Our COVID-19 Response

Our COVID-19 Response

Supporting the Frontlines

OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE

The
Challenge

We were honored to play a supporting role as our clients on the frontlines of this crisis stepped up to serve the people of Michigan.

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across Michigan and Governor Whitmer issued shutdown and Stay at Home orders, school campuses closed, and businesses were shuttered while operations ramped up at hospitals, health departments and homeless shelters. Nowhere was it “business as usual,” including at Truscott Rossman.

Government Response

Our Detroit office was called in to help the City of Detroit ramp up their social media monitoring when direct-to-resident communication was critical to public health and safety. Our team established an effective system to provide accurate and timely information to the public and share daily resident comments and concerns with city officials. In addition, we advanced earned media and other communications efforts in this essential time.

As the Kent County Health Department director prepared to announce the first positive local cases and, subsequently, a county-wide public health order cutting capacity at bars and restaurants, our team supported with community relations counsel, media strategy and messaging. Later, we supported the team with content development for the Kent County Back to Work website, where employers could find safety guidelines, best practices, and resources for reopening Kent County businesses. And finally, TR developed and is helping to implement a strategic communications plan that provides a cohesive framework for the County’s communications in response to the public health and economic crises.

With COVID-19 closures crippling local small businesses, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans in partnership with TCF Financial Corporation/Bank and their teams stepped up to create the Small Business Relief Loan Fund to provide fast-turnaround financing for those hardest hit and help bridge the gap with timing lags in the federal Paycheck Protection Program. TR was honored to support both clients in their rollout of the program, from messaging and media relations to handling the logistics in hosting their first virtual news announcement.

Healthcare Response

Our team pitched and placed Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services subject matter experts who could address rising anxiety amidst the growing pandemic. And when the state’s largest behavioral healthcare provider released a sobering report predicting a 32% rise in Michigan suicide rates in the aftermath of COVID-19, TR’s media strategy and connections drove a cascade of coverage aimed at rallying providers, policy makers, payers and the public to action.


With its skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility members on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, TR began strategic communications work with the Health Care Association of Michigan just as the first coronavirus case was identified and announced in the Great Lakes State. From innovative digital media to traditional media and community relations, TR is supporting HCAM’s team, executive board and membership around the clock as they work tirelessly to protect their caregivers and residents from the devastating virus.


As mid-Michigan’s largest health system planned and navigated its response to COVID-19, TR’s communications specialists supported Sparrow Health System’s Emergency Operations Incident Command Center with timely media relations, messaging and materials. Aimed at keeping its internal and external audiences informed every step of the way, TR worked hand-in-hand with these health care heroes – from daily employee briefings on rapidly changing coronavirus response policies and procedures and ongoing COVID-19 web page enhancements to collateral and ads for a new coronavirus protection and awareness campaign and hospital/campus signage.


Michigan Technological University had a great story to tell. A scrappy group of MTU engineers had designed and assembled a large-scale mobile PPE sanitation unit and sent it to Detroit – the epicenter of Michigan’s outbreak – for validation testing. We drew on our well-established relationships with top Michigan journalists to help them drive the story to a statewide audience.

Business + Community Response

As the West Michigan COVID-19 Business Coalition collaborated to ensure that the region emerged from this crisis with a strong local business community and a healthy workforce to power it, we powered the communications behind the effort.   

In its 120-year history, Mel Trotter Ministries never turned away an individual experiencing hunger or homelessness. But that could have changed as COVID-19 stretched Grand Rapids’ leading rescue mission’s resources to the limit. TR provided strategic counsel and messaging support as Mel Trotter advocated for – and won – a community-wide response to stem the growing number of cases among those experiencing homelessness.