Marking the Pandemic Year

We are quickly approaching the one-year marker of the day we, at the U of M, changed the way we work, communicate and deliver on the mission of the University. But it’s not just the communications functions of the institution that changed; most roles transformed in some way to adapt to the health and safety precautions.

How are you planning to acknowledge the year?

I was recently in a Zoom meeting where someone observed that none of us would likely be working this closely together if not for the pandemic. We then began to discuss how we can best capture the adaptations in roles, as well as the hard work done across our campuses to continue to support students, staff and faculty.

Our public health partners have guided us through the constant changes during the year, our faculty members quickly ramped up varied instruction options, our facilities staff kept our buildings and spaces running and operational, and our students continue to show how resilient we all can be through their focus on maintaining a successful year of college life. These are just a few examples of how our typical jobs and roles have changed as we begin to see a light that leads to the end of this pandemic.

Start now to capture, archive and acknowledge this last year in ways that make the most sense for your department, unit, college or campus. Once you have some ideas for stories, highlights, videos, etc., think through your strategy on which audiences may be interested in the information and where to share it.

Internal channels:

External channels:

  • Connect with your college/department communications office and/or your UR public relations consultant for potential media pitching and best practices.
  • Share it on your unit social media channels and reach out to other communicators for amplification.
  • Post it on your externally facing newsletters/websites.

Are you doing something similar or something else altogether? Please share your plans to mark this year of challenge and change with Meagan Pierluissi at We’ll feature your work in upcoming posts.