The world is full of inspiring stories about the innovative ways businesses and people are supporting each other right now. Stories like the anonymous person who ordered 100 dinners from Melba’s Restaurant in Harlem to be delivered to staffers at Mt. Sinai Hospital. And stories right here in our own backyard, like a manufacturer in the City of Mason that has re-tooled to support Dow Chemical’s manufacturing of hand sanitizer. With new challenges facing us every day, we’re all having to find creative ways to do everything from getting groceries to teaching our children to connecting with customers. I hope you’re getting the support you need. Stay well. We miss seeing you in person.
Kind regards,

Mimi Rasor, President

We’re asking our clients some thought-provoking questions to get their insights into how they’re navigating right now. This week, we talk to Ken Black, CEO of Advertising Vehicles and Adsposure , the premier vehicle and transit graphics providers for companies both small and large across the United States.

What’s keeping you sane right now?
We are trying to stay with the same routine we had prior to the outbreak. Making sure we have family time with the kids which may involve a game, movie, or bike ride. Daily exercise is must for all us. Working a normal schedule or at least as much as can be expected during this situation. And lastly hitting that stash of wine and bourbon does not hurt.

What message are you giving customers (and/or employees)? 
I think the one constant theme from all our people is just being empathetic. Showing that we care from employee to employee or as we reach out to our clients. Everyone is shellshocked. No one has ever seen this type of thing before. So, the message is we are all in it together, how can we help and ultimately, we are here for you in any way we possibly can be.

What’s the most important thing you want people to know about your company right now? 
If this last month has taught us anything, it is that communication is crucial. Typically, when slowdowns in the economy occur advertising gets paused. But should it? Right now, more than ever people need to be communicating with employees, customers, prospects, and vendors more than before. From fleet graphics on company vehicles to the bus billboards that are running around our markets – now is the time to be seen. Craft a message that unites your business with the commonality we all share from this experience.
J ake Stremmel , our colleague and client with HDR, is also the director of a small, volunteer-run foodbank in Kenton County that works closely with the Freestore Foodbank to provide for those in need. Watch his interview with Trisha Raynor of the Freestore about how they continue to serve the public while keeping both volunteers and the public safe.

LaRosa’s Pizza is among the many restaurants working hard to make it possible to safely get carry-out and delivery meals right now. We sent their pizza to the 100-member team of our client, HealthPoint , as they deliver crucial COVID-19 testing and urgent health and dental care to their patients.
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.
Is it O.K. to talk about anything other than coronavirus right now?

Q: We had been planning a critical new product launch this May. We are continuing to operate, practicing social distancing guidelines, and need to move forward with this much-needed product for our customers. Is it O.K. to talk about something besides the coronavirus without seeming out-of-touch?

A: Your feelings are certainly understandable, and you’re not alone in thinking them. Spend a little time on social media, and you’ll see plenty of coronavirus-related conversations, but also lots of just everyday living too. There’s something comforting in the knowledge that in the background of this crisis, there are both good and ordinary things happening.

Yes, you can certainly talk about something other than coronavirus. Keeping everything in perspective of the hardship someone else is experiencing is key, of course, just so you don’t seem tone deaf or callous.
Your well-crafted message about your new product can certainly garner attention, especially if you have connections to the right media staff. Start with a strong press release and be sure to research reporters who cover your industry for personalized pitching. Good luck!

Email your questions to , and we’ll publish an answer.
If business is slower than usual for you, it can be a perfect time to evaluate your messaging, collateral and digital presence. Take a look at what you’re saying, how you’re saying it, to whom, and where. Are you speaking with one, clear voice? Do your communications tactics connect you with the right people? Take action now to be ready to ramp up quickly once the crisis is over.
The National Parks Service is crushing it on social media. If you aren’t following them, we’ll wait right here while you do. They’re always informative, beautiful and really clever. This post on wildlife safety from Yellowstone National Park caught our eye . It’s funny, tells a story and avoids being preachy.

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.
Is there anything more comforting than fresh pasta? How about sweet, Italian grandmothers who want to teach you how to make it? Check out the Pasta Grannies!