How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your company?
While the whole planet has dealt with fear and uncertainty about theirs and their families’ health, particularly here in South Florida, Carve has thrived as a business during this time. The last 8 months have been the most successful stretch in the history of the agency, having signed 12 clients during the “pandemic”. And while yes, we are not together in our office 5 days a week, the team has bonded virtually and produced some of the best results we ever have. At the same time, it has forced us to reconsider what the future holds as it relates to continuing as a remote team, returning to full time office status or some hybrid thereof.
In what ways has your team had to adapt to the new normal?
As I previously said, going to all remote has been the biggest thing. We have a great team that enjoys(ed) being in our office in midtown Miami that was our home. That ability to just shout out an idea or go and grab lunch isn’t an option right now, but we’ve used Zoom to our advantage, increased our reliance on Slack and just gotten it done.
The other big adaptation is hours. I’ve told my team that 9:00am-5:30pm is almost irrelevant now. If you can get your work done on a time schedule that works for you, do it. Whether you want to start at 6:00am and finish at 2:00pm, that’s good for me if it’s good for you and good for the clients. The lack of a commute, especially down here in South Florida, has been a welcome relief for everyone, that opens up 1-2 hours a day we didn’t have while sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on I-95.
You’ve been able to land over ten new long-term clients during the pandemic. What tips could you give to PR pros on earning new business during this time?
Focus on what you do best, how you achieve results and communicate. The foundation of our success is based on the work we’ve done in the past both on the new business side and the account side.
Simply put, we’ve just doubled down on what separates us from other agencies.
Has your agency changed in any way how it’s pitching media during this time? If so how?
Nothing inherent and groundbreaking. We’re simply leveraging the fantastic relationships we already have with the media or opening up new, relevant ones based on the news our clients have to offer.
I will say we’re pitching more “around the clock” meaning at times and on days we might not have before and definitely using social media to directly engage the media more than before.
How are you motivating your staff as the pandemic continues to disrupt normal business?
Through communication about how we’re growing the business, our new leads, the status of those leads and bringing them in on the process. We’ve also, finally, increased our own agency marketing so the staff is seeing the fruits of their labor whether we’re promoting a great placement or seeing an article in the trades about our new business wins.