Dotted Line Communications’ Aimee Clark: ‘Be ready for anything’

Here’s how this agency leader sees the landscape for the next six months and beyond—and where she sees opportunities for PR and communications pros.

Being prepared for 2020 and beyond

A top trait of the future PR pro is the ability to be flexible.

That was a key finding from our Future of the PR Pro Report released earlier this year. And Dotted Line Communications Co-Founder Aimee Clark agrees.

Her advice to clients this year and heading into 2021? “Keep calm and be ready for anything.”

We caught up with her for the latest installment of our Day in the Life series and she shared some of her top predictions for what comes next in the communications world after an unprecedented year of disruption and accelerated change.

1. How much coffee do you drink during a day?

Clark: I try to keep it to 2-3 cups a day. I love Hugh Grant’s Laughing Man coffee, so that is my go-to at home. I used to feel the need to get coffee out, but over the last year or so I am pretty content with my brew at home.

2. Who is the most important person you talk to every day?

Clark: This is a tough question! I talk to my mom every day. I am an only child, so my mom and I are very close and I think it’s important for both of us to connect and hear each other’s voice every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

This has been even more important in the time of COVID-19. We live in different states, she lives alone, and we haven’t been able to see each other, so I want to check in.

3. How much of your day is spent on Zoom calls?

Clark: Probably about 30% of the day. I hate to say it, but I am over Zoom. Like many people, I have given up on a fully put together appearance for video calls. My typical “Zoom look” is workout clothes and a bun. I prefer to be focused on the client work rather than my appearance!

4. What’s a tool you couldn’t live without right now?

Clark: I have a few: my AirPods and Audible. I have been listening to lots of books this past year. I also just started using Trello for a client and am enjoying it.

5. What’s been the biggest change you’ve faced since the pandemic started?

Clark: It is definitely juggling my kids’ schedule and my own at home. I have three kids and they all have different school schedules, eating times, etc., which has been hard to manage. Many times I find myself finally in a rhythm, but have to break it because someone needs something.

My kids are older and for the most part can manage, but then the guilt creeps in when I see them making microwave popcorn and calling it “lunch.”

6. Are you still working from home? If so, what’s been your favorite part of WFH?

Clark: Dotted Line has been a virtual agency for most of its 20-year span, so I am very used to working from home. That has given me a huge advantage in navigating the collision of work and home and I actually enjoy it.

During this time in particular, it has been awesome to bond further with my coworkers. I think we have created more opportunities for virtual “watercooler” talk and have really enjoyed the deeper connection and dialogue.

I am also embracing at-home workouts. Traditionally, I have been more of a group exercise gal, but it has been fun to watch folks rise to the occasion during this time. Folks like Isaac Boots, James Brewer and the whole Peloton community have inspired me.

7. What’s your No.1 message to clients, co-workers or employees for the rest of 2020?

Clark: Keep calm and be ready for anything. This year has been a test in resilience and grit for all of us. We have endured an immense amount of change and stress. This time period will serve us all well again one day when we have to tap into a level of patience or strength.

From a communications perspective, it is important to adjust your strategy based on real-time trends and changes, while still considering your business value and mission. Work to stay agile and current. Be smart about implementing technology that will give your business and advantage during this time.

8. What makes you hopeful about the future of PR? Any big predictions for 2021?

Clark: I think our jobs have become even more important … and that gives me hope for the future. Internal and external communication are essential right now. …PR professionals need to rise to the occasion to help companies navigate these opportunities and challenges.

I believe 2021 could be the year PR has its day in the sun and will become one of the most valued services under the marketing umbrella.

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