As Thanksgiving approaches, Wilks Communications Group Managing Director Brad Wilks is reflecting upon the ritual of gratitude.
From the Director’s Desk:
After 25 years in business, it is safe to say we have learned more in 2020 than any year prior about what it takes to sustain a business in trying times – and about the resiliency of our team. This Thanksgiving holiday, we are taking stock of what we are grateful for at WCG in this tumultuous year that included a 100-year pandemic, an economic meltdown, social unrest and a contentious presidential election.
Our conclusion is that despite it all, our blessings are many – including these three reasons for gratitude:
1. Our people. Our employees are living proof that working from home does not mean being disconnected from each other or the needs of clients; in fact, productivity, work quality and engagement have all soared this year. Our biggest challenge is to stay close to employees and monitor how the team is doing, both professionally and emotionally. As we join together every morning for a brief Zoom call, that has helped sustain meaningful relationships and foster a culture of care. Other ways we purposefully connect include virtual happy hours, contests, games, notes, calls and special callouts and rewards for excellent work. We are grateful for our team.
2. Our clients. Early in the pandemic, some client falloff and deferral of planned work gave cause for concern. However, as the year progressed, we saw an influx of new business from partners interested in visibility, brand engagement and crisis support. Since then, we have supported virtual fundraising galas reaching a global audience of thousands rather than a few hundred local donors. We have seen increased client interest in eCommerce and direct-to-consumer support, website optimization, social engagement and influencer support. And more than ever, clients are looking for ways to elevate awareness of their brand purpose or demonstrate their commitment to social justice through earned media. We are thankful for our clients.
3. Our country. Flawed as the American experiment is, we are thankful to live in a society founded upon freedom and the power of ideas. Despite dire predictions about the imminent demise of our republic in the recent election, the process withstood the rigorous test, and set records with historic voter turnout. Whatever your political persuasion, this is the very definition of a functioning democracy. We are grateful for our country.
Nearly 400 years ago, Alexander Pope coined the phrase, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast,” and very quickly it became proverbial. As we look forward to the new year, we have hope for promising COVID-19 vaccines, a peaceful transition of political power, and a recovering economy.
And, as 2020 wanes, we should all take a moment in our virtual gatherings this Thanksgiving to practice gratitude for our many blessings, both personal and professional, and embrace the coming year with a sense of renewed optimism for the future.