The secret to maintaining a company’s culture even when its team is working from many locations is the subject of the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview with J Public Relations president Ali Lundberg.

“I think a huge intentional focus for us over the past year was just trying to find ways to bring the agency together,” Lundberg tells Doug Simon.

Technology, of course, has been key to keeping PR teams in touch and on the same page. “Thank you to Zoom, and the amazing technology platforms that really showed up for us, and I think for everyone this past year,” she says. Through virtual team bonding activities and the celebration of staff achievements and life milestones, the agency was able to get though the crisis as a unified group.

The usefulness of such activities will stay relevant even after COVID, she says. As an agency that is used to working both across the country and “across the pond,” J Public Relations welcomes solutions that bring down “those barriers for us of trying to get together.”

Getting rid of those barriers has also opened the door to bringing in outside experts to share their knowledge with the agency’s staff. “I think we always try to look within and celebrate one another's passion points and strengths,” she tells Simon, “but sometimes we need to look from the outside too and really figure out what's going to strengthen our team the most.”

Lundberg also looks ahead to what consumers will be expecting in the post-COVID marketplace. “It's just incredibly important to make travelers feel comfortable,” she says. To do that, she adds, companies need to get out the message so that travelers “understand your new policies and procedures.”

She sees another big summer for “the great American road trip,” but also tells Simon that the pent-up demand for travel means “the bucket list is back,” with travelers wanting to “make sure that their first trip back is one for the record books.”

Lundberg winds up the talk with some advice from which firms in any market sector can benefit. “I would just encourage other agency leaders to color outside the lines. Your team will show up for you in ways that you might not have expected before… My best advice is to empower them and just be open to things being done in a different way and encourage innovation always.”

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.