Video tools have been the biggest change for many during remote work in 2020. That might mean Zoom, or a host of other competitors which can be used to run a virtual meeting.
However, there are other productivity tools that are getting rave reviews, including Microsoft Teams. That’s the MVP for Meredith Klein, director for PR and brand engagement at Brunner.
We caught up with her for our most recent entry in our “Day in the Life” series. Here’s what she has to say about the future of PR, what’s worked during WFH, and more:
1. How much coffee do you drink during a day?
Klein: One grande, seasonally appropriate Starbucks each morning. In the warm months, my go-to is a cold brew and in the cool months it’s an extra hot Cinnamon Dolce Latte.
2. Who is the most important person you talk to every day?
Klein: My dad. He was my first and remains my most important mentor providing sound professional advice, a dose of laughter and serenity in the midst of the uncertainty we’ve all faced in 2020.
3 . How much of your day is spent on Zoom calls?
Klein: More than I’d like to admit. But with everyone working remotely—including clients and colleagues—we’re communicating and collaborating in a new way I think will positively impact how we work when we’re able to (safely!) come back to the office.
4. What’s a tool you couldn’t live without right now?
Klein: Microsoft Teams has changed the game. Being able to tackle everything from video sessions to conference calls, Team channels and chats in a single platform has consolidated communications channels and strengthened our ability to execute for clients.
5. What’s been the biggest change you’ve faced since the pandemic started?
Klein: The biggest change has been being separated from friends, family and colleagues. I thrive off of the energy and connection with those around me so being apart from so long has been a huge 180.
6. Are you still working from home? If so, what’s been your favorite part of WFH?
Klein: Brunner has empowered its people to work remotely since March and continues to do so. I’m grateful to be supported in my choice to work from home and love how much it’s reinvigorated my work/life balance. Cutting out my commute, and having more autonomy over my schedule, has given me time back to tackle passion projects, volunteerism and being present at home.
7. What’s your No.1 message to clients, co-workers or employees for the rest of 2020?
Klein: Remember we’re all human; give yourself grace, and extend it to those around you.
8. What makes you hopeful about the future of PR? Any big predictions for 2021?
Klein: With the introduction of data analytics, brands have become more intentional, strategic and targeted. But, with that, came a reprioritization of storytelling as a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have. And yet, in the past 18-24 months, companies have started to come back to middle ground where PR is more crucial than ever before, informed by data, research and insights but with a human edge.
In 2021 it’s all about connecting at a human level. We’re all people and brands should tap into that connection.