The UK’s Public Relations Consulting Association (PRCA) recently invited Argyle CEO Daniel Tisch to join other PR industry leaders from around the world in providing 250 words of advice on How to Recover Fast from the Pandemic. Here is his perspective. The final project will be available this fall at https://www.prca.org.uk.
Just as crises bring out the best and worst in people, they bring out the best and worst in organizations. The foolish go into hiding, saying little and deferring communications plans. The farsighted lean in – seizing the opportunity to demonstrate values and deliver value.
The months ahead will upend the competitive landscape in many sectors. To use a basketball analogy, some have called this a “jump ball” moment – when the game has paused and each competitor has an opportunity to grab the advantage, even if they weren’t the market leader before.
How can leaders seize this moment? Here are three ideas.
First, they must create cultures that foster empathy and structures that enable agility. Empathy helps them understand how the pandemic has shifted attitudes and behaviours of customers, employees and stakeholders; agility helps them respond creatively – before their competitors do. This will not just lead to better communication; it will lead to more relevant and innovative products and services.
Second, leaders must realize that now, more than ever, the experience of their employees will drive their corporate reputation. Did the organization put its people first during the pandemic? Did it communicate transparently? Did it engage them creatively in addressing business challenges –enabling communication to drive innovation?
Third, leaders must examine the context in which they operate: the broader social environment. They will consider how their organizations anticipate and respond to the “big four” conversations in society today: public health; economic recovery; racial justice; and climate change. On these topics, silence isn’t golden. Communication matters, and action matters even more.
A final thought: These conversations – and these imperatives – are interconnected. The leaders who understand this will recover quickest today – and likely prosper most tomorrow.
Interested in continuing the conversation? Contact us at [email protected] to learn more about how you can move from response to recovery.