The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to shift gears or risk being left behind.
And while many businesses may not know how to navigate these new challenges, empHowered PR in Leominster can help.
empHowered PR, LLC, was founded by Lauren Howe, an award-winning public relations professional with more than 20 years of experience working in the healthcare, manufacturing and non-profit industries.
Her public relations firm, which opened in the midst of the pandemic, specializes in highly-tailored communications services to “empHower’’ businesses and non-profit organizations to build strong a strong brand and reputation and to develop the tools needed to effectively respond to – and during – a crisis.
“With the pandemic, a lot of businesses had to pivot and respond in ways they didn’t have to before,’’ she said. “Even I had to pivot in the dark. I thought my business would be in crisis communications but a lot of my business right now is helping other businesses figure out their brand based on the pandemic and how they’ve had to pivot.’’
Howe left her job in corporate America on Valentine’s Day 2020. She took some time off to relax with her daughter before starting her own businesses.
She met with the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce on March 7 looking for assistance and shared networking space. She set up appointments with a lawyer, accountant, and financial advisor. And then the state shut down.
She decided to hold off opening until July 2020 and rented space at the chamber.
“They were super helpful to me for everything,’’ she said. “My business has really grown a lot since then.’’
Howe recently decided to head out on her own and set up shop in downtown Leominster, the city where she was born and raised.
While most of her current clients are not local or even in Massachusetts, Howe hopes that changes as she’s not aware of another public relations firm in Fitchburg or Leominster.
“I want to help my local businesses. This is an opportunity for me to share my expertise with my peers,’’ she said. “It’s an opportunity to network and support them and help them pivot because I had to. I’m one of them.’’
Her core services include brand strategy, crisis communications planning and support, reputation management, corporate social responsibility, media training and writing services.
One area in which she can help is preparing businesses for the unexpected.
“When the next thing happens, and it’s going to, whether it’s a pandemic, fire, financial loss or impact in reputation, we can help you navigate through that and weather the storm,’’ she said.
Another area of focus for Howe is sharing the importance of being a good corporate citizen.
“When you have a strong brand and when you’re engaged in the community, if and when a crisis hits you, you will have those relationships and trust,’’ she said.
Howe said she practices what she preaches.
She is an active member of the community, serving on the boards of the 658 Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of the Fay Club, and the Boys & Girls Club of Lunenburg. She previously served on the board of directors for Girls Inc. of Worcester and each August, rides in the Pan-Mass Challenge to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
empHowered PR is located at 20 Main St., Suite 2E in Leominster. For more information, call 978-400-3036 or visit http://www.emphoweredpr.com/.