Carve Communications’ David Barkoe on staying positive for 2021

This agency co-founder and CEO argues that while it might feel like the world has stopped spinning, communicators should look for the big opportunities that are just around the corner.


Many organizations have struggled to preserve work culture amid the COVID-19 crisis.

For David Barkoe, CEO and co-founder of Carve Communications, the loss of in-person interactions and esprit de corps was one of the biggest challenges of the past few months. However, the most important tool for managing through these challenges is decidedly old-school: a little black notebook full of important information like passwords and work notes.

We caught up with him just before Election Day for the latest in our “Day in the Life” series. Here’s what he has to say about navigating these perilous times and what’s next for the comms industry:

1. How much coffee do you drink during a day?

Barkoe: I have never drunk a cup of coffee in my life. My version of coffee is an Arnold Palmer, preferably Honest Tea’s Organic Half Tea/Half Lemonade.

2. Who is the most important person you talk to every day?

Barkoe: My wife. She grounds me, inspires me, loves me.

3. How much of your day is spent on Zoom calls?

Barkoe: Depends on the day. On average 20-30%.

4. What’s a tool you couldn’t live without right now?

Barkoe: Still my little black notebook. I’ve been using one for years and still have not given it up in favor of my phone or laptop to take notes, keep lists, write down passwords, etc. I keep all the old ones. I have them dating back to at least 2013.

5. What’s been the biggest change you’ve faced since the pandemic started?

Barkoe: Maintaining the camaraderie and personality of our team. Not being in the office each day with our team, which is the engine that makes it all go, has been the hardest part.

6. Are you still working from home? If so, what’s been your favorite part of WFH?

Barkoe: Yes. Still working from home and plan to keep it this way for the future. The best part is at any point of the day, I can walk out the door of our guest room which is now my office, and hug, kiss, play with or just say hello to my wife, my 9-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter.

7. What’s your No.1 message to clients, co-workers or employees for the rest of 2020?

Barkoe: As much as it might feel like the world has stopped, it hasn’t. There are still tremendous opportunities for you (the client) to tell your story to the world and there are huge opportunities for us (the agency) to help you broadcast that story in order to generate awareness, establish authority, drive engagement and foster activation.

8. What makes you hopeful about the future of PR? Any big predictions for 2021?

Barkoe: We are in a world now focused on storytelling and PR is an absolutely fantastic and effective way to tell your story to your customers or potential customers.

Consumers will continue to look to the media, whether it be online or off, for third-party validation of their purchasing/consumption decisions and that has tremendous value over advertising. With all the questions about where we will head as a nation after Nov. 3, all I’m focused on is how our agency will continue to grow in 2021, how our partnerships with our clients will continue to grow in 2021 and how I will continue to grow as a leader and agency owner in 2021.



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