Today, an exclusive interview with Dan Ward President of Curley & Pynn Public Relations Management Inc.
- How has the year 2020 been for your agency?
Like most organizations, this year has presented us with new and unique challenges. However, thanks to our loyal client partners and unyielding team, we are fortunate enough to continue doing the work we love, just in a different environment.
- How has the pandemic affected your agency and how you conduct business as usual?
We never believed in “business as usual” even before the pandemic because every client challenge is unique. Since mid-March, our team has been successfully supporting our clients in a fully remote work environment with no lapse in service. We were able to supply each of our employees with the necessary technology and supplies for a seamless transition.
Additionally, the events of 2020 forced us to look at all of our current strategies and tactics in a new light. The pandemic required us to consider how we could meet new needs and demands. For example, we added COVID-19 crisis messaging and management for several corporations and international associations while focusing on restoring consumer confidence. Our Message Matrix® training system has also been modified and tailored for a fully virtual environment.
- How has the pandemic impacted the way you communicate with clients?
With our enhanced focus on insights, many clients have leaned on us to make informed decisions and remain relevant during these challenging times. Target audience sentiment, guidelines and direction from government and health authorities, and an eye on clients’ industries are all top-of-mind for our team as we counsel clients.
Additionally, due to this remote environment, our team is extra cognizant of the fact that our clients are also human beings. They are people, not abstractions. They have a mortgage, children, aging parents and concerns over their work performance, and are as worried as we are about their health in a pandemic. In other words, they are much like us. So, we make an extra point to check in and connect with them on a personal level.
- What has been your agency’s biggest success in the year 2020?
Curley & Pynn’s biggest success in the year 2020 is that we are able to continue doing the work we love. We are fully aware that many other organizations have not or will not emerge from this year as fortunate, and we do not take that for granted. In a year where so much has changed, we have been able to stand firm and even grow thanks to those that we serve. Our team is blessed to be able to continue providing strategic public relations to our valuable clients old and new.
- What trends you do see emerging from this pandemic that will stick around?
The pandemic has revealed for many companies how well their teams can work from home. This trend is likely to continue, making it more difficult to reach audiences who would prefer to attend news conferences, groundbreakings or special events from the comfort of their home office. PR professionals are already exploring more creative and engaging ways to tell stories and that will continue. Augmented and virtual reality will rise in popularity as professionals seek new ways to facilitate internal and external programs with globally distributed audiences.
The pandemic has also reminded companies of the importance of internal communications. We’ll see more companies invest more heavily in this in the years ahead, not only to build a team culture with an increasingly remote workforce, but also to focus on their physical and mental health.
- What changes will companies need to make in order to survive COVID?
With resources scarce due to COVID-19, it will be more important than ever to drive bottom-line results. In an increasingly crowded world, organizations across all industries will have to do more than raise awareness and influence opinions. They must demonstrate value as drivers of engagement. Professionals will be wise to invest in research and evaluation to inform the creation of engaging content that converts customers and brand advocates.
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