View this email in your browser
Hi. And welcome.

This is the first edition of Powell Tate Insights, brought to you by Powell Tate, the public affairs division of Weber Shandwick in the United States.   

It’s been 30 years since Powell Tate started practicing its craft in D.C., as the first bipartisan public affairs firm, working at the intersection of politics, policy, business and social issues.  

If you’re like our team, the last 18+ months of navigating a global pandemic, new ways of working and living, plus the deeply concerning polarization in our country, have only underscored the importance of what we all do as strategists, counselors and creative thinkers. It’s never mattered more.  

We're launching this newsletter to have a chance to connect more regularly with you. And to share fresh takes on the changing role of public affairs, including how our team is navigating the disruptions and dynamics of the day.

We’re focused on the wide-angle view required in our reputation and advocacy work with clients, including the vital importance of purpose and values, the role of data, the power of creative and the organizational alignment needed to navigate fast-changing contexts.  

This first issue explores the latest phase of the pandemic – and some of the most complicated considerations we face as we continue to live in a world with COVID-19, including the return to the office. 

I hope you’ll see this as an opportunity to be in touch with us to share your reactions, questions or perspectives. Thanks for reading.  

-- Paul Massey, President, Powell Tate
Photo by Braňo on Unsplash

Recently, President Joe Biden announced vaccine and testing requirements for federal employees and contractors, employers with more than 100 employees, many healthcare workers and large event venues. Since then, companies – and many employees – have embraced the mandates, and vaccination rates are rising. In our latest reputation advisory, we encourage clients to:
  • Regularly communicate to employees what is expected of them as part of the implementation of vaccine requirements.
  • Address – don't overlook – worker stress and mental health. 
  • Acknowledge potential employee concerns around vaccine mandates. 
This counsel was informed by the findings of our latest public opinion survey with KRC Research, conducted before the White House's announcement, which found:
  • Bipartisan support for employer mandates – 78% of Democrats, 57% of Republicans and 48% of Independents.
  • Strong support from workers for employer measures to control the spread – 66% of workers said their employer has the right to mandate that employees be vaccinated, or show a negative COVID test, to come into the workplace.
  • Belief that business plays an important role in ending the pandemic – According to 80% of Americans and 59% of employees, up from 75% and 47%, respectively, in our May survey. 63% of Americans say business plays a "very important" role, up 16 points since May.
Read More
Even as many seek a return to "normal" – whatever that means now – COVID-19 variants and low vaccination rates in some parts of the U.S. present continued challenges for businesses as they make plans to head back to the workplace. 

"Transparent, timely communications – informed by the latest public health guidance – as well as considerations around transformations in company culture, will be paramount in getting employees back to offices safely and successfully," according to Pam Jenkins, chair of Powell Tate and co-author of our Plan Vx playbooks.

In the second edition of Plan Vx: A Playbook for the Business Response to COVID-19 Vaccinations, we offer return-to-office best practices and resources for organizations of any size, developed with United Minds, Weber Shandwick's consultancy focused on organizational transformation.

Download Plan Vx Playbook: Return to Office
Did someone forward PT Insights to you? Click here to subscribe.
COVID-19 has repeatedly demonstrated an unwillingness to go quietly, spreading rapidly across borders, continents and oceans. To rally the countries of the world to slow the spread of the virus and decrease cases, Jack Leslie, Weber Shandwick's chairman, helped organize a letter to world leaders attending last month's United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), urging them to convene a global summit to end the pandemic through vaccination efforts and other proven public health interventions. 

Our team was honored to support the external communications around this important call-to-action. The letter garnered the signatures of more than 80 influential organizations and leaders from around the world – including Jack.

It seems to have made an impact: The White House organized a virtual summit of world leaders – the "Global COVID-19 Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better," held on September 22. 

Read the Full Letter
We’ve turbo-charged our team with some exceptional new colleagues. And, beyond their communications savvy, they’re an impressive group of humans: former diplomats, adventurous world travelers, passionate house music fans, green-thumbed gardeners and amateur chefs.
  • Trish Taylor, PhD, EVP and Health Practice Lead, 20+ years' experience on national public education, awareness and behavior change campaigns
  • Meghann Curtis, SVP, Public Affairs & Social Impact, former U.S. diplomat and Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Education & Cultural Affairs, Obama State Department
  • Erin Seidler, SVP, Healthcare, health policy and advocacy expert with experience across government, agencies and non-profits 
  • Chris Harris, VP, Public Affairs & Social Impact, former communications director and senior advisor in Vice President Kamala Harris's Senate office
  • Nicole Pitaniello, VP, Strategic Planning, experienced strategic planner specializing in health and wellness
  • Sara Smith, VP, Analytics, former supervisory public affairs specialist at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • Campbell O'Connor, Director, Healthcare, media relations expert specializing in healthcare issues
  • Jean-Pierre Bovie, Associate Creative Director, creative storyteller in art direction and design
  • Alejandro Rosado, Associate Creative Director, award-winning creative working across broadcast, print and new mediums and technologies
If you haven't already, take 15 minutes to check out Powell Tate Chair Pam Jenkins’s recent Coffee Break conversation with PRWeek's Steve Barrett.
Pam talks about the increased importance of public affairs expertise in communications, particularly as companies compete in a new geopolitical landscape.
Watch the Interview
For more of the latest public affairs and policy insights from Powell Tate and Weber Shandwick, head to Issues Decoded.
Subscribe to PT Insights
Copyright © 2021 Powell Tate, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Powell Tate
733 10th St NW
Washington, DC 20001-4884

Add us to your address book

Want to change how you receive these marketing emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp