FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 03.16.21


Dear Friends,

The past week has been full of nostalgic “one year ago today” reminiscences, mostly to underscore how naïve we were about what was ahead of us. I’m trying to continue to look forward, grasping the small indications of hope that we are starting to come out of this pandemic. I anticipate a “new normal” that continues the themes of resilience and flexibility.

I am also eager for the return of in-person gatherings, social activities, and professional collaborations. The CDC’s new guidelines for vaccinated people are encouraging, although there is still a lot of uncertainty. Avalon has not finalized a return-to-office plan, although we expect a very slow reopening and likely no sooner than mid-summer. We will keep you posted as our plan emerges.

In other good news, I am pleased by President Biden’s recent executive order to promote voting access. As the White House explained, “Democracy doesn’t happen by accident. We have to defend, strengthen, and renew it.” The order is an important step, which I hope will be fortified by full passage of the For the People Act in Congress – legislation that has been a key advocacy area for Avalon client the League of Women Voters of the United States. The League’s CEO Virginia Kase has written a strong statement on this, and, for a historical lens, I recommend Heather Cox Richardson’s essay on the history of voter suppression in the U.S.

On the creative front, we are playing with a new word at Avalon: “scrollytelling.” Avalon’s VP of Marketing Barb Perell discovered the concept in this roundup of ideas for engaging visual content. Here’s the scoop:

Scrollytelling is an interactive way to tell a story using the scroll feature to hold the reader’s attention. Visuals change as the user scrolls, adding a deeper layer of meaning. It’s also helpful to facilitate understanding for difficult topics like machine learning, as illustrated in this scrolling piece.

In brand marketing, I’m sure you were also watching with dismay as Burger King completely botched their International Women’s Day campaign. Avalon VP Margot O’Leary shared out this great article on how the BK fiasco happened. We are also paying attention to the significance of Unilever removing the word “normal” from their products. Both are good reminders to be aware of the stories we tell.

Finally, I want to thank the Avalon team and our clients as we mark one year of working remotely. I am grateful every day for your grace, adaptability, and professionalism. I particularly want to thank Avalon COO Kerri Kerr for being the best partner in a crisis – and every day. From day one she has been an essential sounding board for me. I am so proud of the work we have all done together. It has been both incredibly hard and empowering. I could not have picked a better group to go through this experience with!

Take care,