I haven’t blogged in recent weeks for three reasons:
- I’ve been laser focused on our employees, our clients and our business.
- I didn’t feel I had anything to volunteer that hadn’t already been said by countless others.
- I’ve been happily immersed in fielding, sharing and interpreting the results of a co-branded survey of 300 senior communications professionals we conducted with The Institute for Public Relations (www.instituteforpr.org).
Here’s the “Communicating during COVID:19” report if you haven’t already read it.
The co-branded survey is intended to better inform and, hopefully, equip everyone in our field to deal with communications in the midst of chaos.
IPR President Tina McCorkindale and I have already spoken to a webinar audience hosted by COMMbizPro, another one that IPR itself coordinated and a third that will kick/off tomorrow’s (Tuesday’s) Ragan Communications “COVID-19 Virtual Conference”.
Peppercomm isn’t just sharing feedback for the sake of publicity but, rather, in the hopes the more information PR professionals have at their disposal, the smarter they’ll be in comporting themselves personally, communicating with stakeholder audiences and, critically, identifying TRUSTED sources of factual information and advice they themselves are sharing.
We’re passing along these insights with clients, prospective clients, academics, college & university students and, yes, our direct competitors. We do so because now is NOT the time to hoard either toilet paper or best practices.
Nor is it the time to cede the field to global agencies who possess the breadth and depth to churn out daily COVID-19 updates in their sleep.
This is a time for agencies of all sizes to shine.
We’re very fortunate to be able to partner with IPR but you, too, can find a credible third party with whom to undertake cursory or comprehensive research. Every tidbit of information, no matter how small, will add to our collective knowledge and, frankly, the ONLY thing holding you back from contributing is you.
We are already hard at work in shaping a follow-up survey of CCOs that will be qualitative in nature. We intend to take a deep dive into lessons learned to date, how the CCO’s role and responsibilities may have changed In the wake of COVID:19 and what senior communications executives see as the implications for the future of the CCO role specifically, and PR in general.
So, a quick note to my fellow midsized and small agency owners: By all means, stay focused on your people, your clients and, of course, business development.
But now IS the time to pitch in and help the entire field by sharing critically important information in the midst of mayhem.
Borrowing a well-known phrase from Aleksandar Duma’s classic novel “The Three Musketeers”, agency leaders should lift their heads out of the sand and embrace an, “All for one and one for all” philosophy.