It’s been quite a year! Like many other companies, Argyle moved online in early 2020 as more than 100 Argylers set up shop in their home offices, kitchens, basements or bedrooms. As we managed isolation, zoom fatigue and the blending of work, home and family life, our team did award-winning work for our clients – and also shared our insights, challenges and experiences in our Insights & Inspiration series. Of the nearly 50 stories we shared this year, here are the ten most popular among our readers, based on number of views!
This fall we celebrated our continued growth with the news that we were included in the Globe and Mail’s 2020 Report on Business list of Canada’s Top-Growing Companies. In a year with so much uncertainty and upheaval, the Argyle team is grateful for our clients, partners and Argylers themselves for fuelling our continued growth, stability and success. CEO Daniel Tisch summed this up in his post: “I’m proud that our growth comes from choosing to work with people who share our vision and values – and grateful to work with them.”
In April, Directors Suzanne Gaby and Jill McLean surveyed more than 380 people to understand how they were coping with friends and family members who were flouting public health restrictions. Using their expertise in behavioural change communication, Jill and Suzanne broke down what’s really behind the refusal to comply with restrictions. They also provided strategies for positive, productive conversations to change behaviour and improve public health compliance.
In November, CEO Daniel Tisch shared his insights following the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. From understanding the impacts of the Trump presidency on truth and the media, to exploring the need for empathy in our leaders, this top-ten article called on us to develop ethical, authentic leaders who really listen, build lasting relationships and seek to collaborate with others — even those with whom they disagree — to tackle some of society’s toughest issues.
Remember the early-pandemic days of sourdough and toilet paper shortages? In March, we surveyed our extended network to see how the pandemic was changing our grocery shopping habits. More than 340 respondents told SVP Alison George that they were spending and stockpiling more than before lockdown started. As dining–out options came off the table (pardon the pun) more than two-thirds of survey participants reported higher spending on groceries, with a quarter saying they spent more than $100 more than usual and that their habits were influenced by media stories about shortages.
In May, SVP Kim Blanchette shared her plea for plain language along with five tips to make your writing more clear and accessible. That article tied with the first of Argyle’s Chronicling COVID series, in which we spoke with journalists covering the pandemic. Our first interview, with parliamentary journalist Sarah Turnbull, where she shared both the highs and lows of coping with COVID and staying on top of the latest news, with Director Joanne Pitkin, was one of our most popular posts this year.
After a summer talking to communicators on the roles they were playing in their organizations during the pandemic, we launched a video series to tap into insights and advice from experts. SVP Roanne Argyle sat down virtually with Sheryl So, Head of Public Relations at Shopify, for a discussion that ranged from the survival of small businesses to the role of stakeholder capitalism at the country’s most valuable public company.
November brought some exciting news for Argyle, and readers thought so too! Our fourth-most popular story involved our expansion into the United States and the opening of our office in Washington, DC. Led by SVP Robert Gemmill, a specialist in corporate reputation and crisis and litigation communications, Argyle USA enables us to serve a growing international client base and bring all Argyle services to clients across North America.
Remember August, when we were all outside, enjoying some relaxed restrictions and wondering what recovery would look like? Argyle was wondering too, and we reached out to communicators across the country to understand how 2020 was changing the role of communication in their organizations. From a renewed focus on employees and internal communications to excelling at the leadership table, we heard that communicators were hyper-aware that their organizations’ responses to COVID-19 were being carefully watched by employees, consumers and stakeholders alike.
A month into the first lockdown, we addressed the challenges related to communicating about anything that wasn’t COVID-related, especially climate change. VP Jessie Sitnick provided thoughtful recommendations on how to communicate with empathy, create value and connect to audiences with compassion to continue the climate conversation, both today and on the other side of the pandemic.
Just before the World Health Organization declared the pandemic and we went into lockdown, Argyle was seeing the impact of restrictions on gathering on our clients’ ability to engage with their stakeholders. At that time, we were dealing with a postponed NHL season and a Prime Minister in isolation with little insight into what the next nine months would bring. We posted an article with top tips on moving public engagement programs online, hosted a webinar to share our insights, and kicked off a series to share our lessons learned and recommendations for equitable engagement in the pandemic.
We’re grateful to our readers who’ve read, commented on and shared our stories this year, and excited to continue the conversation in 2021. On behalf of Team Argyle, our wish is for a safe, healthy holiday season and a 2021 that brings new hope and optimism — as well as insight and inspiration.