By Iris Wilbur-Glick and Christine Tarquinio
COVID-19 has required those working in marketing and communications to rethink how their companies engage with patients, customers and investors. We spoke with Iris Wilbur-Glick and Christine Tarquinio at Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) to see how they are adapting.
Medical News: How did GLI adapt at the beginning of pandemic to communicate with members?
GLI: As the community’s largest convener of businesses, GLI knew we had a duty to serve the businesses in our community and arm them with the resources they need to navigate the pandemic. We immediately began collecting the most important information and bringing it to our investors daily. With questions pouring in, we continued to provide daily briefings and developed a Crisis Support Hub (crisissupporthub.org). This site provided a singular resource for FAQs, the latest news, PPE resources and more, helping to keep our investors and community informed and engaged.
Finally, moving all of our in-person events to virtual events provided us the opportunity to expand our offerings and connect our investors with the resources and information they needed so they could remain focused on their own businesses, not the pandemic.
MN: Has that communication changed now that we are five months in?
GLI: While the frequency of our COVID-19 communications has reduced, we still regularly provide our investors with important information on changing state regulations, unemployment insurance, federal and state funding, PPE resources and much more. The pandemic has been a bit of a moving target, so there is always something new that our investors need to know.
MN: What topics did members most want to hear about?
GLI: Initially many of the questions revolved around the federal regulations related to the CARES Act, as well as unemployment insurance, workforce needs, executive orders issued and resources available for employers and employees. Once re-opening began, our investors also needed information on and access to PPE, and to this day we continue to be a trusted resource for all things COVID-19.
MN: How are you facilitating interactions between members?
GLI: Because we are a convener, we continue to do the work we are here to do – accelerating regional business growth. Whether it is connecting employers to a needed or changing workforce, making sure resources are available to employers, facilitating strategic introductions among companies or advocating for our businesses at the state and federal level, we have not stopped working to support our investors and providing them value.
MN: What virtual events are offered and how are you promoting them?
GLI: Since COVID-19 began, we quickly pivoted to a virtual event environment, primarily focused on COVID-19 resources for businesses. These virtual events have included everything from business loan and grant opportunities, childcare concerns and remote working.
We are extremely proud of a new series that we launched called Caffeine & Quarantine, which has provided our investors an opportunity to make connections with one another, share services and generally get to know one another. Our marketing team has fully embraced this new virtual world, promoting our events and content daily via our social media platforms, our web site and our communications. We are excited that our investors and non-investors have attended and found these to be valuable resources during this time.
We also have events around Small Business Grant Relief, a Diverse Business Investor Roundtable, an event highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on manufacturing, and many more, as our investors tell us what they need help with. We also just launched the Business Council to End Racism, which is an exciting new chapter for GLI and our community.
-Iris Wilbur-Glick is vice president of Public Policy & External Affairs and Christine Tarquinio is director of Marketing & Brand Services at Greater Louisville Inc.