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Finding a new normal: How a PR company is staying afloat during social distancing

Complete PR in Greenville, S.C.

As our community works to collectively adjust to this new normal, we want to share the perspectives of people in the Greenville community who are working to adapt their lifestyles, family dynamics, business models, workflow, + more. Today, we’re hearing from John Boyanoski, owner of Complete PR, which is a full-service public relations firm based out of Greenville.

Find Complete PR on Facebook and Instagram.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I came to Greenville about 20 years thinking I would stay about two years and never left. Along the way, I transitioned from being a journalist to being a business owner while also writing four books. I serve on several boards including Rebuild Upstate, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, the Greenville Chamber Board of Advisors and the Small Business Development in Greenville. My wife, Tammy, and I have two children.


What do you do for a living?

I own Complete PR, which is a full-service public relations firm based out of Greenville. Our core work is creating press/content and handling crisis communication with an emphasis on entrepreneurs, manufacturing and healthcare.

How has your work been affected by coronavirus?

We’ve lost clients, but gained clients at the same time so the work load has not changed much. The biggest difference is just not seeing clients in person or my staff. I feel I spend all day e-mailing and texting people instead of meeting face-to-face. Because, I am a person who creates content, it is a challenge to come up with new phrases and ideas that haven’t been beaten into submission. Trying times, anyone?

How has your personal life and/or family been affected by coronavirus?

Oddly, mostly better. My kids are at home so there are a lot of demands. I work from a home office, and several times a day, I get my son coming in wanting to play or telling me he wants a snack. He recently discovered my old Star Wars toys from the 1980s, so he has questions about them. I was on deadline, and he wanted to know if the little ewok was Chewbacca’s son. Things like that. However, there are benefits. For example, I have been the one who picks up my kids from each day for years. That was usually a good 90 minutes of driving and car lines that I now have back. There is no more coming home, and trying to catch up on emergencies for hours. I actually get to take time with them in the afternoon to go outside and play with them. Another change has been running. Because of where I live, I probably run some part of the Swamp Rabbit Trail about 300 times a year. It is easy for me to get on and just run. However, right before things start to shut down completely, the trail started to get packed so i made the decision to run city street. My wife isn’t always happy with that, but I have rediscovered a lot of hills and parts of the that i never saw on foot anymore.

What impacts do you think the pandemic will have on your life and/or business as time goes on?

My wife and I talk often about how are kids will grow up from this. Seventy years from now, will they still be scrubbing every item that comes into the house because of this? Will they have picked up on the fears we had from this time?

If your business and/or industry has been affected by the coronavirus, what can members of the community do to support your business and others like it during this time?

Remember that there are a lot places that are closed to the public that rely on people coming in the door or supporting them via volunteers. Make those donations to them to make sure they can reopen their doors and continue serving.

What do you look forward to doing the most once everything goes back to normal?

My kids and I walk downtown on the weekends to let my wife sleep in a little. We grab some breakfast, go to OP Taylors, walk around, talk to old friends, take pictures. That is what I miss the most.

What message do you have for the Greenville community right now?

I think the big thing is keep calm and use caution. Greenville is a great place. The Upstate is a great place to live. Things are frustrating right now. Don’t think that anyone out there is not suffering in some way because of this. If there is something that I have learned in my 20 years here is that Greenville is a compassionate community that pulls together.

What local restaurant do you plan on dining out at first once this is over?

The Zorba. Sorry, I’m a creature of habit.

Share your own experiences with us.