Lab tech being filmed doing work

A Dozen Inspiring Examples of Clients Helping Their Communities Navigate the COVID-19 Crisis

Since the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic began to impact busi­ness­es across the coun­try, the Bell­mont Part­ners team has mobi­lized around numer­ous cri­sis com­mu­ni­ca­tions and non-cri­sis projects, most address­ing the unique chal­lenges the coro­n­avirus out­break has sparked, and span­ning near­ly every com­mu­ni­ca­tions discipline.

We’ve been work­ing close­ly with sev­er­al com­pa­nies on the front lines of the pan­dem­ic with a vari­ety of strate­gies and imple­men­ta­tion, from mes­sag­ing to cri­sis com­mu­ni­ca­tions to quick-turn, out­side-the-box solu­tions such as remote­ly pro­duced pod­casts and Face­book Live town­halls. We’ve also been help­ing many oth­er orga­ni­za­tions rep­re­sent­ing near­ly every indus­try, whose oper­a­tions have been impact­ed at dif­fer­ent lev­els, nav­i­gate this new world.

Although none of us could have pre­dict­ed what the past sev­er­al weeks would look like, through it all, we’ve been struck by the fact that we have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work with tru­ly amaz­ing clients. These are orga­ni­za­tions that are pro­vid­ing life-sav­ing equip­ment and resources, piv­ot­ing very quick­ly to pro­vide much-need­ed ser­vices, or bring­ing a dose of edu­ca­tion and enter­tain­ment to peo­ple who are stay­ing at home. While there is still a lot of work ahead, we want­ed to take a moment to high­light some of the ini­tia­tives we’ve been proud to be part of.

From med­ical devices, health ser­vices and dis­as­ter preparedness…

  • Non­in Med­ical, the world leader in inno­vat­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing pulse oxime­try sys­tems, is pro­vid­ing this essen­tial tech­nol­o­gy being used on the front lines of ear­ly diag­no­sis and treat­ment of crit­i­cal­ly ill patients with COVID-19, as well as dur­ing recov­ery and after­care, ensur­ing patient oxy­gen lev­els have returned to healthy lev­els. Non­in is also part­ner­ing with oth­er com­pa­nies pro­duc­ing front­line devices, pro­vid­ing tech­nol­o­gy that inte­grates with ven­ti­la­tors, extra­cor­po­re­al life sup­port and remote mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems and oth­er diag­nos­tic tools.
  • Our newest client, Cloth­ier Design Source, a full-ser­vice appar­el design and man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­ny based in St. Paul, Minn., is shift­ing its focus to not only pro­duce masks, but to help inno­va­tors across the coun­try design, source and pro­duce oth­er life-sav­ing per­son­al pro­tec­tion gear for health­care work­ers. Before the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic hit, Cloth­ier helped launch more than 300 fash­ion and cloth­ing brands each year. Today, thanks to its nim­ble team of 30 employ­ees and design-sourc­ing-pro­duc­tion capa­bil­i­ties, Cloth­ier is able to pro­duce much-need­ed health­care items, includ­ing PAPR (pow­ered, air-puri­fy­ing res­pi­ra­tor) hoods and face masks. And, as an addi­tion­al way to give back and allow oth­ers to get involved, they’ve launched the “Be Sil­ly Project” on social media, which encour­ages fol­low­ers to take part in chal­lenges such as “wear a face mask for a real mask.” For this cam­paign, peo­ple are encour­aged to post pic­tures in their face masks while nom­i­nat­ing their friends to do the same. If the nom­i­nees don’t com­plete the chal­lenge with­in 24 hours, they are encour­aged to donate $24 to go towards sup­plies and sup­port for front-line health­care workers.
  • R3 Con­tin­u­um (R3c), a glob­al leader in dis­rup­tive event man­age­ment and work­place behav­ioral health that’s helped com­pa­nies pre­pare and nav­i­gate pub­lic health crises, nat­ur­al dis­as­ters, work­place vio­lence inci­dents and more for the past 30 years, has been putting all its spe­cial­ties to use to help com­pa­nies nav­i­gate COVID-19. Ear­ly in March, R3c for­mal­ized a COVID-19 Sup­port Team, which includes occu­pa­tion­al med­i­cine, infec­tious dis­ease, emer­gency depart­ment physi­cians, cri­sis man­age­ment spe­cial­ists, pub­lic health experts, cor­po­rate med­ical direc­tors, risk man­age­ment pro­fes­sion­als, Ph.D.’s in psy­chol­o­gy and orga­ni­za­tion­al human resource devel­op­ment, fed­er­al offi­cers, secu­ri­ty direc­tors and emer­gency man­age­ment direc­tors. R3c lead­ers have also shared tips for busi­ness lead­ers, includ­ing in the Min­neapo­lis-St. Paul Busi­ness Jour­nal and via the Soci­ety of Human Resource Man­age­ment, as well as thought­ful per­spec­tive on hope dur­ing dark times.
  • Health ben­e­fits com­pa­ny Gravie is doing what they do best: help­ing employ­ers and employ­ees nav­i­gate the tough and con­fus­ing aspects of their health ben­e­fits – guid­ing mem­bers to online heath resources, COVID-19 resources and more. They are the first and only Min­neso­ta-based insur­ance com­pa­ny to offer tem­po­rary relief for crit­i­cal­ly impact­ed indus­tries, offer­ing fee defer­rals or, in some cas­es, out­right reduc­tions in fees.

