Find out how Covid-19 pushed communication teams to bond & thrive!

February ushers in winter flowers, bright sunshine and of course, V-day celebrations. This Valentine's Day PRmoment looks at how PR firms and corporate communications pulled out all stops to connect, ensure team bonding and build up team morale in an online world. Not just for themselves and their immediate teams, but across the organisation.

Value 360: Mother's Day Special 

For Manisha Chaudhary, co-founder, Value 360 Communications, using Facebook's 'Workplace' allowed the teams to connect on a variety of activities including, "A combination of fortnightly town halls, knowledge sessions, online gaming leagues, Zoom sessions with a standup artist, Tik-Tok style fun video compilation, and much more, all kept us together during these 10 months."

But Chaudhary's personal favourite bonding campaign was," A surprise video for all Value 360 mommies on Mother’s Day featuring a message from their kids. In the midst of all the chaos and difficult times, the cute messages from our little ones brought a smile to everyone’s face."

PR Pundit: Gambling for Good Luck!

As we all know, Diwali is a great occasion for some ritual card playing, gambling on Diwali is supposed to usher in good fortune and a dollop of good luck.

Which is why Archana Jain, managing director, PR Pundit decided to, "Treat our bees (Flowing from PR Pundit's online team avatar of a 'busy bee') to a virtual gamification experience, customised for the PR Pundit bees called ‘Wingo’. As the festival considers gambling auspicious, the entire company played it simultaneously in the week leading up to Diwali. Adding to the festive cheer, our in-house digital team developed a special Diwali IG filter to spread good cheer."

TVS: Bonding learnings from a 'Black Swan' event

Varghese Thomas, VP and global head of corporate communications, TVS Motor Company terms the pandemic as a 'black swan' event that presented several team challenges.

Celebrating a TVS team member's birthday

Says Varghese, "The immediate concern, beyond the technological adjustments to online meetings and video calls, was keeping the employee morale and motivation up while dealing with the stress of COVID-19. People were struggling with isolation and uncertainty, childcare responsibilities, and even grief."

Varghese believes the pandemic created space for mental wellness to take centre stage, "The virtual team bonding has facilitated the team's mental wellness. It has helped us understand the importance of mental well-being for better productivity."

Additionally team TVS implemented campaigns such as ‘Leading from the front’.  For this the communication team regularly created newsletters for employees to honour the   work done by teams and individuals beyond their mandates to help the community and employees during an unprecedented moment in history.

    Some of these initiatives found its way to mainstream coverage in papers such as 'The Economic TImes.'

    Ruder Finn's #BigSmallMoments 

    Ruder Finn India focused on ensuring the typical 'offline water cooler' breaks were also available during Zoom sessions.

    Ruder Finn India's #BigSmallMoments campaign stories

    Shipra Singh, senior vice president, Ruder Finn India , "Our campaign #BigSmallMoments was aimed at underlining the moments, big and small, that brought us happiness. It focused on highlighting stories that reminded all of us of the good in the world during a challenging."

    Ruder Finn also had their youngest and newest team members take charge of the monthly townhalls.

    Additionally, Singh says, "We took time out from Zoom meetings to replace the informal chats we had over tea breaks in office, with virtual catchup-sessions to discuss challenges arising out of the pandemic. These conversations which ranged from exchanging food recipes to discussing new shows or movies we had enjoyed, kept the camaraderie intact."

    MSL's yoga and Fandango!

    Amit Misra, CEO MSL South Asia says, "My favourite bonding campaign has to be ‘Fandango’. It has a mix of both my favourite elements – learning and celebrating. All the colleagues engage in deep and open conversations and discuss their learnings from the new normal. These learning sessions are interspersed with interactive games, music and fiesta. And some awesome food."

    MSL also explored the mind-body link providing ways to process all that COVID has thrown at us.

    Misra shares that, "Working remotely can lead to feelings of isolation, and since work had no boundaries, colleagues were finding it difficult to make time for personal chores. As an immediate response, we brought in silent hours and introduced short work week with alternate Friday offs."

    First Partners: Cakes and more

    First Partners used their company's founding anniversary to celebrate their employees.

    Dilip Yadav, co-founder, First Partners shares that "The day began with each member receiving a cake at their homes. We discovered to our pleasant surprise a legion of talent hidden as poets, singers, dancers, and stand-ups in our midst. The celebrations made us feel as one after a long time and left a lasting positive impact on each one of us."

    Yadav added, "Today, thanks in part to the online gatherings, we are more fully integrated and more sensitive to each other and what goes on in our lives at our home behind the screen and which shapes the way we show up in our work life."

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