By Wright Communications

Focusing on the fundamentals like communications is helping many kiwi organisations weather the COVID-19 storms. That’s the view of Auckland-based PR agency and sustainability communications specialists Wright Communications, reflecting on an unexpectedly busy autumn and winter despite the twin shocks of two COVID-19 lockdowns.

Managing Director Nikki Wright says history has shown repeatedly that organisations that keep communicating and marketing during difficult times come out stronger. “COVID-19 has undeniably hammered the New Zealand economy, but we’ve been so impressed by the heroic efforts of many kiwi businesses - small and large – to stay trading during COVID-19. They have been innovative and resourceful, pivoting their offerings to meet the changing needs and opportunities that have arisen during the pandemic. It’s more evidence of kiwi ingenuity at its best.”

Wright, who founded Wright Communications 14 years ago, says she’s also been heartened by the willingness and ability of the company’s clients to continue their PR programmes and strategy rollouts – “as well as hugely grateful for their faith in us.

“Many of our clients have a compelling sustainability story to tell externally to their stakeholders as well as internally, and those stories have even more resonance in this new, uncertain, COVID-affected environment, where greater responsibility around resources will be increasingly important.”

Wright says her company has weathered the pandemic surprising well, with no job losses and just a few clients having to curtail their PR activities, while the team has also picked up a number of new clients, including global consumer products giant Unilever.

She says the addition of Unilever to Wright Communications’ consumer and corporate portfolio, following a competitive pitch, was immensely satisfying.   “I’ve admired Unilever for many years for their sustainability ethos and vision, which is closely aligned to our own, and it’s a thrill to be working with them on a number of exciting new projects.”

The Wright Communications consumer team has had notable success over the last few months in picking up a number of new clients, she says. “We’ve welcomed in Hunter Gatherer Gourmet who are thriving on the current COVID-driven craze for home-baking, Adrenalin Forest who are promoting their adventure tourism offerings in New Zealand to Kiwis, Elastoplast – supporting New Zealanders returning to club sport, and Glad who’s campaign encouraged extra uses of their various products during stages of lockdown..

“But our corporate team has also been flat-out with new work in the sustainability reporting area for Synlait, AA Insurance, and Foodstuffs NZ, as well as issues management work for clients of our client Delta Insurance, workshops for Genesis, and projects for Talegenet, Toitu and Envirocare. And it was really pleasing to welcome project management and QS consultancy Kwanto back into the fold after some years.”

Wright attributes the swell of new business to that time-proven need to keep marketing through hard times.  “PR is an important pathway to capturing attention and brings both credibility and cost-effectiveness.  But there’s also a strong will out there to be telling those important sustainability stories clearly and well, which is where skilled communications support is invaluable.”

Wright says the maintenance of a healthy portfolio has been very reassuring through the last six months and caps a positive run for the company, which was also named PR Agency of the Year by the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) in 2020.

“We won’t be resting on our laurels though. We are fortunate that the work we do is relevant for our clients and the times, and our mission is to help them make it through this challenging period for their businesses.”

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