What comms solutions providers can offer during this crisis

Comms tech, agencies and vendors share how their unique services and products can deliver success during this historic pandemic.


What tools and services are helpful during this crisis?

Many vendors can help the newly elevated communications function. Delivering key messages is crucial for many organizations, so finding the right tool has high stakes.

Here’s what our community of service providers are bringing to the table to help businesses and communications pros do their jobs:

Ellen Feaheny, AppFusions: “Communicators need to think of their orgs like an ecosystem—depts, projects, teams, suppliers, partners, execs, etc. … Modern collaboration platforms, like our AlohaCloud platform, addresses this networked type of community of many member groups AND overarching groups—but all sharing common purpose of success via discussions, blogs, events, courses, integrated apps, and curated feeds. ”

Jordan Yocum, Page One Power: “SEOs have long struggled to consistently prove ROI—so when budget cuts start happening we are typically among the first on the chopping block. … Our services help communicate the value of SEO and its impact on an organization during these strange times.”

Agnes Molnar, Search Explained: “By providing pre-recorded videos, live consulting hours, as well as 12-hour chat every day, the participants feel they can be part of the training regardless of their current work-from-home and/or homeschooling their children challenges.”

Janet Wilson, Logico Creative Solutions CC: “Providing relevant, readable, easy to understand content to the right audiences”

Brian Collier, Nuvi: “We offer a range of products including social media listening, social engagement, content planning and publishing along with social media analytics. In addition, we specialize in comprehensive customer experience solutions for companies managing multiple brands or locations with tools like automated content creation and social publishing we call Smart Social, review generation, and directory listing management.”

Dan Beltramo, Onclusive: “Quality earned media is hard to get and very valuable. Don’t let it die on the vine in all the noise. … We determine which earned media is most persuasive to your target audience by measuring engagement and outcomes.”

Darius A. Ross, D Alexander Ross R.E. Capital Partners LLC: “A special team that deals with crisis management on the ground in every location where we do business. The ability to provide instant access to media and public feeds from all sources, both foreign and domestic, 24/7/365 (e.g., internet, podcasts, social media, magazines, newspapers). A tactical preparation action plan that has been tested under various circumstances and conditions which might affect our business model (e.g., economic, political, weather).”

Roger Maes, StatePoint Media: “We … develop “news readers can use” consumer lifestyle stories that run in thousands of local media outlets across the U.S. As a result, we allow our for-profit and nonprofit clients to control the message (whether it’s related to COVID-19 or not), while cost-effectively maintaining a drumbeat of media coverage.”

Matija Martek, Mediatoolkit: “Mediatoolkit, a media monitoring tool helps detect business opportunities. Mediatoolkit helps communicators find those opportunities and therefore gain an advantage in responding to them.”

John Seibels, PhotoShelter: “In our current remote work environment, the ability to effectively manage creative projects from anywhere has never been more critical. … Libris gives communicators and creative teams a platform for storing, organizing, accessing and sharing their visual assets—all while working remotely.”

Irene, IVRM Reputatie: “We can help them … [f]ine-tune their outside-in wire so they always communicate on topic and address their stakeholders at the right time with the right message with the right tone of voice.”

Jason Etter, Staffbase: “Crisis management has been a huge part of Staffbase. Our platform has been used to inform after a terrorist attack. Our platform has provided resorts a way to reach staff and receive acknowledgement during coastal flooding and hurricanes.”

Megan Testani, Red Level: “The COVID ClearPass app enables organizations to digitally track employee health self-declaration forms, allows for immediate notification of declined access due to COVID-19 screening answers and helps employers track any potential on-premise risk exposures.”

Sam Keninger, Simpplr: “Simpplr … helps employees stay informed with critical “top-down” communications (that can’t get lost in email or Slack); locate necessary knowledge and documents to stay productive; find experts across the company; and stay connected to distributed employees, locations, and departments.”

Charlie Terenzio, Newswire: “To help agencies, who have been hit hard because of this situation … we are offering flat cost wire releases to agencies with no additional costs for words, images or links. In addition, we provide … a campaign manager who creates custom media lists and expedited distribution.”

Kelly Batke, ThoughtFarmer: “Our intranet software provides organizations with a centralized and secure communication hub for leadership updates, document collaboration, and connections to colleagues and subject matter experts.”

Rebecca Dersh, Cision: “Cision launched article-level data, which allows communicators to measure true reach at an individual article level. The data—which is available for millions of publications—enables communicators to better identify journalists and publications, craft more relevant stories, conduct market research, and measure their efforts using the same performance benchmarks as owned and paid media.”

Gregg Castano, NewsDirect: “Only News Direct can distribute digestible multi-sensory content such as infographics and video quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively without the need to embed it into time-consuming, costly and often unnecessary news releases.”

Todd Grossman, CEO Americas, Talkwalker: “Businesses must understand what’s being said about their company, their industry and their competitors. They also need to adapt to their customers’ changing needs. A social listening tool such as Talkwalker allows a business to protect, measure, and promote their brand by monitoring and tracking pertinent conversations.”

Jonathan Davies, Happeo: “Why we’ve created one holistic center for all communication within a company. Static communication takes place through easy-to-create intranet pages, dynamic communication takes place in enterprise social network-like channels, and integrations with Slack and Google Chat bridge the silos created in rapid communication tools.”

Eliot Hoff, APCO Worldwide: “[Our focus] includes support with government funding, office re-opening, special situations and unique business challenges and leadership communications.”

