FleishmanHillard Launches New Recovery and Resurgence Practice to Provide Expert Counsel on Communications Efforts for Rebuilding Post-pandemic
ST. LOUIS, April 3, 2020 – FleishmanHillard announced the organization of a new cross-functional global practice to provide communication expertise to organizations as they plan for a return to operations, adapt to a dramatically shifting business and social environment, and ultimately accelerate their journey to future growth.
Every discipline of every business – employee relations, operations, customer service, marketing, finance, government affairs and more – will have to communicate across a spectrum of audiences to demonstrate a foundation for recovery and describe progress and plans for the organization’s future. Each organization will have to be accountable for the ways they acted on their values to respond during the hardest moments of the pandemic and will need to stimulate confidence in a clear path forward that is consistent with their business mission and promised purpose. Strong relationships, meaningful actions, credible resources and clear communications will be the necessary tools for resurgence.
“Recovery is going to be a process, not an event, and not a linear process in most places,” said FleishmanHillard senior partner Peter Verrengia, who will lead the firm’s efforts. “The most successful organizations will not stop at planning to rebuild. They will focus on resurgence in an environment that is going to look very different across industries and geographies during the remainder of this year and into 2022. The definition of success cannot be a return to normal. We have left business as usual behind and that cannot be a future goal. Organizations need to move from today’s ‘business as possible’ to the strongest possible recovery in the context of the reality we find at the end of the pandemic curve.
“All successful crisis recoveries share one characteristic. The seeds of recovery start at the earliest stages of crisis response. Despite the size of this crisis, and the severe pressures that so many organizations are confronting today, leaders need to allocate a percentage of effort now to look ahead to multiple recovery and resurgence scenarios. Among other factors, their teams need to anticipate how they will manage relationships and communicate differently in an economic environment shaped by new expectations from consumers, employees, shareholders and many other business stakeholders.”
FleishmanHillard’s Recovery and Resurgence Practice will bring together the firm’s experts to provide brand and reputation counsel, and share scenario planning and best practices across disciplines, industry sectors and geographies. The firm will draw on its experience managing complex crisis response and recovery, large-scale communications and organizational transformation initiatives, highly responsive stakeholder relations programs for both global and local clients in markets around the world. To efficiently deliver support for each client’s unique path and pace through the recovery/resurgence cycle, the practice team will partner with FleishmanHillard client service teams that have deep knowledge of individual client situations, geographies and opportunities.
Smart organizations are already learning from the lessons of recent weeks. There are a handful of immediate questions organizations must address to build a new operating system for success in an uncertain future.
- How do we know the crisis is over? How will we know how to communicate and conduct ourselves in a post-pandemic environment?
- What does recovery and resurgence even mean for my organization? And what is the outcome we should expect? How can we set goals that are believable but also achievable, and take us to an even stronger position than we had?
- How will we know where we stand and how our stakeholders view our performance and behavior at each stage of response, return, recovery and resurgence?
- How can we bring our purpose or values to bear in this new environment?
- Which of our current plans are still valid, and which need to be rethought?
- How do we protect, or even enhance, our brand and reputation right now?
- Are our current models and ways of working still valid, or do we need to rethink them?
- Who needs our help and how can we provide it?
“In some locations, we’re already entering the transitional period,” Verrengia said. “In other places we are preparing for the peak of pandemic impact. Everywhere, people in every role and in every relationship are thinking about today, and the future. As the world steadies itself, organizations need to use this time productively to redefine their values, the value they create, and their purpose in the world, to protect and advance their business for the long term.”
FleishmanHillard specializes in public relations, reputation management, public affairs, brand marketing, digital strategy, social engagement and content strategy. FleishmanHillard was named 2019 PRWeek U.S. Outstanding Large Agency; 2019 Holmes Report North America Large Agency of the Year; ICCO Network of the Year – Americas 2017-2019; Agency of the Year at the 2017 and 2018 North American Excellence Awards; 2018 Large Consultancy of the Year by PRWeek UK; PR News’ Best Places to Work in PR 2016-2018; Human Rights Campaign Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality 2018-2020; PR Awards Asia 2017 Greater China Agency of the Year; and NAFE’s “Top Companies for Executive Women” 2010-2020. The firm’s award-winning work is widely heralded, including at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity. FleishmanHillard is part of Omnicom Public Relations Group, and has 80 offices in 30 countries, plus affiliates in 45 countries.
About Omnicom Public Relations Group
Omnicom Public Relations Group is a global collective of three of the top global public relations agencies worldwide and specialist agencies in areas including public affairs, marketing to women, global health strategy and corporate social responsibility. It encompasses more than 6,300 public relations professionals in more than 370 offices worldwide who provide their expertise to companies, government agencies, NGOs and nonprofits across a wide range of industries. Omnicom Public Relations Group delivers for clients through a relentless focus on talent, continuous pursuit of innovation and a culture steeped in collaboration. Omnicom Public Relations Group is part of the DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) that includes more than 200 companies in a wide range of marketing disciplines including advertising, public relations, healthcare, customer relationship management, events, promotional marketing, branding and research.