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With Flexibility, Empathy and Grit – We Made it Through

Par Carol Levine, Cofondatrice et chef de la direction

2020 is almost over, thank goodness. Incredible, unprecedented, unimaginable, challenging, these are some of the more polite words we’ve used to describe this year and what we’ve experienced. Early into the pandemic I wrote an OPED in the Montreal Gazette about the angst of being a small business owner and my frustration with the federal government and their lack of support. Oh, how they could have done things better on so many levels.

But you can’t survive in business for thirty years as energi PR has without learning to make lemonade (which I’ve heard goes quite well with vodka). Unlike other periods of financial downturn, the global pandemic came with enormous social, emotional, and psychological consequences. Isolation, loss of enjoyment, uncertainty and fear have affected our colleagues and friends. Often it was hard to detect but we all knew people that were suffering. This was not something to be minimized and if ever there was a time for flexibility and empathy, it was this year. We hope and pray that we were good listeners and good doers to make life and work better, safer, and secure.

It was important to acknowledge what we are grateful for, and when you come down to it, there was a lot. This was called out on our innumerable Zoom calls. Aside from being grateful for good health and family, having a roof over our head and food on the table, it seemed that we were also very grateful for having each other. Knowing we are a team, there to collaborate and support and care and help.

With all that this year has brought, we not only made it through but can count incredible accomplishments which prove that sometimes all it takes is resilience, a great attitude and energi.

What did we learn in 2020?

  • Many clients relied on us more than ever to manage an overwhelming need for communications with stakeholders and shareholders.
  • You CAN successfully launch a major pharmaceutical brand during a pandemic, and we were proud to provide strategy, materials and media relations.
  • The travel industry was hit hard by COVID-19. Our client Lufthansa did not take for granted that having us as a loyal partner meant being by their side in good times and bad.
  • Influencers and social media were especially critical when in person events are side-lined and sponsorships go virtual.
  • Zoom brought us much closer to our clients than ever. Yes, we all had computer fatigue, but video replaced phone calls and allowed us to always spend a few minutes to commiserate and connect.
  • WFH was sometimes grueling. Work and life bled into each other. Hours were longer and responsiveness seemed faster. Some days were not easy, but we survived.
  • No one missed putting on pantyhose, heels, or perfect makeup and some of us worry that stretchy pants might become addictive.
  • Technology can be a blessing and a curse.

Finally, I am thankful that although my internet connection was often described as unstable– I had the utmost confidence that I am not. We have all learned a lot, but there is still a long way to go to before we emerge from this pandemic. Wishing you and those surrounding you, a warm, wonderful, peaceful holiday. Please celebrate safely so we can do even greater things in 2021.