Q&A with Rogers & Cowan/PMK: An Interview with Senior Vice President, Michael Dunn
In what ways has your work been impacted by COVID-19 and how have you responded/advised clients?
We were in the middle of planning (Side By Side) the pinnacle event of Fleet Week with Northwell Health, the biggest hospital network in NYC. We quickly changed the format and are creating a one-hour TV special on WNBC in support and celebration of first responders and healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 on the front lines. With other clients, music tours have been cancelled and postponed. The advice I have given is that there are still a ton of great opportunities to connect with consumers! We are working to repurpose assets and create digital engagement with our talent and celebrity ambassadors. It’s a great time to show who your brand truly is, by doing the right thing and providing a solution and some relief in any way possible. Show people you care and understand that – for now – your business initiatives come second.
How has the cancellation of Coachella and other music events impacted you and your clients?
We work on a lot of music sponsorship across tours and festivals, in addition to creating our own events. One of our clients has been exploring Jazz Fest so we were excited to make introductions and experience the festival. I think we all understand large scale events will happen again, the question is when, and how quickly will people go back to feeling comfortable. Besides fans being disappointed that events are cancelled, it’s hard on these production companies and agencies who spend most, if not all of the year, planning these events. It’s not easy having to cancel when you’ve invested money and time, and then have to just wait until next year….or whenever things get back to normal.
Are there any stand-out initiatives within music you’ve seen from talent or brands who have reacted to this situation positively?
Mastercard was quick to partner with the Bill Gates Foundation and make a large donation to help support those most impacted by Covid-19. Verizon showed how nimble they can be by putting together Pay It Forward and showing support for small businesses. “Some Good News” with John Krasinski and ‘Club Quarantine ‘with D-Nice have been huge hits.
What do you think marketing will look like for you/your clients post COVID-19?
The exciting part of this all is that we are writing the script now. There will certainly be a ‘new normal’ and a heightened awareness when it comes to large gatherings and how brands engage. We need to rethink all details to ensure that consumers first and foremost feel safe. From how we use shared iPads, to giving out swag, even how we are serving food and beverages.
How has the new normal of social distancing and self-isolation prompted you to get creative and think outside the box?
With Camila Cabello’s tour cancelled, we quickly pitched her team a content series featuring some of her new music and all with the aim of supporting small business.
What’s the first thing you are going to do for yourself or your clients once the lockdown is over?
Our clients have all been deeply affected, and if nothing else, working through challenges will strengthen those relationships with us as a trusted partner. We have all been so focused on contingencies, and budgets, and zoom meetings and phone calls and life. The first thing I would look to do is host a celebratory event or dinner to thank our clients and just enjoy everyone socially and hear about positive stories that have come out of this unprecedented time.