PR’s Top Pros Talk…Internal Communications – Linda Dunbar



Linda Dunbar, Communications Executive & Founder of Diversity Decoder, spoke with our host and CEO of D S Simon Media, Doug Simon, about changes in internal communications as a result of COVID and social justice issues. It is more important than ever to continually check in and communicate with employees as we’ve moved towards a remote work environment.

Linda also discusses the information gap in communications when it comes to having difficult conversations about diversity in the workplace. Linda is optimistic that we are going to see more businesses actively pursuing and supporting diversity inclusion.

PR’s Top Pros Talk…COVID – Michael Schoenfeld



Michael Schoenfeld is the VP for Public Affairs & Government Relations and CCO at Duke University. In this conversation with host and D S SImon Media CEO, Doug Simon, Michael shares best practices for communicating a university action plan regarding COVID to multiple stakeholders in times of uncertainty and avoiding a “blame the student” mindset.

Michael emphasizes the importance of frequently conveying the need for flexibility and the need for resilience. He also discusses how colleges that may lack resources and funding of a top research university with a medical center can manage the ongoing crisis.

PR’s Top Pros Talk…Leadership – Liz Kaplow

Liz Kaplow is the Founder & CEO of Kaplow Communications. She shared with the host and CEO of D S Simon Media, Doug Simon, tips on effective leadership during these challenging times. Liz emphasizes the increased importance of human leadership and the increased link to external and internal communications. She also tells us how to maintain a consistent mindset in this time of uncertainty and volatility.

Liz is optimistic about the future of PR and its role in telling great brand stories. She notes “Those connections with executives from the brands we represent are more important than ever. Their stories are more important than ever…I do believe that what we do and our contributions will make a huge difference as we move into the future.”

PR’s Top Pros Talk…COVID – Kym White



Kym White, SVP & Chief Communications Officer at CVS Health, discusses the challenges of integrating communications for multiple businesses under one cohesive brand. Kym also shares with us her experience of taking on a new leadership role amid the ongoing pandemic.

Having been on both the agency side at Edelman and now the client side at CVS Health, Kym gives tips on building successful relationships between the two.

PR’s Top Pros Talk…COVID & Social Justice – Lin-Hua Wu



With a company like Dropbox, there is a unique challenge of making sure its brand resonates with both businesses as well as individual consumers. The company’s Chief Communications Officer, Lin-Hua Wu, breaks down how to navigate this task, especially with the lines between home and work being so blurred during these strange times.

With the current remote work environment, there is also a new challenge of balancing positive stories about the brand with what’s going on externally. Lin-Hua emphasizes the increased need to be tone appropriate and use empathy when dealing with these issues.

PR’s Top Pros Talk…COVID & Social Justice – Damon Jones



Damon Jones gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the communications strategy at the company as the COVID pandemic unfolded. He discusses the film “The Choice” which Procter & Gamble created as a way to help people have the necessary and often uncomfortable conversations about race.

Damon is the first person of color to ever be ranked #1 on PRWeek’s Power List. He addresses some of the different things a person of color might need to do to achieve the level of success that he’s had.

PR’s Top Pros Talk…Social Justice – Rosemary Ostmann



We live in a time of multiple, evolving crises. It’s different from other crises that we’ve faced in my career, says Rosemary Ostmann, President & CEO at RoseComm. Generally, when tragedy strikes, we scramble to understand what happened and then and we begin to recover.

The most important thing for communicators to do now is to listen to what’s going on around them and be responsive as the situation changes. With so much confusion and potential for misinformation, all brands have a role to play in educating their stakeholders and helping the public navigate through these challenging times. This is especially important for organizations in the health and education fields where she spends much of her time.

PR’s Top Pros Talk…COVID – Ray Day



The most successful organizations will be those that spend most of their time focused on the future, says Ray Day, Vice Chair at the Stagwell Group. COVID digitally transformed and disrupted the world of communications and forced everyone to learn new ways to prosper in the digital era. Ray emphasizes the importance of implementing digital as a strategy not a tactic.

The role of communicators has never been bigger. Organization leaders need to strive for end to end digital transformation in order to thrive in the new normal. Ray urges communications professionals to embrace the mindset that new technologies will help them do their jobs more effectively and effectively, not make their jobs obsolete. A future mindset is the best thing that communicators can bring to their organizations or their clients today.

PR’s Top Pros Talk…COVID – Johna Burke



Organizations need to be using data driven measurement and evaluation in their program every day, says Global Managing Director at AMEC, Johna Burke. Companies that don’t are getting further and further behind.

By leveraging data, organizations can make much smarter and effective decisions when it comes to making cuts and reallocating resources. Johna stresses the importance of evaluating tonality and sentiment among other factors that drive communications strategy. It is important to continually understand and reevaluate priorities on a day to day basis and make changes to your messaging accordingly.

PR’s Top Pros Talk…COVID – Craig Minassian



Nonprofits can help address the COVID19 crisis and advance the social and racial justice movements happening today by taking an additive, supportive, and collaborative approach to communications, says Craig Minassian, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer at the Clinton Foundation. This includes sharing stories and content that help foster a better understanding of the issues and needs, fact-based information and resources, and working together with other organizations to develop and amplify purpose-driven campaigns.

 

The economic uncertainty and scaling back of philanthropic support caused by the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the marketing budgets of many nonprofits. This puts a premium on PR and earned media efforts that help journalists discover stories and ideas to inform broader narratives and bring different human dimensions to the issues.