The new administration, the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and the continuing focus on diversity are the major areas clients will be negotiating in the coming year, Spectrum Science president Michelle Gross tells Doug Simon in the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview.

Gross says that communicators should encourage clients to “lean into the topics of interest that authentically tie to the news events that are happening.”

That’s especially true for the health care clients on which Spectrum focuses. “We work on many clients who are touching the COVID space, directly or indirectly,” she says, and for them keeping the latest events top of mind is essential.

But Gross also stresses that not all stakeholders are equally engaged with today’s headline topics. “We know that there are people who are looking for things to read that are not related to COVID,” she tells Simon.

To reach those people, communicators have to “really think about all those different types of publications that reach your audiences.”

They also have to adapt to the virtual world. Since many of Spectrum’s clients spend a large part of the year on the medical-conference circuit, the big job is to find a way to replace the in-person contacts from those events with digital substitute.

As regards diversity & inclusion, she says that Spectrum has realized that “we can no longer be in neutral, we really have to push things into drive,” so they have devised an action plan that includes putting together a Diversity Council and “bringing D&I to the forefront of the company.”

Communicators also have to be aware of another trend, Gross says: the increasingly savvy consumer. “Clearly,” she tells Simon, “our patient population is coming to those conversations much more informed.”

But perhaps the biggest job for 2021 is getting the message out about the COVID vaccine. “There’s going to be a lot of work that the media are going to need to do in terms of getting people comfortable taking the vaccine and understanding why it’s so important.”

View all of the interviews in the “PR's Top Pros Talk” series. Subscribe to get notified when new episodes are available.

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.