“I would never have guessed this on Jan. 1, but I have to say that the most significant achievement for my marketing and communications team in 2020 was navigating through the pandemic,” Lorraine Corcoran reflected.
“I think it is a close second to launching the Perspecta company and brand two years ago,” she added.
COVID-19 created a new paradigm for everyone. Business as usual didn’t exist, and life came to a halt for several months. There were many unknowns.
“We were determining how to handle evolving circumstances, developing guidance and providing updates to the workforce in real time,” Corcoran said. “There was news to share every day —sometimes multiple times a day — all while continuing to serve our customers in new and creative ways.”
It was also an extremely emotional and sensitive environment, because the health and wellbeing of everyone, including peers, colleagues, families and friends — was a factor.
“Everything we communicated to our employees and stakeholders had to be cognizant of that fact,” Corcoran said.
Keeping customers and shareholders apprised of Perspecta activities and making sure they knew the company was still operating cohesively was critical. All of the company’s digital channels — intranet, website and social channels — became the backbone for Perspecta’s communications activities and pushed the team to higher levels of quantity and quality than ever before.
“I could not be prouder of my team of writers, designers and communicators who worked overtime — and continue to do so — to make sure our everyone had the information they needed to get through this unprecedented time,” Corcoran said.
Traditional government contractors have relied heavily on face-to-face interactions for decades as the major focus of their marketing efforts. And while the industry is experts collectively at maximizing in-person interactions at conferences, trade shows and meetings, it lags behind the commercial trend to leverage virtual customer engagements as a primary way to make connections.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic changed all of that. The business case to justify the cost of implementing digital tools and platforms to reach out to customers and employees was suddenly validated overnight.
“Fortunately, at Perspecta, we spent 2019 implementing a robust, cloud-based intranet solution to connect all 14,000 employees,” Corcoran said. ‘That tool was in place, fully functional and invaluable to us for communicating during the quarantine.”
In early 2020, Corcoran and her team also began laying out plans for dynamic, secure ways to interact with partners and customers. The onset of the pandemic has fast-tracked their plan to implement those tools.
Perspecta’s strategic plans for the year were accelerated in many ways by the pandemic, not only because it was deemed an essential business, but because of the mission critical role the company plays with its customers. When state and local shelter-in-place orders began to take place, Perspecta was still required to provide onsite support to its customers whenever and wherever it was required.
In other instances, the company worked with its customers to reinvent the ways they could virtually deliver citizen services. As a result, Perspecta’s marketing efforts have only increased because of new case studies and success stories to promote.
“For the balance of 2020, we will continue to chronicle our ability to offer digital transformation, cloud and cyber solutions that propel our customers into a secure and efficient future,” Corcoran said. “We are also developing best practices for our virtual interactions and looking forward to building on the success of those engagements with some robust new digital tools.”
On the internal side, Corcoran said her team will build on the momentum it created with its workforce during this atypical year through the robust intranet channel, frequent engagement with the leadership team and ongoing two-way dialog.
“We really created a sense of community and family over the last six months, and I only see that growing as we move forward,” Corcoran said.