“Your values are the best tool in your toolbox as a communicator in 2021,” Hunter CEO and partner Grace Leong tells Doug Simon in the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview.

She stresses that “those values have to be true,” a genuine, authentic take on where a company stands. But authenticity all on its own does not guarantee that you’ll connect with the audiences at which your communications are aimed.

“You can’t come up with values just to fit the current climate,” Leong says. However, brands can craft those values in a way that gives them the broadest reach possible. “When you think about creating values,” she tells Simon, “it’s about creating broad enough values that they can fit in any circumstance.”

Leong also talks about how the lack of interpersonal contact in the workplace has rewritten a lot of the communications rules. However, she adds that the brave new world of communicating has made the core tenets of communications—“frequent, clear, transparent, often”—more important than ever.

“Just because you’re staring at a screen, or you don’t have a telephone, or you don’t have a fact-to-face meeting, you still have to figure out how to manifest those principles of good communication,” she says.

And sometimes, she adds, nothing stands out like an old standby. “Letter writing, phone calls, those go a long way in a time when we’re so exhausted by technology.”

The best way to connect with clients or colleagues over the next year, Leong says, is to keep a clear focus on the humanity of all stakeholders, and to make sure that everyone feel safe and secure. “Whether we’re talking about people who work for a plant, work for a food company, work in a marketing department, or the CEO, everyone needs to feel that,” she tells Simon.

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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.