The past few weeks have been a blur for all of us. Was it really less than a month ago we were all told to stay home? Could it be possible that I have not used Washington’s Metro subway since last month? Why is this monk-like existence beginning to feel customary?
My sense is that very soon even those executives from the C-suite will be searching for ways to stay productive. When things grind to a halt for weeks on end, there’s only so much demanding attention. Very soon, you may have only half the usual workload. So here are a few ideas for your consideration to help you remain useful.
Challenge: Keeping Busy with Forthcoming Book Research
First into the breach, I’m seeking out spokespeople skilled at responding to questions as I research my next book. They may field queries from reporters, members of Congress, or audiences during various types of presentations. You may even have observed them dealing with questions in the workplace. Who, in your mind, demonstrates the ability to respond exquisitely every time? I want to talk with them.
This lull opens up an ideal time for these interviews, so I urge to get in touch with me if you know of someone who qualifies.
Challenge: Keeping Non-profits Afloat
Worthwhile organizations still need sound advice on their communications and public affairs strategy, perhaps now more than ever. That’s why I’ve revised my pro bono scholarship guidelines for non-profit and charitable groups.
I’ve typically offered a 30- to 60-minute keynote as a pro bono contribution. However, the cancellation of in person meetings necessitates a change in tactics. As a result, I’ve instituted some video conferencing options such as an interactive session with top executives and spokespeople, or a mini-consultation with senior communications or government relations staff.
Non-profit and educational organizations wishing to apply for scholarships are invited to contact me for further details. I’ll send the guidelines that explain how to submit written scholarship requests.
Challenge: Keeping Executives’ Communications Skills Sharp
I’ve also created new virtual professional development solutions to help companies stay afloat during the coronavirus emergency.
The purpose of the new offerings is twofold. First, to keep communications skills sharp during these challenging times. Second, to prepare smart businesses for emergence from the crisis ready to hit the ground running faster than the competition.
The virtual programs are available in three formats:
- Fundamental Track: A one-time brush up
- Leadership Track: A 6-week fast track program
- Influencer Track: A 6-month sustained professional development program
Among the risks businesses face right now and weeks into the future — at a minimum — are the dwindling capabilities of C-suite and other spokespeople to keep their communications skills sharp. Their skills will erode with the passage of time and lack of normal practice activity. These programs provide a critical bridge.
The custom tailored consultations can cover communications strategy, media relations, public speaking, and advocacy.
Challenge: Rising Strong when the Crisis Subsides
I encourage you to take advantage of a free 30-minute video conference meeting to help determine how you might deal with current communications and advocacy emergencies while still keeping an eye on the future. My hope is this will help ease some of the frustration and fear all too prevalent today.
To sign up for your free 30-minute video session, visit https://calendly.com/edbarks.
The best part is you set the agenda. We can talk about how communications and government relations executives can deal with the current crisis environment, some ideas of what you can you do now in hopes of emerging stronger when matters return to normal, or how to ease your transition to working virtually from home (something I’ve been doing as an independent consultant for over 20 years). Or we can simply have a friendly chat over coffee. Choose your preferred time here.
I’m a realist. There is going to be a world once the crisis abates. I want to help us all envision that rainbow, distant as it may seem at the moment. I’m convinced these video conversations can act as a salve of sorts.
For a complete roundup of these emergency resources and more, visit https://www.barkscomm.com/coronaviruscrisis