Moving Beyond COVID-19: Defining Your Brand for the Next Decade

How is COVID-19 impacting organizations in the DMV and beyond? I explored that topic in a virtual interview I conducted with PR veteran Larry Parnell, strategic public relations program director at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management (GW GSPM). The joint PRSA-NCC/GW GSPM fireside chat covered a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from internal and external communications best practices to member communications and meetings and events and what lies ahead.

We kicked off our hour-long session by polling the 45 participants to get a sense of how the pandemic was affecting their organizations. Attendees included communicators from both large and small trade and professional associations, nonprofits, government agencies, academia, and corporations. Here’s what we asked, and here’s what they said.

Question #1: Has COVID-19 had a negative impact on your organization’s bottom line?

  • Yes, and I’m not sure we’ve going to survive – 0%
  • Yes, and we’ll need to make significant changes in how we operate to remain financially healthy – 64%
  • Not yet – 32%
  • No, we’re busier than ever – 4%

Question #2: Is your organization actively planning for how your business will operate post-COVID-19?

  • Yes – 70%
  • We’ve talked about it in concept only, but we’re struggling with what to do – 29%
  • No, we’re so busy putting out fires we don’t have time to focus on the future – 0%

We concluded our robust discussion with five key takeaways for how communicators and their organizations can move beyond COVID-19 and define their brand moving forward:

  1. Communications has never played a more critical or important role.
  2. External stakeholders and employee demand are forcing many organizations to reevaluate how they operate.
  3. How organizations respond today will continue to play out years from now.
  4. Communicators are central to brand reputation and need to serve as key strategic advisers, both internally and externally.
  5. Meetings and events will evolve as organizations determine the right balance between virtual and in-person.

To listen to our conversation, enter your name and email address and you will be given free access to the webinar:

If your organization needs assistance with communications, give us a call today at 301-787-2394 or email me at

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