Virtual Interview on COVID-19: Emily Latimer, Owner, Loihi Consulting
What has been your company’s latest pivot or innovation?
PR is already a wide umbrella service, but with traditional news focused largely on the day to day of Covid-19, I’ve been needing to get more creative in defining how I can help my clients. So far that has meant expanding what I can offer, with things like fundraising planning, creating marketing campaigns and developing creative strategies for clients to stay relevant and best support their customers and our community at large. For a lot of my clients who are laser focused on keeping their business running, having someone to take a step back and focus on the proactive strategy is a huge relief. I’ve also taken on more copywriting, since that is something many businesses put off when things are busy. Now that things have slowed down, clients want to make the most of this time by improving their existing communication tools.
What has been your company’s latest opportunity or opportunities?
The first month felt like everyone was in survival model. Now, it feels like people are reaching outside their shell a bit to try something new, and helping clients define that strategy feels exciting. The sense that our way of life is not going back to normal anytime soon is starting to sink in, so I’m helping many of my clients redesign what it looks like to operate in a more virtual world, whether that’s organizing a virtual event or fundraiser, or finding ways to make online ordering extremely easy and hassle free. Everything feels extra exhausting right now, so helping clients simplify the decision-making process for their customers is a challenging but fun opportunity.
In what ways do you think your business will be different at the end of this year?
To be honest, I’m not sure. I work with businesses that have some type of service or giveback mission and continuing to support service-minded organizations is my priority. I think my client work will continue to be less PR/news focused, and more business strategy focused. A month ago, I could have never predicted to be working on what I’m working on now, and next month could be a whole new scope as well. I’m taking it day by day.
In what ways have you been able to support the broader community beyond your employees and customers?
I’ve taught yoga for a few years outside of my business. With studios and gyms closed, I’ve been teaching livestream classes through Instagram and donating anything people want to give to Special Olympics Hawaii. It is very outside my comfort zone to teach on camera, but it’s become something I look forward to every week to keep me connected with friends and regular students. There is a lot that the business world can learn from the fitness world right now – people are choosing lower quality, authentic livestream classes over higher quality productions taught by strangers because we’re all craving friends and familiarity. With livestreaming, you get the mannerisms of the teachers and students you miss and the comfort that you’re not alone, which is often missed in a more professionally shot video. For businesses, it’s a reminder to be even more authentic than you’re comfortable with right now, and to prioritize community building over formality.