Planning, Ingenuity and Imagination Will Fuel Connecticut’s Arsenal of Recovery – by Brian Flaherty


The past several weeks have been trying for everyone in Connecticut—parents, children, elected leaders, employers, employees, not for profits and educators.

The team at Sullivan & LeShane Public Relations, Inc. has seen and managed almost every type of crisis in our three decades of experience, but nothing compares to the impact the Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) global pandemic has had on our state.

We know and understand the many challenges that companies, small businesses and organizations are facing, because we’ve been listening and helping them share their stories, retool their internal and external communications strategies, stay connected to their audiences, engage the media, and turn vulnerabilities they’re facing into opportunities.

We also know from experience that when a crisis first hits, you need to take immediate action to protect the trust you have built with your key audiences—whether it’s your employees, customers, suppliers, investors or the community. Timely demonstrations of caring, agility, business continuance and communication are critical to weathering the storm.

Using reliable resources, data and our widespread network throughout government, our counterparts on the Sullivan & LeShane government relations team have been steadily keeping their clients apprised of new COVID-19-related developments, while helping them to navigate the minute-by-minute changes we’ve come to expect each day and providing consultation on how they can do business in the months ahead and take advantage of state and federal stimulus programs.

Between helping to expand childcare programs for healthcare workers through a state grant, opening a new market that allows manufacturers to provide much-needed supplies to the frontline of the COVID-19 fight, creating safety waivers for the return of bottles and cans to grocery and convenience stores, providing parity for a manufacturer that was able to offer needed supplies but was prohibited by state law and securing waivers on non-urgent regulations for community-based physician offices—the lobbying team has been making things happen and positioning a variety of spokespeople as thought leaders who can communicate need-to-know facts and best practices for their industries.

It’s hard to imagine just how quickly we have shifted to a world where television news anchors are broadcasting into our living room—from their living room—but we’re a resourceful and resilient lot in Connecticut. We know how to adapt and thrive. Three things are certain in the coming months. First, this difficult time will pass. Second, there will be a new normal once it does. Third, we will continue to work full speed to design and deliver successful outcomes to help our clients sustain and recover through this crisis and into the new normal.

Speaking of recovery, the businesses that will endure beyond this pandemic are already busy preparing for it now—innovating and renovating business plans, product lines and services. They’re identifying new ways to add technology and utilize their workforce so when they emerge from these challenging times they are focused and ready to rebuild, restructure and renew their contributions to the economy and their communities.

This, after all, the birthplace of Yankee ingenuity, and a time of innovation and renovation. Grocers are adapting to serve their customers and protect their employees, distillers are producing hand sanitizer, technical high schools, libraries and small manufacturers are 3-D printing face shields, physicians and professors are-engineering ventilators in real time, and brave health care workers and first responders are providing care, comfort and protection. We thank them and salute them. Together, they are fueling the arsenal of our recovery.

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