SIXTYEIGHT2OHFIVE” or “”68to05” is a playlist project by writer Hanif Abdurraqib, who has both the impossibly vast taste in music and the word-weaving acumen to tell a story about 37 years in pop culture through playlists, album essays, and magazine covers. From Mariah Carey to A Tribe Called Quest, from Joni Mitchell to Bob Dylan to Mary J Blige, Hanif creates “a kind of goldmine for music fans” that catalogues his own obsessions “but also asks other people to bring their obsessions into the frame.” We scroll through the playlists, searching for our favorite songs and celebrating when we find them. And even songs we don’t love now, Hanif makes a case for and we’re willing to be convinced.