Michael DesRochers, PoliteMail Software: “Communication teams benefit through faster, brand standardized, responsive email design, self-service distribution group targeting, and measured results with accurate email metrics.”

Austin Sandmeyer, Beekeeper: “[Our] Next Normal Package … features for internal communicators include inline text translation for a multilingual workforce, newsfeed style streams for company announcements, mobile forms and checklists with detailed analytics, and more.”

Greg Galant, Muck Rack: “Muck Rack enables PR teams to work together remotely to find relevant journalists, send customized pitches, build meaningful relationships with the media, and quantify their impact. Muck Rack’s collaboration features allow PR teams to keep track of their colleagues’ media lists, notes, call logs, and pitches and understand their colleagues’ relationship history with journalists.“

Peter Walker, PublicRelay: “Our new Barometer product, which focuses on unlocking new insights from employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, has seen a surge in interest as employers use every tool at their disposal to stay close to employee concerns.”

Cathy Del Colle, Burrelles: “Leveraging media intelligence and media monitoring tools can help communicators explain the value of PR to organizational leaders.”

Jennifer Friese, Business Wire: “Business Wire’s sole focus is to help communicators distribute news and information to their target audience. Our service is designed to help communicators tell their stories. Business Wire offers ways to connect with audiences through social media which is integrated into our news distribution platform.”

Sarah Casdorph, Aware: “Leaders use Aware to understand the conversation health, sentiment and trends of digital communities over time, and make more effective decisions, faster. …  Organizations need to address foundational risk requirements while they quickly scale up their digital workplace.”

David Benigson, Signal AI:
“With the introduction of Signal AI’s ‘Coronavirus’ trained topic, and to aid businesses to stay on top of the news during this pandemic, we are offering free daily industry news briefings to anyone who wishes to receive them. The daily briefings use Signal AI’s AIQ engine to digest all of the news related to COVID-19, published within the last 24 hours for your selected industry. ”

Joanne Skilton, Unily: “Digital Employee Experience has never been more crucial. With employees working exclusively from home, they are now 100% reliant on digital tools to remain productive and connected to the business. Unily’s employee experience platform is helping more than 4m employees from some of the world’s biggest brands stay productive, connected, and inspired throughout a period of fear and uncertainty.”

Duncan Smith, Beezy: “Beezy ensures all employees feel connected to their work family and empowered to share stories, ideas and questions. We provide a flexible, easy-to-use interface that doesn’t get in the way of what communicators want to say. The Beezy startpage focuses on what really drives engagement: a newsfeed where employees can easily follow up on the content, activities, and conversations that are most relevant and timely.”


No Responses to “What comms solutions providers can offer during this crisis”

    Ronald N. Levy says:

    Notice how nearly all these responders, some of them brilliant at what they do, aim to help you influence other people, mainly the media and the public. But Ted Kitterman’s question is “what tools and services are helpful during this crisis?” and the BIGGEST crisis PR need is often to influence not others but our own top managements.

    Our crisis PR success may come much sooner and be much greater if we succeed in convincing our managements of three PR realities.

    .1. IT’S OUR ASS!

    “Why,” top management asks—and it’s a common sense question that MBAs and others have learned to ask—“should we do what they are asking?” Why enforce our policy, change our policy or face the reality that we need to have a more clearcut policy? Why should we let THEM dictate what WE should do?

    The answer is that whether or not we think it’s fair (and one should usually say “we” to management, not “you” in regard to fairness) we can do better if we answer or we can get killed if we don’t. The public has the power, the government has the power, so it pays like politely responding to an arresting officer: be nice. It’s our safety. We may be safer if we seem to at least partly comply than if we don’t.

    Even the mighty can get shot down.


    Whether it’s our river or not, whether we are polluting or not, and whether or not we have a legal right to do what we’re doing, it’s like making a sales presentation to a major account or an ad campaign to the public: it makes sense to do what works.

    Not just to be right but to do what works. Whatever is causing the crisis, we should consider stopping the cause if we can, or at least make clear that the PUBLIC may in some way be better off if we don’t go overboard in coming up with a remedy that may be worse for the public than the problem.

    Whatever alternative is being proposed by activists or government nay-sayers seeking TV time, they are probably telling the public about advantages of that alternative but not PERILS of the alternative, how it can increase costs to the public, reduce supply or cause some other “peril of the alternative” that in truth “the public deserves to know.”


    Just as each of us tends to do what we think will be best for US, the public also decides and wants government to decide based on opportunity for gain or for averted loss. So never mind what may seem “the most fair” because that’s not the public’s question. The main question is what will be most beneficial?

    The public’s main question about US is our value to the public. Just as a person’s weight is determined by calories in minus calories out, the public’s opinion of a company is based on what it does that benefits the public minus what it does that harms or bothers the hell out of the public.

    One out of four people now alive will one day die of cancer, so if we fund some huge life-saving program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center or Lymphoma Research Foundation (so our top execs and the world’s top cancer doctors are seen on TV working together for the public) over 100 million Americans may not only wish us well but in some cases actually PRAY for us.

    That’s a good question to help top management achieve great success with a PR crisis: focus not on what’s fair but on how can we get millions of people to pray for us or at least hope damn hard that we’ll continue serving the public.

    PS – Don’t believe too much the much-too-modest report above of what APCO does. All of the great PR firms including APCO do a hell of a lot more than that. They are like the world’s top surgeons. You have a terrible problem, maybe your whole future or even your life is at stake, then the great ones do what they do and you get all better. It happens repeatedly after management is convinced that what’s at stake in this crisis is our ass.

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