COVID-19, Public Relations & Trekking Forward

Central Michigan PRSA
5 min readMar 16, 2020
Close up of the coronavirus mutation.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan continues to rise. With more and more organizations transitioning to Work From Home (WFH) environments, schools closing and other precautions being taken to promote social distancing, the Central Michigan PRSA chapter wants to keep the best interest of its members in mind and mitigate as much fear and uncertainty as possible.


To fall in line with Gov. Whitmer’s Executive Orders and recommendations in accordance with the CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have decided to postpone all events in March and April.


Refunds will be processed for this event immediately. We are already working with our speaker to reschedule, so please watch your inbox for updated event dates in the future!


Additionally, the CMPRSA board is looking at alternative options for the 2020 PACE Awards. Until that decision has been made (we’ll update this post accordingly), the 2020 PACE Awards have been postponed. Any ticket sales will be transferred to our rescheduled date or refunded. We’ll provide ample communications regarding the next steps and ensuring our winners and sponsors are recognized.

We are taking this course of action to protect our members, sponsors, vendors and partners in accordance with CDC and state health guidelines as recommended. We are so thankful for your patience and understanding in the meantime.

Additional Resources

CMPRSA is here to provide guidance and support as you work to navigate professionally and personally during these unique times. The leadership team has compiled the following list of resources to assist you. If you have others to add, or would like to request specific guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email.


COMMUNICATING DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK | PRSA National Chair T. Garland Stansell released this statement at the beginning of the month. We recommend giving it a read if you haven’t already.

HOW COMMUNICATORS CAN HELP INFORM THE PUBLIC DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS | PRSA and the PRSA Health Academy are taking action to involve members in addressing the communications challenges of the current crisis.

CRISIS COMMUNICATION RESOURCES | In order to assist communications professionals in this challenging time, we have compiled a collection of PRSA resources that may be useful as you plan your ongoing communication. Some resources are courses that we have offered and now exist as recordings; other links lead to informative articles, blog posts and more.

WEBINARS | As a PRSA member, you have access to a wealth of virtual professional development opportunities spanning diverse topics.


MLIVE.COM/CORONAVIRUS | This live feed of updates and news articles include all of MLive’s coronavirus coverage.

MICHIGAN.GOV/CORONAVIRUS | Stay up-to-date on what Michigan is doing to combat the spread of COVID-19.

BREAK THE CHAIN OF INFECTION (INFOGRAPHIC) | Former MSU staff member, Karl Gude, created this graphic illustrating the Centers for Disease Control’s “Chain of Infection” and describes ways you can break the chain and to not get sick or infect others. Available via PDF and image download.


CDC.GOV/CORONAVIRUS | How to protect yourself, mass gathering recommendations and more from the Center for Disease Control.

CNN LIVE UPDATES: CORONAVIRUS | Live feed of national updates regarding COVID-19.

LIVE COVID-19 DATA DASHBOARD | Live data feed broken down globally, by country and by state.


8 TIPS TO MAKE WORKING FROM HOME WORK FOR YOU | NPR provides tips and tools to make working from home easier for you and your employees.

HOW TO USE ZOOM VIA NEWSWEEK | The video-sharing platform Zoom has become the go-to spot for schools, colleges and offices to get through the problems at hand.

TECHSMITH| Our very own TechSmith is helping organizations and academic institutions who are preparing for prolonged absences and/or campus closures due to COVID-19. We are offering free access and expanded usage of tools that help enable business and educational continuity.

LIST OF FREE SOFTWARE AND SERVICES DURING CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK | To assist a new wave of remote works, many software developers and service providers have started to offer free licenses or enhanced versions of their software and services. This roundup lists all the free upgrades to services and software licenses being offered during the Coronavirus outbreak.


3.17.20 | CRISIS COMMS IN THE WORLD OF COVID-19 WEBINAR | This free webinar, led by Adele Cehrs, CEO of When and How Agency, crisis communications expert, and author, as well as Chip Massey, former FBI hostage negotiator and special agent, will cover how to handle canceled events, communication frequency for COVID-19 and more.

3.17.20 | MOVING A TRADITIONAL OFFICE TO A REMOTE WORKFORCE | .OrgCommunity will cover immediate and long term solutions to support remote work as well as resources to help with making the move now or later.

3.18–3.19.20 | VIRTUAL AUSTIN | Former State of Michigan’s Nikki Sunstrum stepped in quickly when it was announced that this year’s SXSW Conference in Austin, TX was canceled due to COVID-19. Join the free Facebook Group and check out the lineup to keep your learning going during this time of social distancing.

3.18.20 | LEADING IN UNCERTAIN TIMES | .OrgCommunity will share valuable insights and key takeaways you can implement now to prepare for whatever is next.

3.19.20 | THOUGHTS ON OVERCOMING THIS CRISIS—IN PR, IN THE ECONOMY, IN LIFE | Former CMPRSA and PRSA speaker, Michael Smart will estimate how media will be reacting to non-crisis news and pitches in the coming weeks; tackle lessons learned from the last two recessions you can begin applying now to fortify your business or career; as well as tips for approaching adversity in your work and life to help you emerge from it stronger.

3.25.20 | COMMUNICATING ABOUT COVID-19—NAVIGATING A NEW AND UNCERTAIN CRISIS | Join speakers, Gil Bashe, Managing Partner, Global Health from Finn Partners, Tonya Daniels, Director of Marketing & Communications from the City of Miami Beach and Jonathon Morgan, Co-Founder & CEO of Yonder.

These are unprecedented times we’re in and we have more questions than answers. By working and communicating in a factual and consistent manner and taking the necessary steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we can get through this together. Thank you for your commitment and work to communicate on behalf of your state departments, organizations, clients and companies to keep things moving. And among all of this, don’t forget to take time to care for yourself —you’re just as important as the work you’re doing.

Central Michigan PRSA



Central Michigan PRSA

The Central Michigan chapter offers exciting opportunities for networking & professional development to public relations professionals in greater Lansing, MI.