Get back to basics when faced with dramatic change

One of the most difficult things I have experienced as a communications professional is working in a very, VERY uncertain environment.

When budgets are cut to the bone, it creates anxiety and uncertainty about how effective you feel you can be in your career. In my experience, even though my job was saved at the very last second, times have been tough to figure out just where I stand in the grand scheme of things.

It has been very difficult to figure out what our identity will be in the face of a direct assault on the job we are trying to do to protect residential utility consumers. I was optimistic that we could make lemonade out of our heaping pile of lemons but then my CEO jumped ship saying she could no longer in good conscience serve under the heinous conditions set up by the legislature and the governor, my optimism waned.

The hardest part of my CEO leaving has been the transition. The voice of the office has completely changed. It has been difficult to figure what the interim wants from the communications department. And this has affected my ability to do my job effectively.

Going back to my roots as a reporter and developing relationships feels like the best way to get back on track. By interviewing the interim CEO, I can get a better idea of his direction for the agency and how I can use his personality to my advantage with the media.

No matter the person who talks with the media, they have to be quotable. Reporters don’t want to, and can’t, use bland quotes as a part of their stories. Quotes from people are what give reporters’ writings personality and what helps give a company, agency, etcetera more rapport with the media. Being a go-to source also keeps you in the minds of reporters when an issue in your industry comes up.

Getting back to basics during times of dramatic change not only can get you and your communications department comfortable again with the goals you need to achieve but may be able to bring back that sense of normalcy you once had.


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