Empathy and innovation will go a long way toward ensuring success for PR pros in the coming year, Ruder Finn CEO Kathy Bloomgarden tells Doug Simon in the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview.

Those principles are all the more important in an economy characterized by constant change. “Markets around us are shifting,” she says, and those shifts demand “a strong team that’s going to really see your way through lots of difficulties.”

One key to building a strong team is paying close attention to a company’s internal culture. “When you’re working remotely,” Bloomgarden says, “you have to work hard to maintain culture, to remain connected together, to be able to really be a team.”

Ruder Finn has employed such strategies as weekly town hall meetings to keep its internal culture strong, she tells Simon.

That focus on culture is just one part of what Bloomgarden says is a big increase in the amount of internal communications overall. “Leaders and CEOs know that they have to inspire their employees.”

But inspiration has to work hand-in-hand with innovation to be successful. Bloomgarden stresses the importance of staying ahead of the technological curve. “Our tech lab is constantly giving us new ideas, new ways to experiment,” she says.

She also notes those new ideas are being put to the test in a marketplace where the whole nature of competition has been transformed. “We’re no longer competing against our competitors,” she says. “We’re competing against how the markets are changing.”

Overall, the experiences of the past year may pay dividends in the coming year, Bloomgarden says. “I think there are glimmers of great things that can come out of the experiences of the past months. If we can innovate, if we can be truly empathetic and caring with each other, the I think we can actually emerge stronger.”

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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.