Internal, Executive, and Crisis Comms Matter Now More Than Ever

Posted on May 27, 2020

By Steve Eisenstadt

COVID-19 has showed, in the most dramatic fashion imaginable, that the world is a very unpredictable place. But the pandemic really is more a stunning reminder of that truth than a fresh revelation. In the digital age, rapid technological and societal change already was a given. That’s why adaptability is such an important trait, along with determination, vision, and high risk tolerance, in the people who start and run tech companies.

Their PR agency partners need to be cut from that same elastic cloth. Clients have many different needs these days and we must always be ready to swim outside our usual lanes and turn on a dime.

That’s why Offleash feels it’s important to offer not only the kinds of services you’d expect from a Silicon Valley-based agency – a wide range of media and analyst relations and content, research, and social media services – but also employee, executive, and crisis communications.

Clients increasingly count on us for help in these areas during some of the most pressure-packed moments of their companies’ history. A case in point:

Earlier this year, one of our clients was preparing to announce a large funding round. As its PR partner, Offleash strategized with company leaders on messaging and positioning and drove the media relations effort that resulted in nearly 50 pieces of coverage.

However, the company also turned to Offleash for another component of the announcement, one that would normally be handled in-house: the CEO’s personal communications to employees, customers, and partners.

With little notice and on a tight deadline, Offleash’s content team – staffed by former journalists and veteran PR pros – drafted the CEO’s email that would mark the first time the company’s employees around the world would hear details of the announcement. And we did the same for separate emails to customers and business partners.

Companies are usually reluctant to hand over such sensitive communications to an outside firm, but this client trusted that Offleash’s writing skills and deep understanding of its business would produce the right quality and tone.

We were able to take an important activity off the executive and communications teams’ plates at an extraordinarily busy and important time.

The experience proves two points.

First, that it always bears remembering that the “public” in “public relations” can encompass any key audience, even internal ones, that an organization wants to reach.

Second, that while we hope clients always rely on us for more traditional services, they also can find value in so many other ways. 

For example, Offleash’s senior team members have experience advising large companies and startups in crisis communications, including cybersecurity issues, product problems, and personnel matters.

This capability proved valuable, for example, when a client recently asked us to strategize on and prepare messaging documents around a layoff.

At the heart of our expanded communications services mission: making life a little easier for clients in a world that never stops throwing surprises.