Walking down blocks of shuttered storefronts, its clear many businesses are hoping their signs convey a simple message:  We’re still here, we’re still fighting, we’re ready to serve you.  Virginia Tech’s Nneka Logan says behind each sign is a business and behind each business is a real person, or people, who are doing whatever they can to save that business, with the hopes of better days ahead.

“In these times, business is not just business – impersonal, formulaic,” said Logan.  “In these times, business is personal, and I think the signs reflect the personalities of the business owners and employees as well as reflects their unique perception of how the pandemic affects them and their customers.”

Logan is an associate professor in the department of communication, specializing in public relations, organizational communication, and corporate social responsibility.

“During these difficult days, it’s important that locally owned, small businesses find ways to stay connected to their customers. The biggest takeaway from the signs’ messaging is customers can still engage with these businesses and interact with them, and the signs explain how the public can do that,” said Logan.

“There’s no question, these are tough times,” she said. “No one knows exactly what the future holds. But what we can hold on to is the faith, fortitude and resilience reflected in the signs of our time that adorn these shops, restaurants and retailers, all hoping for better days.”

image of sign that says: curbside delivery only

About Nneka Logan

Professor Logan has worked in a variety of communication roles for a multibillion-dollar corporate organization and its subsidiaries for more than 9 years, managing internal, external and executive communication strategies, tactics, programs and projects.  Read her bio.

Schedule an interview

To secure a live or recorded interview with Nneka Logan, contact Bill Foy by email, or by phone at 540-998-0288.

image of sign that says: We will be be back stronger than ever

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