The global shift to work-from-home as the new normal rightfully consumed the attention of Armstrong Teasdale leadership in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Providing its lawyers with all of the tools they needed to work remotely for the foreseeable future was challenging enough. Equally important was making sure the firm’s clients had access to the torrent of rapidly changing information needed to operate their own businesses — and thus, a mere 48 hours after that sizable course correction, the firm’s COVID-19 Resource Center was born.
“We recognized that this was something that did not appear to be ending anytime soon,” said Chief Marketing Officer Katie Davis. “We heard from our clients that they wanted timely information. There was so much uncertainty out there. And people were just hungry for accurate information.”
Still, the online portal — which Davis called “a strong collaboration among a team of attorneys” — has exceeded the firm’s expectations since its mid-March rollout. Stocked with contributions from nearly 60 attorneys, Armstrong Teasdale has issued an equivalent number of pandemic-related email advisories on topics ranging from hosting virtual shareholder meetings in New York to OSHA updates and federal labor law guidelines.
The firm has hosted more than a dozen COVID-19 related webinars, attracting more than 3,000 registrants to sessions on the pandemic’s impact on retailers, bars and restaurants, homeowner associations and more. Those hungering for even more information can subscribe to more frequent COVID-19 email alerts. Marketing metrics show higher-than-typical open rates, fewer-than-typical requests to unsubscribe and overall higher levels of engagement, Davis noted.
“The speed with which the resource center came to life was impressive alone, and the content engine it became in mere hours was business-altering for clients,” she said. “The webinars became a sounding board for in-house counsel, HR professionals and even [chief financial officers] as they navigated deeply detailed (and sometimes difficult to interpret), constantly changing guidance and regulations.
“Clients across the country have commented that the quality of our content and the appropriate brevity made for practical guidance that was far superior to that of our competitors,” she added.
Among those satisfied clients: Nicki Godare, senior vice president for human resources at Tacony Corp., a St. Louis County-based manufacturer and distributor of ceiling fans, lighting and home and commercial floor-care products with four U.S. locations. She called both the firm and its resource center “a critical, trusted partner during a time of uncertainty.”
Post-pandemic, Armstrong Teasdale expects the resource center to remain in place, albeit with a more focused approach that looks ahead to the impact and implementation of recovery plans.
“We want to be looking forward,” Davis said. “What are the lasting impacts that COVID-19 will have on our business, and how do we address those challenges? That’s where we see this evolving.
“The lessons in being nimble and approaching different situations with a different lens — those will stay with the firm long-term.”