Reflecting on 30 Years of Changes and Constants in Public Relations
By Grete Lavrenz, General Manager, Carmichael Lynch Relate
By any measure, turning the “big 3-0” is a milestone in our culture. Whether as a person or a business, it’s a time for reflection. In 2020, that seems even more relevant. Many of us are spending more time at home than we have in decades. Our thoughts run the gamut from what new color to paint the walls (my choice was SW 6435 Gratifying Green) to how to stay active without our regularly organized activities.
As professionals, we’ve adapted to the largest work-from-home experiment ever conducted, and by all accounts, we did it with a great deal of aplomb. The global pandemic, economic downturn, calls for racial justice and equity, and a contentious presidential election have required many unexpected pivots for ourselves and our clients. As a leader in the agency, I can’t help but reflect that right now is one of the most interesting eras to be in the PR profession. At the same time, I believe that so much of the strategy and implementation of today’s work still reflects what the industry has been doing right for the past three decades.
- Purpose. The means of communications may have changed with an influx of new platforms introduced over the past few decades, but what target consumers want to hear about has been a constant. It’s articulating the “why” of the brand that comes from the heart and soul of the business. It’s about demonstrating how the client addresses our needs as human beings and how they do good in the world. Now is the time for companies to feel even more grounded in their values and have a point of view on the changing world and how they fit into it.
- Preparation. The constant change of this year has felt extreme and exhausting, yet being prepared for and managing issues always has been the role for public relations professionals. And we are applying the same strategies for preparedness and clear messaging that we’ve been using for years.
- Personal relationships. Carmichael Lynch Relate builds relationships between people and brands. We’ve done this for 30 years on behalf of hundreds of different clients. It was clear that in 2020 as we transitioned from public relations counselors to business counselors – and sometimes personal counselors for clients – our relationships were even more vital.
Three decades later, we continue to be thankful for the people who built our agency in the past, the people who continue to keep us relentlessly growing, and mostly our amazing clients. Thirty years of smart strategy, learning and trying new things have helped us go into the challenges of 2020 from a position of strength, and we continue to have a driving spirit of continued relevance and results.
To give our anniversary the presence it deserves, we developed digital and social content each day for 30 days in a row dedicated to celebrating our people, our work and our creativity.