Thankful for the other kind of gratitude

November 23, 2020

By Kristin Marcum

In the last few weeks of our 25th anniversary as a company, amid a year that certainly is not what we had envisioned, I am perhaps even more grateful than if 2020 had gone as planned. Yes, attending events and seeing you all in person at various meetings and luncheons would have been wonderful, but as it turns out, this year made us remember what we are truly here to do.

If you look up grateful in the dictionary, there’s the definition you know: appreciative of benefits received; and we certainly are. It is good to be in business and to have maintained our team, especially at this difficult time. But there’s also a second meaning that we don’t consider as often: pleasing by reason of comfort supplied or discomfort alleviated.

This is the type of gratitude I am feeling this Thanksgiving. Because of the work that we are fortunate to do—and because of our clients’ ongoing trust in us—we have a seat at their table and when hardship inevitably comes, we are there to hear their concerns, offer consultation and help make it better.

2020 has brought the world a myriad of difficulties and heartbreaks. Hundreds of thousands of our citizens perished and many more were ill. Our neighbors felt the deep pain of racism and other forms of division. Some of the very principles on which our society is built saw fractures like never before. We witnessed uncertainty in the faces of our children and isolation in one another. It has been hard.

In all of it, we felt profoundly appreciative to help our clients speak the words their stakeholders needed to hear. We offered comfort—and in turn helped them offer comfort to employees, customers and community members. While many of us have been apart physically, virtual meetings and events, as well as the power of video and social media have brought us closer together. And never has the written word been more powerful.

The companies and organizations we represent at ECPR are doing some truly astounding work to save, change and transform the lives of the people they touch. For 25 years, we have had the honor of being a part of their success and standing in their shadows as they step out into the spotlight. This year, like many of you, we got the chance to look at our work anew and to feel thankful for the wonder that is communication. So often, we get further apart because we don’t know how to express ourselves and, just as often, the pathway to redemption is through communication.

From our family to yours: have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, wherever you celebrate.