…to crit­i­cal resources and services…

  • Mid­west Dairy is work­ing to ensure that chil­dren in need con­tin­ue receiv­ing school meals dur­ing the school clo­sures. They have pro­vid­ed schools across the Mid­west with cool­ers to help schools con­tin­ue to serve cold milk and dairy prod­ucts through­out the COVID-19 cri­sis, and the orga­ni­za­tion has also part­nered with NutriS­tu­dents K‑12 to offer a free resource for schools with menu options that can be used for emer­gency deliv­ered meals. In addi­tion, Mid­west Dairy farm­ers have com­mit­ted funds to sup­port the COVID-19 Emer­gency School Nutri­tion Fund, estab­lished by GENY­OUth Foun­da­tion, allow­ing schools nation­wide to apply for cash grants so they can pur­chase resources need­ed for meal dis­tri­b­u­tion and deliv­ery. Mid­west Dairy has also com­piled learn­ing resources for fam­i­lies who are look­ing for edu­ca­tion­al activ­i­ties while stay­ing at home, includ­ing activ­i­ties such as a vir­tu­al farm tour.

…to enter­tain­ment and education…

  • Instead of can­cel­ing Word­play, the book fes­ti­val orig­i­nal­ly slat­ed for May, the team at The Loft Lit­er­ary Cen­ter decid­ed to hold Word­play vir­tu­al­ly, bring­ing book lovers togeth­er from all over the world from the com­fort of their homes. The vir­tu­al events include author inter­views, inter­ac­tive Q&As, social media takeovers, hap­py hours and more. The fes­ti­val offi­cial­ly kicked off April 7 with a live talk from Olympic gold medal­ist Jessie Dig­gins, and was includ­ed in a New York Times piece about online cel­e­bra­tions dur­ing Nation­al Poet­ry Month. More details here.
  • The Lacek Group is a glob­al­ly rec­og­nized leader in loy­al­ty, cus­tomer engage­ment and data-dri­ven com­mu­ni­ca­tions. They shared some thoughts with Tar­get Mar­ket­ing about how brand part­ner­ships ben­e­fit both mar­keters and their cus­tomers dur­ing a cri­sis, and how to main­tain brand loy­al­ty dur­ing a pan­dem­ic with Pro­mo­tion World.
  • As liv­ing rooms across the coun­try trans­form into class­rooms, The O’Neill Broth­ers (piano-play­ing broth­ers Tim and Ryan O’Neill) have pro­vid­ed par­ents a free edu­ca­tion­al tool: their instru­men­tal music – specif­i­cal­ly select­ed to facil­i­tate learn­ing. The 2019 Min­neso­ta Music Hall of Fame inductees – who are #4 on Spotify’s list of the most-streamed Min­neso­ta acts of all time – have com­piled free study-time playlists of their award-win­ning songs to make it easy for par­ents to click and let the music play to set the tone for study­ing at home. You can find playlists for Spo­ti­fy, Pan­do­ra, YouTube and Twit­ter here, or at Tim O’Neill chat­ted with WCCO Mid-Morn­ing on April 8 about the ben­e­fits of instru­men­tal music, includ­ing how it can help boost mem­o­ry and concentration.
  • Brave New Work­shop, the country’s longest-run­ning satir­i­cal com­e­dy the­atre, con­tin­ues to bring smiles to people’s faces through this tough time. The Min­neapo­lis-based orga­ni­za­tion launched a phe­nom­e­nal new video series (“The Brave New Work­shop Goes Viral”), and co-own­er John Sweeney dust­ed off one of his most beloved char­ac­ters to inspire Min­nesotans to stay at home. On April 1, FOX Sports North replayed one of the most mem­o­rable Tim­ber­wolves games, notable as Kevin Garnett’s first game back after return­ing to the Wolves on Feb. 25, 2015, but also mark­ing the crowd-favorite return of Jig­gly Boy. Five years ago, Sweeney’s super­fan sparked an online fren­zy after his antics got even KG’s atten­tion. The amaz­ing video has inspired hun­dreds of mil­lions of smiles all over the world, Jig­gly Boy has field­ed inter­view requests from as far away as Japan, and NBA-TV named him one of the NBA’s top fans of the year. On April 1, Sweeney reprised the char­ac­ter on the Tim­ber­wolves’ social media plat­forms with an impor­tant mes­sage for his fel­low Min­nesotans dis­played in a very con­spic­u­ous way: #Stay­HomeMN.

We con­tin­ue to amazed by the deter­mi­na­tion and inno­va­tion from our clients as they help the com­mu­ni­ty nav­i­gate COVID-19, and the many oth­er com­pa­nies, part­ners and friends we’ve con­sult­ed with in the past month. We’re proud to be part of com­mu­ni­ties that are com­ing togeth­er dur­ing this uncer­tain time and are hap­py to do what we can to help. As these unique, try­ing times con­tin­ue, we’re com­mit­ted to help­ing even more orga­ni­za­tions nav­i­gate and piv­ot. If you’d like to chat about a chal­lenge your busi­ness is fac­ing, a project in the works or what needs to change in your com­mu­ni­ca­tions strate­gies going for­ward, we’d be hap­py to sched­ule a free con­sul­ta­tion – just drop us a line to set up a time.

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