PR’s Top Pros Talk…Tips for 2021 – Glen Jackson
Glen Jackson, Co-Founder, Jackson Spalding
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About the Host:
Host: DOUG SIMON
Guest: GLEN JACKSON
DOUG: Glen, can you start us off with your most important recommendation for PR people moving into 2021?
GLEN: Thanks Doug, thanks for having me. I think it’s actually a threefold answer. One is focus on your values, never forget the importance of your values and how those values have helped guide your organization throughout those years. Two is – remember your priorities, which is your people and your clients. Take care of both really well. And then three is – stay committed to excellence in an uncompromising and unmatched fashion.
DOUG: Obviously, with 25 years of great success and representing clients from all ends of the spectrum, some who’ve been able to soldier through OK during a pandemic, others who’ve been severely affected, how are you taking that advice and having it affect your own people, your own internal operations?
GLEN: That’s a really good question Doug. With our teams, we have realized that we can’t overdo it on the communications front. So, we are extremely committed every day to staying in touch with our people and calling them and setting up times to see them. I just went out over the weekend and actually dropped a thank you note to a number of our team members in person with face covering on to just tell them how much I appreciate them. So those kinds of things make such a difference right now. We’re also in the process of rolling out our 2025 vision as an agency. And we’re very excited about this vision, which focuses on our agency, Jackson Spalding being fiercely creative, fiercely strategic and fiercely independent as an organization. So, we use this time during the pandemic to tighten the screws of that vision and really get ready to roll out. So, those are a few and also, of course, having a lot of wonderful conversations about racial justice.
DOUG: And part of that with what you’re doing, that’s also going to involve having some clients change their strategies going forward and communicators using new tools. What are some new approaches, maybe communicators both at agencies and inside organizations need to be thinking making top of mind for 2021?
GLEN: Well obviously, the digital emphasis is going to continue to grow in our industry, so that that’s just going to accelerate. Our work environment, this this hybrid work environment down the road, folks working from home eventually come into our office, need to get ready for that, embrace that. I think one thing that won’t changes is really what I think is the true definition of public relations. And for me, it’s about communicating with clarity and integrity to the critical audiences you want to positively impact over time. And helping our clients and companies do that is going to remain the same. And there are three words that end in the letter Y that I believe will continue to be extremely important at 2021. And that’s empathy, transparency and clarity. And when organizations can reflect empathy and continue to do that with their people, be transparent with them and their clients and all their audiences and also be clear, that’s going to be extremely important in 2021 as we move forward.
DOUG: And I might even take that as a math equation where the sum of those pieces is authenticity, which is so much more important to organizations and brands. And to your point, as tools change, it’s still so important to be communicating with those key audiences. What are some of the things that you expect brands might be doing differently in 2021 at a time with so much change going into 2020, no one would have predicted what would have happened? But now we’re entering 2021 at this time of tremendous change.
GLEN: It’ll be interesting to see what happens there. I think the best organizations are really planning on that right now, what are they going to do differently in 2021 and also take the lessons of 2020 with them. So, it’s a big question, I’m not sure exactly what the answer is, it’s probably per company what you want to do differently, but leveraging technology, continuing to upgrade your technology and innovate in that area, I think, will be something we’ll see more of in 2021.
DOUG: Great. Well, thanks so much for sharing your insights and thoughts, I know they’ll be beneficial to the people who watch them. Congratulations on your continued success and stay safe and healthy and back to your team as well in 2021. Thanks for helping us out.
GLEN: Thanks so much. Appreciate it.