What will brand behavior look like post-pandemic? That’s one of the topics that H+K Strategies executive vice president Avra Lorrimer talks about with Doug Simon on the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview.

“As we are ready to emerge from the pandemic, I think there's huge opportunity for brands,” Lorrimer says. “For brands to be helpful, for brands to be thoughtful and help people in terms of what they might have been missing out on over the past year and a half.”

She says that many brands excelled at being helpful—at many levels—over the course of the pandemic. “So many businesses and brands actually diverted their production lines and started creating PPE”—what Lorrison calls “helpful with a capital H.” But those who were “helpful with a little ‘h’” were important, too—supporting “people who might have been impacted in a negative way, industries that were suffering.”

Communicators can also help by offering a little lightness in their messaging. “People are ready to smile, people are ready to laugh, and brands can take advantage of that.”

However, she cautions that “humor can go so, so wrong… Make sure that the humor is based on something which is universally true and an experience we all share, but it is being delivered in a way which is relevant and resonant to the culture in which you operate.”

Lorrimer also says that transparency is more important than ever, across all aspects of a brand. “People know about your supply chain. They know and care about how you treat your employees. And they think about the products that you produce and how they live in the world even after they sell them to you. So, there's absolutely nowhere to hide.”

She stresses the role that listening continues to play in the client-agency relationship. “Every time I interact with a client, and I bring forth a perspective, I am doing that after a considerable amount of listening.”

Having faith in your ideas is also a communications must-have, she says. “If you want to be listened to, make sure you're able to thoughtfully use data, using perspective, using your experience, defend and fight for that position.”

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

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