Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gaffney Bennett PR’s team of strategic communications and crisis management professionals has effectively supported clients across a wide range of sectors as they navigate unprecedented operational and economic disruption, as well as unique stakeholder and reputational challenges. We take a tailored approach to creating crisis management plans, supporting stakeholder relationships, and advising on operational restart measures that best fit our clients’ needs. Services and areas of expertise include:


Having both a proactive and reactive response plan to the growing pandemic is key to mitigating risk and keeping key stakeholder audiences engaged during this difficult time. Gaffney Bennett PR is helping clients across a range of sectors by creating mitigation and contingency plans as well as stakeholder communications relating to COVID-19.


Strategic Counsel

Providing 24/7 crisis management and other strategic communications counsel. This includes executive team management, policy and protocol development, operational review, and stakeholder management.

Message Development

Developing and updating key messaging to serve as the foundation for all communications and stakeholder materials.

Materials Development

Driving the development of proactive and reactive stakeholder materials, including standby statements, FAQs, talking points, memos, scripts, website content, workplace signage, and other communications.

Stakeholder Management

Directing and supporting the communications and relationship management activities with the client’s internal and external stakeholders, including but not limited to employees, customers, partners, vendors/suppliers, ownership/investors, and media.

Vulnerability Assessment & Scenario Planning

Helping the client identify the various threats to normal operations posed by the spread of COVID-19; developing high-risk plans, messaging, and corresponding materials to prepare for these potential scenarios.

Threat Matrix

Developing a customized threat matrix to guide the client’s response path.

Social Media Management

Leveraging – as relevant/warranted – proactive and reactive messaging and other tactics with the client’s existing social media platforms.

Monitoring & Intelligence

Monitoring print, broadcast, digital and social media, and flagging relevant coverage and/or mentions for the client. Additionally, distributing a comprehensive daily COVID-19 report, which captures the top news and updates from the past 24 hours.

In the lifecycle of the COVID-19 crisis, U.S. businesses are approaching a pivotal moment where they must shift focus from reactive measures and damage control to operational restarts. Under any restart scenario, a company’s actions will be scrutinized by internal and external stakeholders, creating an opportunity to either gain or lose reputational capital. Gaffney Bennett PR is helping clients plan for and navigate these unique challenges, including developing tailored crisis management plans with custom operational restart measures.


Due Diligence & Data-Driven Diagnostics

Conducting a concise yet thorough organizational review and stakeholder audit to identify all relevant challenges and opportunities. For clients who have operational footprints that are spread out geographically, this process can include leveraging the combination of de-identified healthcare claims data and Johns Hopkins’ COVID-19 county stats to produce detailed heat-maps which can be used to help determine where and when to ramp up operations from a safety and logistics standpoint.


Developing an action plan with an informed timeline and tailored operational checklist for ramping up operations and communicating with stakeholders.

Vulnerability Assessment

Helping the client identify the various threats to normal operations posed by reopening, and the related stakeholder and reputational challenges and opportunities.

Scenario Planning

Developing high-risk plans, policies/protocols, messaging, and corresponding materials to prepare for the potential scenarios identified in the vulnerability assessment.

Threat Matrix

Developing a customized threat matrix to guide the client’s alert, evaluation, and response processes across all potential scenarios.

Internal Readiness

Helping management to organize and prepare employees, including establishing proper policies and protocols to ensure safety and operational effectiveness throughout the operational restart. For clients who need assistance navigating the challenges of the remote workplace, this service can include providing guidance and support with virtual solutions for internal communications.

External Positioning

Developing an external communications plan – including strategies, narratives/messaging, stakeholder materials, media relations, and social media activities – to support and enhance the operational restart with external stakeholders.

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  • As of Thursday, May 28, 2020, there are more than 1.69 million confirmed cases across the U.S., and over 100,442 people have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has prompted the United Nations to delay until late 2021 a crucial climate summit that had been scheduled for Britain this year, officials said on Thursday. The summit will be rescheduled to Nov. 1 to 12, 2021.


  • A rally in U.S. stocks came to an abrupt halt Thursday after President Trump said he would hold a press conference on China, raising jitters about a fresh standoff between the world’s two largest economies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 147.63 points, or 0.6%, to 25400.64, reversing course after two days of gains earlier this week. The S&P 500 gave up its gains to close down 6.40 points, or 0.2%, to 3029.73. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite declined 43.37 points, or 0.5%, to 9368.99.
  • U.S. senators offered a bipartisan plan on Thursday to prepare for the next global health crisis. The measure, which was introduced last week but announced on Thursday, would authorize $3 billion to rebuild the U.S. pandemic defense system, invest in global vaccine developments and help countries that need it to build up their health systems.


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