It’s now been more than nine months since our team has gathered together at Scooter Media’s offices for a day of collaboration, hard work and a little bit of fun. (Has it only been nine months, and not nine years? Sometimes we can’t tell.)
2020 is the year that none of us saw coming, and communicators of all types have been tested and stretched as we’ve had to toss out everything we had planned for our clients and ourselves as an agency, get into crisis mode, and support each other – and the people we work with.
Here we are, at the end of 2020 and the end of this pandemic is in sight! The first doses of a vaccine are rolling out in communities nationwide, and we are hopeful that the Scooter Media crew will be able to sit down in our brand-new office as a full team next summer.
As we joyfully look forward to what’s ahead for our clients, our agency and the community, we’re taking a look back at a few of the lessons for communicators we’ve learned throughout 2020 that will carry us forward in all the days – good and bad – to come.
Communication is critical
In March, April and May, our team was in full-on crisis mode. We worked harder than we ever have for our clients because communication (in all its forms) was critical to survival. We drew up crisis communications plans to be ready for any number of scenarios for clients, drafted cancelation and closure announcements, brainstormed strategies to help our clients’ businesses adapt and continue throughout shutdowns and other safety mandates, and led the charge on both internal and external communications so that key stakeholders knew what was happening. It tested our teams and stretched us to the max, but in the end, we pulled through because it became clear what we’ve known all along: communication is critical for any organization.
Adaptivity and responsiveness are top skills for communications pros
In the early days of the pandemic, the calls for help from our clients didn’t stop coming in. We worked hand-in-hand with them to pivot, rethink and figure out how to keep things going – then the next day we’d have to toss it all out the window again as another new restriction or crisis emerged and we’d be back to square one. Those days taught us one of the most important lessons for communicators: adaptability and responsiveness are absolutely critical. With those skills, you’ll be able to handle whatever situation may arise (whether it’s one you can anticipate or not!).
Client service and relationships matter more than ever
Like many others, the public relations industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. Businesses went into conservation mode, and as a professional service industry, communications are usually among the first to take the hits when budgets are lean. Nearly 50% of respondents to a survey from BuzzStream and Fracti said they’ve had clients reduce their PR budgets since the pandemic began.
Early on, we committed to doing all we could to help our clients through whatever they needed, not only because it’s good for business, but because it’s the right thing to do. We’ve stepped up internal awareness about client service and building relationships, too, because like everything else in 2020, it’s much harder to do. We no longer have face-to-face meetings, and we haven’t been able to support at events or any of the other touch-points we took for granted; however, the foundations of great client service have remained the same.
We are resilient
Above all, we have proven to be more resilient than even the most optimistic among us would have thought. And I’m not just talking about the team at Scooter Media, our clients or our partners throughout the community. I’m talking about you. Each and every one of us. We have lived through this collective catastrophe and found ways to reshape how we work, live and interact. The world didn’t stop turning, and we didn’t stop trying. Everywhere you look, there are stories of hope, optimism and resiliency. What a beautiful thing.
Want to check out more lessons for communicators we’ve learned throughout 2020? Don’t miss our guide to the best meeting apps to help your business stay connected, as well as our creative strategies for boosting company culture when working virtually.