Overwhelmed? Overloaded? Just plain “over” this situation? Yes, yes, and yes. The stress is taking its toll, and every loss is a real one. Leading mental health experts are reminding us that mourning our own losses – no matter the size or magnitude – doesn’t detract from someone else mourning theirs. It’s O.K. to feel sad or angry, or celebrate and laugh.

May is Mental Health Awareness month, and we’ve got some timely reminders on how to support your teams with good communications – and bolster your employee engagement while you’re at it. My own twin daughters are graduating from high school this month, and while we’re excited about the steps their school is taking to recognize the grads, there’s still a roller coaster of emotions about the traditional events they’ll miss too. Whether you need great communications advice, a fist pump about arguing with kids over pajamas (you’re not alone), or some heartwarming reminders of how people are helping each other, read on.
Kind regards,

Mimi Rasor, President

Kroger recently expanded its Dairy Rescue Program to help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program allows surplus milk to be donated to Feeding America foodbanks across the Midwest and South.

Findlay Market is also helping the community, providing $50 in free groceries to eight people each week through the end of May, thanks in part to a contribution from P&G. To learn more or to nominate someone, click here.

As students across the country face unusual graduation ceremonies this year, local schools and groups are finding unique ways to honor 2020 graduates . In Blue Ash, Montgomery and Sycamore Township, police, fire, and EMS crews created a video tribute featuring their hoses, ladder trucks and vehicles along with stadium lighting and a special scoreboard message.
Do you have a PR, marketing or communications-related question for our experts during this difficult time? We’ll answer them right here, anonymously. Dirk has been our steady office dog for ten years and is a great listener, but don’t worry, the advice is all human.
What do my employees need to hear right now?

Q : I know my employees are going through some stressful times right now. I’d like to let them know I’m here for them but am not sure what to communicate or how. Any thoughts?

Thoughtful leadership is critical right now. Prioritizing your employees by communicating thoughtfully and with empathy can help ensure that your company — and those who work for you — emerge on the other side stronger and more engaged than ever, which supports stronger morale, decreased turnover and better productivity. Here are some tips to help you craft a strategy that lets your employees know you are there to support them.

Be genuine and transparent in your communications. It is vital that official communications from your company build trust with your employees. Craft your communications with compassion and transparency – and communicate as early, and often as possible. Be forthcoming with new and changing policies and procedures, and always lead with how you are planning to keep your employees healthy and happy amid the changes.

Support their mental health. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If your company offers assistance with access to mental health support, be sure to let your employees know. Gather resources that are available and share them with your teams. Whether a hotline, website with credible information, or free webinar – it’s important to let your employees know you value their mental health.

Build genuine connections for lasting impacts. Encourage your managers and directors to connect with their teams and direct reports. It could be a formal one-on-one with appropriate social distancing or a fun virtual team engagement exercise. Allowing opportunities for connections to grow is a great way to let your employees know that we’re all in this together, and that they have support from their workplace.

Show gratitude and find innovative ways to celebrate the team. If you’ve been operating as an essential business, or if part of your workforce is on the front lines, consider sponsoring a thank you lunch for the team. Embrace the new normal with remote workers – host story time for employees with kids, invite people to join virtual workouts, celebrate new, furry coworkers, or host a virtual meditation or happy hour.

Listen. Find ways to collect honest feedback from your employees. Incorporate a brief survey in your next company update. Encourage managers to have dialogue with their teams. If you have an internal social network, check in on the conversations happening on the chat boards.
You may not have the resources to implement all these action items right away, but we hope that we’ve provided some inspiration for supporting your company’s workforce with good, strong communications.

Email your questions to , and we’ll publish an answer.
I’m arguing with the kids to get out of their PJs and hoping they don’t call me out for still being in the same clothes as yesterday.

The basics of good PR hold true for customer service communications as well. Be responsive, straightforward and honest – but infuse that communication with empathy and emotion . This is an emotional time for all of us, and communicating understanding and kindness can go a long way.

Maybe Pennywise has some ideas on how to end the pandemic?

We are here if you need marketing communications advice or support. We’ve put together specially-priced packages with flexible payment terms on media relations, social media and creative strategy , all services we consider to be critical right now. We’re in this with you. Contact to talk about this and any other help you need.
What happens when you mix fire and water? What about when you mix steam with air? On the desktop game Little Alchemy , you get to be the scientist. Mix up different elements to make new discoveries and have a little fun. (P.S., there's an app, too.)