By Rebecca Veselinovich
COVID-19 has dramatically impacted business and organizations. Last Monday, we spoke to three industry professionals about how it has impacted their work and the changes they are making. The latest DePaul PRSSA chapter meeting focused on influencer relationships during COVID-19 and how companies are streamlining communication with their audiences amid the circumstances. Guest speakers included: Johnny Ford, Assistant Director of Public Relations at the Shedd Aquarium, Hana Link, Director of Marketing & Creative for Stephanie Izard (Chef of Girl & the Goat), and Patrick Pfohl, Media Relations Manager at Golin.
The Shedd aquarium is essential to the culture of Chicago by providing patrons with firsthand experiences. How does an aquarium make an impact during a global pandemic without physical engagement? Providing personal and organic social media content. The Shedd’s penguins have gone viral and it’s no surprise why. Ford’s advice begins with anticipating questions and having goals. Be sure to know what message you want to send people. By having a clean, pure, and organic storyline the Shedd has been able to reach people across the globe.
As an industry that relies on being open and having people come in, restaurants have had to adapt quickly. Hana Link has been tasked with finding solutions to bringing people together. These solutions include creativity and striving to be different. Girl & the Goat-ceries was created to provide curated meal packages along with instructional videos from the chef herself! Link advises professionals to continue researching, reading, and being at the table.
With a heavy focus of COVID-19 in the media, brands have had to quickly adapt to their messaging without being tone deaf or self-serving. One of Pfohl’s important takeaways is appropriate messaging. People are craving good news which has enabled brands to share positive messages with the public. Brands now have the opportunity to highlight positive stories.
How can you continue to build influencer relationships? Our speakers agreed that networking is key. Reach out and communicate with other professionals! If you can, get involved with different clubs and organizations, such as PRSSA! It’s important for us to remain connected during these times, so don’t be afraid to reach out and start a conversation.