Y&R PR chief executive officer Olga Fleming talks about the importance of community, empathy and committing to both words and actions in her discussion with Doug Simon on the latest installment of the “PR’s Top Pros Talk COVID” video interview series, a partnership with O’Dwyer’s.

In the interview, Fleming notes the influence of the recent controversies surrounding social justice issues as well as the effects the coronavirus crisis is having on the industry. “The pandemic really kind of lit a fire under everyone to showcase the discrepancies that are out there,” she tells Simon.

One of the best ways that companies can handle new social landscape is by focusing on the power of community. “Communities are so much stronger than a virus,” she says, “and they’re much stronger together than hatred.”

Fleming also says that companies need to put their employees first as they develop new strategies. Close behind, however, is the need to make sure that all of the communities they target in their messaging are getting the information they need.

She also discusses the particular challenges that healthcare communicators are contending with. While the threat posed by COVID-19 remains front and center, Fleming emphasizes that information about such health conditions as diabetes, cancer and heart disease is still in demand.

Making sure your communications come across as authentic is more important than ever, she says. And backing up your messages with concrete actions could make or break their success in a rapidly changing world.

All of the interviews in the “PR's Pros Talk COVID” series can be seen here.

Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]

D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.