As originally posted on PRovoke Media.
After two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be hard to quantify the ways in which we have changed. Our pandemic coverage helps us understand the industry impact, and it seems unlikely that any of our content has been untouched by the unique circumstances that have taken root since the start of 2020.
But so much of that change has occurred at a human level, where many of the lessons emerge from the various conversations and anecdotes that underpin our stories and events. To better showcase these learnings, and provide a measure of insight into how the global PR industry is responding to such a transformative era, this series asks people what they have learned, according to three specific areas.
In the latest installment in our series, we hear from Coyne PR founder & CEO Tom Coyne.
Three things I’ve learned…
I learned that change is not always a dimmer switch that occurs over time but can happen immediately and work effectively. I was amazed by how quickly we switched to a 100% remote staff and the incredible amount we accomplished each day. Creativity, collaboration, and culture continued over the astonishing technology that kept us together in spirit as we worked safely apart. I have always heard about past generations’ “can-do” attitude, and it was amazing to see it come to life in our age. We found a way through and innovated, proving we can meet other significant challenges we face in the future.
The pandemic accelerated communication. We got to know media like never-before as family members became producers as in-home broadcasts connected guests and talent with viewers and followers to deliver essential news on MS Teams, Zoom, and Slack platforms. Presence at our media events grew both in turnout and engagement. The collaboration levels with influencers and media alike became full-scale creative alliances as we shared ideas and resources to deliver news to people isolated in their homes. The public relations profession was never more vital as an indispensable driver of trustworthy information to a locked-down world – we were part of what gave people comfort, hope, and normalcy.
As people, we need each other, especially in times of crisis. We need love and community to live. Isolation not only hurts but can destroy people both physically and mentally. As the pandemic’s great panic and inflammatory debates recede, watermarks remain of those the experience has forever changed. Echo chambers of disinformation not only damaged psyches but drove people to despair. I now understand how fragile the collective mental health of the world can be; it needs perpetual positive reassurance. People need trust and security. We, as communicators, are essential to provide positive news in the world of innovations and inspirations from our clients. We bring balance to information by highlighting companies and people improving the world for a better tomorrow. Our work allows people to see the hope for the future.